One of the most anticipated Chinese Bromances ever, Eternal Faith symbolizes eons of love, devotion and longing. Adapted from the novel “Heaven Official’s Blessing” (天官赐福) by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu (墨香铜臭), the live-action drama has been in the news for the past few months because of its enormous casting.
While the casting directors took their own sweet time selecting the suitable actors for this upcoming magnum opus, the novel’s avid readers have mixed feelings about the cast. Taunted as one of the most anticipated adaptations in the Chinese BL industry, the drama is being directed by Chan Ka Lam (who successfully helmed the global phenomenon “The Untamed”).
Spanning over eight books, the novels follow the journey of the unfortunate Prince Xie Lian. The misfortunes that befall him and his subsequent ascension to the Heaven might seem like the premise, but the prime focus remains on the sublime and soul wrenching romance between Xie Lian and his ardent devotee, Hua Cheng. A yearning so great, that the lines between devotion and love begin to blur. As Xie Lian is faced with life-threatening choices, Hua Cheng becomes his shadow; the reckoning force as he reincarnates to become the Supreme Demon Lord, in order to protect his Beloved God. As it’s quite difficult to express their love and mutual admiration in words; the entire fandom is feeling the trepidation. Recreating this masterpiece won’t be an easy task. For now, we are bringing you the latest updates from the location, where the shooting is in full swing.
Eight hundred years ago, Xie Lian was the Crown Prince of the Xianle kingdom. He was loved and revered by his citizens. He ascended to the Heavens at a young age; however, due to unfortunate circumstances, was quickly banished back to the mortal realm. Years later, he ascends again–only to be banished again a few minutes after his ascension. Now, eight hundred years later, Xie Lian ascends to the Heavens for the third time as the laughingstock among all the three realms. To accumulate merits in order to make compensation, he has to go to the mortal realm and eliminate ghosts. In the mortal realm, he is accompanied by two lower-level immortal officers of unknown origin, and on his first task, he meets a mysterious demon named Hua Cheng who rules the ghost world and terrifies the Heavens. Yet unbeknownst to Xie Lian, Hua Cheng has been paying attention to him for a very, very long time. In a series of incidents, the past of the heavenly gods who seemed glamorous but dark is gradually revealed.
Recently in news for his poignant portrayal of ADC Jian Yang/Yang God in the E-Sports drama “Falling into Your Smile”, Zhai Xiao Wen will be portraying our protagonist Xie Lian. His delicate features do make him a suitable choice and I enjoyed watching his subtle countenance in FIYS.
Body in abyss, heart in paradise- Xie Lian
As Xie Lian, Zhai Xiao Wen will be playing the role of Crown Prince of Xian Le. After multiple unfortunate events, he was twice banished from the Heavens. Eight hundred years later, he ascends for the third time. He is a handsome individual who currently wears a conical bamboo hat. He also dresses in simple, white Taoist robes and bandages to hide his Cursed Shackles. One of the bandages he wears is his weapon, Ruoye.
As a Crown Prince, Xie Lian led a sheltered life and was unaware of the complicated issues faced by his subjects. His irrational decisions led to the decline of his kingdom and future banishment from the Heavens. After his third ascension, Xie Lian is a kind and gentle person. Although he acknowledges his abilities, he remains down-to-earth. He never holds his status above others and treats people equally, disregarding status as a sign of one’s worth.
Hua Cheng/San Lang/Crimson Rain Sought Flower
Popular for his character role Pei Zhao in the period drama “Maiden Holmes”, actor Zhang Ling He will be playing the deuteragonist Hua Cheng. His handsome looks and acting talents make him the obvious choice for the cunning Supreme Lord, who loves wrecking havoc on the Heavenly Officials.
Your Highness, I am forever your most devoted believer- Hua Cheng
Hua Cheng is a ghost of Supreme rank and the most notorious of the Four Great Calamities, widely known as Crimson Rain Sought Flower. As a Supreme, Hua Cheng possesses an extremely powerful shape-shifting abilities. It is said that no one has ever seen his true form because he transforms quite often. The first time he met Xie Lian after the third ascension, his appearance was about sixteen to seventeen, noted to be good-looking. In his true form, Hua Cheng is a handsome youth of eighteen to nineteen years, wears maple-red clothes along with exquisite, silver vambraces. His right eye is carved out and now a black eyepatch hides it. He is charismatic and intelligent, with a nonchalant attitude. He cares little for others and mostly acts in his own best interest. However, to Xie Lian he is very gentle, treating him with the utmost care and respect and offering him anything he desires. He is arrogant, though rightfully so as he is one of the most powerful beings. Despite this, he does have a more vulnerable side.
Shi Qing Xuan [Male]/ Wind Master
Chang Hua Sen will be portraying the Male form of the Heavenly Official Wind Master. Shi Qingxuan also known as Lord Wind Master is one of the Five Elemental Masters in the Heavenly Court. Shi Qingxuan is a person with clear, bright eyes and a spirited expression. His posture is graceful and elegant as well. He tends to wear white often and has a white jaded belt where his Wind Master Fan is usually tucked in. He tends to switch between his male and female forms, although he is stronger in his female form. Qingxuan is a kind, caring, and compassionate person. He is mischievous and enjoys teasing and messing with others, but never out of malicious intent. He tends to falter under pressure. Qingxuan is also an honest, moral person and is deeply loyal to his friends and family. He maintains a cheerful personality even in the worst of circumstances.
Ming Yi/ Earth Master
Actor Tian Xu Ning will be playing the role of the Earth Master. Ming Yi also known as Earth Master is one of the Five Elemental Masters in the Heavenly Court. As a mortal, he used to be a skilled engineer. He assisted the public with his capabilities in many ways. This allowed him to face a heavenly calamity. However, between his calamity and ascension, he was kidnapped by the Supreme Demon He Xuan, who then impersonated him to get close to Shi Qingxuan and his brother Shi Wudu. After the Banyue incident, he escaped and shot a distress signal, but was killed shortly thereafter. He Xuan kept his bones in his throne room to keep the lingering spirit in the bones content. After He Xuan’s identity was revealed, most heavenly officials believed that He Xuan killed Ming Yi. It was rumored that Ming Yi forged the Earth Master Shovel as his spiritual device after ascending. However, because Ming Yi was by then imprisoned by He Xuan, it was more likely forged by Ming Yi in captivity and taken by He Xuan.
Actor Li Fan Cheng will be playing the role of Fu Yao. Fu Yao is a Heavenly Official of the Middle Court and subordinate of Mu Qing. He often accompanies Xie Lian on his missions in the mortal realm alongside Nan Feng. Fu Yao is a young man around eighteen to nineteen years old who is usually seen with an overly-distant expression. He has pale skin with an exquisite face and is donned in black robes. While his features are delicate and pretty, they’re also cold and refined. Despite his often cheeky and impudent attitude, he still listens to orders and can focus on the mission ahead. He is also shown to care about the surrounding people, even though it is often masked by his defensive personality. While Fu Yao is usually dismissive, he is also easily irritated, mainly when someone points to his general’s past as a servant.
Vin Zheng will be portraying the character role of Nan Feng. Nan Feng is a Heavenly Official of the Middle Court and subordinate of Feng Xin. He often accompanies Xie Lian on his missions with Fu Yao. Nan Feng is a young man said to look around eighteen to nineteen years old, like Fu Yao. Nan Feng is a serious, straightforward and confident youth. He’s shown to be concerned about the well-being of others, but is also someone to quickly become annoyed and lose his temper. He is often seen cursing and yelling, acting and speaking impulsively rather than thoughtfully. Although he has a forceful nature, he is willing to listen to others and instinctively protects the surrounding people, even at the risk of his own safety.
Lang Qian Qiu
“Truth or Dare” star Vesta Ding will be playing the role of Lan Qian Qiu. Lang Qian Qiu titled as General Tai Hua, is the Martial God of the East. He was the Crown Prince of the Yong’an Kingdom during its golden age and a student of Fang Xin, the former State Preceptor of Yong’an. He was taught swordsmanship and scholarship by Xie Lian, who was under the identity of Fang Xin. Lang Qianqiu is a handsome youth with the unconcealable aura of a hero. He’s covered in armor, as most Martial Gods are. Lang Qianqiu used to be a carefree child and had a personal sense of justice due to his belief in his teacher’s doctrine. These traits carried over to adulthood even after he ascended. Despite his pureness, Lang Qianqiu is prideful due to his status as a major Martial God and a Crown Prince. He would be angered at insults toward his honor and any attempts to disrespect him. Even after he ascended and became one of the strongest martial gods, he had no doubt that Xie Lian’s skill outclassed him, sure of his own death if they were to fight.
Pei Ming will be portrayed by Liu Shuai. Pei Ming, titled as General Ming Guang, is the Martial God of the North with nine thousand temples dedicated to his palace. Pei Ming is a tall man of around twenty-six to twenty-seven years. He has an exceedingly handsome, graceful and charming appearance. He is a well known womanizer and flirt among the three realms. However, he dislikes strong-willed and forceful women like Xuan Ji. He was also frequently embarrassed by having to be saved by the Rain Master multiple times due to their history of when they were mortals. Pei Ming is a man who takes great arrogance and pride in his power and success. Thus, he tends to be insensitive and look down on others.
The utterly gorgeous Liu Ling Zi will be playing the ghastly Ghost Xuan Ji. Xuan Ji is a powerful female ghost of Savage Rank and a former lover of Pei Ming. In her ghost form, she is dressed in red bridal robes that are ragged and threadbare. Xuan Ji was a noble woman born to a family of generals. Xuan Ji was extremely beautiful and alluring woman. Later in life, she herself became the general of the Yushi Kingdom. During the war between Yushi and Xuli, she met Pei Ming and is imprisoned. They have a short-lived love affair, which ends in her suicide. After her death, Xuan Ji starts haunting Yu Jun Mountain. Xuan Ji has an extremely hysterical and fierce personality. She becomes so obsessed with Pei Ming that out of jealousy, she starts killing innocent brides. Xie Lian is sent on the mission to capture the Ghost Bridegroom who turns out to be Xuan Ji, the Ghost Bride.
Here are some more exclusive pictures from the location. The chemistry is spot on and I’m looking forward to watching them recreate the HuaLian magic onscreen. We have some pictures of the Wind Master, Earth Master alongside Pei Ming and Xuan Ji.
Fu Yao (Li Fan Cheng) , Nan Feng (Vin Zheng) and Shi Qingxuan’s (Chang Hua Sen) exclusive stills from the shooting spot.
Keep watching this space as we bring you further updates about the rest of the cast in the second edition of this news feature!
☆ Picture Credit- 1) @xi_yunxi Twitter Account and 2) Original Sources
☆ Synopsis Credit- MyDramaList
☆ Character Profiles- Heaven Officials Blessing Wiki