Zhou Xun Recommended Wallace Huo for “Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace”
The highly anticipated Qing dynasty drama Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace <后宫·如懿传>, also known as The Legend of Ruyi, released a promotional still featuring Zhou Xun (周迅) as Ruyi and Wallace Huo (霍建华) as the Qianlong Emperor. The drama is the second installment to Liu Lanzi’s (流潋紫) Inner Palace <后宫> series. The first was 2011’s Empresses in the Palace <后宫·甄嬛传>, also known as The Legend of Zhen Huan.
The Legend of Ruyi follows the story of Ruyi and her romantic relationship with the Qianlong Emperor. On the differences between Zhen Huan and Ruyi, producer Huang Lan (黄澜) said, “The Legend of Zhen Huan tells the story of a woman’s growth in the inner palace. The Legend of Ruyi is a story about the marriage between the emperor and his wife.”
The Legend of Ruyi celebrates Zhou Xun’s return to television after 2014’s Red Sorghum <红高粱>. Zhou Xun’s versatility and similarities with Ruyi were some of the reasons to why she was the number one pick for the role. Huang Lan said, “Both of them carry the same kind of stubbornness when it comes to love. In many harem stories, women always fought for power. To survive, they had to play the political game. But for Ruyi, she wanted nothing else but pure love, and this show will explore her story and fate.”
Zhou Xun was the one who recommended Wallace for the role of Qianlong. The two found their chemistry in the 2016 Ann Hui (許鞍華) movie, The Great Escape <明月幾時有>, and Zhou Xun was eager to work with him again.
“Zhou Xun will play Ruyi from 20 years old to about 40-50 years old,” introduced Huang Lan. “Wallace, however, will be playing Qianlong from 20 years old to 60-70 years old. It’s definitely a challenge for Wallace, who hasn’t played such a role before.”
Original author Liu Lanzi, who also helms the Ruyi script, is very satisfied of Zhou Xun and Wallace’s casting. “They are exactly how she pictured her characters to be,” said Huang Lan.
The Legend of Ruyi will be airing on Jiangsu TV and Dragon TV in 2017. Fox Networks Group will be distributing the show outside of China.
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.
I love Wallace but I don’t think he is suited as Qian Long who was famously commanding and tall and perhaps flamboyant. I feel Wallace should have been Yongzheng, he has that naturally serious thinking man’s look.
I don’t like Zhou Xun and I feel they should just ask someone else.
You don’t like Zhou Xun’s for her acting or personality?
She’s quite an acclaimed actress in China.
@msxie0714 I don’t care she is acclaimed. Maggie Cheung is also acclaimed but never thought she was good. I don’t like Zhou Xun for her acting. Haven’t heard anything negative about her personality. Her voice bothers me but I just feel Sun Li is a better actress and should have just do the role. Do it the TVB way for once.
@funnlim ‘Do it the TVB way for once’
Oh, you mean they should have cast Grace Chan for the role instead. LOL!!
@funnlim I do not think Qianlong was tall. Here is an extract of a foreigner’s impression of Qianlong:
“The Emperor is about five feet ten inches in height, and of a slender but elegant form; his complexion is comparatively fair, though his eyes are dark; his nose is rather aquiline, and the whole of his countenance presents a perfect regularity of feature, his person is attracting, and his deportment accompanies by an affability, which, without lessening the dignity of the prince, evinces the amiable character of the man” If this description is accurate, then Qianlong should be around 1.78m tall and Wallace is 1.77m tall. And Qianlong was definitely not plump. In fact, my personal impression based on pictures and paintings is that he was slender.
@mangotango Brittanica says
“APPEARANCE AND CHARACTER
Nearly six feet tall, Qianlong was of slender build with an upright bearing that he kept even in old age. His vigorous constitution and love of the outdoors were widely admired.”
5 10 and 6 feet isn’t quite as nearly. I remember reading he was commanding with a regal upbringing which is quite redundant since he was emperor.
I don’t think Wallace looks nor projects the same vibe of assuredness and confidence which was how Qianlong was since he inherited a calmer kingdom. All qing emperors were considerably slender. I dont know, Wallace exudes a generally worried look some times,mostly dead serious.
@funnlim I agree that Wallace suits Yongzheng more than Qianlong but I have not read the novel so I am not familiar with how the author tries to portray Qianlong here.
Think Zhou Xun is quite a good actress although I still don’t see how some think she is pretty. Anyway, no intention to catch this drama since I am not a fan of Qianlong.
She certainly isn’t UNattractive. Is there a rule in Asia where actresses must resemble beauty queens?
@msxie0714 I just don’t think she is pretty but I don’t think she is unattractive either. Zhou Xun is charismatic and has a certain appeal onscreen. Is there such a rule for actresses to be beauty queens? Between beauty queens with awful acting and non-beauty queen who can act well, I’d rather watch the latter in drama/movie.
I quite like Wallace and I quite like Zhou Xun but somehow the two of them pairing up don;t seem to interest me. And the storyline sounds depressing, searching for a pure love in a marriage to an Emperor in a polygamist society. And Qianlong is famed for having many lovers. But will wait for a trailer to see how the casts interact before making the final decision to watch or not.
I heard Li Chun who played Ni Man Tian in TJOF may also have a large role int his. Glad to see her again.
@elizabeth It is a fact of polygamist society, the comfort and the love story comes from the fact that despite so many women he could have had and have had, he still wanted her and loved her THE MOST. Sorta romantic in a way. Yes Qianlong is quite a womaniser given his position he gotta be but also yes he did love is empress, cant remember which one.
@funnlim @elizabeth Emperor Qianlong was said to love his 1st empress most among all. She died rather young, in her 30s.
The protagonist in this drama adaption is his 2nd empress, whom in her later years, lost favor with Qianlong. Qianlong did not immediately return back to the Forbidden Palace when she passed on but had her son who was with him at the hunting trip then, to return first and her funeral arrangement was deemed to be of a royal concubine rather than that of an empress. Hence it was commonly believed that he indirectly demoted her status.
Qianlong, btw, had 3 empresses.
@bearbear Hi. Was his second empress the one that cut her hair off and Qianlong got so angry that he never saw her again?
I think in this series, his 1st Empress is evil and he loves his 2nd wife who he married as a concubine since young.
@elizabeth Yes, his 2nd empress was the one who cut her hair.
Didn’t realize that the novel made his 1st empress evil. Though I don’t mind history mixed with romance in these novels, with a few non-historical developments and sometimes these ‘new ideas’ can be thought-provoking but I really don’t like it when they twist the story.
@bearbear The novel made his third Empress ‘evil’.
@mangotango I see, thanks for the clarification. Have you read the book? Is it good?
@bearbear Nope. The novel comes in a set of six. This blogger only read three and claimed she couldn’t proceed because it was too sad. 🙁
Someone commented that if The Legend of Zhen Huan is about ascent to power, it is the reverse for Ruyi.
@mangotango I didn’t read Zhen Huan either since I prefer “happily-ever-after” stories, even if it is unrealistic within the palace walls. BBJX is probably one of rare occasions I read with a sad ending.
Just found out that one of the China TV stations has plans to adapt Japanese manga “Anatolia Story” into a drama serial although netizens are speculating if they have bought the rights. Anyway, I am trying to recover from this shock. Hopefully, the piece of news is fake or they will abandon the whole idea.
@bearbear Yes Qianlong loves his 1st Empress, considering she married him as his formal wife during princehood and possibly his 1st love. Historians noted she is a good wife and Queen, sadly she died young.
@sehseh Yes, I agree that he probably has special feelings for her as she was his 1st formal wife and they had each other while maturing, especially she was said to be a good wife. On the other hand, I am also skeptical since this is Qianlong, keep thinking that he beautifies her as well as his feelings towards her since she died young, very likely still beautiful and marriage life between them was still quite rosy.
@bearbear That’s true.. since his 1st empress died not long after he ascended the throne, their relationship are still sweet.. I read somewhere that Qianlong was so heartbroken when she died that he did not care who was chosen to be the next Empress?
If according to history, 2nd Empress Ruyi was sent back with disgrace from a trip with Qianlong and eversince then, the emperor never look at her anymore, not even when she died. It was not noted in history why was she in disgrace…
I’ve not read the novel, but let’s see if the script will give a chance to Qianlong and Ruyi to prove that their love are true.
@cassiemissy some said it’s because she cut her hair. Cutting hair in Manchu tradition is only done when older member of family passed away, so by cutting the hair Ulanara cursed both Qianlong and the empress dowager.
The writer has sort of flip the coin in her novel by changing the antagonist/protagonist rule. If you still remember the kind Consort Ling from Huan Zhu Gege (time really has flies), well, she is bad guy here.
@windy oh yes.. I remember the kind Consort Ling. Now this time, she’s the evil one and seems to be the trigger between the already strained relationship of Qianlong and Ruyi.. I need to forget about the kind Consort Ling now haha!
@cassiemissy It was speculated that her hair-cutting was the trigger point, as mentioned by @windy while there was a longer version of her trying to be the sensible wife and dissuading him from something which angered him and she still went on by expressing her point through her hair-cutting. However, historians are still unable to confirm what exactly happened between them.
Did he care little on selecting his next empress? Didn’t know that but that probably was a result of her recent demise as well (or might not) although I don’t doubt that he was sad to a certain extent of her death.
@bearbear some sources said it’s because she forbid him to get involved with women. Tthe demise happened when they were on trip in South which is famous for its beautiful woman.
The third empress was honoured posthumously because her son became the next emperor. She died and her son was raised by another concubine. After Ulanara, Qianlong didn’t bother with another empress.
@windy forbid him to be involved with other females? Hmm…she should know better than stopping the emperor doing it.
Yes, also read that his 3rd empress was honoured because of her son. Morale of the story is outlive everyone and has a son becoming the next emperor #justsaying
@funnlim i see. History has their ending pretty bleak but leta see what the scriptwriters can do for us.
Same scriptwriter and producer right? Seeing how they royally screwed up and made the 1st one into a repetetive bore and utter rubbish for ending, I expect sort of a bitter sweet end for this but one which confirms he really really loves her whilst she grew really really disillusioned ala BBJX but maybe better acting.
I am impressed with Zhou Xun in Painted Skin.
Zhou Xun’s real voice sounds like a man. Sorry, gotta say it. Her voice is so jarring on her petite stature and diminutive face. It’s quite opposing. For once, I hope they dub her.
No complaints about Wallace. I’ve seen some of his older works. He can be whimsical, serious, obsessive, brooding and playful. He can pull off this role, no problem.
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