Changing Trends in Popular Lead Actors in China

li xian xiao zhan wang yibo deng lun
Figures don't lie. With new shows and actors coming out every year, it is only natural that the public may fall for the next big thing and it looks like they've found it in Deng Lun, Li Xian, Wang Yibo and Xiao Zhan. It feels just like yesterday when Kris WuLuhanLi Yifeng and Yang Yang were grabbing headlines. While they remain popular, actors tend to skyrocket in fame along with their hit projects. 

With the summer dramas like Go Go Squid and The Untamed, it's no wonder that another crop of actors are among the most searched and most talked about on the net. Aside from Wang Yibo, most are in their mid-twenties and not much younger than others before them, yet the entertainment industry has always been fleeting in that sense. Without further ado, let's take a look at some of these actors. 

deng lun
The 26-year-old Deng Lun, who graduated from the Shanghai Theater Academy, has been quite vocal about the years he's struggled to get acting jobs and has often been seen for his dedication and willingness to go the extra mile for his craft.  Audiences loved him in his breakout role in Ashes of Love last year which he followed up with My True Friend and Mr. Fighting this year. Deng Lun currently has more than 35 million Weibo followers.

li xian
The 27-year-old Li Xian recently skyrocketed to fame after he starred with Yang Zi in the hugely successful romantic comedy Go Go Squid! It's certainly not a bad follow up to his breakout role in Tientsin Mystic in 2017. As a result, many female fans consider Li Xian to be the ideal boyfriend material.  With Go Go Squid! being one of the most watched shows this year, Li Xian can expect his popularity to remain high, especially now that he has amassed more than 18 million Weibo followers.  

wang yibo
The 22-year-old Wang Yibo and the 27-year-old Xiao Zhan have jointly achieved overwhelming success overnight due to the much talked about BL costume drama The Untamed. Both are still relatively new to acting though you'd never know it, since they easily became their characters Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji. Aside from their many talents, there's absolutely no question that many a female fan has fallen for their good looks, resulting in a surge in their fanbase. Wang Yibo now has more than 23 million Weibo followers while Xiao Zhan has more than 16 million Weibo followers.  

xiao zhan
It takes more than just good looks to be popular.  It also requires time, skill, luck and resources. Sometimes, you just have to bide your time until everything falls into place. 

Source:  1  





22 comments:

  1. Wang Yibo wins the most jackpot here because his popularity skyrocket when he's still very young. The others only get popular when they're almost 30s xD

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  2. Probably they are fed up with that many young faces. Even when all of them are looking way younger than they are, their body language is more refined and seasoned. That is nothing you can learn, it comes from experience. Of course, there are exceptions and some will never learn.

    I wish they had more actors in 35+ range to chose from. As cute the boyish charme is, the charismo of them is even more different. I'm curious how all of them will be in 10 years from now, if they are still in acting then.

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  3. Lol 3 of them are yangzi costars����

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  4. Xiao Zhan started very late into the entertainment biz. He's more a newbie than Wang Yibo. Both are receiving well-deserved recognition and love for their roles in The Untamed.

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    1. is 24 considered late ? he was a photographer and graphic designer before

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  5. Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo are idol group members turned actors so they are multitalented. I've watched some of Xiao Zhan's interviews before 'The Untamed' and it seems like he had a bad experience in the e-biz. I hope that with his rising popularity and success, he can stay in the e-biz for a long time. I'm looking forward the change of pace as it seems like I can finally see him in a modern drama!

    Wang Yibo, in my personal opinion, is someone with natural talent for acting. At such a young age, he was able to portray such a complex character in 'The Untamed'. He played the character naturally and comfortably, there is no sense of overacting. I'm very much looking forward to his future projects and hope he takes on a wuxia role because his fight scenes were beautifully done.

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  6. One true thing about Chinese entertainment is that it has an abundance of talents and good looks. Because of the intense competition, I'm even more impressed by these actors' tenacity and work ethics. Let's not also forget the insane amount of luck that goes towards success. Hope all of them meet with continued success in the future.

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  7. actually all of them are only popular in weibo, the net or among stars chasing fangirls. So their actual popularity may be not be real unlike Deng Chao, Hwang Bo, Hu Ge, etc. You ask normal passerby, male or mom/dads on the streets in China, how many will know any of these actors and have watched their dramas or know them by looks or name, probably almost zero. The most important thing for these young actors are to act or participate in nationally broadcasted quality shows or dramas, stars in successful movies or even have their face plastered all over the public places for product endorsements. These will keep them relevant otherwise they will get replaced with new crop hottest young actors in a year or two.

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    1. I would guess the mom/dads don't participate much with online poles or media? Lots of idols now are really ridiculous wheter it is men or women. The # of followers and ratings of their projects are way too high. Might even surpass the population of people on earth even if you count in the old people into the star chasing game

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    2. @ 7.a of course not, weibo online traffic actually has been dropping steadily over the year. A lot of people in china doesnt go to wb anymore, it is more for younger people and star chasing fans. The # followers and like clicks are overinflated. When i was still active there chasing my past idol, i had 5 accts there to "inflate" the likes, forward and other numbers for the idol and i was one of the more conservative one as many many fans have way more accounts (i have known one with 100 accts). Also a lot of artists paid money to marketing companies to buy these followers and clicks.

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    3. Can't agree more. Especially with the comment about buying marketing number. In fact, one of the actors from this list is well known among the weibo fangirls to pay for 'water army'

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    4. @ Unknown:

      Would you mind naming that actor "water army"? Thanks!

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    5. To be fair a good percentage of these rising celebs spend money on these marketing companies. Everyone is doing it and think of it like marketing expenses, how else you can get your name out there fast. Imho this is harmless, you do what you got to do to market yourself in the very competitive market.
      True test of popularity imo is endorsements. Domestic Nationally recognized brands and luxury brand goods types, not just some 2nd 3rd tiers brands. These companies know better and have the industry insight of true popularity and marketing power of the celebs. Any rival celebs fangirls can comment all they want about your water armies, projects flopped now, eblah blah...but if you pick multiple endorsement every single month, does it mean these companies are stupider than some random netizen on the nets?

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    6. 7.d
      The name is everybody. Just look at whoever has the biggest ratings unreasonably obviously pays the highest of course. Unless their projects are good enough to be worthy of high ratings. Worst, some don't even work and no projects for people to rate, but their ranks continue to stay pretty good. There was a time somebody didn't play correctly so her rating indeed went above the population on earth and it was embarrassing.

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    7. 7.e
      Companies look at the total $$$ those actors/actresses can bring in at the end. There has been some artists who brought in lots of clicks but no revenues, of course they get embarrassed at the end.

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  8. Among them Deng Lun is the most talented with top notch acting skills. He can portray all sorts of characters and is not limited to teen drama. He's the one I'm willing to watch closely for many years to come.

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    1. Deng Lun dramas are all televised drama so far and the viewership rating are good too, so i would say currently he is definitely more recognized beyond the typical cnetz fandom participants than the other 3. I also think he will go along way with the variety of projects he is picking up now and how versatile of an actor and performer he is. He is even killing it on tv shows too ( i actually like him better in shows than in his drama).

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  9. Lol. His last two dramas aren't doing well with ratings especially online. People actually calling him 'riding on female lead' for success. His current airing drama are doing worse than the rest due to that as well

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    1. I don't agree on the term " riding on female/male lead". A good drama/movie needs the following factors in my opinion: great chemistry between the leads, good actors, good acting, good story, good directing. I don't think one actor can make a good drama/movie even though he or she is famous. It's a combination of everything. Deng Lun's latest drama is only ok to me because the story is not great.

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    2. last two?? Which last two?

      He's extremely famous after Ashes of Love. So he can't be riding anybody beyond Ashes of Love. If you're implying AngelaBabay.

      If you're saying it's Yang Zi he's riding in Ashes of Love, he's probably more famous (or equal) to Yang Zi because he got so well known from Princess Agents. Yang Zi seems to have more haters than fans, so he could not ride from her. Besides, he was good enough in Ashes of Love through his own effort.

      Riding on ZLY in Princess Agents might make sense he was more new at that time but his role was so tiny. And he again acted well on his part even though it was a nothing but a useless role. But that's so long ago already, what's the use of saying all these dumb "riding" at this time? People are obviously jealous of his success. In Princess Agents every single body ride on ZLY anyway so no need to finger point at Deng Lun alone. Even the 2 male leads ride on ZLY. All the slaves did too, no matter what roles people get they all wanted to be in there because they will get noticed.

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  10. But his drama are not web drama, why does it matter if it is not doing well online or not? The tv ratings are good as far as I know. Haters may claimed that the viewership is bought, but haters said that to any rival drama anyway. These "people" who calls him riding on the female lead for success, I suspect many comes from a certain female celeb fanbase. But it's okay, envious people can maliciously comment all they want but it doesnt lessen the fact that tv stations love his drama and his shows and they keep buying them. He has 3 tv drama this year alone, one even filmed 5 yrs ago, while others just contend with none/one or just web drama. Also 2019 just barely passed the halfway mark, if we are lucky we may see his other drama with Li Yi Tong before the year end.
    Instead of playing safe by keep acting in more easily popular idol dramas, he tried different drama genre, hosting cultural show like forbidden palace or comedic show like Great Escape. Some of these ended up surprisingly awesome while others don't wow as much. But I hope he will continue experimenting like this, it keeps things fresh and interesting.

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  11. How are these men's popularity among the general public, when compared to, say, musical actors Ayunga and Zheng Yunlong? Both are types that reaped fame through viral hype, I presume? I'm just curious...

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