One of China's hottest actors, Wang Kai, just started filming a new drama, and his new role is very different from his breakout role as a royal prince in Nirvana in Fire, the handsome and romantic doctor in Ode to Joy, or the stoic detective in When a Snail Falls in Love. Let's find out more.

Although Wang Kai gained initial fame as a make-up artist in Ugly Wu Di (2008-2010), the Chinese version of the Colombian TV series, Yo soy Betty, la fea, (which was also remade into Ugly Betty in the US,) he did not want to be typecast and was willing to turn down roles that didn't suit him. He would have to wait until 2014 to shine as a policeman in the period drama, All Quiet in Peking.

He then enjoyed a huge breakout performance as a neglected prince and friend of Hu Ge's avenging hero in Nirvana in Fire. The bromance about enduring friendship and brotherhood actually overshadowed the romance between Hu Ge's character and his long-lost first love. It also left the viewers with a fresh, stunning impression of Wang Kai in his first historical role.

The rest is history! Wang Kai is now one of the hottest stars in China, but he continues to be selective in the roles that he takes on.

He recently started filming a new period drama that will portray the rise and struggles of a young man during the time in history when China started opening up to the world, and will trace the immensely dramatic changes that occurred and transformed the Chinese society.

The drama's Chinese title is 大江大河, which literally means "Big River." (I have seen it listed in English as "Eastward Flows the Changjiang River," but I haven't seen a second confirmation.)

Here are photos from the traditional ceremony, on February 20, to pray for blessings before filming starts:

The above photo still is signed by Wang Kai, saying hello to Song Yunhui, his character in the new drama.

Interestingly, the new drama is adapted from the book 大江东去 by A'Nai, who also penned Ode to Joy. Reportedly the producer originally bought the first book and picked up Ode to Joy as an afterthought, but ended up filming Ode to Joy first. Wang Kai also gets to reunite with the same production team behind Ode to Joy.

I don't know if DramaFever will pick up Wang Kai's new drama, but I certainly hope that we'll see more of Wang Kai regardless of which roles he plays in the future. Who knows, we may also hope for a Nirvana in Fire 3 after the success of Nirvana in Fire 2.


Nirvana in Fire II - 琅琊榜之风起长林

Starring Huang Xiao Ming and Liu Hao Ran

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