The Story Of Minglan 知否知否应是绿肥红瘦 is a drama series revolving on the life of the unfavored sixth daughter of an official. It premiered to lukewarm ratings at the beginning though it has been improving as the weeks progress. It seems that ratings have turned out to be just as predicted.
Early on, Director Zhang Kaizhou who is known for his works in Love Me If You Dare and Battle of Changsha said that he was satisfied with the ratings. The Story of Minglan is his first historical drama. He says, “Because the story starts slow and reaches a climax, going from small to big. The process is a gradual climb and there are many exciting moments later on, it will get better and better.”
Zhang Kaizhou talks about his reasons for casting Zhao Liying, Feng Shaofeng and Zhu Yilong as the leads. According to him, they were the perfect choice saying, “The common characteristic of the three of them is that they are very invested in this series… The plot also gives the actors room to improvise (to make them more believable)”
Zhang Kaizhou said that Feng Shaofeng’s portrayal of Gu Tingye was very good. Gu Tingye is written as a person with major character arcs. His relationship with Minglan starts from nothing and turns into a relationship of mutual understanding and love. Zhang thinks that Feng Shaofeng did very well because through his performance, he was able to capture the personality changes that his character undergoes.
According to Zhang, Feng Shaofeng has invested a lot into the role. “Some viewers don’t like it and may have their opinion, I think their concerns are mainly due to the character. Everyone does not approve of Gu Tingye and not the actor’s performance of Gu Tingye. There will be very high caliber performances later on.” he says.
Asked about whether some supporting characters have stolen the spotlight from the lead characters, Zhang Kaizhou says, “I don’t think their performance have overshadowed the leads. Because the death of Xiao Niang had some impact on Minglan, she has become very subdued. In the later part of the drama, both Gu Tingye and Minglan’s stories will dominate the series. It is just a process that people will have to patiently wait and see. As for Zhao Liying’s performance, the audience will see a different Zhao Liying throughout the series.”
On Zhu Yilong, Zhang Kaizhou commented that him being in The Story Of Minglan was fate. When he saw Zhu Yilong, Zhang immediately felt that he was a very good fit for Qi Heng. His image is similar to Qi Heng. Through their interactions, he realized that Zhu Yilong is also timid and not an overtly handsome man. When filming began, Zhang says that Zhu Yilong had a deep artistic sense. He liked studying, enjoyed discussions and it is reflected in his acting. He can easily act in a pure art film. From his personality to his work ethics, Zhang acknowledges that Zhu Yilong is a very good actor.