In the weeks that it’s been on air, Liu Shishi and Liu Yuning’s A Journey to Love 一念关山 continues to go from strength to strength as it continues to do well in the charts. The show is already well past the 10.1k iQIYI heat index, but even that didn’t stop the bashers from hating on male lead Liu Yuning who’s accused of stealing the spotlight. Others flat out called him ugly.
The influencer turned singer and now turned actor is certainly no stranger to naysayers. Before the show even aired, Netizens already protested against him being cast for the role of Ning Yuanzhou. While he has proved his bashers wrong with his character’s success as the badass leader of Liu Dao Tang, it hasn’t stopped people from criticising his looks for not being handsome enough or his acting not being good enough. Others went so far as to even use AI face-swapping tech to replace him with another actor’s face. The issues didn’t end there. Some claim Liu Shishi’s being shortchanged and her screen time reduced in favor of pushing Liu Yuning. Others claim the story is giving pivotal moments to his character at the expense of hers.
His First Leading Man Role in a Costume Drama
In a recent interview, the 33-year-old said it was hard to accept all the negativity especially since he loved playing Ning Yuanzhou. “When I really loved something, then they tell me I didn’t deserve to love this thing. At the time, I felt quite bad.” He likened what he felt to someone building a snowman, putting their heart and soul into creating something they truly loved only to wake up the next morning to find that someone kicked it down. “The intense hurt you feel when something you carefully made (which someone heartlessly destroyed), that sort of feeling.”
Last week, Liu Yuning candidly told his fans that he will bear with all the good and the bad. “I will not react this time, but only for this drama because I absolutely love A Journey to Love so much.” As this is his first time playing the leading man in a costume drama, the show is doubly memorable for him. “Although I will film other projects in the future, the experience and what this means to me is not something that I can ever recapture in my lifetime. So as long as the drama is good and it performs well, it’s enough for me that I’m worthy of everyone who trusted me and everyone I’ve worked with.”