“Get away from routines and formulas. Carefully scrutinise the drama in detail and you’ll see our dedication and sincerity!” declares Yang Xiaopei. This appears to be the challenge posed by the Ancient Love Poetry 千古玦尘 producer in response to the show’s critics who say actress Zhou Dongyu is unsuitable to play a goddess as the female lead in a xianxia. It is the actress’s first foray into the genre.
Specifically, this was her response to an article entitled “How Zhou Dongyu is Ugly” which recently surfaced online indicating the number of ways the award winning actress isn’t deserving to be cast as a goddess in the drama. From her height which the writer says makes her appear half a head shorter than her co-stars, to her appearance which apparently doesn’t scream “fairy-like”, to her happy facial expressions which goes against the expected dignified and cold countenance of a deity, the article pretty much sums up some viewer’s sentiments as to why she simply doesn’t fit the standard formula of a goddess.
“The Audience is Too Familiar with Our Voices”
Another beef viewers seem to have with the drama is the voice dubbing for Zhou Dongyu’s character which they criticised as really bad and which supposedly doesn’t “match” her face. Ji Guanlin, the seasoned voice actress who dubbed Zhou Dongyu’s voice in Ancient Love Poetry said it’s possible audiences just couldn’t reconcile Shang gu’s (the character played by Zhou Dongyu) voice because they were too familiar with both her and the actress’ speaking voices.
Simply put, she said “the voice actor cannot completely emulate another person so he can only try to grasp that feeling. At the same time, it may be because everyone is too familiar with Zhou Dongyu and myself’s voices, that’s why they feel such a sense of discomfort.” Moreover, Ji Guanlin said that Zhou Dongyu has the tendency to speak very fast, so sometimes a word or two in the sentence isn’t very clear.
“It’s not that she didn’t perform well, she acted very well, but the actor’s speaking habit is like this. In the process of voicing over, you must not only grasp the feeling the actor wants to convey, but also keep up with how fast they speak. You can’t say every word clearly, but at the same time, you can’t let the dialogue remain unclear as the original sound. Balancing this increases the difficulty” she says.