Joe Chen Too Old to Portray 13-Year-Old Character in “Queen Dugu”?

Despite being often labelled as the queen of Chinese idol dramas, it seems actress Joe Chen (陳喬恩) is currently criticized for being unsuitable for the title character in Queen Dugu <独孤皇后>. Portraying a 13-year-old character in the Mainland Chinese drama, Joel lacked the feel of a young girl. The 39-year-old posted her thoughts on social media yesterday iterating how perspectives on East Asian women are only limited to a young girl’s aura.

The actress wrote, “Anger has distorted many self-depreciating values. Since when did this happen? East Asian women are only regarded from the perspective of whether they look young or not. Whether it be a young girl, female student, or woman, they should be appreciated and protected. But unfortunately, what I’m seeing is just harsh and ill-mannered. I’m not going to even count the females who are entering [this discussion]. We are inexplicably living in a kind of environment where we don’t want to see a happy woman’s flaws and abnormalities…better love yourself, because we are living in such a world full of negativity.”

Many netizens believe that Joe’s post was in response to criticism that she was ill suited for her role in Queen Dugu, but the actress denied it. Joe said, “I am expressing a kind of misinterpreted attitude. I’ve only read the overly interpreted news after, but thank you for the support.”

Coincidentally, a notice in the latest episode preview wrote, “Jia Luo is not a young girl, she will be a Queen tomorrow.” Perhaps, this notice and her post had sought to tell audiences to disregard the age of Joe’s character, but many viewers still felt discomforted while watching Joe in the role.

Source: Yahoo HK

This article is written by Minna for

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  1. She IS too old to be playing a 13 year old. I agree that women in general are held to an unreasonable standard of being forever young, flawless and perfect. That does NOT excuse a 39 year old playing a 13 year old. Ask someone that’s at least 20 years younger to play that character. The same goes for men. Men in their 50s shouldn’t be in idol dramas. Also, stop matching men in the 50s with women in the early 20s, it’s disgusting.

    1. @lianna
      totally agree. even a 29 portraying a 13 yo is a stretch. they have many talented teenage actresses in china, don’t know why they can’t use them. if they want to stick w/ joe chan, fine, write the character older. 18 may be more appropriate but 13 is just a kid.

      which drama with males in 50s? they playing dad? idol drama shouldn’t feature men older then 30s unless they are playing uncles. idol drama is suppose to be targeted toward teens not adults.

    2. @lianna Yes…true, shes 3 times the age. Its a bit silly and destracts from the story.

      And its not about societies perspectives on women, it would be equally stupid had a 39 yr old man played a 13 yr old child.

  2. Should have use child actress- I am sure the pay isn’t too much, also more opportunities to train new actress

  3. I really, really, reaaaaally don’t like when actresses draw their eyebrows in a straight line. It looks SO weird & awkward. I think it screams ‘i’m trying too hard to look young’ when they know they’re not. the only time this has ever worked was with zhang liying and that’s because she has a baby face.

    1. @coralie
      The eyebrows isn’t an issue at all in this case. That middle hair split, that is the issue. It does not work at all with Joe.

      Funny you mentioned ZLY eyebrows because she exaggerated too far about her face changing entirely to a new one just because of an eye brow change. Real-ly?

  4. With a 1.3B population, I’m sure they can easily find young talent to portray her role. Stop casting 30+ year olds as tweens. It has nothing to do with possessing youthful looks or a “baby face.” Many of these veteran actresses simply don’t possess the same innocence as children are able to naturally portray. There’s a lot of young and new talent available, if only the producers/directors are willing to give them the chance.

  5. I feel uneasy when old women try and sound young and cute. It’s cringeworthy and doesn’t match up well…

  6. C’mon Joe Chen, your poor ego has been hurt! Just be realistic from the point of the views… whi are you kidding? A 39 year old to be a convincing 16 year old!!!! Wake up to reality please

  7. I am just few years older then Joe. I too hate ageism practice but for her to age at 16yrs old is just too much. They are better of engaging a young actress to act the young stage and Joe will take on the older character. It will help give young actress a chance…

    1. @hohliu But you may very well look younger than Joe Chen. It’s not just the numerical age but it’s also the facial feautures and complexion. Some people just age better, and some people don’t. It’s genetics, it’s life.

  8. Some actresses can pull off a younger role, but some actresses just have to come to terms with the fact that they’ve graduated from that phase. Joe Chen definitely has graduated…she simply cannot pull off a teenager part…to even portray someone in their twenties would be pushing it for her at this point. What makes it worse is that Chen Xiao looks obviously younger than her, so every time they’re together, you’re just reminded she’s an older woman, even though her role isn’t written that way. When the age mismatch actually distracts the audience from getting into the show, it’s time to face reality instead of being bitter about it.

    But a part of the issue may also be there just aren’t enough meaty roles for older actresses so they’re forced to either take on these roles meant for younger women or nothing else.

  9. The styling they put on Joe is just ugly, ugly white make up with bright lipsticks. Modern hair too. Her worst hair style is the middle split. Even YZ styled her way better as the miscasted DFBB.

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