Ashes of Love 香蜜沉沉烬如霜 airs its finale tonight. It is the one drama this year that I am having a hard time parting with because in spite of all the off-screen drama, it has been an emotionally satisfying ride, that is, if you find it cathartic for your heart to be in a constant state of anguish.
I love that a show has the ability to do that though and have turned to behind-the-scenes clips to stave off the angst. Thus comes this compilation of random things that you may also find interesting.
1. Ashes of Love was shot in the summer. That scene where Deng Lun travelled six realms wearing mink in the winter was filmed outdoors in scorching heat.
When A Lalei visited the set for Season 5 of Where Are We Going, Dad?, Deng Lun showed her around by taking her to the the infamous soundstage – the place that he considers the hottest place on earth.
No wonder the cast is always armed with mini fans. According to Leo Luo Yunxi, the temperature reached as high as 56°C.
Yang Zi said that it’s really challenging to film emotional scenes when it’s hot as scenes are shot continuously. During the scene with Run Yu where she discovers the truth about him, she was soaking in sweat. Her makeup smeared and her fake lashes came off, but they had to keep going.
2. Although Yang Zi is the most experienced among the leads as she started out as a child actress, she and Deng Lun are the same age, both born in 1992. Luo Yunxi is 4 years older than them. He was born in 1988, the Year of the Dragon.
3. Deng Lun’s very first acting role was the 2013 drama Flowers in Fog where he played a couple with Yang Zi. They worked together again in Ode to Joy 2 although not as a couple. Ashes of Love is their third drama together.
4. As the two are good friends, Deng Lun said that they’re too familiar with each other that Yang Zi is like a man to him. They could be brothers or even sisters. After he told Yang Zi that he doesn’t feel anything when he kisses her, she started eating garlic and durian. Completely at her mercy, he’ll ask why she can’t rinse her mouth and complain that she shouldn’t be like that, why is she picking on him.
5. Deng Lun’s hands are trending as little fat hands 小胖手. Yang Zi gave him a lot of grief after being very amused that his face and body didn’t match his hands. His defence – it runs in the family and chubby hands are auspicious for catching money 抓钱手.
6. Yang Zi, Deng Lun and Luo Yunxi dubbed their own voices for the drama. The rest of the cast were dubbed by voice actors.
7. Known as an old man under the moon, Yue Lao 月老 is the god of marriage in Chinese mythology and his birthday is on the Mid-Autumn Festival. Xia Zhiyuan who plays the elderly character probably makes the youngest Yue Lao in history.
8. Sa Dingding who plays Yuan Ji is a Chinese singer. She sang the ending theme song Upwards to the Moon 左手指月 and was involved in producing the other songs in the drama, one of which is a duet sung by Yang Zi and Deng Lun.
9. Xu Feng’s god of war costume in the Heaven Realm took the longest to make. It is also the heaviest costume in the entire drama. Because his character is a Phoenix, he had a lot of dark red imbued into his costumes.
10. Although the character barely had any speaking lines, Qiong Qi’s makeup is the most elaborate in the Demon Realm. The actor had to start makeup at 1 to 2 in the morning and stay for a duration of six hours.
11. The costumes evolve as the story progresses. For example, the theme behind Run Yu’s clothing at the beginning was white or light blue to represent purity. As he was overcome with ambition, gray, silver and gold embellishments were added as an accessory or embroidered onto the costume.
12. According to Director Chu Yui-bun, the mutual cultivation between Jin Mi and Xu Feng (ahem love scene) was hard to film. The crew had to come up with a way to integrate the surroundings to make it beautiful and romantic. Since then, I could never look at the opening theme the same way again.
13. Wang Renjun who plays Water immortal and Jin Mi’s father is only 5 years older than Luo Yunxi. Wang Renjun gained many fans for playing the perfect man, loving father and good husband. Wang Yuanke who plays Wind Immortal was in another hit drama when Ashes of Love was airing. She plays Consort Chun in Story of Yanxi Palace.
14. Fantasy dramas rely heavily on CGI. However, Director Chu stressed the need to have 70% real sets that are enhanced by 30% CGI for a grander look.
15. Twenty sets were built for the show. At one point, fifteen sets were constructed at the same time and covered an area of 100,000 square meters. There were 6,000 kinds of props and 20,000 props in total. There were 3,000 pieces of clothing in total. The male and female lead had around 30 costumes each.