de cassiopeiastars, agosto 2, 2021

Spoiler alert: Minor spoilers may be present in the content below, but major plot spoilers will not be mentioned.

Drama Information

Country: Singapore

Aired: January 2021 - February 2021

Number of episodes: 20

Minutes per episode: 45 

Where to watch: meWATCH (EN, CH) YouTube (EN, CH)

Synopsis: Mei Fangcao, an ordinary girl from Vietnam, takes a leap of faith by coming to Singapore as a "bride," hoping to raise medical fees for her mother and find her long-lost sister. She meets Zhong Shijie, who was recovering from a devastating car crash. With her sincerity and resilience, she convinces Shijie to accept her as his bride. As their fates intertwine, Fangcao's life takes a dramatic turn (meWatch).

My Star Bride is a Singaporean drama that aired earlier this year in 2021. It was brought to my attention that it has recently been trending and receiving some love in China. This got me thinking that it could be possible for a mainland China re-make as we got to see with The Little Nyonya last year. 

There are heavier themes and triggers in this drama like abduction, anxiety, depression, death, and miscarriages. Some aspects can feel unrealistic, dragged out, and then rushed. Our main leads' romance may hinder your watching experience if you dislike slow-burn romance. However, we see a wholesome story about this family through its themes, conversations, and overall growth of their relationships.

The original drama has 20 episodes, and if it does get a re-make, I hope that the length of the episodes stays the same at 45 minutes each. Despite loving short-length dramas, this is one where I think it would probably need 24 episodes to flesh out the show and not rush the closure that the story deserves. 

This article will contain actors and actresses that I thought would best fit these characters. I only chose actors and actresses that I have seen do well in their works and who fit the original characters' age range. With the type of dramas I watch, my exposure to actors and actresses over 35 - 40 years of age is limited, so the older characters were quite tough to fill. Without further ado, let's recast My Star Bride into a C-drama! 


Mai Phuong Thao / Mai Feng Cao

New Cast: Zhang Ruo Nan 

Mai Phuong Thao / Mai Feng Cao is a Vietnamese girl who left Vietnam to find her sister. She ends up in Singapore, where she gets into a fake marriage to stay in Singapore and search for her sister.  

Mai Feng Cao's character isn't dynamic. She's our naive rural girl who comes to a big city. She's a sweet girl with an adorable smile who has a big heart. Whatever she puts her mind to, she will try to achieve it. The biggest flaw about her character is that it sometimes borders on feeling like a child's thinking vs. someone naive. However, I think this is a unique aspect of her character, and I'm just upset that they never grew her character out of that phase.

Knowing her character, I chose Zhang Ruo Nan for her resemblance to Chantelle Ng. Zhang Ruo Nan has big innocent eyes that can easily be used to show her nativity. A plus is her adorable smile. The unique aspect of Mai Feng Cao's character is her broken Mandarin with a Vietnamese accent. This would be the hardest part for any actress who takes on this role. Chantelle really nails this part of it and shows how much she's worked on becoming Mai Feng Cao. From what I have seen from Zhang Ruo Nan, I think she can make us feel the conviction of this character if she were to take on the role.

Zhong Shi Jie

Original: Xu Bin (徐彬)
New Cast: Elvis Han

Zhong Shi Jie is an arrogant lawyer who got into an accident and was in a vegetative state for half a year and now needs to go through physical therapy to recover. He agrees to become Mai Feng Cao's fake husband while she looks for her sister.

What made him shine the most was his character growth. Zhong Shi Jie is our typical arrogant and stoic male lead who eventually warms up. Unlike other male leads with this character, he learns to love and see the value of life through his experience and reflects that subtly but kindly upon his loved ones and not just the female lead. Xu Bin did an incredible job at depicting the cold lawyer and contrasting it with his warm gazes as he channels Zhong Shi Jie's adoration for Mai Feng Cao. Xu Bin was able to bring Zhong Shi Jie alive and really showed the growth of the character.

For this male lead, we need a male lead who's able to showcase some arrogance as a no-nonsense lawyer and a man who can clearly show fond chemistry towards the one he loves. After some tough consideration, I chose Elvis Han. I think Elvis Han can easily portray a tough lawyer based on his past roles. In his roles that have romance in them, he usually comes off quite coy. If we replace that with more loving and adoring interactions, I think he can easily reflect Zhong Shi Jie's love. The most challenging part of this role is to portray a person going through therapy and the slow process of using physical aides throughout the show.

Qin Sheng Li

Original: Desmond Ng (黄振隆)New Cast: Gao Tai Yu
Qin Sheng Li is a good friend and colleague of Zhong Shi Jie. He took care of Zhong Shi Jie's family while he was in a vegetative state. Qin Sheng Li's character is insecure and is willing to take risks to mask those insecurities. On the flip side, Sheng Li is a caring friend and individual who wants someone to love him for who he is. Qing Sheng Li was a complicated character that falls in between the lines, and Desmond Ng was able to sell to the viewers that he has warmth amidst his demons.

I've seen only one of Gao Tai Yu's works, but I think he can easily portray a lawyer with insecurities and a caring man to express the true characteristics of Qin Sheng Li above. There's a distinct difference when Gao Tai Yu smiles and how it affects how we perceive him. That was a factor that I thought would help him with the role of Qing Sheng Li.

Ouyang Shan Shan

Original: Gini Chang (曾晓晴)New Cast: Xiang Han Zhi
Ouyang Shan Shan is the daughter of Ouyang Long and Tang Li Yin. She is close friends with Zhong Shi Ming. Ouyang Shan Shan is a bright and bubbly girl who wants the best for the people she cares for. I think Gini Chang's bright smile and demeanor give off a sweet vibe that makes it believable for me to see her as the caring Shan Shan.

Having seen Xiang Han Zhi in Forever Love, I think she can easily portray Ouyang Shan Shan's bright personality. These two actresses have a beautiful smile and a kind persona that would make it believable that they want to be helpful and loved.

Zhong Shi Ming

Original: Edwin Goh (吴劲威)New Cast: Xu Le Wei
Zhong Shi Ming is the second son of the Zhong family. As the youngest sibling, he is spoiled by his family. However, he is a man of his words and always stands up for his people. He works as an influencer who sells products through live videos. Edwin Goh executed Zhong Shi Ming so well that it made it easy to adore this character.

Xu Le Wei is a perfect pick for this role from what I've seen from him. He can easily portray a spoiled character who wants his way—a friend, an inexperienced person in love, or a loving brother.

Pan Xiu Qin

Original: Lin Mei JiaoNew Cast: Kong Lin
Pan Xiu Qin is the mother of the Zhong siblings. Pan Xiu Qin portrays a mother who loves her children and is quite involved in their lives. She's pretty opinionated and gives Mai Feng Cao a tough time, but deep down, she sees the good in Feng Cao. Two fun facts about Lin Mei Jiao are that she was part of the original Singapore cast for The Little Nyonya and is Chantelle Ng's mom in real life. So, switching it around to play her daughter's mother-in-law must have been quite tough. Lin Mei Jiao had to act like she didn't like Chantelle Ng and slowly build their relationship as Pan Xiu Qin and Mai Feng Cao. 

Having seen Kong Lin portray a mother role in Go Go Squid, I think I felt similar sentiments to how I feel with Pan Xiu Qin. We view their characters as "mean mothers," but at the same time, you don't dislike them. They're both harsh on their words, even if they mean well. With her experience, Kong Lin can easily fit into the role of Pan Xiu Qin!

Zhong Yong Nian

Original: Zhou Hou Ren (朱厚任)New Cast: Zhao Li Xin
Zhong Yong Nian is the father of the Zhong siblings. He owns a qi pao shop and is passionate about keeping the qi pao tradition alive amongst the new generation. Zhong Yong Nian's character is the wise father. He balances out his wife, Pan Xiu Qin, and keeps the family together. Zhong Yong Nian was a more static character as he is written as a figure to calm the waters. It's hard for me to really see anyone else play this role as Zhou Hou Ren has done it so well.

There are some biased opinions here after seeing Zhao Li Xin in The Rise of the Phoenixes, but I think that he'll be able to play and bring conviction to the role of a wise father who sits down with his family to discuss the hard topics of life.  

Zhong Pei Pei

Original: Cynthia Koh (许美珍)
New Cast: Wu Jin Yan
Zhong Pei Pei is the daughter of the Zhong family. She runs a marriage agency, which was how Mai Feng Cao was able to come to Singapore. Zhong Pei Pei is the more assertive one in her marriage with Zhang Da Qian, but their marriage still stands strong as they can balance each other out.

It was hard for me to find someone for this role. I picked Wu Jin Yan on a whim, but I realized she could easily fill the shoes for this role as she has portrayed strong female characters before. This is a supporting role and would be a big switch up from her lead roles, but I think it would be an excellent addition to her portfolio.

Zhang Da Qian

Original: Rayson Tan (陈泰铭)New Cast: Han Dong
Zhang Da Qian is the husband of Zhong Pei Pei. He co-owns and runs the marriage agency with his wife. He plays the role of a husband who follows the words of his wife.

I would love to see Han Dong play this role where he plays an aloof but doting husband. I've seen Han Dong play a variety of roles that always leave me impressed, and I'm sure he will with this one as well.

Ouyang Long

Original: Zheng Ge Ping (郑国平)New Cast: Du Chun
Ouyang Long is the brother (not blood-related) of Zhong Yong Nian. He is the owner of a crystal shop and is always trying to compete with Zhong Yong Nian. Their families are close, and the Zhong family refers to Ouyang Long as Uncle Long. Ouyang Long is a character that can come off as loud and a bit annoying as he's always jealous of Zhong Yong Nian and finds ways to rub it into his brother's face that he's doing better. However, it doesn't come off over the top, and he still has redeemable traits.

Du Chun is another actor that has great duality in his roles, so I can easily see him succeeding in this role. I think it would be great seeing him playing a dad role as well.

Tang Li Yin

Original: Aileen Tan (陈丽贞)New Cast: Liu Min Tao
Tang Li Yin is the wife of Ouyang Long. She suffers from depression and anxiety due to a past traumatic experience. Out of all of the characters, Aileen Tan's role had the least screen time; however, her character was one of the most complicated ones with the mental trauma that Tang Li Yin had experienced.

I think it's hard for me to see anyone else playing this role except for Liu Min Tao. I don't doubt anyone else's ability, but from my experience with Liu Min Tao, she can nail the role of a loving mom and one suffering from mental disorders. We've seen her play many roles of a mother, and this one shouldn't be hard for her to tackle either.

If you've seen the drama, what are your picks for these characters? If not, do you plan to watch the original version? 

Credits: Photos were found using web search/Douban. Gif was created using Giphy. 
Edited by: devitto (1st editor), YW (2nd editor)

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