From Yanxi Palace to travel reality shows, Chinese actress Wu Jinyan likes different roles and projects

Chinese star Wu Jinyan of Story Of Yanxi Palace fame at the Star Awards on Sunday (April 14).
Chinese star Wu Jinyan of Story Of Yanxi Palace fame at the Star Awards on Sunday (April 14).ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - Chinese actress Wu Jinyan spent less than 24 hours in Singapore over the weekend, but she still managed to try a number of local dishes.

"I ordered a whole table of food - I had bah kut teh, chee cheong fun and of course the 'green cake' (pandan cake). It was all delicious," says the 28-year-old starlet, who shot to fame as the lead character Wei Yingluo from The Story Of Yanxi Palace - the most Googled drama worldwide last year.

In town to attend last Sunday's (April 14) Star Awards, she arrived on Sunday morning and left for the airport after the ceremony, where she presented the Best Actor and Actress awards.

In a group interview backstage, Wu revealed that she had taken a photo with the Queen of Caldecott herself.

"I got to see Zoe Tay and Fann Wong. I've always liked them so I was very happy. I even took a photo with Zoe just now," says Wu.

Unlike the feisty Wei Yingluo she plays, Wu - dressed in a beige, floor-length gown - spoke in soft tones and is "gentler" than Wei by her own admission.

When asked about the performance of her recent drama The Legend Of Haolan, she says candidly: "I expected that it wouldn't do as well as Yanxi because Yanxi was just so immensely popular. So I was not disappointed with it."

While she has made her mark with period dramas, she admits filming can be tough.


"It's too warm! When we filmed Yanxi it was high summer and we still had to be in the period costumes," says Wu, who explained that the typical costume has at least four layers.

Wu says: "I'm the kind who likes to mix it up. After a period drama I'll want to do a modern-day one and vice versa."

She is set to appear in a modern day workplace drama, where she plays a rookie trying to navigate her way in a major cosmetics company.

But her most recent activities have less to do with acting.

She says: "I've mostly been filming my very first reality show. It's a very young and vibrant show."

Wu is set to appear on a travel-based reality show with Chinese stars such as Wang Kai of Nirvana In Fire (2015) fame.

Despite her varied activities in entertainment, many fans still identify her as Wei.

Wu says: "I'm quite used to it already. Even if people know Wei Yingluo more than me, I'm still happy, because it's still a role I played. I think I need to work harder to show people different sides of myself through my acting. "