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Behind the scenes - Interview with Word of Honor writer

A group in Douban, one of the largest most popular Chinese social networking service websites, has created a survey, “which drama in 2020 would become a flop" most people chose“Word of Honor," almost no one would think that it could become a popular show.

Xiao Chu who has studied at the New York Film Academy went back to China and became the only writer of this drama, she also received lots of attention from the audience. Below are her answers to some of the core questions of this drama.

In your mind, what are the sparks in Zhou Zishu and Wen Kexing?

Both are very attractive, real, and not flat characters; based on where they come from and where they go. However, from a creation point of view, Zhou Zishu is much more difficult to write because Wen Kexing is very outstanding, and his own goal is revenge only. He is very clear and easy to understand, but Zhou Zishu is very complicated. He is very restrained and deep.

If he were put into Photoshop, there would be two thousand layers under that gray color. I wrote a short biography on Zhou Zishu with four thousand words, but it is still difficult to accurately summarize him. He is too complicated, especially the drama version that has made some enrichments and changes to his background settings, which led to more of his inner burden and worries. In terms of the performance of the TV series, this role may not be as popular as Wen Kexing among the audience, and I have to blame my limited skills. However, the two actors have delivered an excellent performance with layers and details to express their inner minds, which has perfected my inadequacy in writing.

The two actually met each other when they were children. Why did you make such a setting?

The term "met" is really good; what the internet fans call "childhood sweethearts" is not accurate. A sentence I like very much is that "some people are born to be soul mates," this is one of the cores of this story. My design is just to give them an earlier encounter. I made a significant change to the historical associations in the martial arts world before Zhou Zishu appeared to make the two characters have a stronger connection. They are soul mates not because of the earlier encounter; it is just a chance to let go of their guard. If Zhou Zishu was not like this Zhou Zishu, Wen Kexing might not be merciful. The central point of Wen Kexing is that he has deceived himself for many years and thinks that he is living in a nightmare, his encounter with Zhou Zishu gave him a world with light before the sleep. He is obsessed with everything there, where it is extremely soft, he left all emotions over there. This is a reflection of its core conflicts; that is why there is a setting like this.

How should we understand the relationship between Wen Kexing and Zhou Zishu, and what’s the basis for making this relationship

Wen Kexing and Zhou Zishu are soulmates in their bones. I think this plot is quite obvious in the drama, but the audience may not get it. All people in the martial arts world want Glazed Armor except them. Zhou Zishu may have already experienced pain and crawled out; Wen Kexing is still trapped inside.

Compared with Zhou Zishu, Wen Kexing more likely has a cruel and naive trait because his life stopped abruptly when he was nine years old. When he dealt with outsiders, he used the appearance of an adult, the face of the killer in Ghost Valley. With Zhou Zishu, he becomes very soft and a little childish. That is why I have to set up their previous encounter. Zhou Zishu was living in his mind before he turned nine, before the nightmare began. Without the hidden agenda I created for them, I think these two people would still become soul mates even if they meet in other ways because they are the same kind in nature.

Some critics say that Wen Kexing's character has been favored more and given many highlight parts so far, but Zhou Zishu's part has not been developed too much?

This statement is, in fact, particularly distressed because I do not care about the critics from the audience, but I am afraid of not doing the best for the characters. Zhou Zishu did suffer a bit earlier because Wen Kexing's traits are clear, external, and memorable, but Zhou Zishu hides everything in his heart, and he is a weirdo who only screams inside but looks calm outside, this is hard to be portrayed on the tv show, and this is where this character suffers, which I did not do well.

However, there is no such thing that Zhou Zishu's role is less than Wen Kexing because the whole first episode is actually about Zhou Zishu's struggles and burdens, and he becomes more well-around after that. I made this character more introverted and cold, which is more interesting if these two meet another. When he took off their guard, he became more lively and talkative in the after episodes. Before that, it is hard for the actor to express his feelings with only small movements and details. Therefore, I think the actor performs really well with different layers.

Source: Data Ent


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