Kris Wu

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Kris Wu
Kris Wu at the Hallyu Star Street on March 2014 02.jpg
Kris Wu at the Hallyu Star Street in March 2014
Background information
Chinese name 吴亦凡
Pinyin Wú Yìfán (Mandarin)
Birth name 李嘉恒
Lǐ Jiāhéng[1]
Origin Canada
Born (1990-11-06) November 6, 1990 (age 26)
Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
Nationality Chinese-Canadian[1]
Associated acts

Wu Yifan (simplified Chinese: 吴亦凡; traditional Chinese: 吳亦凡; pinyin: Wú Yìfán, pronounced [ǔ îfân], OO EE-fawn; born November 6, 1990), professionally known as Kris Wu or Kris, is a Chinese-born Canadian actor, singer, and model. He is a former member of South Korean-Chinese boy band EXO and it's subgroup EXO-M under SM Entertainment. He is active as a solo artist and actor in China and has starred in several #1 box office hits including Mr. Six and Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back, which are among the highest-grossing Chinese films of all time in China. He made his Hollywood debut in xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017).

Early life[edit]

Kris Wu was born Li Jiaheng (Chinese: 李嘉恒; pinyin: Lǐ Jiāhéng); his legal Chinese name was later changed to Wu Yifan (Chinese: 吴亦凡; pinyin: Wú Yìfán). He was born and raised in Guangzhou, Guangdong.

At the age of 10, he moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with his mother. He returned to China at the age of 15 and attended Guangzhou No. 7 Middle School for a brief period, after which he and his mother went back to Vancouver, where he attended Point Grey Secondary School and Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School.

At the age of 16, Wu auditioned for S.M. Entertainment's Canadian Global Auditions, which were held in Vancouver on October 14, 2007. After passing the auditions, he moved to South Korea in January 2008 and became a trainee for the company.[1]


2012–2014: Exo[edit]

Kris was introduced as the eleventh member of EXO on February 17, 2012.[2] The group made their debut in April that year and quickly became one of the most popular K-pop groups in South Korea and internationally, achieving commercial success with their studio album XOXO and their hit song "Growl" in 2013. The album became the first album by a Korea-based artist in twelve years to sell over one million copies, and is the 12th best selling album of all time in Korea.[3] Kris featured on Exo's Overdose album, which was released in May 2014 and became the best selling album of 2014 in South Korea, before leaving the group.

2014–2015: Solo career and acting debut[edit]

In July 2014, Wu released "Time Boils the Rain" as part of the soundtrack for the Chinese box office hit Tiny Times 3.[4] That year, he became the youngest celebrity to have a wax figure at Madame Tussauds Shanghai and was named "Newcomer of the Year" by Esquire China.[5][6]

Wu made his film debut in Somewhere Only We Know, directed by Xu Jinglei.[7] The film was released on February 14, 2015 and debuted at No.1 on the Chinese box office, grossing US$37.81 million in six days following its release.[8] He won the "Best Newcomer Award" at the 3rd China International Film Festival London for his performance.[9]

He then starred in his second film Mr. Six, which closed at the Venice Film Festival.[10][11] The film was a box office hit, grossing over US$137 million and becoming one of the highest-grossing films in China.[12]

2016–present: International appearances[edit]

Wu made his runway debut at Burberry's Fall 2016 Men's Show in London.[13][14] He also took part in the 2016 NBA All-Star Game as a member of Team Canada, coached by Drake.[15]

Wu starred alongside Liu Yifei in Never Gone, the sequel to So Young;[16] and romance melodrama Sweet Sixteen, alongside Han Geng and Korean actor Joo Won.[17] He won the "Newcomer with the Most Media Attention" award at the Shanghai International Film Festival.[18] and "Best Actor" at the Gold Crane Award for his performance in Sweet Sixteen.[19] In September, he featured in the blockbuster fantasy film L.O.R.D: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties, directed and written by Guo Jingming.[20]

In January 2017, Wu made his U.S film debut in D. J. Caruso's xXx: Return of Xander Cage.[21][22] On January 19, he released the single "Juice", featuring Vin Diesel in the music video, as part of the soundtrack.[23] Wu then starred in Stephen Chow's film, Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back, playing Tang Sanzang.[24]

In February 2017, Wu represented China at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles.[25] In the same month, Wu accepted his second invitation to play in the 2017 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans.[26] In April 2017, Forbes listed Wu their 30 Under 30 Asia 2017 list which comprises 30 influential people under 30 years old who have made substantial effect in their fields.[27]

Wu will be appearing in Luc Besson's Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,[28] as well as Hong Kong-made action thriller Europe Raiders alongside Tony Leung.[29]

Other activities[edit]

In 2015, Wu became the Youth Ambassador for the 3rd Silk Road International Film Festival in Xian.[30]

In 2016, he became the first endorser for Mixxtail.[31] Mercedez-Benz also chose Wu as their brand ambassador in China for their Smart division[32] and introduced the limited edition "Kris Wu Edition" smart.[33] Wu has also been made the global ambassador for I.T Cashback Card under American Express Hong Kong. The brand made him chief design advisor and the face of their latest in-house brand, Under Garden. He designed the lookbook for the latest collection.[34] Burberry also chose Wu as their global ambassador in 2016, making him the first non-British as well as the first Asian person to be the face of the brand.[35] It was reported that Burberry experienced a growth in sales and awareness with Chinese shoppers thanks to Kris' campaign.[36]

Wu made his international debut as the brand ambassador of BVLGARI at 2017 Baselworld.[37][38]

S.M. Entertainment lawsuit[edit]

On May 15, 2014, Wu filed a lawsuit against the agency to terminate his contract.[39] S.M. Entertainment claimed to be completely taken aback despite having dealt with several disputes regarding their contracts in the past.[40]

On July 30, 2015, S.M Entertainment filed a lawsuit against Wu and the Chinese companies working with him at the Beijing court, stating that "these activities have infringed the rights of the EXO members and SM, and have caused great financial harm to us and our partners. This is not only an abuse of the system, but also an unethical move that has betrayed the trust of this company and the other members."[41] The following day, Wu released a statement defending himself stating that S.M. Entertainment had made him leave the group for several months and that S.M. Entertainment's way of mistreating and neglecting their artists resulted in serious health issues: he had to take medication to be able to work from July 2013 to January 2014, when he was diagnosed with myocarditis.[42] A settlement was reached that he will be under their management in only Korea and Japan.[43]


In June 2014, Wu joined Heart Ali, a project started by Fan Bingbing and Chen Lizhi (the general manager of Beijing Maite Media). The charity project is aimed at helping children suffering from congenital heart defect in Ngari Prefecture in Tibet.[44]

On January 21, 2016, he launched his own charity project called Extraordinary Honorary Court (不凡荣誉球场), a collaboration project with Sina, Weibo Sports, and Weibo Charity. The goal is to spread basketball in middle schools in China to encourage all basketball-loving youth to continue their dreams of pursuing this sport.[45] Wu was also announced as the ambassador for China's Jr. NBA program and is part of the program's mentor group.[46][47]



Year Title Chinese Title Role Remarks References
2015 Somewhere Only We Know 有一个地方只有我们知道 Ze Yang Lead role [7]
Mr. Six 老炮儿 Xiao Fei Supporting role [10]
2016 The Mermaid 美人鱼 Long Jianfei Cameo [48]
So Young 2: Never Gone 致青春2:原来你还在这里 Cheng Zheng Lead role [16]
Sweet Sixteen 夏有乔木,雅望天堂 Xia Mu [17]
L.O.R.D: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties 爵迹 Yin Chen [20]
2017 XXX: Return of Xander Cage 极限特工3:终极回归 Harvard "Nicks" Zhou Supporting role [21]
Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back 西遊伏妖篇 Tang Sanzang Lead role [24]
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets 星际特工 Captain Neza Supporting role [28]
Europe Raiders 欧洲攻略 Le Qi Lead role [29]
Blossoms 繁花 Lead role [49]

Variety show[edit]

Year Title Role Network Remarks References
2015 Challenger's Alliance Fixed Cast Zhejiang TV
2017 72 Floors of Mystery Hunan TV



Title Year Peak chart positions Album

"Say Yes"
(with Jessica and Krystal)
2014 Make Your Move (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
"Time Boils The Rain (时间煮雨)" Tiny Times 3 OST
"There is a Place (有一个地方)"[51] Somewhere Only We Know OST
"Bad Girl"[52] 2015 Non-album single
"Greenhouse Girl (花房姑娘)" Mr. Six OST
"From Now On (从此以后)" 2016 Sweet Sixteen OST
"July"[53] 2 TBA
"Sword like a Dream (刀剑如梦)" World of Sword OST
"Good Kid (乖乖)"
(with Tan Jing)[54]
12 Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons 2 OST
"Juice" 2017 XXX: Return of Xander Cage (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that region.

Production credits[edit]

Year Album Song Lyrics Music
Credited With Credited With
2014 Somewhere Only We Know OST "There is a Place" Yes Song Bin-young
2015 "Bad Girl" Yes Yes Song Bin-young and Brave Brothers
Mr. Six OST "Greenhouse Girl" Yes Cui Jian
2016 Sweet Sixteen OST "From Now On" Yes Song Bin-young
"July" Yes with Curtis, August Grant and Karl Rubin
2017 XXX: Return of Xander Cage (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) "Juice" Yes with Rook Monroe, Maurice Simmonds, Darius Ginn Jr., Mario Jefferson Yes with R!O & Kamo

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2014 Esquire Man At His Best Awards 2014 Newcomer of the Year N/A Won [6]
Sohu Fashion Awards Asian Fashion Icon of the Year
2015 Sina 15th Anniversary Outstanding Youth Award [55]
22nd Beijing College Student Film Festival Best New Actor Somewhere Only We Know Nominated
3rd China International Film Festival London Best New Actor Won [9]
Best Actor Nominated
Asian Influence Awards Most Influential Male God N/A Won [56]
NetEase Attitude Awards Idol With Most Attitude on the Silver Screen [57]
2016 Sina Weibo Awards Weibo King [58]
Strong New Actor Mr. Six
GMIC X Annual Awards Mainland China Actor of the Year [59]
19th Shanghai International Film Festival Newcomer with the Most Media Attention Sweet Sixteen [18]
Fresh Asia Awards Most Influential Male Singer of the Year "Bad Girl" [60]
29th Tokyo International Film Festival
Gold Crane Awards Ceremony (TIFFJAPAN)
Best Actor Sweet Sixteen [19]
The 10th Migu Music Awards Most Popular Male Singer of the Year (China) N/A [61]
Top 10 Songs of the Year "July"
Tencent Entertainment White Paper Celebrity of the Year N/A [62]


  1. ^ a b c "Kris Wu". Internet Movie Database. 
  2. ^ "EXO Teaser 17_KRIS". SM Entertainment. February 15, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
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  4. ^ "Wu Yifan sings for "Tiny times Ⅲ"". Sina. July 16, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Madame Tussauds to feature Wu Yifan replica". Sina. December 2, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "时尚先生Esquire Official Weibo" (in Chinese). December 17, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Kris stars in Xu Jinglei's new film, Somewhere Only We Know". Sina. June 24, 2014. 
  8. ^ Coonan, Clifford (February 16, 2015). "China Box Office: Valentine's Day Lifts 'Somewhere Only We Know' Ahead of New Year Face-Off". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 16, 2015. 
  9. ^ a b "《匆匆那年》获伦敦国际华语电影节最佳影片奖". BBC News (in Chinese). May 15, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2017. 
  10. ^ a b "Former EXO member Kris Wu gets villainous on the big screen". The New Paper. Retrieved February 17, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Chinese film to close 72nd Venice Film Fest". Sina. July 30, 2015. 
  12. ^ "'Mr. Six' crosses $100 million, tops China box office". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 17, 2017. 
  13. ^ "Zayn Who? Meet Kris Wu, the Former Boy Band Superstar Member Who Took Burberry's Runway by Storm". Vogue. Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Kris Wu's Runway Debut for Burberry Wins Praise from Fashion Circle". China Radio International. January 14, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Kris Wu to join 2016 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game". China Daily. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  16. ^ a b "'So Young' sequel to meet audiences on July 8". China Internet Information Center. Retrieved January 16, 2017. 
  17. ^ a b "주원 中 스크린 진출작 '하유교목' 4월 개봉 확정". TV Report (in Korean). January 30, 2016. 
  18. ^ a b "吴亦凡斩获年度新人奖 演《夏有乔木》惹人怜爱". (in Chinese). Retrieved February 22, 2017. 
  19. ^ a b "Kris Wu, Jiang Qinqin honored in Tokyo". China Internet Information Center. October 27, 2016. 
  20. ^ a b Matthew, Ilin (May 7, 2015). "Former EXO Member Kris aka Wu Yifan to Share Screen Space with Chinese Actress Fan Bingbing". International Business Times. 
  21. ^ a b "Kris Wu to star in Hollywood flick". The Korea Herald. February 10, 2016. 
  22. ^ "Kris Wu’s Nicks gets an xXx: Return of Xander Cage character trailer". Flickering Myth. January 19, 2016. 
  23. ^ "Kris Wu & Vin Diesel 'Pull Up and Flex' in 'Juice' for 'xXx: Return of Xander Cage': Exclusive Video Premiere". Billboard. Retrieved February 22, 2017. 
  24. ^ a b "'Journey' sequel's producer stands by star Kris Wu". China Daily. December 26, 2016. 
  25. ^ "Kris Wu Talks "Juice" on the 2017 Grammys Red Carpet". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-04-13. 
  26. ^ "Master P, Nick Cannon, Win Butler & More to Play in the 2017 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-04-13. 
  27. ^ "30 Under 30 Asia 2017: Celebrities". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-04-13. 
  28. ^ a b "Luc Besson sets Kris Wu to star in 'Valerian'". China Internet Information Center. Retrieved December 15, 2015. 
  29. ^ a b "FilMart: Tony Leung, Kris Wu Set As ‘Europe Raiders’". Variety. Retrieved February 16, 2017. 
  30. ^ "Silk Road film festival features cultural diversity". China Internet Information Center. Retrieved February 16, 2017. 
  31. ^ "Kris Wu Becomes a Mixologist Bartender in "MIXXTAIL" CF". Koogle TV. Retrieved November 3, 2016. 
  32. ^ "Three-pointed star shines at Auto China 2016". China Daily. Retrieved April 28, 2016. 
  33. ^ "Smart's odes to joy brighten up the show". China Daily. April 25, 2016. 
  34. ^ "Plaids and Neutrals in UNDER GARDEN's First Collection for 2016 Fall/Winter"". HypeBeast. October 13, 2016. 
  35. ^ "Meet Kris Wu, the Former Boy Band Superstar Member Who Took Burberry’s Runway by Storm". Vogue. Retrieved October 14, 2016. 
  36. ^ "Chinese pop idol helps Burberry get back on song". The Telegraph. Retrieved October 14, 2016. 
  37. ^ "Kris Wu". Retrieved 2017-04-13. 
  38. ^ "The Jewellery Editor flies the flag for Baselworld". 2017-04-10. Retrieved 2017-04-13. 
  39. ^ "EXO's Chinese member sues to end contract with S. Korean agency". Yonhap. May 15, 2014. 
  40. ^ "SM 측 "엑소 크리스 전속계약 해지 소송, 최선의 노력 할 것"". TV Daily (in Korean). Retrieved April 28, 2016. 
  41. ^ "SM Entertainment files lawsuit against Kris and companies that hired him". Naver (in Korean). Herald Corporation. July 31, 2015. 
  42. ^ ddangha (August 1, 2015). "Kris (Wu Yi Fan) Releases Official Statement in Response to SM Entertainment’s Lawsuit". Star News (in Korean). 
  43. ^ "Ex Exo Members Kris and Luhan settle disputes with SM". Osen (in Korean). July 21, 2016. 
  44. ^ "Kris Joins Fan Bingbing′s Community Service Project to Help Children with Heart Disease". MWave. June 23, 2014. 
  45. ^ "吴亦凡公益新旅程 不凡荣誉球场正式启动". Sina (in Chinese). Retrieved January 22, 2016. 
  46. ^ "Pierce on board with China's Jr. NBA program". Retrieved 2017-04-25. 
  47. ^ Sports, Yutang (February 20, 2017). "NBA China officially sets up Jr. NBA". Yutang Sports. Retrieved April 25, 2017. 
  48. ^ "《美人鱼》邓超杀青亲亲星爷 吴亦凡加盟". Sina. January 15, 2015. 
  49. ^ "吴亦凡将出演王家卫新片《繁花》 否认演《扶摇》". Sina. 18 April 2017. 
  50. ^ "China V Chart". Billboard. 
  51. ^ "吴亦凡首度创作 新歌《有一个地方》首发". Sina (in Chinese). November 6, 2014. 
  52. ^ "Singer-actor Kris Wu releases "Bad Girl" music video". Sina. Retrieved February 17, 2017. 
  53. ^ "Asian Megastar Kris Wu English Single "July" Premiered in the US". PR Newswire. Retrieved February 22, 2017. 
  54. ^ "Kris Wu, Tan Jing sing for 'Journey to the West 2'". China Internet Information Center. Retrieved January 16, 2017. 
  55. ^ "杰出青年吴亦凡首次长篇演讲 忆成长之路". Sina (in Chinese). Retrieved February 16, 2017. 
  56. ^ "2015亚洲影响力东方盛典 吴亦凡封"男神"". Tencent (in Chinese). Retrieved February 16, 2017. 
  57. ^ "吴亦凡获网易vivo有态度盛典最有态度银幕偶像". NetEase (in Chinese). Retrieved February 16, 2017. 
  58. ^ "Zhao Liying and Wu Yifan crowned at Weibo Night 2015". Sina. January 8, 2016. 
  59. ^ "Kris Wu wins GMIC's Mainland China Actor of the Year". Yahoo!. May 4, 2016. 
  60. ^ "吴亦凡获年度最具影响力男歌手". Sina (in Chinese). Retrieved February 16, 2017. 
  61. ^ "吴亦凡凭借歌曲《July》 获最受欢迎和十大金曲奖". (in Chinese). Retrieved February 16, 2017. 
  62. ^ "2016腾讯娱乐白皮书发布 吴亦凡获年度之星". Tencent (in Chinese). Retrieved February 16, 2017. 

External links[edit]