Following along with the filming of the latest drama adaptation of the wuxia novel Return of the Condor Heroes has been an endless well of WTF mirth. First producer Yu Zheng casts the least suitable leading lady Xiaolongnu in of all time by selecting Michelle Chen. Then he proceeds to photo shop half of her off in official drama stills to turn her into a lithe willowly semblance of Xiaolongnu. He casts hottie Chen Xiao as male lead Yang Guo but then styles his character like a cross between a period MC Hammer and a hobo from the Lower East Side. He re-jiggers the story line in ways that will make viewers spit up blood (Li Mo Chou likes Yang Guo, too! Xiaolongnu and Yin Zhi Ping were dating!), all but guaranteeing ratings for the sheer rubbernecking curiosity of seeing just how much of a hot mess this will turn out to be. The drama is reportedly done with filming and heads into post-production which ought to be a quiet time before the first trailer hits, except last week the media and netizens lit up again with more laments for how unattractive Michelle Chen is for the role as the beautiest beauty of all time that is Xiaolongnu.
It’s not really beating a dead horse, maybe a half-dead horse, when pictures leaked of Michelle’s stunt and body double in the drama and people were bowed over with how pretty she was and how she actually looked better suited to play Xiaolongnu. The young actress is a 20 year old college acting student who has gotten bit parts in a few dramas while still going to school, and was offered the role to play Michelle’s double in RoCH. Her name is Ro Mei Qi, and she pretty much fursploded the weibo hotlines when pictures leaked of her dressed as Xiaolongnu on set and then promptly made Michelle look that much worse. Viewers are wondering now if Yu Zheng actually likes Michelle when he cast her as Xiaolongnu, or he was actually trying to punk her by casting her in a wholly unsuitable role, dressed in clothes that make her look dumpy, given two horns for hair in a style that no woman can pull off, and now given a body double that outshines her in looks and figure. Ah Michelle, I don’t think she’ll ever ever make this role from a huge bad idea into something surprisingly awesome, the way Chen Qiao En transformed her gender-twisted antagonist role in the latest drama adaptation of The Swordsman into the scene-stealer of the entire drama.