Original Cast for “Word of Honor”
Chinese BL drama Word of Honor <山河令> is currently leading the hottest discussions online for its unexpected next-level performances and thrilling chemistry between leads Zhang Zhehan (张哲瀚) and Gong Jun (龚俊). With initially no anticipations on its low-budget production, the sudden blow up came to many as a surprise. Though what was even more astonishing was that Zhehan and Gong Jun were actually not the original casting choices. As the two were largely praised for their performances, it became hard to imagine that their characters could have belonged to another.
Word of Honor had even shockingly surpassed the highly popular The Untamed <陈情令> with a Douban rating of 8.6. Known for its strictness, it is usually difficult to attain a rating of 8 points or more. Yet, Word of Honor managed to do so with ratings higher than The Untamed. The latter had earned a rating of 4.9 when it first aired, and eventually climbed up to its current rating of 7.7. While The Untamed did pave the path for more BL dramas, Word of Honor also did not earn love easily with its zero promotions and quiet premiere.
It is well agreed upon that the series was able to reach such heights largely because of Zhehan and Gong Jun’s detailed performances. In the same way as Xiao Zhan (肖战) and Wang Yibo (王一博), their unbeatable chemistry had earned them a mass of fans.
This could have been an entirely different story because Zhehan’s character Zhou Zishu was originally supposed to be played by Mao Zijun (茅子俊), and Gong Jun’s character Wen Kexing was to be played by Li Daikun (李岱昆). However, Zijun ended up losing the chance to star in Word of Honor because the filming was delayed due to the pandemic last year. As pay was already low during this time, Zijun chose to film other projects first. When the series finally started rolling, the actor was no longer available due to schedule clashes.
As for Daikun, he did not think he suited playing Kexing, so he gave up the lead role to play supporting character Prince Xie. Although this character is uniquely charismatic, it is still incomparable to the popularity of Kexing.
This article is written by Minna for JayneStars.com.
Not really a fan of Zhou ZiShu’s character because there’s not much room for him to shine…but i know that’s deliberate to juxtapose Wen Kexing’s character and for us to feel the contrast. But in reality, his role is playing 2nd fiddle to Wen Kexing. I guess he’s supposed to be the manlier one of the couple, but that’s too common.
That aside, Li Daikun is amazing in his role. Wow. I think he made a really good decision in not playing Wen Kexing, because his Scorpion Lord is too feminine for me to handle haha. If he played Wen Kexing, I might have a difficult time watching the drama. He’s a scene stealer for sure.
I’m glad Simon got the role of Wen Kexing because he really knows how to “sa jiao” (no eng equivalent I can think of.) He’s masculine enough that he can pull off “manly” yet soft enough to be feminine.
To be honest, I don’t think either Scorpion Lord or Simon Jun are on Lee Joon Ki’s level of acting yet, because they both can come off slightly too deliberate and greasy feeling, but they certainly look the part. I don’t know if they give me that feeling from acting or just the script’s fault. I do enjoy the both of them though and look forward to their other works in the future.
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