If you guys have watched I Will Never Let You Go, you have surely noticed Mo Ruofei. Why wouldn’t you? Among the supporting cast, he’s handsome, a big brother to Hua Buqi, played by Ariel Lin, and that perfect guy you’d want to bring home to your mom… except for one tiny detail.
He’s a she. Mo Ruofei is played by an actress named Xing En. You read it right, an ACTRESS. I can imagine the confused look on the audience’s faces when they first saw Mo Ruofei onscreen. Incidentally, in the source novel, Mo Ruofei is a male character.
Xing En looks so handsome as Mo Ruofei that she can sometimes steal the spotlight away from her male co-stars. Truth be told, women playing male characters or crossdressing as a man happens more often than you think with examples like Viann Zhang in Untouchable Lover and Cecilia Yip in The Legend of White Snake. Xing En actually pulls it off very convincingly.
In one episode, however, Mo Ruofei had to revert back to women’s clothing to evade capture while Ariel Lin wore a man’s clothing, but many found it awkward to see her in women’s clothes.
Producer Zhang Qingzi explains that it’s really her fault. Due to a misunderstanding with the script, they had to find a costume for Xing En to wear last minute. They also couldn’t use her real hair and had to make changes to her male wig to comb it into a woman’s hairstyle. She shared another photo where Xing En looked beautiful in costume.
Xing En reminds me of Tilda Swinton as both of them rock that androgynous look and not many can pull that off, prompting netizens to call her China’s “Most Handsome Girl.”
wow, so for once in c-dramas an actual cross-dressing looks real – wouldn't have realised it XD
Well, that's … ermmm…. why on earth did they do it? Why not cast a boy to play … a boy?
I thought her character was a Women dressing as a Man to hide that she is a Woman since ther mom tends to her wheb she needs medical help and woukd not allow a doctor to see her?
I could tell it was a girl in the 2nd ep she appeared in but didnt finish the drama to find out what happened lol
I felt the actress for Mo Ruo Fei was quite effeminate from the first time MRF appeared in the drama. The lipstick color was too bright or feminine too. Her acting is fine. But it's weird why they didn't cast an actor, unless MRF is supposed to be a female character.
It's a different type of feminine aura than other actors. Sun Zhu Jun, the actor for Yun Lang, isn't the manliest of men. But he still has a much manlier aura than Xing En.
Both leads deserve better than this drama. This type of plot has been going around for several years. A special girl who turns out to be from a filthy rich family. Caught in a whirlwind with a couple of princes. It's shallow storytelling that had been told many times. The direction is not bad. This drama still looks better than Queen Dugu. But both dramas have a few problems in common. Overused plots and pastel-colored costumes.
I hope there are more roles that are better suited for actresses like Ariel Lin, Zhou Xun, Dong Jie, Joe Chen so that they don't have to take on roles than are much younger than their own age. Joe Chen may need a bigger catalyst to get out from her multi-year acting-rut.
It was equally awkward to see Huang Xiaoming with Song Qian when he was trying to act younger.
I'm watching it on Viki and even when we're passed 30 episodes there are still comments questioning whether MO is a guy or a girl!! ?
Is MO crossdressing as a guy for plot purposes or did they just want a female actress to play a male character?!! People are confuzzled! ?
Honestly who cares of its a girl playing a male character its 2019. She's does a really good job and she's very attractive
I'm totally watching this show just for Xing En. The casting appeals to audiences like me that like the non-heteronormative androgynous looks. MRF may not be "manly" like the male characters but certainly not "feminine" like the female characters either. And that's very attractive to some of us watching. That the actress herself is androgynous in real life is an extra bonus.