Chinese actor Li Chen’s latest project, TV drama Spring in Happiness, recently premiered to mixed reviews from the public. And the main point of contention between viewers is, well, Li Chen.
You see, the 41-year-old was cast as Li Qiang, a high school senior living in one of Beijing’s hutongs. Which means, yes, the actor’s playing a 17-year-old.
In behind-the-scenes photos that were released prior to the drama’s premiere, the actor, who is best known for being Fan Bingbing's ex fiancé, looked pretty different from how he usually does.
With his fringe combed down, Li Chen kinda passes for a high school student.
However, those who caught the drama’s first few episodes had a number of complaints. One reviewer found that while the actor dressed like a student, the way he carries himself “is nothing like a fresh-faced teen”. They added that they could clearly see the traces of wrinkles and laugh lines on Li Chen’s face, and that he’s “too buff” to be a high school student.
Netizens were not so kind with their comments either, with one asking: “Are there no more young actors?”. Another called Li Chen “an oldie playing a youthful student”, adding that they found his outfit too dated.
Some also stood up for the actor, adding that it’s “perfectly normal” for actors to play characters that are much older or younger than them. Others also asked for the public to give the drama a chance, sharing that Li Chen’s acting really shines in the series, and that he plays his role really well.