Disclosing [Huan Zhu 3] casting secrets, Qiong Yao: Only Zhou Jie is firm
January 11th, 2002 SiChuan News Web - ChengDu Daily
SiChuan News Web - ChengDu Daily Jan11report: (Reporter Zhao Bin, Intern Zhang Li) [Huan Zhu Ge Ge 3] will be starting filming soon, who will play which character has become a hot topic for media discussion. Last night, [Star creator] Ms. Qiong Yao answered a phone interview from this paper, clarified some rumours and disclosed some of the pre-production work for [Huan Zhu Ge Ge 3] .
200 new stars vying for Qiong Yao's attention
Reporter: There are a lot of rumours going around regarding [Huan 3] , can you please disclose how everything is progressing at this point?
Qiong Yao: Starting this morning (10th), Director Li Ping, with my directions, has started picking the cast in Beijing. There will be a total of 50 actors from all around Mainland China, they are all new actors, hand-picked by myself from the first round of 200 applicants. The main test is the audition, see if they can delve into the characters. The audition uses a scene from the [Huan 3] script, each one of the 50 will take turns to act. The whole audition process will take about a week.
Reporter: Will the actors for [Xiao Yan Zi], [5 Ah Ge] be decided among these 50 people?
Qiong Yao (laughs): I certainly hope so. But it really depends on their strength. I don't actually have high demands for newcomers, it mainly depends on whether he or she has the special presence that my script requires. Moreover, I didn't mean newcomers in the sense that they have not performed before, they all definitely need to have experience in the performing arts.
Reporter: When will the cast be finally firmed up?
Qiong Yao: Those auditioning in Beijing are mainly newcomers from Mainland, within these two days, Taiwan will also stage an audition. I will decide on who, so it will take a while, but, the latest by the beginning of March, there will be a decision.
Hair is a problem for Gu Ju Ji to play 5 Ah Ge
Reporter: If you use all newcomers, don't you worry about viewership?
Qiong Yao(after a silent while): Actually, there is still discord within my company, some of us advocate using the old cast. Yet 3 months before I start working on the script, I have already called each of the old cast members, telling them I was preparing for a sequel. But now quite a few people are telling me, their schedules are filled till the year after next. Obviously they feel that those projects are better than mine, otherwise why would they accept them? Of course, that reveals how popular they are, anyway, I can't afford people who are too popular (laugh). I hope actors in my serial will concentrate totally on the task at hand!
Reporter: Is there any truth about the news that [5 Ah Ge] is firmed up to be Gu Ju Ji?
Qiong Yao(laughing loudly): How can that be? The only firmed up one is Zhou Jie, because he saved a time slot for me, I will, of course, repect him. As to Gu Ju Ji, there is one problem, that's his hair. He already signed an agreement with his recording company for a summer special, there will be a lot of photo shoots before that. Yet how can I allow him to keep his hairstyle and play 5 Ah Ge? For this, I still have to negotiate with the recording company. In [Huan 3], [5 Ah Ge] is the most important male lead, I will not be helter-skelter on this.
Qiong Yao will commandeer directly on site
Reporter: How is the script progressing at this point? When will [Huan 3] start filming?
Qiong Yao: The only thing left now is the conclusion, it should be finished by the end of the month. Preliminary plans is to start filming [Huan 3] at the end of March, but exactly where the location is has not been determined.
Before we start, I will have a good discussion with the main cast, I have to make sure they are clear about their part. If performance is less than desirable after filming starts, I will entertain changing cast on the spot. There is someone whom I have picked a year ago, that is my secret weapon, and will definitely not disappoint anyone, but this is not the time to disclose it. At this juncture, the number of episodes for [Huan 3] is still undecided, but the total investment will certainly exceed the prior 2 series. Therefore, I value this serial very much, I usually don't visit the filming location much, but this time I will be at the start of filming. I have to see for myself, to rest assured.