Rising to massive popularity on the back of Story of Yanxi Palace’s <延禧攻略> success, actress Wu Jinyan’s (吳謹言) subsequent drama appearances failed to impress, as the 32-year-old was even labeled “rating poison” at one point. Without any new projects these two years, speculation became rife that she had been shelved by her company, as same-label artiste Bai Lu’s (白鹿) star continued to shine on. Amid the heresy, producer Yu Zheng (于正) took to livestream to deny talk of his favoritism towards Bai Lu, and added that Wu Jinyan is still very much in demand!
Sliding Popularity with Few New Works
While the wildly popular palace drama introduced Wu Jinyan to audiences in various countries, her popularity began to slide as none of her dramas which followed were able to unlock the same measure of commercial or critical success. After the year 2020, the actress did not have new projects and only made occasional public appearances, leading fans and netizens to suspect that she was being shelved by management agency, in favor of then-rising actress Bai Lu.
Luckily for Wu Jinyan, she came under the spotlight once again with her participation on reality show Sisters Who Make Waves 3 <乘風破浪3>. Although she did not make the list of finalists to debut as a girl group, the talent platform generated buzz and boosted her fledgling popularity.
Yu Zheng Denies Favoritism, but Admits Putting Focus on Bai Lu
Faced with questions about his treatment of artistes under his agency during a recent livestream, Wu Jinyan’s manager Yu Zheng denied talk of favoritism, and replied that he had plans for her career. “Actually, Jinyan has good market appeal, even though she did not have new dramas these two years, she still has 11 productions to pick from, though of course not like (Bai Lu) who has forty to fifty shows,” said the director-producer.
Sharing his management philosophy, he retorted, “I pamper my artistes, when one turns famous, I’d focus my attention on the newcomers, at that time I put all my energies on Bai Lu, and did not place much on Jinyan,” Hinting that Wu Jinyan has her own thinking, he gave updates on what she has been busy with. “And then she’s also a very opinionated Leo, and is especially well-liked by director Tian Qin Xin (田沁鑫), so she started acting in plays, that was followed by Sisters, which continued with variety shows, she started classes on enunciation of lines, and is now taking lessons in performance from Hao Lei (郝蕾) under my arrangement,”
New Costume Drama Comeback
Set to make her comeback in a new novel-to-drama adaptation Marriage of the Di Daughter <嫡嫁千金>, Wu Jinyan has appeared in photos taken on set circulating online. Exuding a gentle and elegant aura, she is set to play the protagonist and daughter of Xue family, Xue Fangfei, who dies after being framed by the princess and her scholar husband. Reincarnating as Chief Assistant’s official daughter Jiang Li, her revenge story arc has parallels to that in Story of Yanxi Palace, exciting netizens who are keen to see Wu Jinyan make her next breakthrough in a ruthless role.