Last night’s episode of the survival show Actor Please Take Your Place 演员请就位 saw a younger crop of post-90’s actors reenacting a scene from the 2005 hit drama Chinese Paladin which originally starred Hu Ge, Crystal Liu Yifei and Ady An.
Mao Xiaohui who nabbed the coveted role of Little Dragon Girl which was famously portrayed by Liu Yifei took on another one of the actress’s iconic characters as Zhao Linger. Her Return of the Condor Heroes co-star Thomas Tong Mengshi played Li Xiaoyao while Bambi Zhu Xudan played Lin Yueru.
The trio reenacted a short scene where Li Xiaoyao regains his memory then tries to escape from the Demon-Locking Pagoda. However, judges were unanimous in their opinion that the performances were far from successful. Director Guo Jingming said that out of all the performances on the show, it was the worst he has seen.
As the three were part of Chen Kaige’s team, the director had to choose a winner and ultimately picked Mao Xiaohui. He explains that the three actors fared similarly, but the reason he chose Mao Xiaohui was because he felt sympathetic. Mao Xiaohui has filmed 4 to 5 projects that haven’t aired so he wanted to give her some encouragement to keep on working harder.
It seems that the rookie actress is being typecast into roles that earned Liu Yifei the title of fairy sister, but perhaps the public is not ready for it as many were surprised that Chen Kaige chose her over the other two.
Tong Mengshi wrote a lengthy post on social media to express that he was very sorry for not doing well. Zhu Xudan was also emotional in saying that in joining the show, she deeply treasured the stage. She had many worries that she wouldn’t do well, that she would embarrass herself and let everybody down… However, she says that in life, there’s only one chance and no excuses. She feels sorry and regretful.
Then again, perhaps it’s best that no one mess with Chinese Paladin. The original is too much of a classic.