Nothing beats the original, maybe.
Chinese actress Mao Xiaohui apologised for her looks after netizens criticised her for not looking beautiful enough in the drama adaptation of the video game The Legend of Sword and Fairy 4, also known as Sword and Fairy 4 or Chinese Paladin 4, which premiered on Jan 17.
In a Weibo post on Jan 20, the 27-year-old, who portrays the character Liu Mengli, wrote: "I'm sorry for being ugly. I lost weight before filming but didn't expect that I would still look so fat during filming. Why is losing weight so difficult… I'm sorry to the viewers who watched this show. But Liu Mengli is a really good character and so is the team."
The post came after netizens slammed her for not being beautiful enough in comparison to how Mengli is presented in the video game.
A netizen wrote harshly: "Liu Mengli should be the looker of the team but instead the production team found someone so ugly. I can't bear to look at her big face and sloppy shoulders."
"Mengli is supposedly a young woman, but this sister (Xiaohui) is an auntie," another wrote.
Netizens also criticised Xiaohui for not having Mengli's poise and temperament.
One netizen commented with sarcasm: "You have performed well in Sword and Fairy 4! Don't act anymore."
Xiaohui reportedly responded with: "Okay, I am sorry, but our script is really quite good."
"When Liu Mengli came on screen, I felt like giving up on watching," another one wrote.
Another person commented that there is a problem with the costume in the drama, noting that Mengli's get-up in the video game is that of "a daughter from a wealthy family" and "very elegant".
They added: "Was her costume [in the drama] purchased for $9.90 on Taobao?"
There were also others who commented on her acting, claiming that she only has "one expression", her gaze was "lifeless" and she looked "slightly cross-eyed".
As more negative comments about Xiaohui surfaced on Weibo, she reportedly made 11 other Weibo posts to criticise herself.
In one of the posts, she wrote: "Mengli has disappointed everyone."
"I really want to tell everyone, when you see me [in the drama], please close your eyes and treat it as a radio drama. The other actors are really good-looking," Xiaohui wrote in another post.
"I am nothing, what is this," she commented later.
Despite the harsh criticism, there were also many other viewers and fans who supported Xiaohui, including her co-stars from the series.
In one of Xiaohui's posts, a fan posted: "You're doing very well, it's okay! Continue to work hard and everything will get better eventually."
"I think you look beautiful," another wrote.
"I think you look great and you are clearly very beautiful. I don't know what these haters are thinking! You are so beautiful that I got a shock when you appeared on screen!" a comment said.
Actress Ju Jingyi, who is also the female lead of Sword and Fairy 4, posted a behind-the-scenes photo of Xiaohui on her private Weibo account, supporting her and praising her for her good looks.
The 29-year-old wrote: "Good Mengli! Beautiful woman!"
Actor Mao Zijun, 37, who plays Murong Zi Ying in the drama, also reportedly cheered Xiaohui up by commenting in one of the posts: "You are the best Mengli in my heart!"
Sword and Fairy 4, which also stars Chen Zheyuan and features cameo appearances by the late Hong Kong actress Kathy Chow, is now available on streaming platform iQiyi.
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