More than a decade after she starred in her last television drama, mainland Chinese actress Zhou Xun (周迅) will return to the small screen as the female lead in the highly anticipated series, Red Sorghum <紅高粱>.
Red Sorghum is adapted from the novel Red Sorghum Clan <紅高粱家族> by Nobel Prize-winning author Mo Yan (莫言), which was previously turned into a movie directed by Zhang Yimou (張藝謀). The film, which starred Gong Li (鞏俐) and Jiang Wen (姜文), won the Golden Bear Award at the 1988 Berlin International Film Festival and was named one of the year’s ten best international films by Cahiers du Cinéma, a renowned French film magazine.
Since the movie adaptation of Red Sorghum was what launched Gong Li to fame, some critics wondered if Zhou Xun would be able to pull off the role of Jiu’er, a poor girl living during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Zhou Xun is well known for her depiction of classic characters, such as Huang Rong in Legend of the Condor Heroes <射鵰英雄傳> and the young Princess Taiping in Palace of Desire <大明宮詞>. However, her elegant pixie features have caused some people to doubt whether or not she can recreate Gong Li’s unadorned Shandong lady.
Nevertheless, both director Zheng Xiaolong (鄭曉龍), best known for helming Legend of Zhen Huan <後宮甄嬛傳>, and author Mo Yan shared that they thought very highly of Zhou Xun because she possesses a tenacious character very similar to that of Jiu’er. “After watching the trailer, I was very excited,” said Mo Yan. “Zhou Xun is a very good actress who is exceptionally moldable. I look forward to her performance.”
The drama adaptation of Red Sorghum will focus more attention on the story’s details, as well as other groundbreaking facets of the original novel. The director explained that for the movie, it was sufficient for “its spirit to be the same as that of the novel.” A television series, however, requires more substance from other areas.
As a result, in addition to Jiu’er and the male lead Yu Zhan’ao (Zhu Yawen 朱亞文), Red Sorghum will feature some newly added characters, such as Zhang Junjie (Huang Xuan 黃軒), who is Jiu’er’s first love, and Shujian (Qin Hailu秦海璐), a widow whose devotion to the Confucian code of ethics leads to strife between her and Jiu’er.
Red Sorghum is scheduled to begin airing on Shandong TV, Zhejiang TV, Dragon TV, and Beijing TV on October 27.
“Red Sorghum” Trailer
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This article is written by Joanna for JayneStars.com.