Xu Kai’s Appearance Fees Soar

One of China’s top idol actors under 30, Xu Kai (许凯) has built an impressive resume in his four-year acting career.  He has since starred in a dozen dramas and variety shows, and earns a formidable income.

Born in Guangdong, Xu Kai majored in finance when he was in college. Due to his 6-foot-2-inch frame and outstanding appearance, he had also worked as a Taobao model for a period of time. It was said that he already bought his first home in Shenzhen when he was working as a model before finding greater success as an actor.

In 2018, Xu Kai debuted in producer Yu Zheng‘s (于正) Untouchable Lovers <凤囚凰> and immediately touched stardom when Story of Yanxi Palace <延禧攻略> became a global hit. Filming offers flooded in, and Xu Kai has been starring in one project after another. After filming office romance She and Her Perfect Husband <愛的二八定律> with Yang Mi (杨幂) earlier this year, he is currently hard at work in fantasy romance Lord Snow Eagle <雪鹰领主> with Guli Nazha (古力娜扎).

When not busy filming dramas, Xu Kai makes frequent appearances at fashion and commercial events. In May, the 26-year-old actor appeared at an outdoor event that drew a large crowd. He wore a simple white dress shirt and black slacks, and stood on an elevated platform to hand out gifts to fans. The event was very interactive, and he continuously signed autographs while netizens praised him for his down to earth demeanor.

A netizen disclosed that Xu Kai had received approximately 571,000 Chinese yuan for the 20-minute event, or CNY 28,500 per minute! Some netizens expressed jealousy that his income per minute is higher than their monthly salaries! Although the fee looks very extravagant, he still has to pay taxes and a portion goes towards his agency, so he would not be able to pocket a large percentage.

Source: On.cc

This article is written by Kiki for JayneStars.com.

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  1. Sure he got more famous but I found these new projects are a down grade for him. He started to film with really crappy actresses, no offend but Guli Nazha is terrible, so is Cheng Xiao. I wish he would actually pick better scripts because atm, at least 4/5 of his drama are bad. And he’s not a great enough actor, he needs a good partner to really shine

    1. Agree with your views. The only drama of his i could complete is Arsenal Military Academy because of Bai Lu. Other actresses don’t seem to bring out the shine in him.

      1. Its to each their own opinion but I saw this kind of comment everywhere on Ancient Love Poetry related videos, I think chinese drama fans are too used to being serve by “beautiful people” with subpar acting that they failed to notice good acting who can overcome flawed script.

      2. It’s not so much her looks but that she kept grinning all the time (afaik, only watched up to ep. 12) and I didn’t find her acting to be convincing. I know she’s a lauded actress in many prestige movie projects but she fits a very specific niche and didn’t fit her role in ALP.

      3. I don’t know about her before, as I said I don’t watch chinese drama because my last impression of them is bad and cringey, but the drama clip appearing in random youtube browse, and Xu Kai and Zhou Dongyu acting changed my impression of chinese drama a bit that there are some talents, then I found out they are being criticized, which is ironic. She is smirking because shanggu is like that, she was raised by tianqi so she was cheeky, carefree and take things lightly, if not then how would she act? Cheeky but still graceful? Cheeky but still acting smart above everyone else? But that’s not in-line with her character. The second half both leads up their acting game, they act nothing like Shanggu and Bai Jue. I don’t expect this drama to be popular with audience though, majority of the audience don’t like to observe, they just wanted to watch, but I’m glad they dared to make it at least I’ve discovered these two actor and actress. In your opinion who would be able to carry the role better than Zhou Dongyu? I would like to check out the actress to see her works.

      4. I think NiNi or Bai Lu would have been good choices but of course I didn’t watch past ep. 12 so don’t know what that role would entail in the later episodes but both these actresses have good range.

      5. I would check out Nini, I’ve seen Bailu as she has acted with Xu Kai, typical chinese acting, Shanggu and Houchi need to be someone complex and naive at the same time, Bai Lu don’t have law in her acting skill she just throw it and pray that it works, that’s not acting skill. I skip over many of her parts in both dramas they starred together because of how inconsistent the way she portrayed her character, I mean yeah she can cry pretty and laugh evil, demure when asked to be, but she acted out those for the sake of following the script, I saw zero relation in the continuous scenes leading up or continuing after that for example the end of the legends, just because the script says she is now a nicer person, doesn’t mean she have to abandoned her earlier strong character but she acted like an obedient house wife so I doubt she can carry Shanggu the way Zhou Dongyu did. Zhou Dongyu knows from the beginning how her character transitions from Shanggu to Houchi would be and she took care of it delicately, making audience who pay attention and not just looking at pretty crying, her cries brought over from the past incidents and makes the scene more impactful despite some loopholes in the script and directing, the actors managed to uphold their drama and I applaud them.

    2. In your opinion you mean?
      I found him to be a very great actor, I was intrigued by him through Ancient Love Poetry, the script is not perfect but Xu Kai and Zhou Dongyu acting pulled me in, I watched his other drama Once in Lingjian Mountain surprised by his comedic antics hurt my belly laughing at the on-point comedy acting. Its no wonder he is getting famous because he has the looks and acting skill to attract people so I don’t know what you mean by he needs a good partner to shine. I saw that he has partnered with different actresses but he is getting famous that means he is shining despite any partner? So your whole point is invalid.

      Anyway I’m looking forward to more of his dramas, one of the rare actor who can pulled me into cdrama that I used to think cringey. (Well they still are, but he made it bearable)

      1. Did you say my whole point is invalid because I said he’s not great enough actor without a good partner? He’s getting more famous due to more exposure, whereas many of his long term fans know his acting, while improving, is not as good as it could be. Watch the legend, and arsenal military school, they are both with Bai Lu, and she managed to make his acting a lot more honest.
        I love ancient love poetry, however, there are a few scenes where his acting is just a bit cringe. I love ZDY, and I love so many scenes in ALP, but there are just some I wish his acting were better.

        Also with good partner, he can really show off his chemistry, and how hot he can be. For example, Guli Nazha is pretty, but she’s so boring, and she can’t make anything have chemistry with her, at least for the last few dramas I saw of her. So I doubt Xu Kai can work it. Same with Cheng Xiao, the dude is good at kissing, but his kissing scenes with her was downright terrible apart from 1 scene. And the one with Li Yi Tong (I think that was her name), again, not great chemistry. If you don’t have a good script, good chemistry makes people stay, and if you don’t have good partner, you are not going to shine, many great actor in bad project due to lack of chemistry/their partner just not up to their level.

        It seems you are his fan, but I have been his fan since he’s basically started (admittedly I didn’t watch the one where he got famous for), but as a fan, I do want to see him in better production so I can actually watch it, instead of watching clips of it on YouTube and go why oh why.

    3. I just read this blogger article on Ancient Love Poetry when it first premiered and you are there already commenting and mocking the cgi effects based on the comments in China? like seriously? Have China seen their cringey special effects in almost all of their dramas? Ancient Love Poetry is the only drama that special effects passed the good level above other cdramas.

      I don’t know if I’m culture shocked that chinese drama has good production or chinese drama gathered has bad sense of audience.

    4. I said your point is invalid about he relied on his partner to shine when he has partnered with different female actresses and yet he is still getting famous on his own. I have seen other chinese actors have released the same amount or more works than he is this year how come they are not famous? You seems very eager to prove your point of discrediting the result of his talent which managed to pull in audience by crediting his looks, exposure anything but him. I don’t care about being fan of someone, I never grasped the concept of that, I don’t even think Xu Kai is good looking so I don’t understand the logic of your point trying to say as long term fans knowing his acting. I’d say it seems you only look at pairings I noticed that among chinese drama fans many of them is chemistry that chemistry this, when watching you keep glancing who is the partner instead of observing acting, plot, trying to relate the logic of every gestures and scenes the subtle acting that makes the follow up scenes make sense and nurturing audience feelings for the whole drama not just one half, people need to know that good chemistry does not equal to good acting. Interesting that you mentioned Bai Lu and the above users mentioned Bai Lu as someone who uplift his acting? As I said to above users I noticed nothing outstanding, she’s just another typical chinese actress who gave all kind of expressions without understanding why they need to in every scenes, I almost drop Arsenal Military Academy and The Legends because of how inconsistent she is. I’ve talked about The Legends above, in Arsenal Military Academy her acting is so inconsistent that it annoys me, she made it obvious that the script asked her to hate the male lead no matter what but you two will end up together anyway but be nice to 2nd male lead because it will make a great obvious plot twist, so she has been acting annoyed the whole way with the male lead even when she doesn’t need to, and being waaay too nice to second male lead, and then suddenly at click she just decided to be with the male lead, she failed to establish emotional connection of why and how she started to fall in love with ml meanwhile Xu Kai carry his role with good emotional hierarchy how Gu Yanzhen transform from rebelllious and cheeky to being responsible but he still keep his character traits not completely abandoned it by becoming dormant all of sudden, Bai Lu’s constant scoffing and then to weak all of sudden despite being in military school is what makes the last few episodes more annoying to watch. I’d say Xu Kai helped her carry both dramas so your opinion on good acting seems to be biased with whom he looks good with rather than good acting itself. He works well with Sandrine Pinna in Once upon a time as well their antics is natural, did you dismiss her as well in favor of Bai Lu because she is not pretty? I swear everywhere I go on his drama people keep talking about the visual of his co-actress, interestingly enough they all said he partnered better with Bai Lu like you did (hence why I decided to watch The Legends and Academy), almost feel like a movement. Anyway, I’ve only watched 4 of his dramas so far, I don’t care who is his partners but I will check out any works when I saw good acting and so far I have gone to check out Zhou Dongyu, Sandrine Pinna and Toby Lee.

      1. I signed up for an account just to reply because wow, I found someone that is not a fan of Bai Lu! lol I am also not a fan of Bai Lu either. There’s something off about her acting even though lots of people say she’s such a great actress. Like in Song of Youth, her character is supposed to be smart and intelligent, but her portrayal of the character isn’t strong and commanding as it should be, especially for first lead. And I also do not see her as the great beauty her fans make her out to be. She’s definitely beautiful in some angles, and pretty in general, but not on another level gorgeous.

        Xu Kai is a good looking actor, but compared to other Chinese actors, something about him seems more charming. He reminds me of a young Louis Koo. Lots of potential, has good looks, a bit of playful charm & wit, and has heart put into his acting. However, he needs to broaden his horizon and learn from other strong leading actors and actresses or his characters will start looking the same as he films back to back. The other Chinese actor with good acting and looks that is promising is Joseph Zeng.

      2. @Jadedreams You convinced me to create an account too because I don’t agree Bai Lu is a bad actress. The first time I saw her acting it was quite bad tbh, forgot what the heck was the title but she swapped body with an Emperor. She couldn’t act like a man on the first few episodes but as the show progressed, she actually keeps improving. She did great in The Legends although it got very stupid towards the end, not blaming the actors. One and Only, she did great, much better than whoever that played in Story of Minglan and was so overrated. I’m not even a fan of Bai Lu, I don’t find her pretty and actually even hard to identify. There are certain angles I can’t even recognize her. Not saying she is the best actress or even a good actress but definitely not an average or bad one too. Song of Youth had great cinematography but everything was bs so I dropped before she even appeared, I don’t watch all her shows too. Everyone will have a few dramas where they don’t perform that well or can’t perform well because of restrictions as actors. Even so-called A-listers won’t perform well all the time and if they have a swarm of fans, they know how to say my same explanation too. They will also say actors can’t do everything. Bai Lu doesn’t have a swarm of fans, but if swarmy fans can say it, I can say the same thing for Bai Lu. Same goes for Xu Kai. Can’t win every time. He’s extremely talented but will have a few shows that are very bad, doesn’t mean he is bad. Zhou Dongyu is the best, period. Ancient Love Poetry was a total nightmare not because any of the actors but producers.

  2. Honestly I liked ZDY’s portrayal of ShangGu. Her acting was very congruent to her character’s storyline. Although her image isn’t suited for beautiful goddesses we have all come to expect, I think it’s almost a blessing that she’s plain, because someone beautiful could still be judged for her looks on top of not having sufficient acting skills. ZDY might not be beautiful but she’s like the girl next door, easy to embrace and accept as long as you get rid of expectations of how she should look. More importantly, her acting is on point – stable and natural.

    I am also having a hard time backing Bai Lu. From that initial drama where she had a switch in bodies with the king, it was SO easy to tell who was a better actor (and it wasn’t her.) And her voice also throws me off. I’m not convinced she’s a good actress, and this is after giving The Legend a chance, too. However I hope to see her improve with time.

    Xu Kai, I will reserve judgment. I haven’t seen enough convincing works by him to make any calls, but I did think he made a great delineation between his character BaiJue and his alter ego.

  3. Lol, look at these comments, I can’t wait for she and her perfect husband, it’s a pairing I never expected and the results did not disappoint.

  4. If any actor these days can become famous, the only reason isn’t because they leaded in a BL show, then that means they are very talented and that is definitely Xu Kai!

  5. I have only recently started watching more Chinese dramas so I am behind on things. I am almost halfway through Arsenal Military Academy. Xu Kai definitely has charm and I find myself continuing mostly because of him. I almost prefer him with the second lead actress more because her character’s personality is more fun and feisty. But I know I would be setting myself up for disappointment so I won’t commit to a ship of them. Bai Lu is ok, I think she looked cuter in clips that I saw of Legends. Xu Kai and her are good together, but storyline wise, she could easily fit with the second male lead too. He also saved her multiple times, respects her, and showed that he trusted her even more than Xu Kai (bomb scene).

    Anyways, I think Xu Kai can be a bit over the top, but overall I have enjoyed watching him and like his charisma. I can see how he is a top star and will continue to do well.

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