Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Joan Chen Plays Goddess in Monkey King Drama

Joan Chen Plays Goddess in Monkey King Drama

Joan Chen Plays Goddess in Monkey King Drama

Actress Joan Chen as the Goddess Kwan Yin [Photo: Xinhuanet]?

U.S.-based Chinese film actress Joan Chen will make a rare appearance on domestic small screens, impersonating the Goddess of Mercy, Kwan Yin.

Chen is in Shanghai this week to complete filming on “Journey to the West”, a new TV adaptation of the classical Chinese novel of the same name.

However, Kwan Yin is not a major role in the drama, which depicts the adventures of the Monkey King and his two fellows as they escort the monk Xuanzang to retrieve Buddhist scriptures.

When asked why she had accepted such a supporting role when she already boasts an international career, Chen responded that it was because of her children, who would love to see their mother appear in the legendary fairytale. She also said getting involved in the drama brought her an opportunity to revisit Shanghai, where she was born 47 years ago.

Joan Chen started her acting career in 1970s and made her Hollywood debut in the 1986 film “Tai-Pan”. She works mostly in film and barely appears on television. Her notable works include Hong Kong director Stanley Kwan’s 1994 film “Red Rose, White Rose”, and the 2007 Australian film “The Home Song Stories”, which won her a Best Actress title at the Golden Horse Awards.

Besides Joan Chen, “Journey to the West” also features Victor Chen, little brother of Hong Kong pop star Kelly Chen. Victor plays the monk, Xuanzang.

The drama is the latest addition to a line-up of television and opera productions that the 16th century novel has spawned. The best-known one is a TV series in 1986, which brought actor Liu Xiao Ling Tong fame as the Monkey King.

4220xtylxxiyouji1The main characters of the new TV series “Journey to the West” [Photo: Xinhuanet]

4220xtylxxiyouji3Actor Fei Yang as the Monkey King [Photo: Xinhuanet]


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