Ren Min’s Looks & Disposition Criticized In “The Longest Promise”

(Above): Viewers have varied feedback for Ren Min in youth drama “Ray of Light” and costume drama “The Longest Promise”.

Costarring Xiao Zhan (肖戰) and Ren Min (任敏), period romance The Longest Promise <玉骨遙> has been topping C-drama popularity charts. While both Xiao Zhan and Ren Min’s acting have received viewers’ affirmation, some have harsh words for Ren Min’s disposition and looks which they felt is below par for costume drama standards, as they found her “not beautiful enough”.

Incompatible Styling in “The Longest Promise” to Blame?

Despite getting flak for her less-than-stellar visuals in The Longest Promise, Ren Min’s looks have worked to her advantage by imparting a unique aura to her character Ren Zhen in youth drama Ray of Light <追光的日子>, where she plays an academic high-achiever who is forced to repeat due to unfortunate circumstances. Sparking massive online discussions, the drama has already amassed hundreds of millions of related topics on Douyin since its premiere on June 29.

Besides praising her imaging as a student with shoulder-length hairdo, fans and viewers felt that Ren Min is totally rocking the female lead of a spirited, rebellious girl who resiliently defeats life’s odds despite being given the shorter end of the stick. Together with Roy Wang (王源) and Jingfei Guo (郭京飛), the three are among a group of lost youth who are struggling in their own ways due to their familial circumstances, until teacher Chi Nam’s (Jingfei Guo) guidance leads them up from the doldrums to seek out respective pathways towards a brighter future. Sharing the same fate as repeat students working to overturn their destinies, Ren Min and student Wang Yuan will also develop romantic feelings.

Touched by Ren Min’s performance in Ray of Light, some fans have spoken up and pointed out the incompatible imaging for the actress’s unimpressive visuals in The Longest Promise, while affirming her acting; “She’s really perfected the rebellious girl role, it’s a must-watch whenever she plays a female student”, “It’s really touching how she inhabits the xueba character who battles life’s challenges head-on, which is a totally different kind of rebellion from her character in Cry Me a Sad River, her acting is really powerful”.

Breaking out in 2018 movie Cry Me A Sad River <悲傷逆流成河> as a rebellious teen growing up in struggling circumstances, Ren Min shone with her powerful and moving onscreen performance and was named one of the young faces to watch. Scoring consecutive casting opportunities, she appeared in 2020 period drama Serenade of Peaceful Joy <清平樂> and was further cast in The Longest Promise and Ray of Light.

Source: Upmedia

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  1. Ren Min is a good actress. I enjoyed her performance in Serenade of Peaceful Joy but her styling in this drama is awful. It’s emphasized her shortcomings. Beside the second FL is drop dead gorgeous. IMHO, SFL shouldn’t have overshadow FL in term of look, like it or not people will compared.

      1. That’s another thing too. XZ has an outstanding look and presence. He needs a compatible FL. The worst part is RM is overshadowed by almost everyone in this drama. Like it or not we are visual people. I like Reba’s drama because visually majority of her MLs are compatible. ZBB, Venga Gao, YY, Johny Huang, DL, WuLei and this upcoming one will be GJ. Another pretty pairing is ZLS. I don’t watch most of her dramas but I can see that her MLs are also compatible. XZ, Ding Yu Xi, Liu Yu Ning, WL, Song Wei Long, YY and the latest is Chen Zhe Yuan.

  2. I’ve been told the female lead in the book isn’t supposed to be super good looking anyway. While I do think styling has a lot to do with it, I also feel like she has a more modern look. There’s not only one kind of beauty in this world. She has a very cool edgy girl charm about her. Her acting is also excellent. I hope she is able to ignore all these criticisms and not let it get to her.

  3. I noticed Ren Min years ago…she is a good newbie actress. She is a movie actress…to see her shift to drama is not going to be easy. As both categories are different. I too feel modern roles suits her more. Similar to Zhou Dong Yu, she is not great in ancient drama too…She was so awkward to watch in Ancient Love Poetry…

    1. Zhou Dong Yu’s shift to drama land has not been successful so far, not only because of her looks but her acting was criticized. Ren Min doesn’t seem to have that problem but probably needs to stay away from period dramas. I didn’t think of her looking too modern until she acted in this period drama.
      Did you watch the The Longest Promise? Still thinking if I should, getting a little tired of teacher disciple romance.

      1. I will be starting to watch it soon… just saw 2 eps so far to get a feel of the story. As I like Ren Min from before, I am not as critical of her looks here. Second lead actress is beautiful but we know to be a lead actress, beauty is not the main factor.
        But I do agree Ren Min transition to drama world is not too bad, she is enjoyable to watch in the Youth genre so far. I hope to see more of her. She is a sincere and serious actress. I hope they don’t Idol package her too much…It does not suit her.

  4. Anyone watching An Ancient Love Song? Short drama of about 30 min/episode with a total of 14 episodes.

    1. Oh, I will search for this drama… I find Zhang Ya Qin a very sweet and adorable actress… but I dont see her going too far as a lead actress.

      1. @hohliu noticed her since that Fu Yao drama (only watched her scenes). She and Hu Yixuan are one of those I wish more more opportunities are given to.
        It will be interesting if we ever get to see ZYQ and Zheng Yecheng both fighting in period drama together. ZYC is known to be good at it and ZYQ is better than most of the idol leading actresses who only pose and act cool in fighting scenes.

      1. It is! I’m enjoying it so far, they are going to release the last two episodes this week. The ML is criticised for his acting but stay for the FL and the story. His acting gets better later.

      2. @BearBear Dont know what you think, but in my own opinion. I feel newbies should have room to grow, I rather they start with small budget dramas to hone their skills and build confidence. I dont judge newbie artiste when they are taking on such roles…. The ones I have big issue with are bad artiste in big budget dramas or well written dramas. I feel newbies should not be given lead roles just because their sponsor insist on it. The right roles should be given to skilled artiste. I have seem too many wasted roles given to Idols who cannot act…what of waste of good resource..

      3. @Hohliu I’m not for non existent acting who takes on leading roles, whether they are newbies or not, those who portray a well known beautiful or good looking role when they are not or changing the race for historical or known fictional characters for the sake of being inclusive. What’s more when the artists throw the victim card when they take on the role.
        For a newbie, I can still try to excuse them that it’s their agency who arrange for it, they have no voice in it. However if they continue to be horrible in their acting yet continue to be leading, now then they are just in for the fast money without wanting to put in efforts.
        I saw the discussion in other thread about YY, which I totally agree that he’s not putting an effort to improve his acting or maybe he did but has no talent in it and cannot be bothered. I really like him after watching his first TV drama and till now I think he’s good looking but I can no longer watch his dramas or interested in them.
        It’s like an utter useless co worker who doesn’t even put in any effort who may even get higher bonuses than one who is doing the work. Why should everyone try to see the person’s non existent work performance and tolerate it?
        The agency is in for the quick money and it does seem that the new gen of idols have the same attitude. Improving their acting is probably the last in their priority, if they even have even thought about it.
        Some of the popular artists are in one project after another, are they so confident in their ability to act well that they do not need a rest or time to study and digest the role or they do not care? I saw the clips of ZLS’s latest drama, not sure if other scenes are better but her portrayal of an intelligent teen looks more like someone who is mentally challenged. Is it time for her slow down to study her roles more then?

    2. @BearBear An Ancient Love Song is so good! Zhang Yaqin reminds me of Vicki Zhao a lot! She’s nailed her role in here and I love the time travel twist. So far, even though the drama itself is short, it has been a very satisfying watch.

      1. @Coralie the drama is coming to an end this week, can’t wait for it. Several have commented the resemblance and some also saying that the ML looks like Tan Tianci. I have really enjoyed the drama so far. Interestingly, this story was from a content creator (who is one of the scriptwriters in this) who cut scenes of different dramas to make into a short story years ago and the platform bought the rights to produce it into this drama.
        I’m also on a look out for the director of this production, having seen her earlier two BG short productions. Heard she also has GL works.

    3. I just watched the last 2 episodes of An Ancient Love Story and trying to control from expressing how I feel towards it in case of spoilers.
      This is so hard…….

  5. The styling of her doesn’t help at all. The close up shots make it worst. Personally, that problem lies with the director. I also agree that she looks better in modern dramas/movies.

  6. Ren Min is hardly ‘ugly’ as some rude netizens say. She’s more on the cute side, which suits the spunky character she’s portraying. Feel sorry for genuine actresses who are castigated because they don’t fall into netizens’ narrow standards of beauty

  7. Am watching, enjoyable thus far. She’s OK as actress but yes, she’s neither pretty nor ugly, neither memorable or forgettable. I don’t find her engaging nor will I rewatch for her. Honestly I feel the same about xiao zhan in here. He sounds great, acts well until he has to be over emotional and that’s when he isn’t that convincing.

  8. Ren Min reminds me of Yangzi. Both of their acting aren’t bad, but they really need to stay out of idol dramas. They have to understand the majority of the audience are young teenagers who only care about looks.

  9. Why can’t cdrama viewers simply immerse in a story without whining and body shaming. It’s really appalling.

    1. To be honest, the simple fact that the more ordinary looking actresses like Bai Lu and Zhao Lu Si are finding it incredible hard to shoot to superstardom despite having successive hits or the fact that there are no suitable roles for older actresses to shine or become famous in says a lot about the prowess of the C-industry.

      1. Oh, that is something I can think about… I can name afew Top drama actors that have lasting power like Chen Kun, Hu Ge, Deng Cao but for female, Yang Mi maybe but not many that shares the same billing as the top male actors…

  10. I am usually not so shallow but after having watched 2 episodes of The Longest Promise, I decided not to continue watching because Ren Min’s was so miscasted as a princess. She just doesn’t look the part. I don’t want to see her in all 40 epsisodes.

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