Tong Dawei

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Tong Dawei
Chinese name 佟大為 (traditional)
Chinese name 佟大为 (simplified)
Pinyin Tóng Dàwéi (Mandarin)
Jyutping Tung4 Daai6wai4 (Cantonese)
Born (1979-02-03) 3 February 1979 (age 35)
Fushun, Liaoning, China
Occupation actor, singer
Years active 1998 - present
Spouse(s) Guan Yue (2008 - present)
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Tong.

Tong Dawei (born 3 February 1979) is a Chinese actor and singer. Tong is best known for starring in the TV series Jade Guan-yin and Struggle, and the film Lost in Beijing.

In 2004, Tong won the Favorite Actor award of Golden Eagle Awards by playing Yang Rui in Jade Guan-yin. In 2007, he was nominated for Best New Actor in the Pusan Film Critics Awards for the film Lost in Beijing.

In 2008, Tong starred in the film Red Cliff: Part II directed by John Woo. In 2011, he starred in director Zhang Yimou's The Flowers of War, alongside Oscar-winner Christian Bale.

Early Life and Career[edit]

Tong Dawei was born in 1979 in Fushun, Liaoning Province. His parents were both part of the police force and as a young child, Tong also wished to join the police force. But at six years old, his father was injured and fell into a coma. After graduating from high school, Tong joined the Shanghai Theater Academy in 1997 and graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts in Acting. During his studies, Tong joined his first TV series Brother’s wife, playing the role Yun Dong. Before graduating from the Academy, Tong would be a part of many TV series including Green Wedding and Life of a Century. In 2001, with his graduation from Shanghai Theater Academy his first film, One Thousand Thieves was released.

In 2002, one year after graduation, Tong first gained mainstream popularity in the movie I Love You. He starred, Wang Yi, a character in an unhealthy marriage dealing with the struggles of love. Directed by internationally acclaimed director Zhang Yuan, the movie premiered in many international film festivals including Sundance. In China, the film was a huge success, grossing 10.2 million Yuan (1.2 million dollars) at the box office and becoming Yuan’s highest grossing film yet.

At the same time, Tong also starred in the TV show in Jade Guan Yin. Adopted from a novel, the show gained popularity for being an exciting adventure about crime, and was a huge hit with Mainland Chinese audiences. Unfortunately, Tong’s subsequent TV shows between 2003 and 2006 failed to find a target audience.

Tong’s popularity rose back to mainstream in 2007 with his most successful TV show yet; Struggle. Based on the popular novel by Shi Kang, Struggle gained unexpected acclaim due to its cast. Taking place in most 1980s modern China, the show was seen as a breakthrough in Chinese TV production as it broke from the usual Chinese TV series focusing in traditional legends and series. Tong’s character, Lu Tao, reflected the rise in a new social class in modern China. In the same year, Tong’s controversial film, Lost in Beijing, gained international fame for being banned in China for its honesty portrayals of class struggles and sexuality. Directed by awarding winning director Li Yu, the film starred a top Chinese cast including Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, and Hong Kong actor Tony Leung Kai-Fa. The film held its international premiere in Berlin film festival, where it gained strong reviews and acclaim. Like many films dealing with problems in modern Chinese society, the film was officially banned in China in 2008.

In 2008, Tong starred in John Woo’s epic Red Cliff II. At time of production, the film had the highest budget ever released for an Asian film at 80 million USD. Based on the historical battle occurring during the Han Dynasty, the movie filmed huge expansive battles unlike anything seen before in China. The movie was seen by many critics as Director John Woo’s return to form. Also in 2008, Tong joined the Chinese ensemble in the movie The Founding of a Republic, a movie marking the 60th Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. The film was well received with Chinese audiences and critics, earning 62.5 million USD in box office. At the same time, Tong continued collaborating with prominent leaders of the Chinese entertainment industry, and played vital roles in different Chinese TV series.

In 2010, Tong collaborated with award winning director Zhang Yimou for the film The Flowers of War. Dealing with the sensitive issue of the Rape of Nanjing, Tong plays Major Lee, a man on a mission to save his lost friend. The movie was released in December 2011, and was China’s entry for the Best Foreign Film in the 84th Academy Awards.

Personal life[edit]

On 17 April 2008, Tong married Guan Yue (born 1979), a movie and TV series actress. The wedding was held in the Hotel Sofitel Wanda, Beijng. On 26 August 2008, the couple gave birth to their daughter.

Musical career[edit]

Tong released a vocal album titled Da Shi Jie Xiao Zuo Wei (Being Little in A Big World) in 2007.


Year English title Original title Role Notes
1998 Brother's Wife 嫂娘 Yun Dong TV Series
1999 Green Wedding 綠色婚禮 Xiao Yong TV Series
Life of a Century 世紀人生 Da Ming TV Series
2000 Angels Are to Blame 都是天使惹的禍 Xiong Feng TV Series
Network Love Story 一網情深 Zhou Wei TV Series
2001 One Hundred Thieves 一百個小偷 Shi Gang
Meeting Aquarium 海洋館的約會 Mai Di TV Series
Young Justice Bao II 少年包青天II Emperor Song Ren Zong TV Series
2002 I Love You 我愛你 Wang Yi
Jade Guan-yin 玉觀音 Yang Rui TV Series
Family on a Diet 瘦身家族 Tang Manjin TV Series
Waterlilies 出水芙蓉 Gao Chu TV Series
2003 Sky of Love 情牽一線 Wen Tao
Double Dating 非常浪漫 Xiao Chun
Fall in Love at First Sight 一見鍾情 Zhao Benxuan
Taste of Summer 夏天的味道 Zhu Cheng TV Series
A Pink Family 紅粉世家 Yu Shuicun TV Series
2004 The Vinegar Tribe 醋溜族 Xiao Bai TV Series
First Intimate Contact 第一次親密接觸 Pizi Cai TV Series
Heaven Has Eyes 蒼天有眼 Wu Yu TV Series
Butterfly Fantasy 蝴蝶飛飛 Lan Dongchen TV Series
2005 Give the Definite Word 一言為定 Ximen Hong TV Series
Romantic Life 與青春有關的日子 Fang Yan TV Series
We Have Nowhere to Place Youth 我們無處安放的青春 Li Ran TV Series
2007 Lost in Beijing 蘋果 An Kun
Struggle 奮鬥 Lu Tao TV Series
Special Police 女特警 Liu Chun TV Series
The So-called Marriage 所謂婚姻 Wu De TV Series
How Far Is It to My Happiness 幸福還有多遠 Wang Xiaomao TV Series
2008 Fit Lover 愛情呼叫轉移2 愛情左右 Zhang Ting
Red Cliff: Part II 赤壁-下 Sun Shucai
Volunteer 志願者 Xiao Ran
Sniper 狙擊手 Long Shaoqin TV Series
2009 On His Majesty's Secret Service 大內密探靈靈狗 Royal Tiger
The Founding of a Republic 建國大業 Kong Lingkan
Outside the Great Wall Is My Hometown 長城外面是故鄉 Ming Di
Mars Baby 火星沒事 Bank Staff
2010 Waiting for Our Happiness 守候我們的幸福 Lin Ziyang TV Series
Marriage Battle 婚姻保衛戰 Guo Yang TV Series
2011 To Southeast Asia 下南洋 Jian Zhaoqing TV Series
Energy Behind the Heart 用心跳
Treasure Inn 財神客棧 Wen Wenqie
Great Wall My Love 追愛
The Flowers of War 金陵十三釵 Major Li
2012 To My Wife 與妻書 Lin Juemin
The Zodiac Mystery 十二星座離奇事件
All for Love 三個未婚媽媽
2013 Better and Better 越來越好之村晚
American Dreams in China 中國合伙人
Switch 天機:富春山居圖 Toshio
Badges of Fury 不二神探 Real Estate Manager cameo
Longmen Express 龙门镖局 TV series
2014 But Always 一生一世
Dearest 亲爱的
The Crossing 太平轮
Meet Miss Anxiety 我的早更女友
Love on the Cloud 微爱之渐入佳境
2015 Tiger Mom 虎妈猫爸 TV series, filming

Awards and nominations[edit]

List of awards and award nominations

Year Award Award category Title of work Result
2004 Golden Eagle Awards Favorite Actor Jade Guan-yin Won
2007 Pusan Film Critics Awards Best New Actor Lost in Beijing Nominated

References and external links[edit]