Xia Yu (actor)

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Xia Yu
Xia Yu 2007 (cropped).jpg
Background information
Chinese name
Pinyin Xià Yǔ (Mandarin)
Born (1976-10-28) 28 October 1976 (age 41)
Qingdao, Shandong, China
Ethnicity Han
Alma mater Central Academy of Drama
Occupation Actor
Years active 1994–present
Label(s) Xia Yu Studio
Yuan Quan (m. 2009)
Children 1 daughter (b. 2010)
Golden Horse Awards
Best Actor
1994 In the Heat of the Sun
Other awards
Volpi Cup for Best Actor
1994 In the Heat of the Sun

Xia Yu (Chinese: 夏雨; pinyin: Xià Yǔ, born 28 October 1976) is a Chinese actor.[1]


Xia Yu was born on 28 October 1976 in Qingdao, Shandong Province. His father was once an actor and then became a painter.[2]

Xia was initially discovered by Jiang Wen who cast him in his semi-autobiographical film In the Heat of the Sun (1994). Despite being chosen partly because of his facial resemblance to a young Jiang, Xia's performance as a spirited and moving performance of a renegade youth in the film conquered audiences.[2] He was rocketed to international stardom after he won the Best Actor award from the Venice Film Festival (the youngest actor to win that award in the history of the festival), Singapore International Film Festival and Golden Horse Awards.[3]

Xia wanted to study drama after his first film, he was accepted into the Central Academy of Drama. After completing his studies there, Xia remained an active force in Chinese cinema as well as television, appearing in many films and television series.[3][2] Xia's second film Shadow Magic demonstrated his talent as an actor and earned him a nomination for Best Actor at the Tokyo International Film Festival.[4] His earlier film credits also includes Roots and Branches (2001) and Where Have All the Flowers Gone (2002).[5] Xia's subsequent films, The Law of Romance (2003) won him a Golden Rooster Award for Best Actor and Waiting Alone (2005) earned him Best Actor at the Beijing College Student Film Festival.[3] With five best actor titles at international film festivals, Xia Yu has been named one of the top 4 hottest young actors in China.[6]

Like many of today′s actors in China, Xia Yu also has an extensive TV career, appearing on such shows as Records of Kangxi's Travel Incognito, Classical Romance and Sky Lovers. Most of Xia′s TV roles have been secondary ones until he was cast to star in The Ugliest In the World, where he played Liu Baoshan, a genius of the Qing Dynasty who gave up the opportunity to become an official in order to become a clown.[5]

Aside from local productions, Xia has also starred in two Hollywood films; China: The Panda Adventure (2001) and The Painted Veil (2006).[7] Xia also starred alongside Shilpa Shetty in the Indian-Chinese film The Desire (2010).[8] In 2016, he took on the role of Wong Jack Man in the Bruce Lee biopic Birth of the Dragon, produced by American filmmaker George Nolfi.[9]

Xia reunited with Waiting Alone director Dayyan Eng in fantasy comedy film Wished, which became one of the highest-grossing domestic titles for the summer season.[10][11]

Personal life[edit]

Xia Yu married actress Yuan Quan in 2009, a decade after their first date as students in Central Academy of Drama.[12] They have appeared in 4 films together: The Law of Romance (2003), Waiting Alone (2004), Shanghai Rumba (2006) and Breakup Buddies (2014). Their daughter was born on 31 March 2010.[13]

Xia is an avid skateboarder. He fell in love with skateboarding after watching it in Gleaming the Cube, a popular movie when he was young. He finds time to board whenever he is between sets shooting a film. In 2003, Xia began to ski and loved it. In 2006, Xia won the championship of a snowboarding game in amateur group in Lucerne, Switzerland.



Year Title Role Notes
1994 In the Heat of the Sun Ma Xiaojun
2000 Shadow Magic Liu Jinglun
2001 Roots and Branches Qi Tian
2001 China: The Panda Adventure Quentin Young
2002 Where Have All the Flowers Gone Gao An
2003 Cala, My Dog! Police
2003 The Law of Romance Zhao Xingan
2004 My Early Days in France Xiao San
2004 Electric Shadows Mao Dabing
2004 Bamboo Shoot Wang Shengli
2004 Waiting Alone Chen Wen
2005 Dragon Squad Luo Zai-Jun
2006 Shanghai Rumba Ah Chuan
2006 Sun Plant Boy Short film
2006 The Painted Veil Wu Lien
2007 Getting Home Bei Baorong
2007 Dangerous Games Li Dachun [14]
2007 Life Today Zhang Weiyang
2007 Bean Curd Girl Chen Jun
2009 Tiny Dust, True Love Reporter Cameo
2010 Life of Sentime Xiao Ke [15]
2010 Wind Blast Zhang Ning [16]
2010 The Desire Jai Leang
2012 Double Trouble Ocean [17]
2012 The Sino-Japanese War at Sea 1894 Itō Sukeyuki
2013 Love Deposit He Muyang [18]
2013 Christmas Rose Xue Zhaowen
2014 Breakup Buddies Kang Xiaoyu's ex Cameo
2015 Crazy New Year's Eve Zhong Wei
2015 Romance Out of the Blue Lin Zida
2015 Mojin: The Lost Legend Big Gold Tooth
2016 Papa Huang Guolun
2016 Birth of the Dragon Wong Jack Man [19]
2017 Wished Ma Fendou

Television series[edit]

Year English title Chinese title Role Notes
1994 Temporary Family 临时家庭 Cameo
1998 Records of Kangxi's Travel Incognito 康熙微服私访记 Wo Laiye
2001 The Ugliest In the World 天下第一丑 Liu Baosan
2001 Buddha Jumps 佛跳墙 Zhao Baochu
2002 Sky Lovers 天空下的缘分 Xia Sanlang
2002 You Light Up My Life 点燃我生命的是你 Huo Ran
2003 Return of Judge Bao I 包公出巡之龙凤肚兜 Gao Tianyou
2004 The Thundering Sword 残剑震江湖 Wang Xiaohu
2004 Classical Romance 经典爱情 Chen Guang
2004 Bring Your Smile Along 啼笑因缘 Lu Yizhi
2005 The Vinegar Tribe 醋溜族 Xiao Long
2005 Falling in Love with a Single-Eyelid Guy 爱上单眼皮男生 Han Zitong
2006 Waves Washing the Sand 浪淘沙 Ouyang Tong
2006 The Identity of Friend 以朋友的名义 Luo Jie
2006 Secret History of Kangxi 康熙秘史 Kangxi [20]
2007 Justice Department 青天衙门 Rui De
2008 Firewall 5788 防火墙5788 Tong Jun
2009 The Innocent Years 我们的八十年代 Yin Yugang [21]
2009 Great Porcelain Merchant 大瓷商 Tao Jingnan [22]
2009 The North Wind Blows 北风那个吹 Shuai Hongbin [23]
2009 The Flying Military Flag 军旗飘扬 Ma Bayi [24]
2011 Shi Fu 师傅 Xu Feng
2011 Yang Liu Qing 杨柳青 Yang Liuqing [25]
2013 The Standing Year 而立之年 Cao Baiwan
2013 Jinan City is our Hometown 我们这拨人 Yang Ruo
2018 Operation Moscow 莫斯科行动 Chen Yali
2018 Mystery of Antiques 古董局中局 Xu Yuan

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
1994 Venice Film Festival Best Actor In the Heat of the Sun Won [26]
Singapore International Film Festival Won [27]
1996 Golden Horse Awards Won [28]
2000 Changchun Film Festival Shadow Magic Nominated
Tokyo International Film Festival Nominated
2003 Golden Rooster Awards The Law of Romance Won [29]
2004 Hundred Flowers Award Nominated
2005 Changchun Film Festival Electric Shadows Nominated
Beijing College Student Film Festival Waiting Alone Won
Golden Phoenix Awards Society Award Won
2006 Beijing College Student Film Festival Most Popular Actor Shanghai Rumba Won [30]
2009 Macau International Movie Festival Best Actor Life of Sentime Nominated
2016 Hundred Flowers Award Best Supporting Actor Mojin: The Lost Legend Nominated


  1. ^ "夏雨 Yu Xia". movie.douban.com (in Chinese). Douban. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Xia Yu-A Diligent Actor". China Radio International. July 11, 2007.
  3. ^ a b c "Golden Boy of the Box Office". China.org.cn. April 4, 2007.
  4. ^ "Finding the magic among moving shadows". Taipei Times. January 20, 2011.
  5. ^ a b ""Jiang Wen's Little Brother" Comes Into His Own". China.org.cn. 2003.
  6. ^ "Xia Yu(夏雨)". CCTV.com. September 2, 2006.
  7. ^ "Painted veil brings cross culture cast". CCTV.com. December 22, 2006.
  8. ^ "Xia Yu to romance Shilpa Shetty". filmibeat.com. January 30, 2009.
  9. ^ "Philip Ng Is Bruce Lee In George Nolfi's BIRTH OF THE DRAGON". Screen Anarchy. November 17, 2015.
  10. ^ "Dayyan Eng pulls together hot ensemble cast for Wished". Screen Daily. July 14, 2016.
  11. ^ "'Comedy Wished' gains success in box office". China Daily. July 7, 2017.
  12. ^ "Xia Yu and Yuan Quan marry". China Daily.
  13. ^ Wu Qiong (April 6, 2010). "It's a Baby Daughter". China Radio International.
  14. ^ "Xia Yu and Gigi Leung to Fall in Love on A Fire Balloon". China.org.cn. July 17, 2007.
  15. ^ "Romantic film "Life of Sentime"". China Radio International. May 5, 2010.
  16. ^ "New Images for Action Film 'Wind Blast'". China Radio International. August 6, 2010.
  17. ^ "Reel China: Double Trouble". China Radio International. February 8, 2013.
  18. ^ "New Xia Yu film hits theaters in May". China Daily. March 20, 2013.
  19. ^ "Birth of the Dragon: Film to tell story of legendary Bruce Lee fight in 1960s". China Daily. January 14, 2016.
  20. ^ "Secret history of emperor Kangxi". CCTV.com. November 23, 2006.
  21. ^ "TV Play "Those Innocent Years" to Debut on Aug. 18". China Radio International. August 14, 2009.
  22. ^ "Culture TV drama recounts porcelain merchant legend". CCTV.com. December 17, 2009.
  23. ^ ""Wind Is Blowing" wins for real to life". CCTV.com. May 4, 2009.
  24. ^ "Shooting starts for army drama in Inner Mongolia". CCTV.com. May 25, 2009.
  25. ^ "Xia Yu to take lead in 'Yangliuqing'". China Daily. March 7, 2011.
  26. ^ "Venice Film Festival - Volpi Cup - Best Actor: All winners". filmaffinity.com.
  27. ^ "1995: SGIFF 8". SGIFF.com.
  28. ^ "Awards and Winners". goldenhorse.org.tw.
  29. ^ ""Golden Rooster" Best Actor and Actress Prizes Awarded". China Daily. November 6, 2003.
  30. ^ "The Forest Ranger Wins Beijing Student Film Festival". China Radio International. April 30, 2006.

External links[edit]