Kuala Lumpur — Johor-born actor Lawrence Wong is making waves on the movie and video streaming platform iQIYI as the well-liked imperial guard Hai Lan Cha in the hit Chinese period drama, Story Of Yanxi Palace.
Spanning 70 episodes, the drama, which aired in 2018, garners 700 million global views a day. It has catapulted Wong, 32, to fame, with his fan base on Weibo growing from 600,000 to 3 million. Wong received two international awards for his role as the imperial guard.
iQIYI appointed Wong as its first International VIP Ambassador on Aug 5, his birthday. Speaking to Bernama, he shared some of the challenges he faced while shooting Story Of Yanxi Palace such as the hot weather, thick costumes and a different type of dialogue.
“The dialogue is so different from the way people speak today. I have to put extra effort into memorising, understanding and delivering sentences I’ve never spoken before,” said Wong. He is currently filming a new iQIYI drama called The Ferryman: Legends Of Nanyang, which is targeting the South-east Asian market.
Story Of Yanxi Palace is one of the most popular dramas in Asia. It has been streamed more than 15 billion times.
There is a selection of Chinese, Korean and Malaysian dramas being offered for free via iQ.com and the iQIYI app, which has so far garnered more than 100 million long-standing customers and 500 million active viewers. The numbers are expected to grow now that Wong has become an international iQIYI ambassador.
After his role in Story Of Yanxi Palace, Wong was ranked 35th in the list of most influential artistes in China. He has appeared in the dramas Three Wishes, 118, The Dream Job and Zero Calling playing minor roles. In The Promise, a Channel U telemovie, he played a rebellious teen who falls in love with an intellectually-disabled girl.
In 2010, Wong was nominated for “Favourite Male Character” at the Star Awards.
In 2016, he signed on with a Chinese management company run by Chinese actress Qin Lan and was selected for a role in Love And Passion, a remake of the 1982 TVB classic.
In 2019, Wong appeared in a lead role in the My One In A Million series on Channel 8. /TISG