Wu Jinyan rose from relative obscurity thanks to her breakout role as Wei Ying Luo in Story of Yanxi Palace. In a recent interview at Shanghai University, producer Yu Zheng revealed a lot of insider information regarding the drama and its actors. Yu Zheng reveals to have known Wu Jinyan for years prior to starring in the show.
He also reveals that Wu Jinyan was his first choice to play Xiao Long Nu for his 2014 drama Romance of the Condor Heroes because of their resemblance in physical appearance. The role eventually went to Michelle Chen because Wu Jinyan‘s agent did not let her accept the role.
He also reveals that eventually, Wu Jinyan joined his talent management company. His company typically prepares their talents to take up leading roles although there is also a process around that. Since his company observes seniority, he said that Yang Rong had first dibs to play Wei Yingluo in Story of Yanxi Palace but she declined the role. Yuan Shan Shan would have been next in line if she hadn’t left the company so it eventually went to Wu Jinyan.
The assumption is that Yang Rong already did Palace 2 and The Palace 3: The Lost Daughter so she might have felt that she didn’t want to tackle Qing Dynasty themed dramas anymore. It’s too bad she didn’t anticipate that it would be this successful. Sometimes, it all comes down to luck.