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Yang Mi's villainous debut in espionage drama captivates audiences

Updated: 2024-04-24 17:05 ( chinadaily.com.cn )
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Espionage drama In the Name of the Brother has garnered popularity online since its debut on April 21. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Celebrated A-list actress Yang Mi has taken on her first villainous role in a career spanning over two decades, propelling the espionage drama In the Name of the Brother to soaring popularity since its Sunday premiere on satellite TV channels in Beijing, Shanghai, and Jiangsu province, with a viewership surpassing 1.9 percent. The series has quickly emerged as one of the most sought-after shows in late April.

Set in 1944 Harbin, during the Japanese-occupied puppet state of Manchukuo, the narrative unfolds around a Communist Party of China underground agent who infiltrates a local spy organization, assuming his twin brother's identity to gain the trust of the organization's leader. Risking his life to gather crucial information and simultaneously searching for his missing brother, the story delves into the complexities of espionage in a tumultuous historical period.

A scene features actress Yang Mi. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Helmed by acclaimed director Zhang Li, the drama showcases veteran actor Qin Hao portraying two distinct characters — an undercover CPC agent and his outspoken twin brother — each characterized by differing personalities. The former embodies caution and fortitude, while the latter exudes outspokenness and directness.

The production team's commitment to historical accuracy is evident through meticulous research, including the creation of period-accurate props based on newspapers from the era and the construction of authentic architectural replicas to evoke the historical ambiance of the time.

The drama has sparked widespread interest, with related topics amassing 510 million views on Sina Weibo, a testament to its resonance on one of China's most popular social platforms.

A still features actor Qin Hao. [Photo provided to China Daily]
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