Yu Zheng seems to have a talent for finding and turning talented, but underrated, actors into overnight commercial successes. Whether it is due to his script or the chemistry between the leads, the popularity of Yu Zheng dramas seems to go hand-in-hand with the popularity of the lead couple. This is no different in his recent work; in The Legend of Lu Zhen 陆贞传奇, the cute onscreen interaction between Chen Xiao and Zhao Liying made this intrigue melodrama much more enjoyable.
Chen Xiao showing off his preschooler mentality on the four emotions segment of Women vs Men in the video above. Continue reading below the cut for a small summary of Chen Xiao’s road to success and
teasing teaser photos from recent photoshoots.
Though the Central Drama alumnus may be playing the lead role for the first time in Legend of Lu Zhen, Chen Xiao‘s road to success has been relatively smooth compare to many of his peers. Soon after graduation he was picked up by Huayi Brothers and participated in the movie Detective D alongside industry veterans like Andy Lau, Carina Lau, Li Bingbing, and Deng Chao. His role in the film may be minor, but it was still a rare experience and opportunity for a recent graduate.
Chen Xiao probably met Yu Zheng for the first time while working on his first post-grad television drama Spell of the Fragrance 国色天香 (Michelle Ye, Mikey He, Hawick Lau), where he played the supporting role of He Kun. Despite He Kun’s dedication to his delusional master, Chen Xiao was able to let the views see that He Kun is not blind to his master’s unlawful ways. If this had been a modern drama, He Kun would probably the silent guardian to the female lead, protecting her from his own brother.
Chen Xiao worked with Yu Zheng a second time for Happy Mother Pretty Daughter 欢喜婆婆俏媳妇 before finally signing to Yu Zheng Studio in 2011. In HMPD Chen Xiao played the righteous yet mischievous Guo Xiaotian, the eldest son of a military dynasty. In his portrayal, Chen Xiao was able to balance out the demanding presence of a general, the playfulness of a young bachelor, and the tenderness of a lover.
Compare to his previous supporting roles, Chen Xiao’s role in Hidden Intention 藏心术 is almost neglectable. But from his one scene we get the above perfection.
In Beauties of the Emperor 王的女人, Chen Xiao played the observant (and loyal to a fault) Prince Ziying – last ruler of the Qin Dynasty. The devotion this doomed Prince of Qin showed to the love of his life, played by Yuan Shanshan (Spring Romance), despite her betrayal is truly heartbreaking. This role could’ve gained Chen Xiao more recognition, but his talent was overlooked due to the presence of Luo Jin. In addition, Chen Xiao was over shadowed by the big names in the cast, namely Ming Dao and Chen Qiao En. However, it is thanks to these two big names that we have subbed version of the drama available on hulu via dramafever. (watch it here).
Chen Xiao played the malicious second son Bai Shaoqun of the Bai family in The Bounty Hunter 赏金猎人 (Jiang Kaitong, Li Yifeng, Ying’er). This character is not a spineless coward, nor is he afraid of authority or death. But has little to no moral conscious, yet he sacrificed himself to protect his family. Perhaps Chen Xiao was already preparing himself for his famed villainous role as Lin Pingzhi in The Swordsman.
Chen Xiao’s adorkable portrayal of the naive 19th Prince in the popular Gong 2 宫锁珠帘 further increased his popularity. Ironically, Chen Xiao’s 19th Prince was desperately in love with Zhao Liying’s character – willing to giving up his title and wealth to be with her. But alas she was an assassin and he was royal; luckily the 19th Prince ended up with the equally naive and kind-hearted Rong’er, played by Jiang Ruijia (Genius vs. Muggle).
After playing the perfect gentleman in so many dramas, yet continuous to be used and betrayed by the women he loves, it’s time for Chen Xiao to play the heart-breaker and betrayer for once. In The Swordsman 笑傲江湖, Chen Xiao chose to play the antagonist Lin Pingzhi. The character started out with an uncorrupted moral compass, and grew up to be slightly flirtatious, but overall harmless little bunny. However, after the betrayal of the people he grew up to trust, the character slowly turned dark and violent. Using the only woman who truly loves him, played by Yang Rong (Palace III), to his own gain.
Chen Xiao finally get a lead role in The Legend of Lu Zhen. For those who have yet to watch this drama, Chen Xiao plays the perfect Prince Charming Gao Zhan. But like all intrigue drama he can’t just be with the girl he loves; the couple must deal with romantic rivals and misunderstands.
Now with the success of The Legend of Lu Zhen, both Chen Xiao and Zhao Liying will continue to work together in Yu Zheng’s upcoming movie Palace Lock Incense 宫锁沉香. The cast for this movie version of Yu Zheng’s popular Palace series will include Zhou Dongyu, Lu Yi, Chen Xiao, and Zhao Li Ying.
The teasing photos as promised: