Dylan Wang He Di, his choice as Dao Ming Si

In my previous blog I wrote that, as an artist, Dylan has many strong points. His package is almost complete. He can sing, he can dance and of course, he can rap as well. He mastered basketball and played like a pro. His cooking prowess is also significant.

Back to his younger days’ interview, though he said that being an actor was never his dream, but he was confidently saying that his face should be on TV. Upon winning the first prize of Youku Super Idol 2017, seemed like Dylan believes that acting is what he really wants.

But as an actor, how far can he goes on his career and give out the best of him in acting to become an award-winning actor?

Here comes my thought on his acting skills, based on how he interpreted his-only-two-roles-so-far from two already aired dramas (and I have could watch too), Meteor Garden 2018 and Ever Night 2.

Dylan Wan was picked by the producer of the original and current remake of Meteor Garden, Angie Chai to play the titular role as Dao Ming Si. (They said he was selected from 30 thousands candidates from various universities in Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore and Los Angeles. I really don’t know whether this info is exaggerating or not, but if that what was happened, it surely surreal).

But I am pretty sure that Dylan has studied the Manga version of Hana Yori Dango so thoroughly, that he perfectly translated his facial expressions from the comics’ pages to the small screen. In my opinion even if he’s the most handsome actor in the universe, the portrayal would have fallen flat if he couldn’t act.

“I added my own style and flavor to it. I also tried not to copy Jerry too much because he was doing his best to interpret the role as his own. I tried to do it in a way that I will represent the role (translated from Chinese),” Dylan said in an interview at the press conference of BENCH.

Shen Yue, his co-star who played Shancai, gave her impression on her first meeting with Dylan

“I saw him from the mirror and thought, ahhh, this must be Dao Ming Si. Because his Dao Ming Si’s demeanour stands out! His looks feel like Dao Ming Si.”

I watched Meteor Garden 2018 more than 3 times. The more I watch, the more I understand that portraying Dao Ming Si was not as easy as seen on the surface. You can’t just act like as arrogant handsome rich boy who does whatever he wants to get anything he likes. And what Shen Yue said about “Dao Ming Si’s demeanor” plastered on him since the first time you watch episode 1.

Dao Ming Si grew up lacking attention from parents, turned him into someone who was used to have his way and if he didn’t, bully was his last resort. But Dao Ming Si is also someone who has built all these walls to protect himself from loneliness, and who just wanted to be loved. The moment he met Shancai, his wall slowly broke down, his attitude changes throughout the episodes.

Put aside portrayal of Dao Ming Si from previous versions, for this 2018 remake, Dylan must able to convey many layers of complexities. In this area, his facial expression holds important role. Dylan can go from ignorance-challenging feeling into surprised, confused and satisfied just in one flick of head and one blink of eyes. He can performed comical facial expression from very manly bloke into enchanted “damsel” in one scene.

Throughout the drama, you can see Dao Ming Si’s signature cold, angry glares that are meant to intimidate people. But you can also see his pain, confusion, frustration and anger as well as his cute, happy, playful feelings. All mirrored palpably in his eyes and his facial expressions.

One of the most epic scenes was when Dao Ming Si came for Shancai’s rescue in episode 18.  His changing feelings from anger to worried and finally realization that he has to sacrifice himself in order to save the woman he loves, clearly showed through these set of captured pictures by Dylan_wang_dd on Instagram

But his eyes as his primary asset, also able to convey his worried, warm and loving feelings towards Shancai.

Besides of his facial expressions, I also need to share, what in my personal opinion as one of the most heart-breaking scenes. The last hotpot meal in London from episode 42.

Both of Dao Ming Si and Shancai put a brave front while letting each other go. They pretend that their teary eyes were a result of a hilarious rather than heart shattering conversation.

Dylan Wand and Shen Yue’s acting in this scene is superb and they deserve all the attention and love for this emotion-filled moment. This scene certainly broke my heart into pieces.

For a rookie, with no acting background, Dylan convincingly showed a lot of potential in his debut role, giving the character a lot of nuance. His chiseled feature, which made him look like the manga had come to life; may be the first thing that gets people’s attention. But it’s his impressive way to interpreted Dao Ming Si that they’d remember.

Adding into this blog, fun facts about Dylan as Dao Ming Si:

Fun fact #1 Dylan Wang was voted by netizens around the world as the Asian Drama Actor for the year 2018 via Starmometer’s online poll for the Asian Drama Awards. He also won Most Influential Drama Newcomer of the Year at the 2019 Golden Data Entertainment Awards.

Fun fact #2, Dylan was born on Dec. 20, 1998, which makes him the youngest to do the iconic role of Dao Ming Si in Meteor Garden’s 2018 reboot (Jerry Yan was 24, and Matsumoto Jun and Lee Min Ho were both 22 at the time they took on the iconic role).

Fun fact #3 In August 2018, Yoko Kamio drew a picture of Wang as Dao Ming Si and shared it on her Instagram.

Fun fact #4 When Kamio visited China in November 2018, she gifted several illustrations to the Meteor Garden cast. Wang’s illustration featured Tsukasa in the background and his portrayal of the character in the forefront.

If you need to have a review on Meteor Garden 2018, I found a review by Christine Fang describing the most outstanding episodes throughout the whole 49 episodes, which could help you understand why this 2018 version is worth-watching.

Another piece that I love, after Shancai took initiative to gave him a kiss. You can tell that he was confused, but yet very proud and happy.

In conclusion, from the whole versions of Hana Yori Dango/Meteor Garden/Boys Over Flower, Dylan Wang was the second best of Tsukasa Domyouji/Dao Ming Si/Gu Jun Pyo. The best one will always be Matsumoto Jun, as Tsukasa Domyoji of Hana Yori Dango.

However, exclude the Japanese version, then I will choose Dylan Wang as the best Dao Ming Si. He convincingly nailed the role with his comic facial expression and his ability to display Dao Ming Si’s changing demeanor from swagger bloke into responsible young man with warm heart.

I write so I can share what I see through my heart, my personal point of view and my own analysis about Dylan Wang He Di on his choice as Dao Ming Si. My thought about his choice as Ning Que will be on separate blog.

My biggest challenge in writing is language. I have zero understanding on Mandarin. I am surely depending on English articles and English subbed videos.  Therefore, I give my special thanks to wanghediarchive; DylanWang Daily; Merrygoround777 Wei and WANGHEDL subs for their English subbed videos, so I can get more information about Dylan Wang.

Other than the collages I made, protected with my personal watermark, all writing materials used in this blog including pictures and videos are belongs to or re-direct to their rightful owners. No copyright infringement intended.