Chinese drama, Story of Yanxi Palace (延禧攻略) causes heavy obsessions in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong. It boosts the cast team member, Charmaine Sheh’s (佘詩曼) career to a high peak and her role, Consort Xian (嫻妃) is nominated for Best Supporting Actress award (最佳女配角獎) in Huading Awards (華鼎獎). However, she intended to reject the series for 5 key reasons during an interview in A Date with Luyu (魯豫有約一日行) show lately.

The first reason was wearing thick ancient costume with heavy head accessories during the summer and Charmaine said: “It is extremely hot and the weather is 40 degree Celsius in Hengdian when the filming starts in July.”

Secondly, she was shooting a movie at the same time and needed to travel around if agreed to film the series. Charmaine was also worried about failing to play the roles well: “I was filming a movie in Malaysia at the point and have to travel around 5 times. I am worried about lacking of ability to play 2 role characters in different countries. It is very suffering as I travel from Malaysia to Hengdian every 3 days and vice-versa.”

It was an open secret that Charmaine spoke Cantonese when shooting Story of Yanxi Palace drama and switched to Mandarin eventually in order not to delay the filming progress. Thus, language barrier was also one of the reasons: “It has been a long time since I shoot period drama and it is hard to translate when I speak Cantonese.” She is indeed a professional actress.

In addition, health concern was also another consideration and Charmaine was worried about the heavy head accessories affected her health: “My neck is injured after a car accident at the point and I cannot wear heavy head accessories for more than 10 hours. Yu Zheng (于正) then told me it was a small head accessory only.” It made her felt relieved after hearing that.

Lastly, Charmaine was worried about the audiences’ reactions as playing villain roles resulted in bad experiences previously: “My role turns into a villain gradually and I am extremely worried that the audiences might detest me. I was liaising a moon cake advertisement and the client decided to change the spokesperson upon watching the preview clip of me pushing Gigi Lai (黎姿) in War and Beauty (金枝慾孽) drama at the time. It makes me ponder about the impact.” Despite the bad experience, it was brave of Charmaine to give it another try and an opportunity for the audiences to admire her acting skills again. She understood the era and audiences’ mindsets had changed and it was worth to take a risk to challenge a villain role after all.

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