Every now and then, we get to watch a movie where a supporting character is more memorable than the lead character. This is also true for drama series and no, it’s not entirely because the lead actors were bad, though that is certainly a possibility too. Mostly, it’s due to the fact that the supporting characters played their parts so convincingly well that you tend to remember them more.
Dilraba Dilmurat played Gao Wen in the 2015 drama series Diamond Lover 克拉恋人starring Rain, Tiffany Tang and Luo Jin. Gao Wen was Dilraba’s breakout role as the audience loved her as the charming second lead. While Tiffany Tang won Audience’s Favorite Character in the 2016 China TV Awards, Dilraba won Best New Actress.
The 2017 drama series Fighter Of Destiny 择天记 starred Janice Wu in a supporting role as Princess Bai Luoheng of the bear clan. Guli Nazha played the leading lady Xu Yourong and Luhan played Chen Changsheng in his first television drama as the main protagonist. Many would watch the series for Luhan and Guli Nazha.
Over the course of the series however, people began to notice Janice’s character. She acted her part naturally and had a lot of stage presence. There are many who wish for Bai Luoheng to end up with Chen Changsheng instead.
Song Yi played Yu Manli in the 2015 drama series The Disguiser 伪装者. It is a spy drama starring Hu Ge and Jin Dong as dual male leads. Their characters were the brothers Ming Tai and Ming Lou. Yu Manli was Ming Tai’s very capable partner and a lot of viewers thought that she was the main female lead at first.
It was a gut punch that she wasn’t and Hu Ge’s character fell in love with a very forgettable female whom they introduced pretty late into the series. Yu Manli is not even in the main poster, so we had to include one of her with Hu Ge!
Yu Zheng‘s version of the 2013 drama series Swordsman 笑傲江湖 was very controversial at the time. He changed a whole lot of things from the classic Jin Yong novel, like gender swapping Dongfang Bubai into a woman who is played by Joe Chen and adding a love story between her and Linghu Chong played by Wallace Huo.
In the novel and in every adaptation, it’s generally known that the heroine is supposed supposed to be Ren Yingying, played by Yuan Shanshan, but Joe Chen played Dongfang Bubai so well and Yuan Shanshan fell so flat that people wanted to Linghu Chong and Dongfang Bubai to end up together.
The 2018 drama series The Legend of Dugu 独孤天下 tells the story of Dugu Jialuo and Yang Jiang by Hu Bingbing and Zhang Danfeng. Ady An plays Dugu Banruo. Her character was extremely flawed, cunning, ambitious to a fault and a perfect match for Yuwen Hu, played by Jeremy Tsui. The ‘villain’ couple ended up being remembered by the audience more so than the main couple.
The 2009 drama series Chinese Paladin 3 仙剑奇侠传三 featured a cast led by Hu Ge and Yang Mi as Jing Tian and Tang Xuejian. Tiffany Tang was in a supporting role as Zixuan. Although the focus of the series was on the main couple, the love story between Tiffany Tang’s character Zixuan and Wallace Huo‘s character Xu Changqing captured the attention of viewers. Tiffany Tang’s popularity also rose tremendously as a result.
The 2005 drama series Chinese Paladin 仙剑奇侠传 was the first in the popular franchise. It starred Hu Ge and Crystal Liu who have both gone on to build spectacular careers. Ady An was again cast in as the supporting character, Lin Yueru. For some people, the series had two lead actresses. Although a completely different type from Crystal Liu’s fairylike portrayal, Ady An’s Lin Yueru was also captivating, strong and beautiful.
Li Yifeng and Zhou Dongyu played the leads in the 2016 drama series Sparrow 麻雀. Adi Kan Qingzi played Li Xiaonan, a bubbly side character who caught everyone by surprise.
Despite being the lead female in this spy drama series, Zhou Dongyu’s character was just not cut out to be a spy. She felt more like a plot device to move the story forward since she wasn’t very smart and got caught easily. Adi Kan’s Li Xiaonan, however, was a different story. She was a person with great love in her heart and gave a passionate performance as a woman who was brave in the face of danger.