Kevin Cheng’s TV Drama “Red Dust” Mixes Love and Espionage

Mainland Chinese drama Red Dust <滾滾紅塵> recently began airing on television channels in Shanghai and Hunan. Starring Hong Kong actor Kevin Cheng (鄭嘉穎) and mainland Chinese actress Qin Lan (秦嵐), Red Dust has attracted much attention from viewers due to its intriguing mixture of love and espionage.

Although Red Dust shares the same name as the 1990 film starring Taiwanese actors Brigitte Lin (林青霞) and Qin Han (秦漢), the storylines are not quite related. The new TV drama is set during the Republic era, and its main focus is the history of the Second Sino-Japanese War. From there, it interweaves issues such as national crises, love and friendship, and the economy, thus creating a historical atmosphere with its multi-layered story.

In Red Dust, Kevin plays an underground Communist Party member for the first time. His character, Yu Lifan, is a handsome, quick-witted, and cool-headed revolutionary who is employed as a secret service agent for the Communist Party. While in Shanghai, he meets his first love Gu Haitang (Qin Lan), who was sold to a brothel several years ago after the death of her parents. Out of desperation, Haitang agrees to transport firearms for Lifan, but is arrested and later forced to leave the Shanghai French Concession. Soon, they find events spiraling out of their control, as Lifan is put on the wanted list for assassinating a key member of the Nationalist Party and Haitang braves death to help him escape.

Even though this was their first time working together, Kevin and Qin Lan had good chemistry together. Red Dust also marks the first espionage-themed drama that Kevin has participated in since entering the mainland Chinese television entertainment industry.

The drama’s director, Man Kit Poon (潘文杰), who was nominated for Best Director in the 1992 Hong Kong Film Awards, shared that the filming style for Red Dust was deliberately meant to resemble that of a film. “This drama’s camera language, editing techniques, and background music all adopted movie-like production methods,” he said. “I believe that after it airs, it will give viewers an impression of complete newness.”

“Red Dust” Trailer

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Red Dust Kevin Cheng 2  Red Dust Kevin Cheng 1  Red Dust Kevin Cheng 3


This article is written by Joanna for

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  1. he’s gettin’ rich and richer with all these dramas in mainland china!!!!

  2. he’s like george clooney; the older they get the better they look and the more ppl want to see them on TV

    1. Ya lol, he is getting richer now and he look very good too.
      The series sound very interesting and I am sure he will be very famous very soon.
      His IP Man series very interesting and exciting too.

  3. This is the quality of mainland dramas, that TVB can’t catch on, due to its budget constraints.

    Mainland money with HK directing talent is the future of Chinese cinema and television.

    There are many western upbringing readers here in this forum who would just not appreciate.

    I have received a rude, blatant rebuttal from one western growing-up boy who simply said “go see your crappy mainland drams then’, and all I did was to praise some mainland productions.

    Such is the non-Asian way of upbringing in those ‘liberal’, non-respectful of elders countries.

    And BTW, I am not from China, I am not from USA or Canada, I am just an overseas Chinese.

    1. mate, I agree with you. Whatever that person said to u about watching your own crappy mainland china dramas-forget it 😀

  4. series looks great and agree kevin is looking better and better! can’t wait to watch!

    1. i know right?!

      just look @ his pursing lips. lol

  5. Mainland is where hong kong peeps digging for gold.

    1. I agree. But this is so bad for the hk economy, though

  6. Very interesting Drama Series. It touches on alot of topics during the sino-Jap war!
    I agree with ‘Go China’ the quality of the Chinese TV series are better than HK TVB series. The storyline has more depth and the quality of actors/actress are great. Its no wonder alot of TVB actors and actress have gone to China to look for work. Better pay, better work conditions and great quality scripts.

    In response to Hannah’s comment- I believe your just making a generalisation with your statement. Arent mainlanders the gold-diggers? Have you noticed in virtually many cities around the world there is a China town. Everywhere you go there are mainland Chinese people. They have immigrated to many countries like UK, Australia, USA, Canada etc because they have money. Its not just HK people going to China. Many foreigners and businesses have set up their Asia head offices in Beijing and Shanghai. China is flourishing .
    Kevin Cheng has done very well so far in terms of his Career. His major hit in Bu Bu Jing Xin gained him National recognition and he can only improve. Yueng4life is so right, he gets better with age! Hahha!!

  7. Yes, I agree that the series looks great and so does Kevin. The scenes between him and Chin Lan are great too and I’m quite sure there will be no regrets watching Red Dust.

  8. I’ve seen all of Kevin’s series from mainland and besides bbjx, all of them sucked. He looks good and all but that guy can’t act and he is overpaid for his acting skills. I don’t have much hope for this series either because I don’t believe he can properly portray the emotions involved in this series.

    1. Tess, I’m gonna agree with u to some extent.

      You see, Kevin does have talent, but I think that he’s relied too much on the number of fans and $$ he already has, and so he’s not trying as hard as he used to.

      This is sad, that artists don’t try harder after they’ve reached their goals. In this case, Kevin has won the TVB King title already, so he hasn’t improved his acting since.

      But one artist that has won the TVB Queen title, and is trying harder to improve her acting skills and popularity is TAVIA YEUNG!!!!

      1. TAVIA YEUNG is the best actress eva!!!!!

        I’ll be her fan for life!!!!
        I’m her number 1 “Yeung4life” fan guyz. hehehehe

      2. disagree. tavia’s acting is stagnant. she had potential when she was young and natural but her acting went downhill since beyond the realm.

      3. TY is the last I don’t wanna watch. The more she tries the more it sucks.

      4. It’s true some don’t improve after they hit a certain limit. But winning the title of BA has its downfall, everyone expects them to have outstanding performances even when they have given a decent performance.

        Take Wayne Lai for example, he has improved over the years. I recall him being an excellent actor when I watched Journey to the West as a kid. I recently watched it again and I can see Wayne’s acting has improved and he’s a lot stronger now.

        As for Kevin’s acting, I agree he is overpaid for his acting skills as I find it mediocre at best.

    2. Used to love Kevin when he was with tvb, but I have to agree with you, his acting got crappier as he moved to doing Chinese series. Doesn’t matter how good his look is, if he only put in 20% acting, you will just find him boring

  9. this drama look very interesting, Love to see Kevin, he looks awesome, yes he look better and better now.

  10. I do not like this series because it is too violent.I used to be KC’s fan but from the day he works for Mainland China I am no longer interested to watch his drama even the popular BBjj.. ( I do not remember the title). Chinese drama take too long and the actors and actress acting are so intense that make me feel uncomfortable to watch.

  11. If China didn’t have a restrictive communist government mainland dramas would be great with their budget. Sadly that’s not the case. I find mainland dramas quite boring, especially premodern. The only time I ever watch mainland series is for their ancient historical shows. Creativity can never flourish without the right to free expression.

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