With Chinese historical drama Ming Dynasty <大明風華> coming to an end, many viewers are starting to give online reviews. The discussions remain largely about lead actress Tang Wei (湯唯), the detailed traditional costumes, and the extravagant ancient palace that cost NT$2.5 billion to build. It can be said that the producers’ efforts of creating a huge production are paying off – so much so that the168 customized and hand-sewn outfits for Tang Wei’s character are making headlines.
The lavish costumes were specially created by famous costume designer William Chang (張叔平), who was once nominated for the Best Costume Design award at the Academy Awards for his work in The Grandmaster <一代宗師>. William designed a total of 3,000 detailed and intricate traditional costumes for the cast of Ming Dynasty.
Although the outfits were gorgeous, Tang Wei had to walk around in her costumes before filming to get used to it. “I wanted to feel how the costumes would restrict what I said or did,” she expressed.
To effectively portray her character, the actress also learned kunqu and how to play the guqin. She also visited the Hongwu Emperor’s tomb and the Forbidden City in Nanjing and Beijing to prepare for her role.
Besides actively visiting historical sites, the actress also said, “Memorizing historical drama scripts is one of the biggest challenges. So I would try memorizing the script when I woke up every morning. I would even memorize while brushing my teeth. Time is very precious to me.”
Despite Tang Wei’s efforts, viewers still criticized her acting in Ming Dynasty. Although netizens were initially anticipated for the award-winning actress’ first TV series, her portrayal of Empress Sun failed to win over the hearts of viewers. Tang Wei has responded to the criticisms with humble acceptance and admitted that she struggled a lot.
This article is written by Minna for JayneStars.com.