In her first starring television role since The Last Night of Madam Chin <金大班> in 2009, mainland Chinese actress Fan Bingbing (范冰冰) will portray Tang Dynasty empress Wu Zetian (武則天) in the upcoming drama The Empress of China <武則天>.
After successfully making a name for herself in films both domestic and international, Fan Bingbing returns to her television roots in the new year. Following Rouge Snow <胭脂雪> in 2008 and Madam Chin a year later, The Empress of China marks the third television series funded by Bingbing’s own production studio.
The Empress of China will follow Wu Zetian as she begins imperial life as a 14-year-old concubine to Emperor Taizong (Zhang Fengyi 張豐毅). Through the trials of power, love, and politics, Wu Zetian wins over the successor, Emperor Gaozong (Aarif Lee 李治廷), and gains control of the throne before passing away at age 81.
Although many wonder how Fan Bingbing will portray Empress Wu’s wide stretch of years, the actress herself is eager to rise up to the challenge. “An actress who does not want to play Wu Zetian is not a good actress,” she said. “Wu Zetian must be the dream of every actress.”
The Empress of China recently unveiled its first character posters, which depicted the cast dressed regally and posed in front of a floral and natural backdrops. Empress Wang and Consort Xiao, both romantic rivals to Wu Zetian, will be portrayed by mainland Chinese actresses Kira Shi (施詩) and Viann Zhang (張馨予) respectively, while imperial consort and poetess Xu Hui is played by Taiwanese actress Janine Chang (張鈞甯).
Mainland Chinese actor Wu Xiubo (吳秀波) makes an appearance as Zhang Jianzhi, one of the officials who brought about the end of Empress Wu’s reign. Actor Li Chen (李晨) will also have a guest appearance as Wu Zetian’s first love, making The Empress of China his first collaboration with ex-girlfriend Viann Zhang.
This article is written by Joanna for JayneStars.com.