Yang Xuwen Finds Success as Guo Jing in “Legend of the Condor Heroes”
China has decided to do yet another adaptation of Jin Yong’s (金庸) famous wuxia classic Legend of the Condor Heroes <射鵰英雄傳>, but to everyone’s surprise, fans aren’t mad.
Starring Yang Xuwen (杨旭文) as Guo Jing and Li Yitong (李一桐) as Huang Rong, The Legend of the Condor Heroes is directed by Jeffrey Chiang (蔣家駿) and produced by Zhejiang Huace. It is the 10th television drama adaptation of the Jin Yong novel; the last drama adaptation was in 2008, which starred Hu Ge (胡歌) as Guo Jing and Ariel Lin (林依晨) as Huang Rong.
It was a shocker when Zhejiang Huace announced in 2016 that they were working on an adaptation of Legend, and that Yang Xuwen, a newcoming actor and relatively unknown, would star as the show’s iconic lead. At the time, fans and critics had their doubts; China’s last two adaptations of the novel starred actors who already had some years of acting experience on their belts.
Doubts were casted away after witnessing Yang Xuwen’s performance in Legend, which premiered last month on Dragon TV and the online platform iQIYI. Fans praised Xuwen’s honest acting, and how it perfected Guo Jing’s naive yet kind-hearted personality. Critics noted that Xuwen’s own experiences is quite similar to his character—that through hard work, dedication and patience, success will eventually come to everyone’s doorstep. Dedication and moral strength can turn even an inarticulate man like Guo Jing into a hero.
Xuwen, born in 1994 in Nanjing, was scouted by Huayi Brothers before his graduation at the Central Academy of Drama. He made his debut in the 2014 drama Cosmetology High <美人制造> and gave supporting appearances in many high-budget dramas, most recently in 2016’s Noble Aspirations <青云志>. The Legend of the Condor Heroes is Xuwen’s first drama as lead.
Rookie actors Chen Xingxu (陈星旭) stars as Yang Kang and Zoey Meng (孟子义) stars as Mu Nianci. Hong Kong actor Michael Miu (苗僑偉), who played Yang Kang in the TVB’s 1983 version, stars as Huang Rong’s father, Huang Yaoshi. Hong Kong actor Ray Lui (呂良偉) stars as the Reverend Yideng.
“The Legend of the Condor Heroes” (2017) Trailer
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.