Let’s indulge in one of my favorite aspects of the movie/drama making process which is the concept art (the non-CG concept art). There is a simple beauty in the sketches of the characters. A few strokes of a pencil, and it becomes the first visualization of a full-fledged character. “Mei Ren Xin Ji” (translates roughly to Calculating Beauties) which is a 50 million yuan drama production revolving around three shrewd women, the much coveted lead role played by Ruby Lin, and two secondary female leads played byWang Likun (Infernal Lovers) and Yang Mi (Chinese Paladin 3).
Ruby Lin plays historical character Dou Yifang, who goes from a simple layperson to Empress Dou, wife of Emperor Wen (Sammul Chan) due to circumstance and her wits. Yang Mi plays Xue Yuan, her faithful friend, even to the death, and Wang Likun plays Nie Shen’er, an adversary.
The concept art below was made before anyone was cast.
Dou Yifang’s concept art:
Nie Shen’er Concept Art, with a smirking appearance to fit her villanous character
Xue Yuan Concept Art, expression befitting her tragic character
Two recently released portraits of Ruby Lin in costume.
Now let’s look at Deng Chao‘s character in Di Ren Jie who also had cool concept art, ableit a bit reminiscent of Inuyasha. Historical figure Magistrate Di Renjie, ancient China’s Sherlock Holmes, has quite a large selection of detective stories attached to him, but Deng Chao’s character is a new creation thus, perhaps the most interesting, especially with the air of mystery surrounding him. So far, only bits and pieces of his character info has been released, such as his albinism, and his detective skills.
He’s supposed to be always carrying around an assortment of weaponry, which led Andy Lau, who has no weapons as Di Ren Jie to say in a jokingly-jealous manner, that “People with high-level fighting skills don’t need weapons”. Deng Chao, always the professional actor, has trained hard in martial arts already for Heavenly Sword Dragon Sabre 2009, and has looked good in action sequences shown. Here he is expected to battle with Li Bingbing, who plays Shangguan Wan’er, one of the most accomplished women in Chinese history, although more for her writing than fighting.
Edit: Okay, official pictures came out of Deng Chao. Where’s the long hair? And ugh the really pale makeup and white eyebrows makes him look scary. I wish they left it at the halfway-done stage with the makeup.