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Head over heels: Indonesian fans enamored with ‘My Girlfriend is an Alien’ stars

Ni Nyoman Wira
Ni Nyoman Wira

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Tue, December 3, 2019  /  11:00 am
Head over heels: Indonesian fans enamored with ‘My Girlfriend is an Alien’ stars

Bie (‘left’) poses with his on-screen love interest in 'My Girlfriend is an Alien', Wan Peng, during a press conference on Nov. 30 at CGV Cinemas in Grand Indonesia mall in Central Jakarta. (JP/Ni Nyoman Wira)

It was 9 a.m. on a Saturday and Nia Jenita was already at Grand Indonesia in Central Jakarta.

The 33-year-old had driven her car from Bekasi, West Java, to the Jakartan shopping mall to see her favorite Thai-Taiwanese actor Xu Zhi Xian, also known as Bie, on Nov. 30th.

Bie was scheduled to hold a fan meeting as part of his latest Mandarin drama, My Girlfriend is an Alien. He attended the event with Chinese actress Wan Peng, his on-screen love interest.

Nia said it was her first time taking part in such an event. “I usually like an actor based on the character that he plays on TV, but for Bie, I feel like his personality is positive. He appears to be a family man. That’s why I came here to see him,” Nia said.

A similar sentiment was shared by Sri “Tari” Lestariani, founder of one of Bie’s Indonesian fan clubs, BieKPN_IndonesiaFC. She even managed to welcome Bie at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang on Nov. 28. She gave him the fan club’s hoodie, got his autograph, took a selfie with him and saw him off at the same airport on Sunday alongside other fans.   

Tari’s fondness for Bie flourished as she watched the series and read about Bie and his family online. “It’s not only his [on-screen] character that we like, but also his personality as a family man. It makes me love him even more,” Tari said.

Another fan, Wendy, came from Medan, North Sumatra, to the fan event. His wife chose to stay at home and take care of their children.

“My wife is a fan of Bie, while I’m a fan of Wan Peng because she’s really cute. I think her real personality and her character in the drama are the same,” he said, adding that he recorded videos at the event and immediately sent them to his wife.

Read also: Mandarin radio stands test of time by embracing community

My Girlfriend is an Alien, which premiered on Aug. 21, is one of the Mandarin television shows available on video-on-demand service WeTV. The story tells of an intergalactic romance between alien Chai Xiao Qi (Wan Peng) and cold, arrogant CEO Fang Leng (Bie).

The first five episodes are available for free, and viewers are required to become VIP members of the streaming platform to watch the next episodes.  

“Indonesians love the series as it has romantic scenes imbued with light and sweet comedy. The storyline is also interesting and far from boring,” said Dessya, content operations of WeTV Indonesia.

In a press conference prior to the fan-meeting, Bie was surprised by the fact that many Indonesian fans enjoyed the series. “I hope they can watch it until the last episode,” he said.

Bie (‘left’) bumps fists with Wan Peng during the press conference.Bie (‘left’) bumps fists with Wan Peng during the press conference. (JP/Ni Nyoman Wira)

Wan Peng said she initially turned her focus to playing the alien from Planet Cape Town instead of thinking about the public's response to the series. “I’m very glad for receiving such positive feedback from Indonesian fans,” Peng said.

During the fan meeting, several fans were allowed to interact with Bie and Wan Peng. Some were selected to play games with both actors on stage, while others shared high-fives. The fans were visibly excited when they watched the actors dance to Indonesian music, and Bie performed the series’ musical theme, “Of Course Love”.

Bie said meeting his Indonesian fans was “really fantastic” as they were very friendly. “I was impressed and touched as a lot of fans welcomed me at the airport,” he said, adding that he planned to work on different projects in the future, in both TV and music. (wng)

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