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Actress Zhang Ziyi's TV debut applauded overseas

By Xu Fan | | Updated: 2021-01-25 15:45
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Poster of The Rebel Princess. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The Rebel Princess, the first TV drama starring the A-list actress Zhang Ziyi, who shot to international fame through Ang Lee's Oscar-winning film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, has recently won much applause overseas.

Producers revealed the 68-episode costume drama was released to a string of popular streaming sites, ranging from Youtube to Facebook and VIKI, reaching audiences in North America and Asia with different versions dubbed with multiple languages.

Adapted from writer Mei Yuzhe's novel Di Wang Ye (Monarch Industry), the tale set in a fictional dynasty chronicles the life of Wang Xuan, a beautiful and capable woman. Growing up as the emperor's most cherished niece, the protagonist transforms from a carefree royal lady to a brave wife, who helps her husband -- an ambitious commander -- to suppress rebels and re-establish peace in the war-torn country.

Zhang Ziyi stars Wang Xuan in the TV series The Rebel Princess. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Zhang portrays the lead role of Wang, while actor Zhou Yiwei plays the character's husband, and actor Tony Yang stars as the prince who becomes the protagonist's first romantic interest.

With a crew of up to 1,033 people and some 55,000 extras, the TV series was shot over 273 days in Beijing, Hebei province and Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

A seminar organized by the Communication University of China and China Television Art Exchange Association was held on Jan 23, drawing a dozen researchers and critics to discuss the popularity of the TV series, which so far has drawn around 3 billion "clicks" on the Twitter-like Sina Weibo.

Li Jingsheng, deputy head of the China Federation of Radio and Television Associations, says the TV series displays traditional virtues such as sacrificing one's personal life for the sake of the peace and stability of the nation.

Yang Chenghu, a professor of art and media research with Beijing Normal University, says the TV series has skillfully blended imagination and history, while showing the warmth of humanity.

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