The C-media Visits the Set of the Chen Xiao and Michelle Chen Return of the Condor Heroes 2014

I firmly believe in the adage “just because you can, doesn’t necessarily mean you should.” And sometimes jokes just write themselves because people do things they can but common sense should tell them not do. Filming is fully underway for the latest drama adaptation of the famed wuxia novel Return of the Condor Heroes, and it’s been nearly a month since all hell broke loose across the width and breadth of Greater China (Mainland, Taiwan, Hong King) since Michelle Chen was cast as the heroine Xiaolongnu, the wuxia world equivalent of Helen of Troy. Her casting isn’t just ridiculous from a physical suitability perspective, her acting also doesn’t lend any optimism that she can play a leading lady known for cutting people down with one icy glare and has the emotional range of an Arctic ice patch. Rather than the brouhaha dying down, with each successive comment from the production comes even more annoyance – Michelle compared herself to a flying pig and later made a deranged comment that she’s right for the role after seeing picture of herself in the Xiaolongnu outfit and realizing she was so beautiful (you know, the one where she looks nothing like Xiaolongnu) she had to accept the role. Can we say a collective WHUT?

She also said her version of Xiaolongnu will be more cute and aegyo because after she falls in love with Yang Guo she taps into her emotions more. Da fuck you talking about, Michelle, claiming you read the novel in high school (cliff notes version, lady?) and completely misunderstanding the description of her in the novel using the proverb 嫣然一笑 (she lights up in smile). In the novel it meant she could slay all the men with a smile, not that she turned all smiley after she fell in love with Yang Guo. With every new comment Michelle makes, she wants me to actively loathe her as opposed to simply being annoyed, what with her delusional assessment of her own qualifications to play Xiaolongnu and then misreading proverbs to bend the characterization to her own limited capacity. Yu Zheng opened up the set to the media this week and trotted out the leads for a dog and pony show. I feel terrible for Chen Xiao looking actively uncomfortable when being asked if it was true he voted for Michelle since they had good chemistry and he saw her as his “goddess”? Chen Xiao, bless his heart, looked down and mumbled some shit about her being called a “screen goddess” and then promptly said it’s all about acting to present the right aura. Good boy, you get a cookie for towing the Yu Zheng company line. Check out more hilarious pics from the set.

Netizen comments on this hot mess have been some of the funniest stuff I have ever come across.

She looks like Ne’zha (a male Chinese mythical God).

What kind of beauty standards does the producer have?

This has nothing to do with whether she’s fat or not fat, round or not round. She just doesn’t have the imposing aura! In addition, with the epic fail costume attire what with the hair horns to make her look like Chun Li in Street Fighter, she has no elegant aura either.

Each generation is worse than the one before.

Just because she’s Xiaolongnu (Little Dragon Girl) doesn’t mean she needs to have dragon horns? Which loser designed the costume!

She must have very powerful backers to get this role!

She’s not fat and doesn’t need to lose weight – she just resembles a Xiaolongbao (Steamed Bun) in general.

It looks like the Leader of the Beggar Sect leading his servant girl.

This version of Yang Guo is wearing the outfit of the Beggar Sect along with palazzo pants plus he has the iconic fan used by Chor Leu Heung (another epic wuxia hero), then paired with a Xiaolongnu who is played by one of the female extras on the set………fuck this ridiculousness.

Michelle Chen is cute, but she has zero aura to be Xiaolongnu.

This is the first version of RoCH where Xiaolongnu isn’t just unattractive, she’s going to be the least attractive female in the entire drama. Does that not compute with the production?!?! Why does the production expect the viewers to be blind? And if we’re blind then we can’t watch your stupid drama!

Did Yu Zheng think we wouldn’t see that he photoshopped off half her face?!?!

This picture of them isn’t all that bad. Did my baby already get his arm chopped off so early in the filming?

But once you get past the initial blush of excitement seeing anything from a drama version of RoCH, this one is still so far removed from visually what Xiaolongnu and Yang Guo together should look like it’s almost a Funny or Die parody sketch in the making.

This above picture is courtesy of Michelle Chen’s own Weibo and she wrote the following:

Don’t forget to use your imagination, don’t forget to dream, don’t forget to stop believing people have infinite possibilities. I believe that pigs can fly!”

Netizens got so pissed they then spliced it with a picture of her “trying to fly” but not getting airborne on the set of RoCH 2014.

Of course, Chen Xiao’s deliciousness knows no bound even when shoved into the most atrocious looking outfit ever. He’s not just good looking, he has the “it” factor – camera charisma and acting talent. I don’t know what the hell he’s doing hanging around Yu Zheng and his crap factory. But leave it to Xiao Xiao to elevate crap.

This is the first decent official character still from the drama, though I do not get why Yu Zheng is making RoCH look like a wuxia RPG, what with the fire and thunder and eclipse and wind. I’m confused on the concept, but am loving the first look at post 16-year time jump and now armless Yang Guo. Chen Xiao continues to be so sexy it’s illegal. I actually like that his hair isn’t obviously streaked with white since it’s sometimes distracting onscreen. Louis Koo’s older Yang Guo was an epic visual fail, while Huang Xiaoming’s was the only time I even mildly liked his Yang Guo in looks and performance. I guess they are giving him a cape – expect lots of wind machines on full throttle here. His sword isn’t as big as I expected but it’s decent enough.

I can’t believe how much I now miss Crystal Liu‘s 2006 RoCH Xiaolongnu. Girlfriend was a vision in white. Let’s have some Crystal as Xiaolongnu to massage our eyes. I know she can’t act worth shit, but believe it or not Huang Xiaoming with the mugging and the sleazy Yang Guo was actually the main reason RoCH sucked. If Crystal reprised her role with Chen Xiao, I bet they might actually be THE most perfect-to-novel casting ever of those two characters. Chen Xiao is every bit from looks, height, aura, and eye sexing spark, the very vision of Yang Guo come alive from the book description. Same with Crystal.

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The C-media Visits the Set of the Chen Xiao and Michelle Chen Return of the Condor Heroes 2014 — 47 Comments

  1. Wow on the photoshop. By actually putting her real and poster picture; the difference is way too obvious. The thing is; why would YZ cast someone who’s features even he thinks isn’t good enough to be Xiaolongu? Too ad photoshop doesn’t work on actual drama scenes because the posters doesn’t look half as bad.

    I honestly had truck loads of sympathy for MC whatwith all the backlash and criticism she received. But instead of trying to win over the public; her immature and unintelligent declaration that she’s beautiful(!!) is so off putting and makes her look delusional. I wouldn’t have the guts to say that given everything that transpired. But maybe that’s her way to counter it… In any case this seems like a fail. And no matter how hot CX is, he looks pretty bad as YG here. Don’t like that hair, and even more the costume.

  2. Oh dear! I’m just gonna go dig up my VCD set of the classic Andy and Idy version. Yes, VCD… that’s how archaic I am (in fact, I used to have the whole set on VHS tapes) ^o^ It’s such a pity cause I actually like Chen Xiao, boy is super hawt, would have been much better if it was Zhao LiYing casted instead since CX and ZLY had such explosive chemistry in Luzhen. oh well. i’ll skip this hot mess thank you.

    • I am archaic as you.I remembered watching Andy/Idy classic version with VHS tape but at that time with them talking in Vietnamese. I did not know there were others version.

  3. Agree, the photo from the drama’s Weibo actually looks kind of nice, but only because it has that Instagram filter thing going on. Can’t do that for the whole drama, Yu Zheng!

    Chen Xiao and Crystal would have looked great together.

  4. I don’t know anything about this drama or novel except what I read here. If the character is supposed to ascetic looking then Michelle Chen doesn’t fit the description, period. This is acting, you are cast based on your physical looks as well as ability. Epic fail!

  5. HAHAHA. I haven’t had such a good laugh in months. The comments had me in stiches.

    And yes she does not look ethereal and capable of slaying men with a single smile. I’ve got to say being Chinese myself and seeing how some classic beauties look like, she does look more like the maid then the leading lady.

    Jeepers I just want to know who her sugar daddy or what the backer looks like now. I have this vision now of this all powerful backer- cast in shadow. Like those in the bad Chinese dramas.

  6. HAHAHAA… The Xiaolongbao comment is killing me. I’m laughing off so hard.

    About MC, at first I feel bad for her about all the bashing comment left and right even though it is her fault to accept Xiaolongnu role which doesn’t fit her even a little bit. But then, well, after reading this, I think she’s kinda illusional about herself.

  7. After yuma replaced Jing Wong as the ‘writer/producer’ I most wanted to fumigate somehow…I am now TeamWong rooting for him to be a man of his words and churn out a RoCH movie with Isabella Leong (imo an even more perfect XLN than LYF atvm. She can seriously act on top of able to pull off the XLN aura) but instead of his pick of Ethan Yuan (so so wrong), spike yuma with luring CX reprising the role in the movie. That is the only way the cosmic balance with be somewhat back on orbit.

    The 嫣然一笑 part got me literally ill, I am now nauseous seeing herface, esp when she’s smiling. I honestly expected her to comfort me however little for CX’s sake with her inner charm this meeting the press…that is after I was already alarmed her idea of convincing the world she is working hard for the role is just shallowly posing selfies or her claim of losing weight and dieting in the heat of shooting. Either you own up to your body type and be your unique XLN, or you be like the rest of your professional actors and be physically prepared for the role BEFORE the audition…that and check your eyes, get yourself some proper mirrors and lighting in your bathroom and STARE.

    • I use to not care about her either way, now I actively dislike her delusional inconsiderate arrogance. Plus she’s fugly, always has been but now even more so when she’s styled like a plump bao trying to pretend to be a willowly weed. I find her personality wholly distasteful. I hope her career is in the crapper soon so she can get the fuck off television and movie screens.

  8. Wow…. all the secondary ladies look more geautiful then MC. Whoever picked her for the role must be blind or there must be bribery behind closed doors.
    In most of the pics here, MC frowning or she looks lost. Definitely does not have cold stare or slay man with it. More of a puppy look, I’m lost, help me find my way.

  9. Wow! Women be harsh! :).

    It’s really too bad her casting is feeding into her self-delusion.

    I’m a straight guy and I find Chen Xiao more attractive than some pictures of her.

    I wouldn’t mind her (assuming she can act) as the lead of a rom-com, because it’s not all about outer beauty, but I completely agree with most people here that the role requires her to be an equivalent of Helen of Troy, and that she ain’t.

    Hopefully, she’ll wake up from her self-delusion and find something which fits her better that she can show her acting skills in.

  10. Urggg I can’t stand crystal or whatever. I think mechelle isn’t that pretty and fair but she’s real not like those cutie actresses

    • Xiaolongnu is supposed to be unreal in terms of beauty, so why should they get someone ‘real’ (i.e. non-threatening to female viewers) to play her?

  11. Poor Chen Xiao. He only said that his godness is Zhao Li Ying. And Michelle is far, far, far away to look like LY. And she must be very narcissic to say that she’s pretty and fit the role. Eurk

  12. Michelle looking in the mirror: who’s the fairest one of all? Self delusion at its best.

    Why don’t they switch it up, lyi with cx instead, they look matching in terms of age and looks

    Hxm with mc, match in terms if age? I would root for the first couple.

  13. Whoaa.. She looks like the older version of Usagi of Sailormoon who realize that actually she is not the reincarnation of Princess Serenity. Why does the face look so tired?

  14. I think we should all wait and see. I don’t find the casting of Michelle chen appalling. She may not be the classic beauty we may be used to.

  15. The fugliness blasted my brain to the extent that all I an think is: they chopped off the wrong arm didn’t they? If I remember correctly, they chopped off his right arm so there was an angst period and then our hero had to relearn skills with left arm…

    • It is not the first time though…Louis (and Andy?) has the wrong arm chopped off, a liberty taken by the adaptations so the actors can still wield the huge sword without being a real wuxia master working at it for years.

  16. I literally just finished watching ROCH 2006 and I thought XLN was perfectly casted. I finally how hot HXM is, when he was overacting. Epic love story!!! I can’t wait to see what Chen Xiao does with his portrayal of the most perfect and swoonworthy male lead ever. Sad that they couldn’t get Crystal to reprise her role. I wish they would change the outfits for the leads, he seems like dressed in rags while she looks very frumpy. And the hairstyle, sigh.

  17. Crystal Liu’s version was so freaking distraction with the wind blowing every single time she’s on camera. LIKE WE GET IT!! Even indoors? WTF C’MON NOW. And yeah, she is just perfection!

  18. Confession: For some reason Wish To See You Again was my crack drama, and Michelle Chen was the main lead. That was the first time I saw her, so I basically liked her. Since then she was the evil female lead in some forgettable drama I didn’t bother to finish, but I haven’t seen anything she’s been in since. Can’t say I care enough about her to dislike her, but this post sure isn’t helping. :-/

  19. LMAOOOOO OMG Koala you made my day!
    I’m watching LoCH08 – I freaking adore Rong’er x Jing ge-ge!! I was planning to see RoCH06 as well and I was mesmerised by Crystals beauty! I don’t know about ehr acting but she is so physically attractive and makes my eyes happy. Then I heard that there would me a newer remake of it and I was excited until I saw the lead girl… From what I understand Xiaolongnu is suppose to be a goddess who looks like she ascended from heaven. I think the director must have been on something when he casted her.

    Michelle Chan is a cute looking lady but she does not fit the character description of Xiolongnu. The fact that she’s being so delulu about it and up herself, does not help her plight. Seriously can they please change their girl >.>

  20. i honestly did not expect xiaolongnu to be the girl in the very first pic. she honestly does look like an extra. and the costume is fuqin atrocious. like wtf? she’s supposed to slay men, not our eyes. and the picture? it’s like some crap wuxia.

  21. I don’t know how to say this, but even with Chen Xiao this version is an epic fail. I finished skimming through parts of it and I swear everything looks so immature, like some first attempt at some RPG adaption. Not only was the storyline awful (seriously, mei chao feng and Huang YaoShi having some illicit, wolf-girl affair? Poor Yang Rong), visiually it all just looked so fake and synthetic. All the old people were not old, and had crazy smooth skin, all of it just looked so awful. Despite the not-great acting and sleazy HXM, the 2006 version was at least palatable and more mature, realistic, wuxia looking. So disappointed. I don’t want to watch Yu Zheng’s work anymore. It was the same with Swordsman remake, but at least Chen Qiao En’s acting was so compelling and her chemistry with Wallace was at least present that I had to watch all her scenes. I love Chen Xiao, I do, but man he has no chemistry with Michelle.

  22. btw, Guo FuQu is so beautiful. I hate her character, that spoiled brat, but I can’t deny that she’s super pretty.

  23. They need to remake this right away so people can erase this one from their minds. Keep the guy though. He’s so handsome.

  24. stop criticizing chen yan xi lah even if she is very ugly, she is still a thousand times prettier than all the people criticizing her. you are just criticizing her because you are so jealous of her and you have a low self esteem

  25. I am sorry to say that I am extremely disgusted by your comments on this issue so far.
    An actress here is trying her very best to act well, just so to bring entertainment to viewers, as well as to make a living.
    Yes she is a celebrity, but that does not give you any reason to insult her and worse still use vulgarities, as if she is a non-living thing without feelings? If you don’t even have that slightest knowledge of mutual respect among people, then please scurry back home and reinforce your moral values before ranting and talking nonsense on social media, because I think that it would be much appreciated by those who, unlike you, understand the meaning of basic human respect. I think you are just bringing sheer shame to those who have educated you so far by committing such a resentful act.

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