That seems to be the million dollar question lately.
But the billion dollar question is: Why exactly did Ly withdraw from VietNam’s biggest up-to-date drama, “Tran Thu Do.” As promised, her public statement was announced during the liquidation of her contract (July 22nd), and apparently, there were “differences in the portrayal of her character as Queen Tran Thi Dung.” In other words, Ly found her character too over modified (and scantily dressed) for history. And these are the responses from some of the cast:
Lan Hương: I am the wife of Director Tất Binh, president of movie company Truyện 1, so I do not want to comment on Thien Ly’s scenes since people might think I’m being biased. However, in “Tran Thu Do,” Thien Ly plays a very respected & loved national figure, so there can’t be any ‘hot’ scenes. Because Tran Thi Dung has become an icon in history, filmmakers would have to create the most beautiful images of her that looks realistic; not profane, but still not too earthly.
If talking about “hot” scenes, my character actually has the most revealing scenes. In “Tran Thu Do,” I play Queen Đàm, a woman who can’t find compassion from her husband and must find ways to keep him to her. There is a scene where I get out from a tub (but no scenes while I am bathing), wearing only an Ao Yem and then is dressed with a robe by a maid. However, this ao yem isn’t the normal kind made of just a thin layer of silk but is triple layered (2 outer layer is silk & the innermost layer is satin). If anything, the most revealing part would have to be just my two naked arms. To me, there is nothing too “hot” about it.
Hua Vi Van: We’ve only been filming for a little more than a month so Ly’s scenes are still few, mainly just with me. In the drama, we play husband and wife so there are scenes when we are in bed, but these are shot very beautifully. In the morning, Tran Thi Dung would wake up beside her husband to a dewy breezy morning with the early birds’ chirping. She also only wears an Ao Yem, but the same thick quality kind like of sister Lan Huong’s. Her back might be more bare but the scene is shot from afar. Ao Yems were often worn in the past so there is nothing really overly sexy about it.
Tran Thu Do is not a theatre movie so “sex sells” isn’t the case, nor is it rated for just audiences over 16. It’s a TV drama so of course there can’t be anything too provocative. The script itself came in third for the “1000 yr anniversary of Hanoi” writing contest and was reviewed three times before implementation. History professor Le Van Lan was even the script’s final reviser. In the first three days of filming, he even said: “We are not making a historical drama. We are making a cinematic drama based on history.” Therefore the drama has the right to be a little fictitious; Ly knew that from the beginning. The reason for withdrawing that Ly gave to the press (for being too revealing) has hurt 120 other actors/actresses in the production and especially Director Dao Duy Phuc.
Thien Bao: In Tran Thu Do, Thien Ly and I are the leads–lovers since before the enthronement. We do have some scenes where we kiss, go horse riding, fish and bathe in a river. But of course in the river, both of us are still fully dressed so there is nothing revealing about that scene at all. I can confirm that in the drama, there aren’t any inappropriate scenes between Tran Thi Dung and Tran Thu Do. This is a drama so nothing too “hot” can be aired on the little screen anyway.
NSƯT Bùi Bài Bình: In Tran Thu Do, I play a court official–To Trung Tu, the younger brother-in-law of Tran Ly & uncle of Tran Thu Do. I have not filmed with Ly yet so I’ve only heard of this news through the press. Although I do not know the full details, I can assure that there is no real “hot” scenes. The cast’s costumes are not as revealing as other normal TV shows at all.
As for Tang Thanh Ha, she was only Hoang Dung (King Lý Cao Tông), Hua Vi Van (Prince Sảm), and many other people’s pick to be the replacement. How exciting would that be if it wasn’t just a rumor? ;)