Legend of Awakening 天醒之路 with its youthful ensemble of Arthur Chen Feiyu, Dylan Xiong Ziqi, Cheng Xiao and Ancy Deng Enxi has recently premiered. It is based on a novel by Butterfly Blue that focuses on the characters in their journey of cultivation.
Although the book coming from author Butterfly Blue who also wrote The King’s Avatar has little romance, Arthur Chen’s Lu Ping forms a close relationship from the start with Ancy Deng’s Su Tang as both escape from captivity to begin their journey. Since Cheng Xiao plays Qin Sang who is a smaller character in the book, she found herself at the receiving end of criticisms due to changes that turned her character into a female lead and love interest for Lu Ping.
A book fans accusingly says that Qin Sang’s parts are not important, but because the production found a popular idol with capital, fans and backing for the live action, scenes were added for her. Some couldn’t accept the changes and pointedly asked screenwriter Li Jingling if she received money from Yuehua CEO Du Hua (Cheng Xiao’s agency) to turn an insignificant book character like Qin Sang into the main. The writer’s response, “I really didn’t.”
Li Jingling shared her two cents in Cheng Xiao’s defence. She said, “Firstly, as an actress, Cheng Xiao followed the script to mold her character. Cheng Xiao and her agency never asked for additional scenes. Secondly, this is Cheng Xiao’s first historical drama, she did her very best to complete the role. Almost all of her action scenes were done by her and the production team is very satisfied with her performance. Thirdly, I will have a detailed response to the questions about the adaptation raised by book readers but even if you have dissatisfactions towards the adaptation, please do not direct your anger towards the actress, she did nothing wrong. Good night.”
When it comes to the two characters, Qin Sang may not have many parts in the book but the writers thought that it was a character worth exploring. She was from a powerful and righteous family, it’s a complete contrast to Arthur Chen’s character which made for an interesting story when their worlds collide.
As for Su Tang which is a very important character in the book and in the life of Lu Ping, her story in the book stops after they get separated. Writer Li Jingling explains that there is no clear love line between Su Tang and Lu Ping. Because the novel is not finished, the live action sought to give her her own story.
Regardless, Li Jingling says, “The script came before the cast. Cheng Xiao just molded the character based on the script, she did her job and she did it well.”