I Know Everything - Chapter 504
Chapter 504: Prison Break.
What was the TV series Chen Huan wanted to give Xin Changkong?
A hint, a real life prison was asked to be built when making ‘Miracle in Cell No.7’.
It was the American TV series ‘Prison Break’ that influenced an entire generation in China.
‘Prison Break’ came out back then during an era of rampant piracy otherwise if it was broadcasted on the big streaming platform, it would have gotten at least 30 million live viewers for each episode.
Some people with ulterior motives would always say that ‘Prison Break’ was a flower that bloomed inside the wall while the perfume was outside the wall. They say it wasn’t very popular in the US and only Chinese people liked it.
But this wasn’t the case at all.
The average season for the first broadcast of the first season was 8.6 million, which was much worse compared to other popular TV series that had 10 or 20 million viewers.
But this data didn’t tell it all since it was broadcasted out of prime time, on Monday.
Wasn’t it a joke to compare a Monday rating to rating for Friday, Saturday and Sunday?
Actually, that 8.6 million average already broke the record for the same time slot of the past seven years in the US.
To put it even simpler, would the TV series continue for four seasons if the rating or reviews weren’t good? Even the fifth season was filmed in 2017!
So ‘Prison Break’ was a TV series that could satisfy many people’s desires to watch it.
It had the charm.
However, Chen Huan ran into many practical problems if he wanted to make this TV series.
For example, the country in the story definitely couldn’t be put in China.
Although the prison scenes could be filmed in the country, the setting of the plot shouldn’t cause problems otherwise the movie wouldn’t be allowed to be released.
Then naturally, Chen Huan thought of Thailand.
They made ‘Chinatown Detective’ there so Chen Huan could also make ‘Prison Break’ there.
It meant the filming crew needed to do some location shooting in Thailand.
This would increase the difficulty of the shooting on one hand while also increasing the cost on the other hand.
But it didn’t matter as long as ‘Prison Break’ was well shot and that the audience liked it, it didn’t matter if they spent more money.
What was hard was changing the script.
The script must be revised accordingly now that the setting had changed.
American actors couldn’t be used and Thai actors needed to be used to suit the setting.
Of course, Chen Huan wouldn’t give them even the main supporting roles as it needed acting skills and only their own Chinese actors could do it.
Chen Huan also thought of who he was going to cast while he wrote the script.
In the entire first season of ‘Prison Break’, the most important ones were definitely the two brothers Mike and Lincoln.
The heroic and handsome Mike was willing to go to prison in order to save his innocent brother Lincoln who was sentenced to death.
This was the main plot point.
So the double hero Lincoln and Mike were the most important two roles of the story.
Mike looked dashing and cool right from the beginning and shaved his head after going to jail, which gave him a bit of wicked charm.
The role needed an actor with both acting skill and good appearance.
Because he was also the face and the popular piece in the TV series.
Undoubtedly, the four most handsome actors in China were the Heavenly King Jin Weijie, the movie idols Chi Bin and Li Yingzhi, and finally Cai Changyi the number one TV series specialist for handsome roles.
The Heavenly King Jin Weijie was Chen Huan’s favorite as he was a bit similar to Lang Chaowei from his past world but was even more handsome and bohemian.
It was a pity that with Jin Weijie’s status, it was impossible for him to come to play for a TV series even if it was written by Teacher Chu Liuxiang.
There was still a possibility for actresses but a Heavenly King would never make any appearance in a TV series, even as a guest.
Chen Huan thought the two best candidates were the two names in the middle.
Cai Changyi was tall and handsome but he lacked presence and his acting skills weren’t as good as Chi Bin and Li Yingzhi so Chen Huan wouldn’t choose him until it was the last resort.
Only Chi Bin and Li Yingzhi, who ranked first and second among the idol actors, had the appearance, characteristic and acting skill that met Chen Huan’s expectation.
Although they made movies most of the time, they would come if the TV series’ script and contract was good enough.
A TV series made by Teacher Chu Liuxiang was obviously attractive enough.
The older brother Lincoln had a rougher appearance and very bad character as he had committed many crimes such as theft, public property destruction, assault and so on…
If he didn’t have such a bad criminal record, the judge wouldn’t so easily reject his appeal and maintain the dead sentence.
The rebellious Lincoln couldn’t be played by an idol actor.
He should be around 35-40 years old with a strong build and fierce appearance.
There were actors like that in China but not many.
It happened that one of the five Heavenly Kings, Yan Yu was one of them.
He was 37 years now and had been taking villain roles for the past 15 years but at 34 years old, he took on the role of a patriotic little bastard with a flamboyant personality, which made people think ‘this guy can still play good guy?’.
Then two iconic roles established his status as Heavenly King otherwise he would have always been known for a villain.
Unlike the role of Mike where there had been many candidates, Chen Huan chose Yan Yu for the role of Lincoln and must be convinced to play the role no matter what happened.
Otherwise the charm of this story would greatly be diminished.
Apart from the two brothers such as their partners, villain or prison guard etc… Chen Huan only had to describe the characteristic traits and let Xin Changkong choose them.
However, Chen Huan wanted to personally cast the female heroine who was only a highlight of the first season, the prison doctor Sara.
This female protagonist who gave up on herself once before and then finally showed up big time… well, she wasn’t much of a female protagonist as ‘Prison Break’ was still a story mostly centered around men and she could at most be regarded as a very dashing add-on.
But a TV series would be too bland if there wasn’t a positive and beautiful female character.
So this role must be carefully cast and the actress must look very pretty as well as having enough acting skill so to not drag down the acting of the group men acting.
Chen Huan actually would love to have Chen Qian.
But as he didn’t ask Guo Hang for ‘Princess Returning Pearl’, he wouldn’t ask Chen Qian since she was an Heavenly Queen.
Chen Qian definitely wouldn’t refuse Teacher Chu’s offer but it was one thing to come over and act in a TV series but another to act as a supporting role in a male centered TV series, wouldn’t it be like ruining her reputation?
So in the end, Chen Huan chose Zhou Lexiang.
She was the one who took on the empress role in ‘Princess Returning Pearl’.
When she auditioned for the empress, she was very energetic and her acting was quite good.
Cao Nihui would’ve been more suitable for the role if she didn’t turn the empress role down.
But who told her to dislike the role?
Now this supporting role became very popular and was familiar to many people so Zhou Lexiang instantly became a first-tier actress, Cao Nihui should be more or less regretting it now, right?
Although a lot of people said that Zhou Lexiang had slept with several big bosses in the industry, her acting was good and she had a good personality so why would Chen Huan care about that?
It wasn’t as if he was looking for a wife.
As long as no mistake was made, her personal life had nothing to do with the TV series.
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