The plot thickens as Joy of Life <庆余年> enters its grand finale. Fan Xian, played by Zhang Ruoyun (张若昀), is seemingly fatally stabbed by Yan Bingyun (guest star Sean Xiao 肖战), setting up the scene for a second season.
The comedy drama, based on the online novel Qing Yunian by Mao Ni (猫腻), follows a college student and his peculiar journey of completing a novel-length story that is meant for his professor to read. In the novel, a mysterious youth from a small seaside village learns medicine from a mysterious teacher that leads him to understand more of his own past.
With all 46 episodes coming to an end soon, Zhang Ruoyun feels both excitement and longing. He shared that his most memorable scene was where his character recites a long series of poems while in a drunken state. It turns out that Zhang Ruoyun was actually drunk while shooting the scene, and had memorized over 100 different poems to prepare for it.
“I started drinking at 8 in the morning,” he said. “We took three days to film that scene. I was drunk for half of that.”
He remembered shooting over 300 different shots on the first day, and several hundred more the following days. “You can look exceptionally fake when you try to film a drunk scene sober,” he said.
Zhang Ruoyun has played lead in many series, but he admitted that he has gotten the most satisfaction in playing Fan Xian. He appears in over 800 scenes, and if Fan Xian wasn’t a happy character, Zhang Ruoyun himself probably wouldn’t have been able to maintain such positive energy for a long time. Fan Xian is an extremely likable character, and many characters that he comes across in the story all have soft spots for him.
“Usually, when filming ends an actor would want to pull out of his character,” he said. “But Fan Xian is such a happy person, and he makes me so happy. Even to this day, I feel like I’m still him.”
Joy of Life also stars Chen Daoming (陈道明) and Sweet Li (李沁).
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.