“Portrait” with Xiao Zhan

When he was filming in Xiangshan, Xiao Zhan went for runs in the field almost every day. The sky was so blue, and he often found himself in the midst of the paddy fields, with rolling hills of uneven heights lying in the distance. As the breeze gently blew past, he didn’t need to think about anything. His friend still has some of the videos he took in those fields, often filmed under the setting sun with only the sound of the wind and rustling leaves as the person taking the video is holding his breath. The camera would slowly pan up from over the fields, and occasionally there would be the sound of distant thunder, but the camera doesn’t waver. He is still at ease as he stands in the center of the field.

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VogueMe Cover Story: It’s Xiaozhan’s Time (Excerpts)

Currently, shooting to fame is a trend in the entertainment industry. Data guides everything – a drama, a variety show, a song…all of these can bring about the birth of a super idol, and the prestige and business value follows soon after. in 2019, the novel-adapted “The Untamed” became this window. This is a story about a young man who grabbed hold of an opportunity. Like other idols born to their generations, his fans multiplied quickly, and he radiated outwards starting from the youths, and finally he gained generational fame. Now everything is declaring, it’s Xiaozhan’s time.

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Xuan Lu on Xiao Zhan during The Untamed filming

The last scene was Buyetian, when Shi-jie died protecting Wei Wuxian, and this was the biggest tearjerker for both fans of the novel and the drama.

This “highlight” moment in the drama took over one week to film, the actors and actresses got their makeup done every night at 11 and filmed until 9 the next morning.

The month of August in Hengdian was hot and hard to bear, and Xiaozhan had the most scenes.

“I saw him get thinner and thinner as he filmed, when the filming was stressful, he only ate some snacks, and didn’t eat properly at all,” Xuan Lu said.

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The Untamed Staff on Xiaozhan

“Xiaozhan is a really good person, and he’s very nice to staff members. He’s not afraid of hardships, and even when he’s sick he’ll film for a whole day, after he wraps for the night he’ll go get IV drip, then come back to film the next morning.”

“Filming was really tough on him, I hope everyone will support him lots. Filming overnight is tough, and he did it consecutively, he barely got a few hours of sleep a day. Sometimes I saw that during breaks he can’t even sit properly, and needs to lie back, fortunately there will be people to support him.”

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Xiaozhan Filmography

“Superstar Academy” – Fang Tianze
Filmed: 160415 to 160612
Aired: 160929

“Battle Through The Heavens” – Lin Xiuya
Filmed: 170116 to 170616
Aired: 180903

“The Wolf” – Ji Chong
Filmed: 170409 to 170917z
Aired: TBD

“Oh, My Emperor!” – Beitang Moran
Filmed: 170908 to 171108
Aired: 180425

“Joy of Life” – Yan Bingyun
Filmed: 180131 to 180810
Aired: 191126

“The Untamed” – Wei Wuxian
Filmed: 180416 to 180824
Aired: 190627

“Jade Dynasty” (Movie) – Zhang Xiaofan
Filmed: 181017 to 190119
Premiere: 190913

“Douluo Continent” – Tang San
Filmed: 181227 to 190703
Aired: TBD

“The Oath of Love” – Gu Wei
Filmed: 190811 to 191106
Aired: TBD

Guest Appearances / Cameos

“Love Weaves Through a Millennium 2”Aired: 161116
“Monster Hunt 2”Aired: 180216
“The Rookies”Aired: 180712

Things Xiaozhan Never Says

Some facts about filming The Untamed 

  1. He hurt his arm, but almost no one knew then. We only know because of paparazzi pictures of him at the hospital. Even now, after so many interviews, he’s never mentioned it. 
  2. Filming in 40 degree weather with layers of clothes and being hung in the air for half a day. He’s always been afraid of heat and sweats a lot, he’s the kind who can’t be without air conditioning, but when he talks about it he only talks about other people passing out in front of him.
  3. During that scene, he was eating raw fish with glue, you can imagine the taste. Media commented that he’s so professional, but his fans never boasted and only replied with ‘it’s what an actor should do.’
  4. For the Luanzanggang scenes he only casually mentioned that when he crawled he did hurt his hand.
  5. A “workaholic”, he gets up at 5AM, sometimes doesn’t wrap up even after midnight, he’s so tired he’s swaying, but never mentions that. In interviews he says he enjoys being a “workaholic”.
  6. When he attended 101 as a guest, he was worried he wouldn’t do well, and not only did he ask to practice more in the show, he also practiced when he had time on set of filming. It was his first time rapping, everyone said it was good. Is he really so naturally talented that he can do absolutely everything well? It’s just the repeated practice that no one sees.
  7. When he attended the audition show, he didn’t have a dance background. He just practices, practices until his toenail fell off, and he only asks “will it still grow back?” He got knee effusion, says he will still “dance tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, and the day after that.” He was kicked in the chin, had throat inflammation to the point he couldn’t talk, but still performed well as the main vocal. Before when he hurt his hand, he was worried that fans would get worried, he hid his hand at the airport. Fans who were asking what happened just the night before all understood and stopped asking.
  8. When The Untamed was being attacked the most last year, he was filming the scene in the cave water. He later on said it’s an “unforgettable” scene. After filming, he smiled sweetly and said to his fans, “you guys be good.”
  9. He says he’s never gone through a systematic training as an actor, he’s worried about not doing well, he’s lacking confidence. His happiest moment was when the director told him he did well, and that he’s coming closer and closer to the character.
  10. He goes to acting class to study, and says that if he has time he will work on his script delivery. Everyone says his acting is good, he has talent, he brought Ah Xian to life, that’s because he really became Ah Xian, and lived out his life! That’s why he says those things to Ah Xian, that’s why whenever he mentions Ah Xian in interviews, he can so perfectly summarize his personality. 

He might really have some talent when it comes to acting, but the hard work he puts in where we can’t see is definitely more than any talent!

The Untamed Filming – BuYeTian scene

© 云中遥寄锦信来 – extra (2019.07.24) 

Last year I went to Guizhou for vacation, because I became a fan of Xiaozhan from Bilibili, I like the novel a lot, and it so happened that they were filming in Guizhou, I had the chance to go and be an extra. As everyone knows, these episodes were night scenes, the kind that they have to film all night for. Xiaozhan gets his makeup done at 4-5PM, and he stays up all night filming. He’s very immersed in it, the kind where he’s given his whole mind and body to the character. He has to control quick changes in mood, and delve into the inner thoughts of the character, it’s very difficult.

This isn’t really a fresh fanaccount, a lot of people have already said this but if I don’t say it it won’t sit well with me, because I want the whole world to know just how much he put into this role, how much love and passion he offered.

Every crying scene, his voice would be hoarse by morning. You could hear him cry even from very far away. He would re-shoot if it wasn’t satisfactory, and he did it very seriously until he was satisfied.

After filming ended, he cried so much he couldn’t stand up. In that very long time, many extras had already fallen asleep but I never heard him say even once that he was tired. His eyes were swollen and bloodshot, because he couldn’t de-role his voice kept shaking. You guys can imagine, 4-5 hours of crying while maintaining a state of extreme sadness and continuously releasing that explosively. He needs to feel it again and again, continue to present this heartbreaking story, magnify it and perform it, experiencing countless complicated emotions by sharing the experience, and in some moments, I thought his emotions had gotten to the point of exploding.

I cried many times watching him, and became a loyal fan. Because of him, I came to understand that such sadness and happiness in the world can be a shared emotional experience. Many extras on set said he had a different air about him, no matter how noisy the crowd is, no matter what the environment, he can grab your heart with one look, and became the center of attention. 

I sincerely wish that every drop of sweat, every tear he sheds will be worth it. Thank you Xiaozhan for giving such a good performance, thank you for letting me see the Wei Wuxian in my heart. The path is limitless, the future is in front of you, I hope you can always be so free, so passionate, face the light and continue to press forward.

Sina Ent. Reporter on Xiaozhan

Sina Ent. Reporter on Xiaozhan:


I never thought, that it would all be fate.

The first time I knew what Xiaozhan looks like was the day I met him in person.

That day at noon our reporter department was having a meeting, when suddenly there was a commotion outside of the meeting room, it turned out that Wang Dalu was here for a visit. Then I heard that Xiaozhan and Wang Yibo would be coming later too. As someone who never followed boy groups or watched The Untamed, I only knew that they were popular lately, but I didn’t know anything about them at all.

Purely out of curiosity, I walked out of the meeting room to take a look, and took a picture. My first impression was that this guy is tall and skinny. Later he walked into the meeting room and sat on the other end of the table by himself. I took a closer look, and he was handsome in a boy next door way.

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