What Happened to Rising Star Liu Haoran?

When it was announced that Liu Haoran (刘昊然) would replace Hu Ge (胡歌) as the star of Nirvana in Fire 2 <琅琊榜之风起长林>, he was still regarded as a new actor with a few box office successes under his belt. Nirvana in Fire 2 was meant to be Haoran’s ticket to super stardom, and while the show was by no means a failure, it definitely didn’t leave the same lasting impact like its predecessor.

Liu Haoran in “Novoland: Eagle Flag” (2019)

Liu Haoran, once touted to be the industry’s next biggest actor, is now facing with a string of mediocre successes, and it’s a shame. The 21-year-old is, without a doubt, one of the most talented young actors to come out of China in recent years, but it is difficult for the actor to leave behind a significant mark in the entertainment industry when none of his newer works even make it to social media trending.

His recent works like The Twins <双生> (which was shot four years ago) and the television drama Novoland: Eagle Flag <九州缥缈录> did not impress critics and performed less than expected in the box office and in national viewership ratings, respectively. Viewers even specifically pointed out Haoran as one of the bigger disappoints in Eagle Flag, with criticism on his design and underdeveloped character.

At 21 years old, Haoran still has many years left ahead to regain his footsteps in the industry. He may be a very talented actor, but without the right project to support him, working on pure talent won’t suffice.

Source: Sina

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

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  1. As expected of trash tabloid from Hong Kong. Most you do is keep reporting false and misleading news just for clicks. NEF is doing fine with the average TV rating about 1% in non-prime time slot. It’s the only historical drama aired on TV at the moment. LHR is the reason people watched it and he’s won a lot of praises for his acting. But extreme book fans are the ones that did black marketing because they couldn’t accept some changes made.

    The Twins was filmed in 2015, when he just debuted. Even LHR and his team didn’t promote it at all on Weibo. The director of the film also didn’t acknowledg or recognise the film as it had so many changes and cuts. LHR originally supposed to be the twin but the producer cut a lot of his scenes and make Chen Duling as the twin and affect the story a lot.

    NiF2 is doing great as a follow-up to its widely-acclaimed predecessor. It won a lot of acclaim on the story and acting and was nominated for Best Drama, Best Cinematography, Best Director at the prestigious Magnolia Awards, something that even most popular drama couldn’t make it.

    His commercial value remains strong as he ranked #19 by Forbes China for its Top 100 Celebrities. He’s also had long list of active endorsements and is a spokesperson for luxury brands TOD’S and TOM FORD. If this is what you call not doing well, then most of young actors wish to be like him. He’s allowed to make a mistep because he’s so young. Nevertheless he’s still one of the most popular post-95 out there with strong filmography. Thanks for your unnecessary concern, Addy.

    1. @sophiekin “it’s the only historical drama on tv atm” yet it barely create any noise? Idk about China, but before it airs, there were so many articles talk about its potential and why it’s a must see. After it airs, no article at all. So the series, while shot decently, it just doesn’t leave much impression with the viewers. You said Jaynestar article got it wrong but is it really? What it said is true, NIF2 was a success but it did not leave a deep impression as NIF, that’s indisputable, literally everyone have seen 1 and 2 had said the exact same thing. So what if 2 wins this and that awards, it didn’t outdo 1, and that was the point of the article?

      The article also correct in saying LHR isn’t making any noise with his work despite being very talented, he needs perhaps a bit of luck (and since he’s young, good chance it will come is what the article is trying to say), look at the main actors in the untamed. Initially everyone is like no skill, bad actor, at the end, their stardom is shot up the sky! And everyone is like they are so talented. Stop being butt hurt about your idol 🙂

      1. @littlefish The article is misleading, taking bits and pieces of the truth to fabricate a bigger and unnecessary story. Forbes didn’t even take into consideration of detective chinatown 2. So LHR made it into Forbes list with just NiF2, legend of the demon cat etc alone. LHR’s hype was actually huge during DC2. However, he ended up staying low out of the limelight during that time and didn’t ride on the popularity wave. He attended uni classes and was filming. When he was hot after Beijing Love Story, instead of hitting it off when he was in the hype, he took a year off to attend his 1st year of uni. That is why you think he is not making any noise. When there is too much noise, he tends to be out of the public eye until it dies down.

        NEF didn’t even really market itself. Most production team would pay for trending search to market the drama but the fans were the one who put it on trending before it airs. All the costume dramas were also announcing airing date 1 day before to create less commotion in fear of their dramas getting taken down. Even when it aired, the team quietly announced it within the day of airing in fear of it getting taken down again by SAFT. While the script made book fans angry, critics praised LHR for his performance. The fact that he got to work with some of the biggest A list names in the industry on that one project alone will allow him to learn a lot of things and garner a lot of connections. He even said himself that he thinks he have experienced all the hurdles that an actor will go through in their career in that 9 months that he filmed NEF alone. He definitely got more out of NEF than lost.

        Even now, he is one of the rare post 95’ers that get to work on larger scale projects and big directors. It’s even rare to star in a chen kaige film once for any actor, and his going to star in a chen kaige film 3 times after 2020 ends. Chen Kaige is also known to be praised by A listed actors for been great at getting the most out of actors and expanding their acting growth so this is a great opportunity for LHR. The anthology film that Chen Kaige is in charge of leading a few other directors to film for the government is basically a film that most of China will need to watch (and LHR is starring in it for Chen Kaige’s segment). This is a huge (and scary) opportunity for LHR because basically the whole industry will now get exposed to his performance.

        By November 2018, he was the 14th celebrity to be on all the big 5 magazine covers in China and he was the first under 25 to do so. His name is listed among big names like Hu Ge and Zhou Xun in magazine accomplishments. His made all this accomplishment before he even turned 21 at the time with just a handful of work on his resume. And let’s not forget that his barely 22 right now and his already accomplished so much more. All this is not just purely out of luck (luck plays an important part in this industry. But it is what you do with it that also matters). LHR is a hard worker and he have a grounded way of thinking while still maintaining the fresh air of a newcomer and all directors and people who worked with him have praised him for it. He made effort to put himself out there, made connections and get to know the industry better. Most of these projects (NiF2, NEF etc) had little to do with his boss’s influence and more to do with LHR’s own efforts and his own self branding. Despite how well a project does, I think Haoran gained more from these big productions than lose. I think haoran’s reach and hype in the industry is loud and clear with his future projects lined up and luxury branding endorsements (LV, Tod’s, tiffany and co, tom ford). And his only just started. So yea, I don’t think sophiekin is been butt hurt because this is just a matter of fact that LHR is doing better than most young actors and getting a lot of ‘luck’ in getting selected for projects

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