After the actress for “Ugly Wudi” was finally revealed, netizens put two and two together and this is what they came up with:
If you followed the casting process for Dream of the Red Chamber, way, way back in Spring 07 you would have recognized by the clothes that the left girl was one of the candidates to play Xiao Baochai, the rival of Lin Daiyu for Jia Baoyu’s affections. She wasn’t picked, but I remember thinking she was pretty back then. Not drop dead gorgeous, but pretty.
And here she is playing the Chinese version of Ugly Betty. Well that turned out to be a good career move because the popularity of this show is taking off with Chinese audiences who really like the humor. The show is now a hot forum topic and has high ratings. I watched an episode, but since my Chinese has never been good enough to get all the nuances of more complicated Chinese dialogue, I think I may not really have enjoyed it as much as I could have. This actress though, I felt was quite good, and was able to get the physical humor pretty well. I haven’t see that a lot in Chinese comedies. So maybe she was the best for the part and her looks just happened to be what they were.
It reminded me of the spectacle over the lip-synching girl in the Olympics. The Western media had a field day with it saying how the Chinese music director said she was not pretty enough. Well, he didn’t actually say that although the western media gleefully used the words “chubby-cheeked” and “crooked-teeth” about this girl, words nowhere to be found in the Chinese interviews. All the music director said was that the other girl, who had been in front of large crowds as a performer before, was the best choice in image and expression. And I think that’s the case here. I’m not sure why, but Western media has a very large preoccupation with Asian’s opinions of self-beauty. If you google Ugly Wudi, the majority of articles on this show talk about how the Chinese audiences “rejected” her for not looking ugly enough rather than the show itself. Although she seriously needs better clothes and hair on the show. She’s supposed to be ugly, not completely fashion-retarded.