Then and Now: Check Out These 10 Celebrities From Their Debut ‘till Now

As public figures, looking good is part of the job—but behind that vase of beauty is the strength of an ox. Fame is not easy to achieve, and popularity is not easy to maintain. For some, it takes years of practice and experience. For others, one mega hit will do the trick. Here are the debut photos of ten superstar actresses. Who changed the most?

Zhao Liying (赵丽颖), or Zanilia Zhao

After winning a star casting competition, Zanilia made her debut in a Feng Xiaogang (冯小刚) commercial film in 2006. She was 19 years old at the time.

Yang Mi (杨幂)

Yang Mi was only 4 years old when she appeared in Chen Jialin’s (陈家林) 1993 epic Tang Ming Huang <唐明皇>, playing the young Princess Xianyi.

Liu Shishi (刘诗诗), or Cecilia Liu

Training to be a dancer, Cecilia caught the attention of casting agents and was selected to appear in the drama Yue Ying Feng He <月影风荷> in 2006.

Liu Yifei (刘亦菲), or Crystal Liu

In 2002, Crystal was selected to star in the television drama The Story of a Noble Family <金粉世家>, which also starred Chen Kun (陈坤). The popularity of the show kickstarted Crystal’s career, which helped her win roles in the famous wuxia epics Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils <天龙八部> and The Return of the Condor Heroes <神雕侠侣>.

Dilraba Dilmurat, also known as Dilireba (迪丽热巴)

The Uyghur actress is one of the hottest actresses in the country, but that fame did not come quickly. She made her debut through Anarhan <阿娜尔罕>, a local TV drama in Xinjiang.

Yang Zi (杨紫), or Andy Yang

Andy made her first TV appearance at 7 years old in the small television drama Ru Ci Chu Shan <如此出山>. It wasn’t until the 2005 drama Home with Kids <家有儿女>, at 13 years old, when her acting career started to show signs of picking up.

Zheng Shuang (郑爽)

Zheng Shuang’s first hit was her debut drama Meteor Shower <一起来看流星雨>, which started a new trend for idol dramas in China.

Tang Yan (唐嫣), or Tiffany Tang

Tiffany debuted relatively later compared to her peers, at 24 years old. Her first drama to air in China was 2007’s Zhen Guan Chang Ge <贞观长歌>, in which she played the peasant girl Caiji. Tiffany’s career really didn’t start to take off until she snagged a supporting role in 2009’s Chinese Paladin 3 <仙剑奇侠传三>.

Zhou Dongyu (周冬雨)

Zhou Dongyu had a high-profile debut. She was the lead actress in Zhang Yimou’s (张艺谋) Under the Hawthorn Tree <山楂树之恋>, when she was only 18 years old. Now, Zhou Dongyu is an award-winning actress with an even brighter future ahead of her.

Cecilia Cheung (張栢芝)

Cecilia’s first film was Stephen Chow’s (周星馳) King of Comedy <喜劇之王> in 1999. The film also went on to one of Cecilia’s most iconic roles, and her character, Lau Piu-piu, is still remembered to this day.


This article is written by Addy for

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  1. ZLY used to have a square jaw. Even when I watched that movie “The Palace,” ZLY still had a square jaw in there.

    In more recent dramas, ZLY seems to have a smaller, oval-y face. I’m not sure this is attributable to weight loss.

    Maybe botox?


    Zheng Shuang I think openly admitted she had PS. But don’t quote me on that. I could be wrong.


    Tiffany looks better nowadays than she did back then. I can’t tell if this is natural or not.


    The rest looks more or less the same, so I think they’re natural.

    1. @coralie Zheng Shuang – I think you are right. She looks cute enough I didn’t understand why she did plastic surgery. I think she lack confidence when she was dating that ex bf or something on a talk show or whatever show.

    2. @coralie ZYL – not just the jaw but her forehead seems bigger now. Before, her forehead is smaller, make her face seems short and round/square, but the later picture, her forehead is a lot longer, make the face longer too, and therefore skinnier.

      Isn’t Tiffany mean to have PS as well? I remembered a few said she did on Jaynestars. YM has some tweak, too, I think. Yang Zi looks pretty plastic/commercial to me, I could be wrong but her face is like one of those factory produce face.

      Out of this lots, Lui Shi Shi, Dilraba, Lui Yi Fei, Zhou Dong Yu and Cecilia Cheung (before Botox due to old age) are natural to me.

      1. @littlefish yang zi has the unfortunate luck of a puffy face lol. if you look at her old pics, she looks exactly the same. it’s easy to mistake her for plastic cus it’s so tight-looking. but she’s natural.

        yeah I didn’t realize ZLY’s forehead grew too. but maybe she just shaved some hair off to make it look longer now hahaha. who knows. but if she underwent surgery to grow her forehead…it’s kinda crazy.

      2. @coralie wouldn’t you see the hairline if you shave it? Lol! Unless you laser removing your hair? Idk I never done this sort of thing to have any knowledge on whether it’s possible! All I know is it seems a few of this actress has their forehead bigger!

        Yang Zi, it’s not just her skin being super tight, it’s her lips, the whole face scream plastic to me. It likes schemes of a beauty, some ladies in there, first glance and you can tell they are plastic, same with Yang Zi, and most of the time, it’s the lips that have a way. It’s just too puffy! Her face doesn’t seem natural to me, too sculptured? But in the wrong way? Can’t explain lol! Anyway, if you can link me her younger self photos, might be of help 🙂

      3. @coralie uhm, maybe I’m not good at this makeup thing but she looks totally different from the pink shirt photo to her current look. I guess if I see a bare face photo I will see it better, but currently, it felt like she fixed her nose. And she did something to her lips.

    1. @m0m0 there are two Cecilia lol! Which one did you prefer to? Also it’s so personal. While I admit she’s pretty (Lui Shi Shi), she needs strong makeup to be stunning otherwise, her look is just kinda boring (or maybe her acting, I tend to be bored looking at her). Atm, Dilraba is topping my chart as she seems a lot more fun than all the other girls. Dilraba and Lui Yi Fei top my pretty list but LYF bored me, too lol

      1. @littlefish Is Dilreba mixed? She looks too exotic for my preference, but I agree that she’s attractive and looks all natural.

        I do believe ZLY has had some work done on her jaw, and am also of the (unpopular) opinion that Cecilia C. has also had some very minor fine-tuning.

      2. @sugarcane Dilreba was very raw in The Legend of Banshu. I didn’t find her attractive there.

        It’s not uncommon to have tweaks here and there. Very few would admit to it though lol

      3. @tiffany legend of banshu used really vibrant colour scheme (everyone looks like clowns to me there) and DD’s hairstyle was horrible. I didn’t watch it but I saw pic of her from the ridiculous hairstyle list.
        DD belongs to a tribe with mix euroasia blood, so genetically she is mixed 🙂

  2. Liying definitely underwent jaw reconstruction and nose job. I see fillers in cheekbones too.
    Yangmi is likely her nose job. Tang Yan, Cecilia and Zheng Shuang has minor works done.
    But a couple of the rest are natural. A few I am unsure.

  3. Isn’t funny that all the pictures on the left side are prettier? To me that’s what it is. All those white make up needs to go, they are only zombifying people.

    Yang mi’s jaw changed a lot, it used to be squared or rectangle shape. But at least, when it was still rectangled shape, she was very famous and well liked from the beginning as her real self already.

    I see why Zhao liying was not liked at the beginning, she was not pretty in the past. I was so confused because I never considered her face that wide or round at all. People made it sound as if she’d invented a round face like wtf, as if Charlene Choi do not exist and there is no Vicki Zhao Wei. But now looking at the past pictures it makes sense, it was really too wide back then.

    Nothing different in Yang zi besides her make up being way too white. She got same eyes and the thick weird lips was since young unless she did surgery as a kid but that’s very far fetched. Face shape is same, not wider not longer. And chin did not get longer or shorter.

    I don’t know if it’s possible if people do surgery on their head for bigger forehead (afraid of brain issues?), I think people just make their chin tinier and so then the forehead seems bigger.

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