Taiwan’s Four Biggest Actors Under 35: A Breakdown
Taiwan’s four hottest young actors have been heating up the screens in China this year, and with their current popularity and resume, their success in the Chinese film industry will just continue to rise. Who is the highest-paying actor? Who is the most comfortable actor to work with? Who has the highest chance of success in the coming years? Let’s take a look at the following breakdown on Taiwan’s four biggest young actors today.
The 29-year-old Bolin Chen (陳柏霖) is the most experienced actor on the list. Bolin debuted as a television actor in 1999 and grabbed notable attention after starring in the 2002 Taiwanese drama film, Blue Gate Crossing <藍色大門>, which was nominated for Best Asian Film at the Hong Kong Film Awards. His supporting roles in Hong Kong films, such as Twins Effect 2: Blade of the Rose <千機變II之花都大戰>, A Chinese Tall Story <情癲大聖>, and Kung Fu Dunk <功夫灌籃> pushed his stardom to regions beyond Taiwan.
Unlike his colleagues on this list, Bolin’s career is not dependent on commercial films. His filmography consists of a variety of different projects, including the quirky fantasy film Bug Me Not! <蟲不知>, the hilarious McDull, the Alumni <春田花花同學會>, the independent drama film Buddha Mountain <觀音山>, and some Japanese television dramas and films. Bolin does not consider box office figures as a pressing factor in his decision to choose scripts, opting to select films and television dramas that interest him the most.
Bolin’s latest film is the black comedy spoof Machi Action <變身>, the directorial debut of Jeff Chang (張時霖). Giddens Ko (九把刀), the mastermind behind the award-winning You are the Apple of My Eye <那些年，我們一起追的女孩> helmed the script, and Bolin’s starring role is supported by Ralf Qiu (邱彥翔) and Dream Girls member, Puff Kuo (郭雪芙). The film was released in mainland China on April 19, 2013, earning favorable reviews from the audience.
Bolin expressed his hopes to continue his advancement in the mainland Chinese market, but admitted that he is having a hard time adjusting to the culture and lifestyle in mainland China. “It’s hard to get rid of my Taiwanese accent. Many casting directors find my accent too heavy, and that may distract the audience. I really want to improve on it.”
On which Chinese entertainer Bolin wanted to work with the most, he immediately called out Jiang Wen (姜文) and Tang Wei (汤唯). “Then again, who doesn’t?”
Out of the four actors, 28-year-old Mark Chao (趙又廷) is the highest-paying actor on the list. Mark’s acting career had been smooth and successful. The son of veteran actor Allen Chao (趙樹海), Mark debuted in the industry in 2009 with a leading role in the acclaimed action television drama, Black & White <痞子英雄>. Mark defeated his costar, Vic Chou (周渝民), in winning the Best Actor honor at the Golden Bell Awards, making him the first actor to win the award for his debut work.
Mark churned out five films in 2012, in which three of them were mainland Chinese films. Mark’s popularity in China continues to thrive, as the actor is currently starring in Vicki Zhao’s (赵薇) directorial debut, So Young <致我们终将逝去的青春>, and is the lead role in Tsui Hark’s (徐克) upcoming Hong Kong action epic, Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon <狄仁傑前傳>, the prequel to 2010’s Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame <狄仁傑之通天帝國>, which starred Andy Lau(劉德華) in the lead role.
Currently busy with the post-production work for Young Detective Dee, Mark revealed that he will return to Taiwan to film Black & White 2 in the upcoming months.
The eldest in the group, 31-year-old Eddie Peng (彭于晏) is noted for being the most mature and versatile among the young Taiwanese actors. Critics noted that Eric often thinks out of the box and is willing to explore different films and roles. Eddie has provided variety in his filmography, which includes films like Jump! Ashin <翻滾吧！阿信>, action thrillers like Cold War <寒戰>, adventure films like Tai Chi Zero <太極1從零開始>, and romance films like A Wedding Invitation <分手合約>, which was released in mainland China this month.
How is Eddie adapting to life in China? The Taiwan-born Canadian actor said, “We all speak Mandarin and my family lives in Shanghai, so there hasn’t been much of a change. I immigrated to Canada with my sister when I was a kid, so I got used to living and learning languages by myself.”
The youngest of the group, Kai Ko (柯震東) immediately found fame in the country after starring in the critically acclaimed You Are the Apple of My Eye. Observers noted that Kai, although still inexperienced, is adept at choosing popular projects to star in, becoming the second highest-paid actor after Mark Chao. Kai currently has two films waiting to show, including the anticipated Tiny Times <小時代> and Jay Chou’s (周杰倫) The Rooftop <天台>, which also stars Bolin Chen.
Kai’s flexible raw acting talent and young age makes him the most likely actor to succeed in the future, and if Kai maintains his current taste in script selection, he may soon surpass the already accomplished careers of Bolin, Mark, and Eddie.
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.
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Taiwan’s Four Biggest Actors Under 35: A Breakdown