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Spy thriller to hit screens this month

By Xu Fan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-07-10 17:14
Award-winning actress Mei Ting interprets a spy's wife in the espionage-themed TV series. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

One of the most recently acclaimed Chinese espionage-themed productions, the 40-episode TV series Mian Ju (The Mask) will air on Beijing Satellite TV and the video-streaming site, iQiyi, simultaneously from July 6.

Earlier this year, the drama had a limited broadcast in Shanghai, but obtained a high score of 9.0 points out of ten on popular review site, Douban.

Set in 1948 in northeastern China's Harbin, the story, penned by renowned scriptwriter Wang Xiaoqiang, follows an unlikely Kuomintang spy who struggles with a family crisis and his unwillingness to be a ruthless "killing machine."

Hou Yong stars a police officer in the forthcoming TV drama Mianju ( The Mask). [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The cast includes veteran actor Zu Feng, who plays the spy; award-winning actress, Mei Ting, as the protagonist's wife and actor, Hou Yong, who plays the spy's neighbor and a local police officer.

The story unfolds over the course of a month in order to create a highly-tense atmosphere, reveals Wang, the scriptwriter who shot to fame with his 2012 hit series Special Agent.

With the total production taking nearly one year, the drama was shot in Harbin, Shenyang, Lyushun, and Changzhou.

Actor Zu Feng and actress Mei Ting co-headline the upcoming TV series Mianju ( The Mask), which will run on Beijing Satellite TV and video-streaming site iQiyi on July 6. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

As the tale is set in winter, the cast members had to wear cotton-padded jackets to perform as though they were extremely cold, despite shooting taking place during summer when the temperature was averaging 39 C, recalls Hou.

"We had shot the winter sequences for two months. Every day on the set, I really envied the crew who wore short-sleeved T-shirts and ate ice creams," laughed Hou at a recent press conference in Beijing.

The series will see two episodes aired every night from Sunday to Friday, but with one new episode every Saturday night.

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