Xu Kai’s Acting in “Ancient Love Poetry” Criticized for Being Expressionless

The actor draws flak for expressionless acting, as viewers find it hard to be drawn into the story.

The success of Story of Yanxi Palace <延禧攻略> three years ago catapulted actor Xu Kai (許凱) to fame. Despite countless filming opportunities, the 26-year-old’s career failed to reach the same heights, as a string of five consecutive dramas he starred in received lukewarm reviews. Recently, his promising pairing with Best Actress actress Zhou Dongyu (周冬雨) in xianxia drama Ancient Love Poetry <千古玦塵> failed to live up to expectations as viewers were roundly disappointed by the performance of both leads.

Lacks Affinity With Viewers?

Formerly a model, Xu Kai signed under “Golden Producer” Yu Zheng’s (于正) company in 2016 and started off being heavily promoted. In 2018, his onscreen role as Fucha Fuheng won him much recognition and he became a popular male god among fans. As he climbed up online search rankings, the company secured him many leading roles of every dramatic genre, from military-themed to xianxia dramas.

However, these productions did not perform as expected, as seen in their lackluster Douban ratings. His most well-received drama Once Upon a Time in Lingjian Mountain <從前有座靈劍山> achieved a score of 7, while none of his other productions including The Legends <招搖> (6.1), Arsenal Military Academy <烈火軍校> (6.1), Dance of the Sky Empire <天舞紀> (5.8), and Court Lady <驪歌行> (5.3) managed to replicate the impressive response of Yanxi Palace.

While many harbored hopes that Xu Kai’s collaboration with Zhou Dongyu in Ancient Love Poetry would push up his popularity once again, the first few episodes of the drama have already invited critique for its poor visual effects. Viewers also commented on the actor’s expressionless face, lack of emotional acuity, and failure to draw viewers into the plot.

Even Dongyu was not spared, as viewers felt that the she failed to channel the ethereal characteristics of the role, had exaggerated expressions, and delivered her lines without power. Many were disappointed by Dongyu’s performance and felt that television dramas are unsuitable for the prolific film actress.

Will Yang Mi Be His Lucky Star?

While expectations for Ancient Love Poetry have fallen to a new low, Xu Kai still has another chance to win viewers over in modern romance She and Her Perfect Husband <愛的二八定律>, which will see him pair up with “Queen of Ratings” Yang Mi (楊冪). Completing filming recently, the drama has already generated plenty of buzz from online discussions and went up Weibo search rankings several times when set photos were teased.

As one of the most high-profile celebrities in China, Yang Mi has over 100 million Weibo followers and wields much influence. Several male actors who have played her partner onscreen, including Eternal Love’s <三生三世十里桃花> Mark Chao (趙又廷) and Legend of Fuyao’s <扶搖> Ethan Juan (阮經天) have seen had their career fortunes rise as they were catapulted in fame. Thus, Xu Kai’s fans are hoping for the same effect when She and Her Perfect Husband releases.

Source: HK01

This article is written by JoyceK for JayneStars.com.

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  1. Zhou Dongyu is a good actress and with the correct roles, she shines. Unfortunately, she is not great with all roles…I am sure as her character mature, we will see her more relaxed and fit into the role better…
    As for Xu Kai, he has a limited range of acting ability… he will only do well if he has a good co-star that can lead him into his role. He can be awakward to watch if he is not well matched.
    Yu Zheng who manages him would love to get him casted with Yang Zi..He have mentioned that numerals times.

      1. @littlefish I think fame happened quite early in Xu Kai’s career, and he has been filming one drama after another without any real rest to experience life more. He is very good looking especially in historical costumes, but hasn’t shown a lot of acting growth in subsequent roles.

      2. @jayne I agree. fame happens too early and he has yet to hone a stable/solid foundation. Thus he is not able to live up to many people’s expectations.
        I do wonder if he leave Yu Zheng as Chen Xiao & Zhang Zhehan has done. It might be better for him?
        Both guys left Yu Zheng and did encounter tough times but both have grown and mature alot since.

      3. @hohliu
        Very true and it is not just him but happens to many young and handsome actors who find fame too early on in their careers that they don’t even get the chance to build a foundation yet. Not sure if leaving Yu Zheng will make a difference or not. As with anyone, it takes time to hone your skills, reflect and so many things. He is still young so hopefully will have the time for that.

      4. @jayne
        Very good point Jayne! I noticed that is a pattern with many young actors and actresses who are good looking and found fame early on in their career. They just film too many series and all to the point that they don’t even get a chance to reflect on their roles, experiences and everything else. Dylan Wang is another actor like that. I was watching Miss the Dragon and his acting was pretty stiff too. He found fame early on like Xu Kai and is going through the same thing… I guess it will take time for the, to find improve and grow on their acting skills. But acting is a skill that I feel is innate to some extent as you either have it or you don’t. Experience definitely helps a lot too of course but for someone who truly has it, you can see it early on but those who can act for many years but are still terrible.

      5. @littlefish Not due to her fans..but her acting ability. YZ makes many of her co-star feel comfortable around her and they will be relaxed whiles acting as lovers.. And many of her drama are highly rated. She is a versatile actress that can lead a co-star into their character. Thus Yu Zheng really like her.

  2. “ the first few episodes of the drama have already invited critique for its poor visual effects” – this is the best visual effects drama ever? Lol

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