Currently airing to positive comments, actress Andy Yang Zi’s (楊紫) male disguise in fantasy romance Lost You Forever <長相思> is one of the drama’s main highlights, in addition to her romantic entanglements with the drama’s three male leads, Zhang Wan Yi (張晚意), Deng Wei (鄧為) and Tan Jianci (檀健次).
As princess Xiao Yao, she falls into the river and is rescued from the brink of death with a kiss from nine-headed demon Xiang Liu. The romantic underwater sequence, cut into a short scene by the crew to drum up publicity, reached 5 million views within a day, leading drama fans to excitedly proclaim that Tan Jianci and Yang Zi are the “true couple” in the drama!
Tan Jianci Silently Guards Over Yang Zi
Although Yang Zi’s character met Prince Cang Xuan (Zhang Wan Yi) early on, her disguise as travelling doctor Wen Xiaoliu later meant the two might as well have never met, and Cang Xuan even sends orders to break her legs – the two are destined for a tortuous romance! Second male lead Tushan Jing (Deng Wei) plays a protective role and eventually wins over Xiao Yao’s love.
The attention-garnering star of the series so far, Tan Jianci who plays Xiang Liu, the nine-headed snake demon, is winning netizen praise for perfectly embodying his onscreen character’s beguiling charm tinged with a menacing aura. As Xiao Yao and Prince Cang Xuan are cursed to be bound together in demise – one could not survive if the other dies – Xiang Liu was at first hesitant to save Xiao Yao, since he thirsts for Cang Xuan’s death. However he could not bear to see Xiao Yao lose her life, and therefore rushes to her aid with a kiss. Sharing the video of the underwater smooch on his social profile, actor Tan Jianci wrote “And the longing starts from here”, implying that his character falls completely in love with Yang Zi, after the kiss.
Minor Spoiler Ahead: A Character Meant to Perish from the Beginning
NG footage for this key scene shared by the crew showed the two actors engaged in hilarious banter. When Yang Zi asks if it is apparent from the visuals that Tan Jianci was trying to resuscitate her, the director shared that little air bubbles would be added in post-editing for realism, to which Tan Jianci regretfully chips in that aesthetics was the key concern, and he would not have the chance to apply his “lifelong knowledge” here. Yang Zi catches on and teases him, “Your lifelong knowledge refer(ring) to lip biting?”
Of the 3 romantic interests, Xiang Liu is the only one who loves Xiao Yao but protects her silently without declaring his feelings, he will eventually sacrifice his life so she could be with Tushan Jing. Even the author of the original novel, Tong Hua, had this to say, “Xiang Liu is my favorite character and the more I wrote on, the more I liked him, so much that I wanted to make him the first male lead. But as I wrote on I realized that his existence has been destined from the beginning, he existed so he could eventually perish…” Agreeing with the author, many netizens have praised Xiang Liu as the most devoted character in the story.