After wrapping up filming for Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils <天龍八部>, Wallace Chung (鍾漢良) moved on to the set of Bodyguards and Assassins <十月圍城>, the television drama adaptation of the acclaimed Hong Kong film released in 2009. Recently, the production company unveiled its first collection of stills from the drama, revealing that Wallace will play the male lead Deng Sidi, as well as his look-alike, Li Chongguang. Also joining the cast will be mainland actress Liu Xiaoxiao (劉筱筱) and mainland actor Zhang Xiaolong (張曉龍).
Deng Sidi, who was portrayed by Nicholas Tse (謝霆鋒) in the film version, is a poor rickshaw driver working in Guangzhou. Desperate to make more money so he can afford eye treatment for his girlfriend Ah Chun, he takes on a job from Ou Shuyun, the rebellious daughter of the Guangdong inspector-general and a supporter of revolutionary Chen Shaobai.
To Sidi’s surprise, his job is to pretend to be Li Chongguang, the son of businessman Li Yutang. Yutang is anxious for his son to return from overseas so Chongguang can visit his critically ill mother. However, he was never told that Chongguang was killed after secretly agreeing to be a decoy for Sun Yat-sen.
In order to prevent Yutang from discovering the truth, Ou Shuyun arranges for Sidi to become Chongguang’s replacement. All seems to be well until Shuyun’s father discovers that his daughter is in a relationship with Chen Shaobai and tries to cover it up by forcing Chongguang and Shuyun to get married.
Actress Liu Xiaoxiao, who will be portraying Ou Shuyun, has the full support of director Guk Gaau Leung (鞠覺亮), who first noticed her four years ago, when she was still a student at the Central Academy of Drama. In the past few years, she has acted in several historical period dramas, including Water Margin <水滸傳>, Heroes in Sui and Tang Dynasties <隋唐演義>, and Legend of Chu and Han <楚漢傳奇>. “I believe these experiences have completely transformed her acting abilities,” Guk said. “She is very similar to Ou Shuyun – a girl with a very carefree and straightforward personality.”
Although Deng Sidi and Li Chongguang are based on characters from the film version, both Ou Shuyun and the other male lead, Li Chongjia, are entirely new roles created for the drama adaptation. Chongjia is Chongguang’s shrewd older cousin and will be acted by mainland actor Zhang Xiaolong, who recently gained popularity after his portrayal of Physician Wen in Legend of Zhen Huan <後宮甄嬛傳>. Because this is his first time playing a villain, Xiaolong felt a little uneasy and hesitant in accepting the role, but was attracted by “how brilliant and complete the script was.”
Despite being set during the time of the Republic of China, the drama adaptation of Bodyguards and Assassins will be relatable to modern audiences. According to director Guk, Deng Sidi could be considered a “male loser,” whereas Ou Shuyun is like a “sassy girlfriend” and second female lead Ah Chun is a “Cinderella” figure.
This article is written by Joanna for JayneStars.com.