The Zhang Yimou directed new film LOVE OF THE HAWTHORN TREE released new stills and revealed Jing Qiu and Lao San's youthful interaction and innocent romance. Playing Jing Qiu was the third year Hebei high school student Zhou Dongyu, while the lead actor Dou Xiao is currently enrolled in the Beijing Film Academy performance department.
For this female lead choice, the director sent eight teams to visit almost all the art schools in the nation and "glanced" over tens of thousands of girls. Finally at the Beijing Art Academy, they saw Zhou Dongyu who came to apply for a dance job. The pure and cute Zhou Dongyu immediately caught the assistant director's eyes and later Zhang Yimou's as well. While chatting and auditioning, Zhang Yimou discovered that Zhou Dongyu was already 18 but actually had no understanding of a lot in the real world. At the same time her look and personality were clean and pure.
Lead actor Dou Xiao's family originated from Xian. In his teens he immigrated to Canada. Although he had the same hometown as Zhang Yimou, they were not related as rumored online. Dou Xiao won a prize at a Sunshine Boy contest in Canada and became interested in performance. Then he returned to China to study at the Beijing Film Academy and become the
new generation "Mou Guy".