Michelle Chen Considered Suicide Due to “The Condor Heroes” Pressure

Michelle Chen (陳妍希) received a lot of flak for starring in Yu Zheng’s (于正) updated version of The Condor Heroes <神雕俠侶>. Though hailed as Taiwan’s goddess after shooting to fame with the 2011 film You Are the Apple of My Eye <那些年,我們一起追的女孩>, Michelle was attacked for being too plain to play the ethereal Little Dragon Girl, and her casting had caused a controversial social media uproar in China. Michelle was quickly dubbed by netizens as “the fattest Little Dragon Girl in history.”

Yu Zheng’s new take on the wuxia classic was also slammed by netizens, and its idol casting in other key roles received unfavorable remarks.

Michelle experienced dark emotions over the last few months while she was shooting for The Condor Heroes. Aware of netizens’ criticism in her casting, Michelle admitted that she felt extreme pressure. Stressed by the long filming hours and the need to control her weight, Michelle said her physical and emotional well-being were both compromised.

“I once stood by the window and thought about jumping out,” Michelle said. Fortunately, Michelle quickly pulled herself together and left nothing else in her mind but positive thoughts. “It helped me forget the negativity,” Michelle revealed at a May 25 awareness event to promote positivity and happiness. The campaign urged others to smile more often to throw out negative emotions.

At the event, Michelle revealed she lost seven pounds over the last few months. “To maintain my current figure, I try my best to eat food without any flavoring. [It’s best to] keep things simple.”

Source: On.cc

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

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  1. I think she looks very sweet and pretty from the picture above, no need to feel the pressure. As an actress, you should expect that from viewers, part of the job. No one actress is beloved by everyone, but again I am not an actor so I can’t say I understand. 🙂 However, I think she is fine for this role. She is very pretty and innocent.

  2. I’m just a neutral, not a fan nor a hater, but I think this casting is absolutely horrible. She is in no way similar to the character conceived by Mr. Jin Yong. She really lacks the ethereal beauty to portray such a classic role. It’s not about her weight but just how she looks and her disposition in general. The producer was trying to build on her popularity but the move backfired terribly. You need to cast someone right. Crystal Liu was a nobody when she took the role but she definitely looked the part so despite her lack of acting chops people still received the drama favourably. This reboot got so much backlash from the public even before the shooting and all and it’s only going to get worse when it airs. Not to mention that the producer/scriptwriter is infamous for ruining plots. I do hope he’ll at least stick to the original and not make this as bad as his last attempt at adapting a JY novel. I do sympathise with her, but she made a bad choice in accepting the role and she needs to convince people that she can at least act the part.

      1. Well, you really wonder if it was just her choice to play this role or not. There are many cases where an artist is given a role that they must play and cannot say no to or else they will suffer penalties and stuff. You really wonder if that was the case here?

    1. agree. it’s not her fault but it’s a wrong role for her. she should’ve known…i bet she’ll have less criticism if it was a new cast role written for her. usually these roles which is quite popular, everyone will compare and contrast. u need to have alot of fans or that you need to have alot of potential as beauty wise. she is cute looking but not like the beauty kind that matches this role. maybe they are going another direction. but the audience do not know yet. it’s not her fault nor the audience. lol it’s the director~& her management…

    2. I sincerely think it could be her agent that convince her to take this role. I do pity her as she has to take the backlash again when it airs.

      1. Her agent company is the main investor for the series, that’s why most likely she was cast.

  3. Wow, imagine when the series is released and the flak will be many times fold. I feel such reports just makes a mockery of people who are actually having real suicide thoughts and not just a moment of impulse just because she is not getting universal approval. Do what Daniel Craig did; ignore the reports and prove the critics wrong. I am however not hopeful. Not doubting her acting abilities but you just can’t have a plain jane who is nice and sweet to be one of literary’s most most beautiful woman. She should have rejected the role.

    1. Thanks for sharing. I’ve read many praises for LYF, but I don’t feel the same. She’s far from Carman and Idy. As for Michelle C, she should have turned down the role.

      1. I think there were as many criticsm for LYF as much as praises. Yes, praises for her beauty and she looked the part. But she was also hated for her lack of acting. And we are not going to talk about HXM. Majority of people hated him in that role.

      2. I actually thought LYF was far from beautiful. Carman and Idy looked the part to me.

    2. wow, didn’t know that Jin Yong hated it. Can you give a brief translation. People kept on saying that LYF’s version was the best series out of the bunch. I tried watching, really did, but dropped the series mid-way. I think the Idy’s version had a lot of charismatic actors. Even the child actor was good so my vote goes toward the original.

    3. I am shocked if JY said he did not like the 2006 version. I remember him saying that he said LYF was the most beautiful as XLN. But I also remember him saying that he liked Idy the most as XLN.

      1. She might be the most beautiful, but she’s not the best actress or portrayal of XLN. That’s also what JY said I think and I totally agree with him that the 2006 version did not capture the characters well.

    4. From the first series of LYF, I found her acting so boring, and bland. She looks pretty, but after a while, you would get bored with her. She seems to have no personality whatsoever on screen. That girl is just not captivating at all >_<

      1. I think LYF’s XLN was pretty good in the first couple of episodes. But there was no romantic chemistry between her and HXM and her interpretation of the older XLN was just bland….

    5. I remember that interview.

      When ROCH 06 was released, I was looking forward to it. I thought HXM was a good choice because his other TV roles weren’t that bad. Then ROCH 06 and it took a lot of effort to finish the second half.

      His YG was.. kinda greasy or cheesy if you know what I mean.

      I don’t even particularly like Andy Lau but I must say that his YG was good. Maybe not completely novel accurate but Andy understood the character. Plus, it helped that Andy actually admired and adored Idy in real life at the time.

  4. She just don’t look the part… Sorry but the main point about her character is the beauty!
    She should’ve just rejected the role honestly… Yuan Shan Shan was offered the role too but she rejected it cause she knows the backlash.. I think it would’ve been a smarter move to do!

  5. This is just horrible. She seems like a nice girl. People should understand that this “Condor Heroes” is different from the “classic” one and should stop comparing when it is obvious that version will be the best forever. Sheesh.

    1. Seriously? Even though this remake will be different, how could you not expect people to have opinion, compare, and judge?

      I don’t hate Michelle, actually like her. But why be surprise with this backlash when she knows what she is getting herself into by accepting the role.

    2. Sorry that we have a standard, lol?!! Just because it’s new, and it wont be the best, doesn’t mean it should be utterly crap either lol

  6. I don’t read the novels but why does China keep remaking the same stories over and over again? The Condor Heroes is one of the frequently remade series, right?

    1. I know, China keeps remaking but is sucks so much. They should get banned and give Tvb to film it all. I am sure everyone in the world wants tvb to film wuxia novels. Cause China Wuxia Sucks So Much!

      1. Maggie, I agree with you. China keep remake jin yong novel & getting more sucks. Should banned them & give TVB to film. I believe TVB will be better on the remake.

      2. Talk about Little Dragon Girl, I still prefer Idy Chan & Carmen Lee. They really got the look & feel of Little Dragon Girl.

      3. That’s not really my point. China has plenty of money to create quality dramas and movies and they keep redoing old stories that have already been done like the Sorcerer and the White Snake which was really mediocre. There are probably lots of writers in China with potential to create unique storylines. I mean I’m sure the classic novels like the Condor Heroes are great and all.

      4. Agree with you 100000000% lol. Not just wuxia, anything remake by Chinese is sucky, because they love to lengthen the series >_> add cliche, and stupid comedic characters that are more annoying than actually funny =_=

      5. I hate remakes but that does not mean that China wuxia is bad. Whoever says that is bias and ignorant. These days China is the only country that has the potential and resources to make a good/ decent wuxia series. Even if they were bad (which is clearly not always the case), at least they are willing to put the money and efforts to make an ancient/ historical series, unlike TVB who are do cheap and lack the potential to make a decent wuxia series. Can’t we all see that all if their series recently are all modern or police series? Even if they make ancient series, they all end up being comedy series. Tvb has truly lost their magic.

        When it comes to acting, they also cannot compare to China artists who are all properly trained and educated.

      6. No, just no. TVB doesn’t have the budget to make decent wuxia dramas. Most of their period dramas are crap. I remember watching one that Steven Ma, Linda Chung and Fala Chen acted in and the special effects looked like the show was from the 90s.

  7. To be fair, she is not fat, but she definitely does not fit the part of the beautiful Little Dragon. Viewers have the right to dislike the casting choice and voice their opinion.

    I think the constantly labelling her as fat is unnecessary and just out of spite, however. Im not too shocked to hear about suicidal thoughts. Im sorry, how many of these reports have emerged about Actors/actresses thinking of suicide in the past year?

    Ive become too desensitized by it. Everyone has pressures they need to overcome, I’ve got my own, Im sure everyone else has too. There’s not enough time to go pitying every actor not being able to deal with their life.

    1. “how many of these reports have emerged about Actors/actresses thinking of suicide in the past year?
      Ive become too desensitized by it.”

      Agreed, I don’t understand why they tell fans but do not even go see a specialist/psychiatrists for treatment. Hopefully, it’s not just for sympathy.

      1. I feel that’s what exactly she’s doing, to gain sympathy. If it’s only 1sec, why bother mention? And as much as ppl say it’s her agency, she also has the choice in this matter, it’s just as much her fault as her agency to accept this role. Some actors and actress need to wake up to reality and realize they are not that great to take on any role

    2. “Michelle Chen Considered Suicide Due to “The Condor Heroes” Pressure”

      That is just dumb. Accepting the role is an opportunity and if it didn’t turn out, treat it as an experience and move on. Michelle Chen is an idiot that have no appreciation for her parents.

  8. Wow… I regret being one of the many that criticized her for taking up the “Xiao Long Nu” role.

  9. Tbh, I don’t even think she’s…”meaty” she looks fine to me. And doesn’t the first Little Dragon Girl, (the one before Idy), doesn’t she have a chubby-ish face too?

    1. Michelle is not fat to American standards. She is not fat at all, but people have a problem with her bun face and does not fit the description of XLN’s face in the novel.

      The above picture was greatly photo-shopped, as most of pictures for the series. If you see the actual filming pictures, she does not look like the above picture at all.

      1. Yeah all the picture & stills of the dramas which includes posters & promotion stuff are all heavily photoshopped!

      2. I don’t see anything wrong with her “actual filming pictures”. She just looks cute to me.

      3. Oh god… Ugly n old looking lol. And I was prepared for the pic to bad, it’s worse than my preparation lol

      4. The picture above is don’t know 😀 and the actual picture is :D. Michelle Yim is pretty and cute.

  10. I think her face is chubby but her body is skinny as. Poor girl, hope people give her a break.

  11. Please do not think of killing urself. Although you probably don’t fit the role. I still think you have good heart and above average face. I know a lot of people who is not as good looking as you girl. Keep working hard, to be honest, I might be your fan someday.

  12. And do you think about switching companies, advice. Switch to Tvb. Do you know that china drama sucks and crap plots.

    1. Tvb will bring you with over 2 billion viewers. While china dramas only have 2 thousands viewers total. If you want a good future, you must join tvb. At least no one will say ur a bad actor anymore.

      1. And from what statistic are you getting these numbers from? Please stop your BS.

      2. Very funny. 2 billion? You do know that there are only a little over 6 billion people in the world right? TVB dramas definitely have a smaller audience compared to mainland dramas. Besides, who the hell signs for TVB to develop their careers? It’s common knowledge that the Chinese market is the bigger one. Granted, the plots of these Chinese dramas are generally ****, but this specific one is based on a really famous wuxia novel. You can’t say it’s lacking plot-wise.

      3. apparently, your anti-china bias extends to tv programs.

      4. Maggie, 2 billion is too much, maybe slightly over 1 billion. 2000 viewers for mainland? Nah, maybe about 1 hundred thousand viewers. I think mainland will catch up tvb in about 5 years. Although their series are all really crappy. 1 good thing is that you will see different faces every drama. Not like tvb same faces over and over everyday.

      5. A die hard and bias TvB fan that is anti China.

      6. My comment got deleted somehow, but I would just like to point out that you got your stats all wrong. Even the best network in the world can’t get 1 billion viewers for their show, not to mention a small TV station based in HK. Far from 2 billion. Btw, Chinese dramas regularly get more than 10m views just online on the major video sharing sites. You may want to brush up on your general knowledge really.

    2. Is that why a lot of TVB artists flock to China to make more money and became more successful? From what I gather, today’s TVB series kinda stink as well.

      1. Tvb series stink, no don,t know what’s wrong with you.tvb is still as good as ever. They still topped mainland and tawian by a hand fold. You must see coffee cat mama and come home alone.Then you will know the best.

  13. Sooooo what if she’s fat, she’s still pretty.

  14. Still don’t understand why did Yu Zheng offered Michelle Chen for this role? The Actresses who is play for this role it should be Angelababy, Cecilia Liu, Ni Ni or Yang Mi.

    1. I have some reservation on Cecilia Liu. She does look a bit like Liu Yi Fei, but, she’s the plainer version. If Michelle Chen is not beautiful enough for XLN, neither is Cecilia Liu.

      Between LSS and Michelle Chen, I would rather watch Michelle Chen as XLN. At least, Michelle’s look has more character and not boring.

      1. I disagree, LSS is not breathtakingly beautiful but she’s still about 2 notches higher than MC. MC is just plain. Having a XLN with too much character will result in a **** remake like the Taiwanese one with Wu Qianlian. That one was so…

    2. Btw, did LSS fix her eyes? Her eyes use to look different. Or is it just make up?

      I prefer her old eyes. It makes her look less generic.

      1. Yes she did ps on her eyes. Her old eyes make her look lifeless though.

      2. She did? I didn’t notice at all. I guess i focus on the nose and other features more than the eyes. Did her eyes get bigger or what?

    3. None of your chosen actress would be good for the role. Natural beauty are not what yang mi or angelababy stand for lol >_< LSS possibly the best choice out of them, but she is so boring, she would kill the role :/ and yea, she's so plain looking, and her beauty is kinda 50/50, as in, she's pretty in a way it's not, and not pretty in a way it is :/ if you have to think whether she is or she isn't beautiful, she's not suitable for XLN role

    1. .? U sure the 1983 dragon girl is the best in my opinion

    2. Everyone has a different opinion. But JY said he likes Idy the most, however, JY’s opinion is just an opinion. But then again, maybe his opinion matters the most because he created the character of XLN.

  15. Oh, yeah, I go by Ying, too. I would also like to add that Asian actresses/actors and people in the entertainment circle in general should be taught not to take nasty criticism to heart. I keep reading about this actress or that singer wanting to kill themselves. I, myself, have had bouts of depression but at the end of the day they are lucky to have made it this far in the industry and have to grow a thicker skin in order to survive it.
    It’s understandable that they’ll cry over it because they’re human.

  16. Her face looks alright to me, its that hair!! Come on, just because her name is Dragon Girl doesnt mean she needs 2 horns on her head.

    1. I think she needs the horn. Xionlongnu all have horns

  17. Let watch the drama first before any comment. May be no that bad as thought.

  18. I like Michelle Chen. If I was her agent, I would’ve warned her about taking the role. She’s cute but just not in the ethereal way (although how many actresses fit that bill in the first place?)

    But Michelle is likeable and she CAN act. And in the first place, the plot of the drama is a deviation from the novel. I’m just going to suspend my disbelief and take a look at the drama.

    I just hope the drama plot isn’t too bad. (Speaking of which, Poor Jin Yong…)

  19. My pet peeve is why do we as an audience continue to pigeonhole actors, directors,etc? How can creativity flourish in the arts, if everyone stayed on “script”? And who are we to tell someone whose livelihood happens to be in entertainment that they are horrible or not right for a particular role just because we have some lofty idea of who should be cast and who should not be cast in a role? Yes. I know without audience support they wouldn’t have a profitable career. But I think the way she was treated was unfair. I met Michelle and she is a wonderful person and actress. Yes. When you are a public figure, celebrity, etc. You have to deal with criticism, but social media netizens, whatever, need not be so cruel or injust in their opinion. I’m glad she realized her worth and did her best in the role inspite of the negativity. If you don’t agree or like someone’s work,state so, move on but don’t freakin’ crucify them for it. It’s ridiculous to me.

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