Betty Sun Transforms from Imperial Consort into “Hot Mom!”
Almost two years after she shot to stardom as the female lead in the smash hit The Legend of Zhen Huan <後宮甄嬛傳>, mainland Chinese actress Betty Sun (孫儷) is returning to the television screen in her new drama, Hot Mom! <辣媽正傳>. This time, however, her role will not be a beautiful and cunning imperial consort, but rather a quirky and flamboyant first-time mother.
Hot Mom! tells the story of Xia Bing (Betty Sun), a 26-year-old who loves karaoke, wine, and heavy makeup, and whose stance on attaining a work-life balance is “No marriage before turning 30, no children before turning 35.” However, she accidentally becomes pregnant when she becomes involved with Yuan Bao (Zhang Yi 張譯), who becomes her husband, and is forced to rethink her life priorities.
Things turn downright strange when Xia Bing’s demanding boss, Li Muzi (Vivian Wu 鄔君梅), discovers that she too is pregnant. Now 35 years old, Muzi had focused so much on career success when she was younger that she missed the opportune time to have a child. But thanks to scientific advancements, she successfully becomes pregnant, and she quickly befriends Xia Bing, since they are both expectant mothers.
Hot Mom! shows us the different choices Xia Bing and Li Muzi make when it comes to raising children, as well as the lessons they discover about living for their children, their families, and themselves. It began airing on September 14, and also features Ming Dao (明道) as Xia Bing’s ex-boyfriend, Paul Chun (秦沛) as Xia Bing’s father, and Athena Chu (朱茵) as Xia Bing’s mother.
Betty Attracted to Female Lead’s “Imperfections”
As a high-profile actress, Betty is allowed a certain amount of selectivity when it comes to choosing roles, and her projects are known for being sparse, usually with at least a year between one work and the next. However, this also allows her to focus on the quality of each one, which has led to widespread audience approval of her characters.
Since Betty normally plays quieter, more distant roles, some netizens feared that her take on a “hot mom” would be mediocre, perhaps even boring. Nevertheless, Betty shared that this was precisely what attracted her to the character.
“The characters I previously played were all too perfect,” she explained. “What attracted me about Xia Bing were her imperfections. This is what makes a well-developed character. Moreover, she is very crazy in the drama, which is a type of character I have never tried before.
“When you’re a mother, you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice yourself,” she went on. “On the contrary, when you’ve handled things, you can enrich yourself. [Xia Bing] is a very down-to-earth character. I’m sure everyone knows a girl who fits this description.”
After Xia Bing appeared in the first episode, boasting a crazy popcorn hairstyle, sunglasses, hot pants, glittery nail polish, and high-heeled shoes, some netizens labeled her as “too over-the-top.” Although the character is supposed to be a wacky but fashionable modern woman, they felt that her style of dress was much too exaggerated to be realistic.
Betty, however, defended her character’s fashion sense, saying, “Xia Bing is someone who dresses according to her mood. When she’s in a good mood, her clothing will be brightly colored. When she’s in a bad mood, she will use bright colors to make herself feel happy.”
Betty also shared that Xia Bing’s crazy hairstyle was her own idea: “When I read the script, I felt that Xia Bing should have an explosive hairstyle. She undergoes a transformation from a confused post-80s female to a capable and experienced hot mom. Her hair also goes from a chaotic explosion to a neat and orderly hairstyle.”
Betty Worked Well with Baby Actors
Because Hot Mom! goes through how Xia Bing and her child grow together, Betty had to work with several baby actresses playing her daughter. Although the task was difficult, she proved surprisingly adept at bonding with the babies, especially when it came to understanding their crying and laughter.
The crew selected five babies to go through scenes with Betty, with ages ranging from newborn to one-and-a-half years old. Among them, the one that made the strongest impression on her was Xiao Ru, the six-month-old. Abandoned because of a handicap on her leg, Xiao Ru was taken to an orphanage in Shanghai and received surgery there. Betty, who had donated to the orphanage before, connected with the baby immediately.
Betty revealed that she wished she could give Xiao Ru the Best Actress Award, explaining that the baby actress was “extremely wonderful. I never saw her cry, and she was very good at cooperating with the filming.” The only problem, she added, was that Xiao Ru was too well-behaved and had a hard time performing during actual crying scenes. Only when Betty went all-out to make noises and disturb her would Xiao Ru emit a few crying sounds.
For Betty, Hot Mom! was also a new experience when it came to learning about motherhood in general. She shared that when she was reading the screenplay, she found some of Xia Bing’s child-rearing practices “unbelievable.” However, when she asked a few of her friends about it, she was stunned to discover that many mothers had made the same mistakes or had experienced similar situations. As a result, she began to examine her own maturity when it came to handling children.
“Hot Mom!” Trailer
This article is written by Joanna for JayneStars.com.