Story of Yanxi Palace <延禧攻略> is currently the industry’s star pupil of palace dramas, and the palace dramas coming after it will struggle to catch up to its success. And while the cast of Yanxi Palace are reaping the successes, some actors have unfortunately passed on that opportunity.
According to a report, Sheren Tang (鄧萃雯) was originally in talks to star in Yanxi Palace as the Empress Dowager, mother of the Qianlong Emperor. It was yet another missed opportunity for Sheren to star in a popular palace drama; she had previously turned down to star in 2011’s Empresses of the Palace <甄嬛傳>, a decision she later regretted.
Portrayed by veteran actress Song Chunli (宋春麗), the last episode of Yanxi Palace centers on the Emperor Dowager pleading the Emperor to spare the life of the eunuch Yuan Chunwang (portrayed by Wang Maolei 王茂蕾). The Empress Dowager became a hot topic of discussion, as she is the inspiration behind the popular fictional character Zhen Huan, main star of Empresses of the Palace.
It has been said that Sheren’s initial reason for turning down Empresses of the Palace was because she did not want to get typecast; after starring in the critically-successful 2004 TVB drama War and Beauty <金枝慾孽> and in the 2011 Chinese drama New My Fair Princess <新還珠格格>, Sheren had proven herself to be a popular casting choice for Qing dynasty palace dramas.
Reportedly Sheren was considered for the role of Empress Dowager in Yanxi Palace, but talks ultimately fell through, leading netizens to leave behind comments saying that Sheren has “poor foresight.”
But poor foresight or not, Sheren’s iconic and legendary portrayal of the evil Imperial Consort Yu is still undefeated. Sheren has said before, “After doing 2004’s War and Beauty, it’s going to be hard to do another palace drama.”
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.