There’s been a recent growth in popularity of Chinese and Taiwanese dramas among international fans. Popular dramas from the last two years include “Love Me If You Dare,” “Surgeons,” and “Ode to Joy” from China, as well as “Bromance” and “Refresh Man” from Taiwan. With such large numbers of dramas being released every year, there are tons of fresh faces that are constantly being introduced, making it difficult to keep up with who is who.
This is exactly why I created this list of the hottest rising Chinese and Taiwanese actors in 2017 that you should keep your eye on. Enjoy!
There is no doubt that Dylan Xiong is one of the breakout stars of 2017 in China after starring in the recently concluded “My Mr. Mermaid” as the charming and hard-working swimmer Tang Yi Bai. After the drama ended, Dylan virtually went from being unknown to gaining a mass following, jumping from 700 thousand to an astounding 4.6 million followers on Weibo.
It wasn’t hard to become a fan of Dylan. Standing at 188 centimeters tall, with boyish good looks, a bright smile, and shining eyes, what’s not to love? “My Mr. Mermaid” is his first leading role, and you can see that he has a lot of potential for his acting career because he emotes so well with his eyes.
Having debuted last year, Dylan doesn’t have an extensive list of work, but you can catch him in a supporting role in “Men With Swords” starring alongside some of his idol group mates from SpeXial. His next upcoming drama “Pretty Man,” also starring Sierra Li, will air sometime this year but is yet to have a confirmed air date. Currently, he’s filming the romantic-comedy drama “One and Another Him” with Zhang Zi Feng.
Catch him in the first episode of “My Mr. Mermaid”:
Ah, our Wolf Prince Derek Chang! He’s most famous for his role as Ze Ming in the Taiwanese drama “Prince of Wolf.” It’s hard to believe that “Prince of Wolf” is his first drama as well as his first leading role. He did an incredible job in his portrayal of Ze Ming, who went from a sweetly innocent and childlike guy to a more mature, yet adorably loving man. He was especially great during his emotional scenes and I’m sure a lot of us cried and felt heartbroken for him, too.
Derek debuted last year in 2016, and he’s a promising actor who impressed all of us with his debut drama and first leading role. To see more of Derek, you can catch him in the romantic comedy “Stay With Me” starring Wang Kai and Joe Chen. His newest time-travel drama (which recently started airing) is “The Man from the Future” along with “Chen Yu Xi,” and he’s currently filming a romantic-comedy drama with Ruby Lin called “My Dear Boy.”
Catch him in the first episode of “Prince of Wolf”:
Zhang Ruo Yun
Chinese actor Zhang Ruo Yun has been in the industry for several years now, but it wasn’t until last year that he gained more recognition and popularity in China after starring in “Fifteen Years of Waiting for Migratory Birds,” “Sparrow,” “Novoland: The Castle in the Sky,” and “Medical Examiner Dr. Qin.” As a graduate from the prestigious Beijing Film Academy (famous alumni include: Huang Xiao Ming and Liu Yi Fei), it’s not surprising that Zhang Ruo Yun is an impressive actor. You can tell from his wide range of diverse roles; from a hot-headed teenager, a cold and aloof forensics doctor, to a hypnotizing and fiery winged-god.
With his growing popularity, Zhang Ruo Yun’s workload has been endless. He recently completed the historical drama “The Fated General” as the titular role of General Huo Qu Bing. He’s currently filming the modern drama “The Evolution of Our Love” with Zhang Ai Tan, and he has also been confirmed for the period drama “Joy of Life.”
Although it’s been an open secret for a long time, Zhang Ruo Yun recently went public about his relationship with actress Tang Yi Xin on Weibo. The pair have been dating for seven years. Does it seem like we might be hearing wedding bells in the near future? The two have since been seen attending events together as a couple such as the Harper Bazaar Charity Night and doing couple magazine photoshoots.
Catch him in the first episode of “Fifteen Years of Waiting for Migratory Birds”:
Wang Zi (Qiu Sheng Yi) isn’t new to the industry, having debuted 11 years ago; however, he’s more well known for being in the group JPM and as a former member of the Taiwanese idol group Lollipop. Throughout the years, Wang Zi has filmed a few select dramas and films, but mainly in supporting roles.
It wasn’t until this year that Wang Zi landed his first major leading role in the current hit Taiwanese romance drama “Attention, Love!” Drama fans quickly fell in love with Wang Zi’s sweet but confused character, Yan Li Zheng. Viewers have been anticipating new episodes of “Attention, Love!” every week to see the relationship development between him and his leading lady Joanne Tseng.
Due to the drama, Wang Zi is experiencing a bigger boost in popularity and has become more well-known among international fans. Endorsement deals have been overflowing for Wang Zi, some of them include: Puma, Calvin Klein, L’Oreal, SK-II, and Sulwhasoo, just to name a few. Wang Zi also has his clothing line called P.Star which is focused on more casual street wear.
Catch him in the first episode of “Attention, Love!”:
Chinese actor Deng Lun is still a relatively new face to the industry, having debuted in the 2013 drama “Flower in Fog.” Deng Lun is a graduate of the renowned Shanghai Theatre Academy (famous alumni include Hu Ge, Lin Geng Xin and Dilraba Dilmurat). He started to gain recognition after starring in “Fifteen Years of Waiting for Migratory Birds” as Liu Qian Ren, the evil stepbrother turned sweetheart. However, it wasn’t until this year that Deng Lun gained widespread popularity after starring in “Because of Meeting You.” The drama placed No.1 throughout its broadcast and is one of the highest rated dramas of 2017. Viewers couldn’t help but fall in love with Deng Lun’s character Li Yun Kai who is the dream boyfriend/husband everyone wishes to have.
You can also catch Deng Lun in supporting roles in two popular 2017 dramas “Princess Agents” and “Ode to Joy (Season 2).” Deng Lun also filmed a drama with f(x)’s Krystal called “Graduation Season,” however due to THAAD, the drama has not been able to air. His next major work is the historical drama “Hai Tang’s Rouge Shines Through in the Rain” also starring Li Yi Tong, although with no confirmed air date. Deng Lun has also been recently confirmed for the modern drama “Sweet Dreams” with Dilraba Dilmurat.
Catch him in the first episode of “Because of Meeting You”:
34-year-old Taiwanese actor Marcus Chang can be considered to have started his career rather late compared to most of his peers in the industry. Marcus is a graduate of University of Auckland with a major in Performance Arts. He debuted in the 2014 romantic-comedy film “Café.Waiting.Love” starring alongside Vivian Sung and Megan Lai.
In 2015, he starred in two dramas “To the Dearest Intruder” and “Happy Together.” However, it wasn’t until last year, when Marcus got his first leading role in the popular time-travel drama “Back to 1989,” that fans fell in love with the cool and handsome Chen Che. He then went on to star in the revenge-melo drama “Behind Your Smile.”
Marcus Chang also has his own YouTube channel, Marcourageous, which he started seven years ago where he occasionally uploads his own covers of various songs. Be sure to check out his original self-written English song “I’ll Be There.” It’s also interesting to note that Marcus has an unconfirmed romantic relationship with his “Back to 1989” co-star Ivy Shao. The two have been seen holding hands and going on dates which have been captured by various media outlets.
Catch him in the first episode of “Back to 1989”:
Zhang Bin Bin
This list would not be complete if I didn’t include hot rising star Zhang Bin Bin (Vin Zhang). Zhang Bin Bin is also a graduate from the famous Shanghai Theatre Academy and made his acting debut 2015 in the drama “V-Love.” Most people first took notice of him after he starred in last year’s hit drama “Love O2O” as the genius hacker KO as well as his supporting roles in “Chronicle of Life” and “Eternal Love.” He gained further popularity after starring as the second lead Lin Yi Mu in “Pretty Li Hui Zhen” (remake of “She Was Pretty“).
Viewers have been enchanted by his handsome looks, deep sexy voice, expressive charismatic eyes, and great acting talent. He’s currently starring in his first leading role as Ying Zheng in the popular historical drama “The King’s Woman” alongside his “Pretty Li Hui Zhen” co-star Dilraba Dilmurat.
Fun fact: Zhang Bin Bin and Dilraba Dilmurat are both managed under Jay Walk Studio, an agency established by popular Chinese actress Yang Mi.
Catch him in the first episode of “The King’s Woman”:
Hey Soompiers, who is your favorite rising Chinese/Taiwanese actor? Who else would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!
blacksesame88 is an Asian drama and entertainment addict. She enjoys discussing her favorite dramas, and sharing her knowledge of Asian entertainment. Follow her on Twitter and join her for recaps of the current dramas she’s watching, also feel free to say Hi and have a chat!