Soaring to massive popularity on the tidal success of palace drama Story of Yanxi Palace <延禧攻略> back in 2018, actress Wu Jinyan (吳謹言) has failed to impress in her follow-up works The Legend of Haolan <皓镧传> and 2022’s Royal Feast <尚食>, despite the productions attracting a fair amount of hype and discussions.
Left without any drama projects for one year and a half, word on the grapevine was that the 32-year-old has fallen out of favor and even “abandoned” by her agency — ongoing speculation which her manager, producer Yu Zheng (于正) once again took to social media to address.
Previously in denial that he favors newer artistes like Bai Lu (白鹿), Yu Zheng recently called the actress’ phase an “unprecedented crisis”. In a February 10 post, Yu Zheng candidly admits that Wu Jinyan’s career has hit a bottleneck, as “scripts are aplenty, but next to none offer the actress a potentially breakthrough role. “Many of the dramas we want to reject have producers who…feel she is suited only for a particular type of role,” he said.
Taking a Hiatus to Recalibrate
With immense pressure from negative public speculation, Yu Zheng admitted that he has considered taking on similar roles for income’s sake while holding out for good scripts, or specially customize a role for the actress, but the pandemic’s onset threw a spanner in the works. Knowing that compromising was not a solution, Yu Zheng therefore decided to let her take a short break from dramas, while encouraging the actress to appear on variety shows and reconnect with others so she could reignite her passion, and benefit from “learning about performance, gaining observances about life”.
Bringing up how he too had a “window period” in 2016, from which he nevertheless continued learning and eventually produced the successful Story of Yanxi Palace, he wrote, “Life is not a battleground, no flower can stay in blossom, only acting skills are dependable”. Revealing that Wu Jinyan has received a new script, he added that he is hopeful both himself and Wu Jinyan can continue attaining progress.