Behind the Scenes of Dramabox’s Hit Series Let Me Go My Queen with Producer Peiqi Peng

Peiqi Peng
Peiqi Peng

  Change is inevitable. Art and society are intertwined, prompting and inspiring those who create said art. Peiqi Peng is a producer who embraces this change. Streaming services have taken over from broadcast television and theater audiences, attracting the boldest and brightest of a generation; those like Peiqi. Her latest endeavor is the comedy webseries for DramaBox titled Let Me Go My Queen. As the director and associate producer for this production, Ms. Peng took the lead in several aspects, helping to craft this series into the witty and socially engaging program it has become known as. A period piece that challenges the gender power structure so established in our world, Let Me Go My Queen is one of the most unique and thought provoking online productions of this year, thanks to the immense talent on-camera and off. 

  An audience always fixates on the cast, and the actors of Let Me Go My Queen are certainly impressive. Matteo Della Putta as Jack, Ryan Adelson as Bardiya, Chanda Am as Herald, Camilla Borghesani as Anthonia, and Don Castor (of Oscar Award–winning film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) as Imhotep are all magnetic throughout the action of this story. While viewers anticipate what the characters in the will do, Peiqi had the inverse relationship to them; that is, anticipating what the actors and the crew would need to manifest the perfect moment in front of the camera. She emphasizes that this often involves establishing an environment of comfortability. The ideal location can nonverbally imbue a scene with authenticity and amplify the emotive expression of the actors. For example, when Jack gains the admiration of a craftsman by describing a modern mechanical design to him, the surroundings Peiqi discovered for this scene magnify the intellectual sparing that takes place in the scene. For another scene in which Herald kills one of her closest confidants in Caesario’s residence, this necessitated numerous conversations with the art department to find the perfect prop knife to reassure all involved parties about safety. Ms. Peng declares, “I always believe in the importance of ensuring everyone is comfortable on set. It is basic human decency, but in the context of a set, it also truly helps everyone perform at the top of their game. This scene is proof of that. In general, I’m so proud of how our crew gelled and worked together. Throughout the shoot we were never delayed and despite the last-minute challenges that always show up during a shoot, I made it my goal not to let the team ever feel stressed or overwhelmed.” Though never visible on set, the environment Peiqi set for this production is what enabled her team to deliver such potent performances. 

  Let Me Go My Queen has already found a dedicated and enthusiastic audience with its blend of comedy and drama partnered with a time-travelling social undertone. When a painter named Jack is transported from present day to an alternative ancient Rome where women rule, he must recalibrate his mindset in nearly every regard. Jack becomes entangled with the complicated and perilous relationships of three powerful women: Queen Caesario (Ashley Michelle Grant), the general Anthonia (Camilla Borghesani), and the herald of Persia (Chanda Am). Jack must navigate the power dynamic while exploring any means which might return him to his own timeline. Remarkably, the filming locations were nowhere near any part of Italy. Peiqi takes immense pride in finding a SoCal location that personified the alternative ancient Rome setting of this series. She communicates, “We were worried early in pre-production that we would struggle with finding the right location for Caesario’s residence, where most of the show takes place. I did a lot of research on where to find Roman architecture in the area. I’m a stickler for locations. I believe it’s very important to find locations that share enough authenticity and historical accuracy. Not only does that help with the production value of the show, it also helps make the difference between our fantasy version and real life more pronounced. The initial scout at the location was full of awe and we were quickly able to lock in the location. It’s always very satisfying when your team and the audience are enthused by the locations you’ve chosen for filming.”

  The only spoiler you’ll find here is that Let Me Go My Queen is currently available to watch. A wildly entertaining story with surprising social resonance, this production holds appeal for viewers of different generations and perspectives. Peiqi Peng and her team have crafted an experience that is lighthearted but subtly proposes questions that linger. The production value is quite high (production design by Yiming Zhao, recognized as part of the BAFTA New Comer Program and with past work that was recipient of the Nora Ephron Award – Special Jury Mention at the Tribeca Film Festival) and the performances are endearing. Ms. Peng has displayed with this series that she sets an exceptionally high standard and delivers on this in every aspect.

Writer : Calvin Hooney