Wayne Lai Responds to Criticism For Reviving His Role as “Zhu Bajie”

Wayne Lai
Wayne Lai
Photo: Wayne Lai (laiyiucheung) / weibo and douyin

24 years after starring alongside Dicky Cheung, Kwong Wa and Evergreen Mak in the 1996 TVB series Journey to the West and reprising his role as Zhu Bajie in its sequel two years later, Hong Kong actor Wayne Lai once again slips back into character, this time for the Chinese web movie entitled Journey to The West: The Five Elements Mountains 大梦西游之五行山. Whereas fans of the beloved 90s classics were delighted to see him, there are of course the naysayers who criticised the move, saying Wayne was “peddling nothing more than memories” and that he’s just living off his past fame. Ouch.

Wayne Responds to Criticisms Over Playing the Same Role Again

Wayne didn’t appear to be fazed by these comments though. When asked by media recently what he thinks especially with people saying he’s living off the past, he says it’s just a matter of opinion. “I don’t really think everyone’s opinions matter. As long as I give my best portraying my characters, I’m totally okay with it” he said. But does that mean he’ll be avoiding playing the same roles once again in the future?

“It depends. If it makes sense to do it again, then I’ll do it. It doesn’t really matter because there’s a multitude of ways to perform the same role but still making it fresh and different.”

Wayne Lai had his big break as an actor in 2009’s Rosy Business which then sparked a franchise. With all the talk of nostalgia, many continue to hope for a fourth installment.

Transforming Into “Pigsy”

Wayne Lai had previously shared a behind the scenes look at the entire process of transforming into Zhu Bajie or Pigsy on Douyin. Although it doesn’t appear that he had to put on a lot of prosthetics to play the role, his transformation does call for a snout, porcine pointy ears and the deity’s big belly. In fact, the entire transformation reportedly takes an hour to complete. Not too bad if that’s the only time he has to spend on the makeup chair. Netizens have also commented that the 58-year-old Wayne’s Zhu Bajie hardly looks like he aged at all compared to two decades ago.

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