Wen Zhang

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Wen Zhang
Chinese name 文章
Born (1984-06-26) June 26, 1984 (age 34)
Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
Ethnicity Manchu
Alma mater Central Academy of Drama
Occupation
Years active 2006–present
Label(s) Easy Entertainment
Spouse(s) Ma Yili
Children 1

Wen Zhang (Chinese: 文章, born 26 June 1984) is a Chinese actor. He graduated from the Central Academy of Drama in 2006.

Career[edit]

Rising popularity[edit]

Wen rose to fame for his role in the popular television series Struggle (2007). Based on the popular novel by Shi Kang, Struggle gained unexpected acclaim and was seen as a breakthrough in Chinese TV production as it broke from the usual Chinese TV series focusing in traditional legends and series.[1]

Another notable series Wen starred in is Dwelling Narrowness (2009).[2] The series, which focuses on rising property prices in China and the impact it has on youths and their ambitions, was a major hit with the audiences and sparked a discussion among youths online.[3] The same year, he made his film debut in A Tale of Two Donkeys (directed by Li Dawei), a black comedy film set in the Cultural Revolution.[4] Wen won the Best New Actor award at the China Movie Channel Media Awards for his performance.[5]

Mainstream success[edit]

Wen had his first major role on the screen in Xue Xiaolu's literary film, Ocean Heaven (2010), playing a 21-year-old autistic man whose only happiness is swimming. Wen was initially rejected by the producers, as he did not fit their requirements; and this prompted him to master four kinds of living strokes in one week. After he successfully got the role, Wen underwent arduous training - which involves swimming 5000 m per day and a 180-day's living with a group of autistic people, which Wen says helped him get closer to their inner mind. Wen's efforts paid off to overwhelming positive reviews from critics, and he clinched the Best Actor award at the China Movie Channel Media Awards.[6][7] The same year, Wen won the Best Actor award at the Sichuan Television Festival and Audience's Choice for Actor at the Golden Eagle Awards for his role as a war-time hero in Snow Leopard.[8][9]

In 2011, Wen starred in the romantic comedy Love is Not Blind alongside Bai Baihe.[10] The low-budget film became a surprise hit and ended up grossing over 350 million yuan at the Chinese box office.[11] Wen won the Best Actor award at the Hundred Flowers Award for his performance.[12] The same year, Wen won the Best Actor award at the China TV Drama Awards for his performance in Naked Wedding.[13] The series, which explores the struggles a China couple faces when they marry for love with no house, substantial savings, or elaborate ceremonies, struck a chord with Chinese youths and become a major hit.[14][15]

In 2013, he starred as Tang Sanzang in Stephen Chow's fantasy blockbuster Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons, which broke records to become the highest grossing Chinese movie then.[16] He also starred in action comedy Badges of Fury alongside Jet Li.[17] The same year, Wen launched his directorial debut, Little Daddy on the small screen; which stars himself as the lead actor. He received the award for Best TV Series for the production, and the Best TV Actor award at the LETV Awards.[18]

Post-scandal and successful comeback[edit]

Wen directed his first film, When Larry Met Mary which was released in 2016.[19] However, despite positive reviews, the film failed to do well at the box office.[20] Wen received the Best Directorial Debut award at the Golden Rooster Awards.[21]

The same year, Wen made a successful comeback in 2016 with the hit television series, Young Marshal, a biopic based on the life of war hero Zhang Xueliang.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Wen married Chinese actress Ma Yili, who is eight years older, and they have a two-year-old daughter. However, in 2014, Wen was exposed by the media to be involved in an affair with Yao Di, a Chinese actress who starred with Wen in the 2011 television series Naked Marriage. His affair attracted widespread discussion on Sina Weibo with over millions of comments.[23]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year English Title Chinese Title Role Notes
2009 A Tale of Two Donkeys 走着瞧 Ma Jie
2010 Ocean Heaven 海洋天堂 Da Fu
2011 Mr. & Mrs. Incredible 神奇侠侣 Emperor
The Law of Attraction 万有引力 Gao Yuan
The Sorcerer and the White Snake 白蛇传说 Neng Ren [24]
Love is Not Blind 失恋33天 Wang Xiaojian
2012 In-Laws New Year 亲家过年 Zhang Xuelun
Truth or Dare 真心话大冒险 Cameo
All for Love 三个未婚妈妈 Cameo
The Guillotines 血滴子 Qian Long
2013 Beyond the Bounds 越位者 Cameo
Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons 西游·降魔篇 Tang Sanzang
Badges of Fury 不二神探 Wang Bu'er
2014 On the Way 我在路上最爱你 Xia Yu [25]
Gone with the Bullets 一步之遥 Wu Qi [26]
2016 The Mermaid 美人鱼 Policeman Cameo
League of Gods 封神传奇 Nezha
When Larry Met Mary 陆垚知马俐 Director
2017 Gong Shou Dao 功守道 Director

Television series[edit]

Year English Title Chinese Title Role Notes
2000 Bloom of Youth 青春正点 Chen Long
2001 Black Triangle 黑三角 Du Liang
2003 Zheng Jiu Shao Nian Fan 拯救少年犯 Cao Xiaolei
2004 You Are Smiling, While I am Weeping 你在微笑我却哭了 Chen Chen
2006 Song of Youth 青春之歌 Lin Daofeng
Romantic Life 与青春有关的日子 Zhuo Yue
Jin Yi Wei 锦衣卫 Zhu Tianjiao
2007 An Liu 暗流 Duan Yifei
Struggle 奋斗 Xiang Nan
Where is Happiness 幸福在哪里 Cameo
2008 Brothers 兄弟门 Hua Xiaowen
2009 Prominent Family 望族 Du Qingming
Love in Sun Moon Lake 爱在日月潭 Meng Ting
Dwelling Narrowness 蜗居 Xiao Bei
2010 Snow Leopard 雪豹 Zhou Weiguo
National Anthem 国歌 Nie Er
Bing Shi Shui Zhao De Shui 冰是睡着的水 Coach Gao
2011 Naked Wedding 裸婚时代 Liu Yiyang
Zai Ba Guo Yin 再过把瘾 Cameo
Black Fox 黑狐 Luo Bin
2013 Blood Rose 3 血色玫瑰之女子特遣队 Wang Jingwei
Little Daddy 小爸爸 Yu Guo Also director
Love is not Blind 失恋33天 Cameo
2016 Young Marshal 少帅 Zhang Xueliang
Happy Mitan 欢喜密探 Cameo
2017 Razor 剃刀边缘 Xu Congliang Also director[27]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2009 China Movie Channel Media Awards Best New Actor A Tale of Two Donkeys Won [5]
2010 Best Actor Ocean Heaven Won [7]
2011 Beijing College Student Film Festival Best Actor Nominated
Most Popular Actor Won [28]
Huabiao Film Awards Best Newcomer Won [29]
Golden Phoenix Awards Society Award Won [30]
China TV Drama Awards Best Actor Naked Wedding Won [13]
Shanghai Television Festival Best Actor Snow Leopard Nominated
2012 Golden Eagle Awards Audience's Choice for Actor Won [9]
Most Popular Actor Won
Shanghai Television Festival Best Actor Naked Wedding Nominated
China Film Director's Guild Awards Best Actor Love is Not Blind Nominated
Beijing College Student Film Festival Best Actor Nominated
Most Popular Actor Won [31]
Hundred Flowers Award Best Actor Won [12]
2013 Sichuan Television Festival Best Actor Snow Leopard Won [8]
LeTV Awards Best Director (TV) Little Daddy Won [18]
Best Actor (TV) Won
China TV Drama Awards Best Director Won
2016 Asian New Talent Award Best Director When Larry Met Mary Nominated [32]
2017 31st Golden Rooster Awards Best Directorial Debut Won [21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "《奋斗》火爆文章窜红 如小燕子赵薇一夜成名". Sina (in Chinese). January 21, 2008. 
  2. ^ "TV drama Snail House hit the airwaves in Beijing". CCTV.com. November 9, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Hit TV Series Strikes Chord with China's "House Slaves"". The Wall Street Journal. November 26, 2009. 
  4. ^ ""A Tale of Two Donkeys" Wins Laughter in CSFF". China Radio International. April 9, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "电影频道传媒大奖揭晓 《走着瞧》成最大赢家". NetEase (in Chinese). June 22, 2009. 
  6. ^ "'Ocean Heaven' Actor Wen Zhang: It's Good to Learn". China Radio International. June 15, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b "Actor 'Little octopus' says We Can". China Daily. July 29, 2010. 
  8. ^ a b ""A Bite of China", "Downton Abbey" win top prizes". CCTV.com. November 19, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Golden Eagle TV Art Festival opens in Hunan Province". CCTV.com. September 11, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Wen Zhang, Bai Baihe join 'Love is not Blind'". China Daily. October 16, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Love Is Not Blind is a box office hit in China". Asia Pacific Arts. November 22, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "31st Hundred Flowers Award ceremony opens in E China". The Global Times. September 30, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "Sheren Tang and Kevin Cheng Win Most Popular Artist Awards in Beijing". JayneStars. December 27, 2011. 
  14. ^ "《裸婚时代》开播即成收视冠军 话题十足引争议". Tencent (in Chinese). June 23, 2011. 
  15. ^ "《裸婚时代》江苏卫视热播 导演解读80后新婚姻". Sina (in Chinese). June 13, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Film Review: 'Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons'". Variety. March 10, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Film Review: 'Badges of Fury'". Variety. June 28, 2013. 
  18. ^ a b "'Little Daddy'actor/director Wen Zhang wins double at LETV Awards". The Global Times. December 22, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Actor Wen's romantic comedy set for July release". China Daily. June 6, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Box-office takings wilt in the heat of summer". China Daily. August 5, 2016. 
  21. ^ a b "Highlights of 31st Golden Rooster Awards in Hohhot". The Global times. September 17, 2017. 
  22. ^ "A look at the Xi'an Incident hero's formative years". China Daily. January 21, 2016. 
  23. ^ "Actor's cheating apology sets China social network on fire". Sina. March 31, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Charlene Choi, Wen Zhang seen in new film". China.org.cn. July 1, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Wen Zhang to Star in 3D Film 'On the Road'". China Radio International. November 15, 2011. 
  26. ^ "Wen Zhang, Wang Zhiwen join Jiang Wen's new film". China Daily. August 19, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Star couple to play in 'Spy Game'". China Daily. March 17, 2017. 
  28. ^ "第18届北京大学生电影节落幕". enorth.com (in Chinese). April 30, 2011. 
  29. ^ "Huabiao awards winners announced". CCTV.com. August 30, 2011. 
  30. ^ "第十三届"金凤凰奖"揭晓 百余名表演艺术家出席". China.com (in Chinese). August 12, 2011. 
  31. ^ "19th Beijing College Student Film Festival wraps up". China.org.cn. April 27, 2012. 
  32. ^ "Candidates for the Asian New Talent Award". Shanghai Daily. June 20, 2016.