Cool guy Wang Yibo in the eyes of the BTS Director

<Gank Your Heart> BTS Director is here to uncover the secret of how ‘Ji Xiangkong’ came to exist.

As expected of you · Wang Yibo

Do you still remember the very hot e-sports drama <Gank Your Heart> this summer?

Do you want to know how the ‘aloof’ Yibo is like on set?

Time fly so fast, as if the booting ceremony of <Gank Your Heart> was only yesterday. I often recall our first encounter in the golden autumn last year. As the BTS director of this drama, every encounter should be something already used to, but yet, every encounter still make me feel joyous!

One summer last year, under the recommendation of the “lil bro who is very good at interviewing”, I was fortunate to be a member of <Gank Your Heart>.

With countless “firsts”, I started a journey of working with Mr. Wang with trepidation. At first, my understanding of him only stopped at “the silent host in DDU” and there were “rumours” that Wang Yibo was an “interview terminator” and even his former colleagues who worked with him repeatedly told me to cross my fingers and hope for the best.

But in the four months of doing shooting at the side, I had time and opportunity to get to know Wang Yibo outside of the camera lens, and I gradually got to know this boy.

1. Under what circumstances did you first met Wang Yibo? What is your impression of him?

Polite, reserved and humble, this is my first impression of him.

The first time I saw him was a night on September 2018. It was quite cold that day. We stood outside the hotel, waiting. When I saw a celebrity car heading towards the door from a distance, that is, from the time he got off the car, my ‘stereotypical image’ of him disintegrated, nanosecond at a time.

The door opened, and what entered the sight was a fair-skinned, lean teenager. Dressed in a casual yet fashionable clothes, reflecting the current America style fashion trend! The loose white tshirt was wrapped under the open loose blue plaid shirt, making the boy in front of me look skinnier and thinner. (As a girl, I thought: This kid is too skinny! With a little effort, I can break him in minutes.)

Script reading

Upon seeing us, he took off the black baseball cap on his head, revealing his unpolished face. Putting his hands behind his back, he bowed 90 degrees to each staff member present as a greeting. (This surprised me a little, there are not many people who greets this way in this day and age, not to mention an idol.)


He don’t talk much, standing upright, slightly away from the crowd, and as he listened to our conversation, he would respond with a smile from time to time.

2. After contact, what are the similarities and differences between his image in the eyes of others and reality?

Instead of saying he doesn’t talk much, it is better to say that he is “real”. He only speak up for the things he have knowledge on. Probably only people who are strong enough in their mentality and loyal to themselves have such confidence. Outside of the drama shoot, he is not the kind of person who often does beautiful talk, or actively finds topics to talk to others. But if your topic happens to be within his interest, he will definitely talk nonstop with you.

Aloof is just a front

A typical Leo boy who has a noble aura and a bgm when he appears. At first contact, there would be an aura of ‘aloofness’ and you will subconsciously maintain a distance away. It may also be that he left home as a trainee since he was a child, but he has a rare sense of calmness and steadiness than his peers. Later, I found out that he is only slow to warm up (but is actually very active).

3. What is the reason for the big change in your impression of him?

Everyone saw Wang Yibo as cold and handsome. I thought so too at first, until that day.

Because of the lighting on the set, I had to hold a light source in my left hand and the camera in my right as to lower the noise on screen to a minimum. The long hours of work made my posture look a little labored. At this moment, a hand carefully took over the light source from my left hand, and he became the most expensive “assistant” I have ever used!

Cutie pie~

The second shock he gave me was from the motorcycle. On that day, due to the scene, motorcycle were at the scene, on standby. Just before the shooting, something went wrong with the bike, and the entire prop group was in a state of anxiety. Wang Yibo immediately integrated himself into them to check the problem. Testing the throttle, checking the dashboard and checking the engine all at one go. In order to solve the problem faster, he immediately called his coach, holding the mobile phone in one hand, he operated until the bike started smoothly and drove into the shooting scene.

As expected of me

For a moment, I had forgotten his existence as a celebrity. He is so ordinary, yet dazzling. Even in his attitude towards his hobbies, he is more persistent and pure-hearted than ordinary people.

4. What is Wang Yibo like at work?

He never jokes about his work, doesn’t complain, doesn’t slack off. Under the current situation of KPI, he knows too well on how to survive in this working environment.

On the set, we will always see a Wang Yibo who switches his sitting position at any one time to read the script. After taking notes, he likes to bite the pen cover in his mouth (here I beg some master to come up with an emoji).

When filming <Gank Your Heart>, he once clashed schedule with the recording of a program. After getting the approval of the crew, he quickly completed his work at the program and returned to the set. It was early in the morning when he landed in Hangzhou, he simply closed his eyes for 2-3 hours, then put on makeup and go to work. Although tiredness can be seen on the corners of his eyes, the shooting was completed smoothly. I found out later that he had a fever that day.

Script studying

5. Did you compare him with Ji Xiangkong when casting for <Gank Your Heart>?

I think the casting is still quite successful. From the director to the main producer of the drama, all believed that Wang Yibo is Ji Xiangkong himself. What similarities or contrasts does he have with Ji Xiangkong? If anything, Wang Yibo is more talented than Ji Xiangkong!

I think Wang Yibo has a 2D comics feel, especially when he doesn’t speak, look down and smile, with a hint of uninhibitedness. During the shoot, I always thought to myself, he was only 21 years old! How can he do so many things! Dancing, singing, Korean language, skateboarding, motorcycles, filming and even hosting (forgive me, I’m turning mom…).

6. What is Wang Yibo like outside the shoot? What fun things happened on set?

In his body, there should live a child who hasn’t grown up and like “tricking” people occasionally.

On that day, the whole group was shooting a promotional video for the drama. I shall deem everything that happened to be at the right time and right place. The foreign actors and Chinese actors directly started a dance battle on the set.

At that time, several Chinese actors who were not very good at dancing were “killed” one after another immediately, and thus, Wang Yibo was abruptly dragged from his rest room to the scene by them. When the music started up, the boy who swayed with the music on the dance floor, meld the music with his body perfectly, and each pop was collide with each drum beat! Fantastic! Amazing!

7. During the shooting process, did you have any memorable situations?

Let’s talk about one, there is a scene about smashing the window glass. Even the director didn’t expect that scene would be done in just 1 take.

On that day, the director and props crew also half-jokingly ‘threatened’ Wang Yibo: We only have a piece of glass!

Everyone knows that Wang Yibo is very thin, and was inevitably worried that the glass will be in a state of halfway to breaking. However, before the shooting started, Wang Yibo was very relaxed, and you can even see how he was doing a few sets of stretching exercises beside the car. The kind which uses both hands and feet while twisting them around.

When the shooting officially started, Wang Yibo strides towards the car, holding the helmet with one hand. With a wave of his arm, he smashed the helmet on the designated position without hesitation! Everything was done in one go! Most importantly, while he looked very cool, the windshield cracks just the right amount too!

At that time, the whole set was silent, and the sound of “bang” was heard. Then, sighes and applause came from the other side of the monitor. The whole crew swarmed forward in an instant, rushing to see that piece of glass! Many people lament, wondering how much powerful energy is hidden in this seemingly thin body!

8. In order to be closer to the character, did the crew design some small details for his styling or other aspects?

Yibo’s personal style and Ji Xiangkong’s style fit very well together. Considering that this is an e-sports drama, while respecting fashion and trends in styling, some sports elements are added.

Like for Ji Xiangkong, whether the color or style, it is mainly based on plain colors and basic styles, and matched with sports shoes. Probably also because Wang Yibo’s private clothes are also very trendy, focusing on sports and comfort.

In terms of details, for example, watches. Different identities and personalities will be matched with different watch styles. The color of Ji Xiangkong’s clothes is relatively gray and dark at the beginning. When he and Qiu Ying begin to have a relationship, the characters will naturally become happier. The color of the clothes will also be richer and brighter.

9. The props in the drama such as motorcycles and skateboards was brought by him or prepared by the crew?

On-site props are prepared by the crew. I remember that the screenwriters of that time also deliberately made changes based on Wang Yibo’s personal characteristics, like the motorcycle.

Indeed, the revised script made Ji Xiangkong and Wang Yibo more similar, and also gave Ji Xiangkong enough space to magnify his dashing and handsomeness during the shoot. Wang Yibo is the kind of person who can’t walk away when he sees a motorcycle. When he rides on the back of the motorcycle, he really had the demeanor of a king!

10. How did everyone get along with other actors in the same group?

Because of the large number of scenes, the shooting time is very tight. Most of the actors are immersed in studying the script or taking a nap to catch up on sleep.

The group of actors are of the same age, and they have many common hobbies and topics. Especially he and Ding Guansen (played by Lin Yixuan). I often see the two interacting with each other while waiting for the shoot.

Wang Yibo is still very down-to-earth and never have special request on what he eats. Most of the time, the actors would sit and eat together. In order to keep in shape, the crew will try to cook meals with less oil and salt. So they will also occasionally sneak to the staff dining area for meals to change the taste. Pretty cute.

11. Is there anything of deep impression you have about his interactions with the staff?

He was very polite on set and very approachable. He will often invite the crew to drinks and food, and I often see him helping to organise the props in the scene.

What impressed me the most was that every time he came to the studio, he would bow and say hello to everyone; even after work, he would bow and say “ Thanks for the hard work” to everyone. For more than four months, it has been like this.

6. As a side director, what do you think of Wang Yibo and Ji Xiangkong?

In my opinion, he and Ji Xiangkong have complete each other. Also probably due to the effect of an idols, how many people began to pay attention to e-sports because of Ji Xiangkong, and more people began to understand everything related to him because of Wang Yibo.

It would be better if he could have more of Ji Xiangkong’s naughty and lively energy (mom-ing again…). Of course, his personality right now is pretty good too, just be himself~

Translated by: Crazypumkin


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