Xu Zheng (actor)

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Xu Zheng
Chinese name (traditional)
Chinese name (simplified)
PinyinXú Zhēng (Mandarin)
Born (1972-04-18) 18 April 1972 (age 46)
Shanghai, China
ResidenceShanghai, China
Alma materShanghai Theatre Academy
OccupationActor, director, screenwriter, producer
Years active1996–present
Spouse(s)
Tao Hong (m. 2002)
Children1
Awards
'China Movie Channel Media Awards
Favourite Actor
2009
One Night in Supermarket
Beijing College Student Film Festival
Favourite Director
2013
Lost in Thailand
China Film Director's Guild Awards
Best Actor
2014
No Man's Land
Chinese American Film Festival
Best Actor
2015
Lost in Hong Kong
Changchun Film Festival
Best Actor
2018 Dying to Survive

Xu Zheng (born 18 April 1972) is a Chinese actor and director best known for acting in comedic roles. Xu directed, co-wrote, co-produced and starred in Lost in Thailand (2012) and Lost in Hong Kong (2015), two of the highest-grossing films in China. He also co-produced and starred in Dying to Survive (2018), another box office megahit.

Xu found fame with the wacky TV series Sunny Piggy (2000), co-starring his future wife Tao Hong. He gained further recognition after other comedy TV dramas Li Wei the Magistrate (2001) and Love Through Different Times (2002), as well as comedy films Call for Love (2007) and Lost on Journey (2010). Xu has acted in most of Ning Hao's films including No Man's Land (2013) and Breakup Buddies (2014).

Biography[edit]

Growing up in Shanghai, Xu Zheng performed regularly in Children's Palace theatres. After graduating from Shanghai Theatre Academy in 1994, Xu portrayed mostly minor roles on television and film for years. His big break came in 2000 with the silly romance TV series Sunny Piggy, in which he portrayed the dimwitted protagonist Zhu Bajie.[1] Sunny Piggy received high ratings nationally, paving way for other popular TV dramas such as Li Wei the Magistrate (2001) and Love Through Different Times (2002).[2] Since appearing in Ning Hao's Crazy Stone (2006), Xu also began to turn more and more to comedy films, starring in Call for Love (2007) and One Night in Supermarket (2009). He also worked with Ning Hao again in Crazy Racer (2009) and No Man's Land (2013).

Xu had wanted to try his hands in filmmaking since acting was, in his words, "too passive".[3] After the success of the comedy road film Lost on Journey (2010), Xu invited his co-star Wang Baoqiang to join his directorial debut Lost in Thailand, a film with the same premise. However, as a first-time director, Xu had a difficult time selling his story, meeting with 3 different production companies before convincing Beijing Enlight Pictures to invest US$4 million. Huang Bo, Xu's good friend and frequent co-star in Ning's films, also joined the project. Released in December 2012, Lost in Thailand raked in over US$200 million from about 40 million people[4][5] to become the highest-grossing domestic film in China's history.[6] Shot mainly in Thailand, the film greatly boosted tourism to the country, and Xu even received a private meeting with the Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra in 2013.[7]

In 2014, Ning's comedy road film Breakup Buddies starring Xu and Huang Bo grossed over US$195 million to become the highest-grossing domestic film of the year. Xu's second directorial feature Lost in Hong Kong (2015), which he again starred-in, co-wrote and co-produced, broke Lost in Thailand's Chinese 2-D film grossing record with US$250 million.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Xu Zheng first shaved his head while in college, and has been sporting his bald head ever since.[1]

Xu married his Sunny Piggy co-star Tao Hong in 2002. They have portrayed a married couple in Unfinished Girl (2007) and Lost in Thailand. Other collaborations include Sky Lovers (2002 TV series), No Lonely Angels (2002 film), The Last Red Hot Lover (2005–06 theatre production), No Man's Land, and How Long Will I Love U. Tao also made a cameo in Lost in Hong Kong. Their daughter was born on December 30, 2008 in Beijing.[9]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year English title Original title Role Notes
1989 In One Married Year 结婚一年间 Tiantian TV film
1992 Their Marriages 父子婚事 Xiao Sheng
1998 The Soul of the Sea 海之魂 Xiaoman
1999 Something About Secret 说出你的秘密 Zhang
2002 No Lonely Angels 天使不寂寞 Zhao
2003 A Surprise Victory 出奇制胜 Sanduo TV film
2006 The Happy Fate of Love 家和万事兴之快乐情缘 Ding Zihan TV film
Crazy Stone 疯狂的石头 Feng Hai
2007 Call for Love 爱情呼叫转移 Xu Lang
Unfinished Girl 第三个人 He Wei
Crossed Lines 命运呼叫转移 Dr. Sun Segment 1: "The Misunderstanding" (误会)
2008 Fit Lover 爱情左右 Xu Lang
2009 Crazy Racer 疯狂的赛车 Cemetery manager
One Night in Supermarket 夜·店 He Sanshui Also administrative producer
Mars Baby 火星没事 Ma Zhihao
2010 Lost on Journey 人在囧途 Li Chenggong
The Swordman Dream 嘻遊記 Tang Sanju
2011 The Founding of a Party 建黨偉業 Xu Shuzheng All scenes deleted
Legend of a Rabbit 兔俠傳奇 Crocodile bandit Voice role
2012 Love in the Buff 春嬌與志明 Sam
Meet the In-Laws 搞定岳父大人 Fan Jianqiang Also supervising producer
Lost in Thailand 人再囧途之泰囧 Xu Lang Also director, co-producer and co-writer
2013 Fake Fiction 摩登年代 Ou Dawei
One Night Surprise 一夜惊喜 He Fengfeng
No Man's Land 无人区 Pan Xiao
2014 The Great Hypnotist 催眠大师 Xu Ruining Also executive producer
Breakup Buddies 心花路放 Hao Yi
2015 Lost in Hong Kong 港囧 Xu Lai Also director, co-producer and co-writer
2016 Xuanzang 大唐玄奘 Li Daliang
2018 A or B 幕后玩家 Zhong Xiaonian Also executive producer
Ash Is Purest White 江湖儿女 Man from Karamay
How Long Will I Love U 超时空同居 Noodle chef Also original story, producer
Dying to Survive 我不是药神 Cheng Yong Also co-producer
The Island 一出好戏 Cameo

Miniseries[edit]

Year English title Original title Role Notes
2006 It's So Good to Be In Love 恋爱真好 Dou Ding Sitcom
2010 Unusually Crazy for Love 非常爱情狂 President Xu Web sitcom
2018 The Island 好戏一出 Web miniseries

TV series[edit]

Year English title Original title Role Notes
1994 Little Stories from the Orient 東方小故事 Bao Xuan Episode: "Bao Xuan Gets Married" (鮑宣娶親)
1996 Hu Xueyan 胡雪巖 Huang Zuoqing
1997 Soaring to the Sky 风生水起 Segment: "The Stock Market" (股市)
Zhou Enlai in Shanghai 周恩來在上海 Wang Ming
1998 Vicissitude of Shanghai 上海滄桑 Tang Boye
The Beauty of the Warring States 戰國紅顏 Shi Sha
1999 It's So Annoying at Home 家里比较烦 Xiaogua Sitcom
2000 Red Dust from the Past 紅塵往事 Li Xinzhi
Sunny Piggy 春光燦爛豬八戒
2001 Imperial Envoy of the 7th Grade 七品欽差 Zhou
Li Wei the Magistrate 李衛當官 Li Wei
2002 Love Through Different Times 穿越时空的爱恋 Zhu Yunwen
Sky Lovers 天空下的缘分 Flatfish Segment 5: "Sun Tanning" (日光浴)
Daddy's Name is Hongqi 爸爸叫红旗 Feng Yong
2003 The Return to Shanghai Bund 重返上海灘 Zhu Shijun
The Eight Hilarious Gods: Sunü's Story 笑八仙之素女的故事 Lü Dongbin
The Showroom Tales 售楼处的故事 Deng Feng Sitcom
2004 Thirteen Sons of Heaven Bridge 天橋十三郎 Shi Yukun
Li Wei the Magistrate II 李衛當官Ⅱ Li Wei Also co-director, sequel to the 2001 series
The Execution of Chen Shimei 新鍘美案 Emperor Zhenzong only appears in flashbacks
The Perfect Banquet 滿漢全席 Zhang Dongguan
My Way 起跑天堂 Gym customer
2005 Thrice Revealing the Emperor's Edict 三揭皇榜 Fu Yingxing
The Lucky Stars 福祿壽·三星報喜 Zhang Guolao
2006 Crazy King and General Iron 鐵將軍阿貴 Hongzhou, Prince He
To Live to Love 长恨歌 Kang Mingxun
2007 Be a Man 好男当家 Zhou Feng
2008 The Melody of Wedding 结婚进行曲 Yao Xiang
Firewall 5788 防火墙5788 He Nian
2009 Distant Mountain 遠山 Commissioner Xie
I'm a Boss 我是老板 Xu Tianlai
2010 Run Daddy Run 老爸快跑 Zhang San
The Amateur Imperial Bodyguard 大內低手
  • Li Chuanwei
  • Zhao Sanfa
2012 The Bachelor 大男当婚 Cao Xiaoqiang
2017 A Splendid Life in Beijing 生逢灿烂的日子 Passenger
2018 The Drug Hunter 猎毒人 Wu Xiong

Reality shows[edit]

  • 2016: Twenty-Four Hours (二十四小时) on Zhejiang Television
  • 2016: Lost in Food (食在囧途) on Zhejiang Television
  • 2018: I Am an Actor (我就是演员) on Zhejiang Television

Theatre[edit]

A member of the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre, Xu was a stage star before finding fame in television and film. He starred in Chinese versions of The Liar (as Lelio), Long Day's Journey into Night (as Jamie), Much Ado About Nothing (as Antonio), and Art (as Serge), as well as many Chinese plays in both Mandarin and Shanghainese. He also directed at least 3 plays as early as 1998.[10][11] In 2005, he and Tao Hong starred in a 2-person play adapted from the Broadway comedy Last of the Red Hot Lovers, which caused a sensation in Beijing.[2] The couple subsequently performed the play over 30 times in 10 major cities, receiving overwhelming support everywhere that they canceled their holiday travel plans for more performances.[12]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year # Award Category Work Result
Film & TV
2008 29th Hundred Flowers Awards Best Supporting Actor Crazy Stone Nominated
2009 6th China Movie Channel Media Awards Favourite Actor One Night in Supermarket Won
2010 4th Huading Awards (TV Drama) Best Supporting Actor I'm a Boss Nominated
2012 4th TV Drama Awards Made in China Best Actor The Bachelor Nominated
2013 15th Huabiao Awards Outstanding Young Director Lost in Thailand Won
9th Huading Awards (Film) Best New Director Won
20th Beijing College Student Film Festival Favourite Director Won
4th Youth Film Handbook Awards Best New Director Won
Best Actor Nominated
4th China Film Director's Guild Awards Best Director Nominated
Best Screenwriter Nominated
Best Actor Nominated
2014 32nd Hundred Flowers Awards Best Actor Nominated
5th China Film Director's Guild Awards Best Actor No Man's Land Won
2015 11th Chinese American Film Festival Best Actor Lost in Hong Kong Won
2018 14th Changchun Film Festival Best Actor Dying to Survive Won
55th Golden Horse Awards Best Actor Won
2019 13th Asian Film Awards Best Actor Pending
Theatre
1998 10th Magnolia Stage Awards Best Actor Color of Shares Co-winner
1999 3rd Zuolin Drama Arts Awards Best Actor Won
2002 6th Art Won
2008 12th Brothers Co-winner
18th Magnolia Stage Awards Best Actor Co-winner
2011 15th Zuolin Drama Arts Awards Best Actor Das Kapital Nominated
2nd One Drama Awards Best Actor Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Meng Jing (2010-07-22). "Comedian Celebrates Novel Way to Get Ahead". China Daily. Retrieved 2014-04-23.
  2. ^ a b "Xu Zheng: The Most Busy Entertainer". CCTV News. 2007-10-29. Retrieved 2015-04-01.
  3. ^ Yu, Evelyn (2015-08-11). "China's King of Comedy". China Daily Asia. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  4. ^ https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/lost-thailand-ren-zai-jiongtu-420346
  5. ^ Chan, Kelvin; Chen, Angela (2013-03-29). "'Lost In Thailand': Xu Zheng Says China's Biggest Film Focused On Simple Life". Associated Press. Retrieved 2015-04-01.
  6. ^ Zhou, Raymond (2013-01-13). "A Movie that Moves". China Daily. Retrieved 2015-07-01.
  7. ^ Brzeski, Patrick (2013-03-22). "Chinese Director Xu Zheng Kicks Off Controversy With Casual Wear". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2015-04-30.
  8. ^ Ma, Kevin (2015-10-06). "Lost in Hong Kong sets China 2-D record". Film Business Asia. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
  9. ^ "First Online Photos of Tao Hong and Xu Zheng's Baby Girl". China Radio International. 2009-01-03. Retrieved 2015-04-01.
  10. ^ Adam, Frank (January 1996). "The Double Life of Shanghai Theatre". American Theatre. Retrieved 2015-04-23.
  11. ^ "演员俱乐部:徐峥 (Actor's Club: Xu Zheng)". Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre (in Chinese). Retrieved 2015-04-23.
  12. ^ Ma Yingying (2006-01-11). 话剧《最后一个情圣》春节封箱演出 (Last Performances of the Play The Last Red Hot Lover During Spring Festival). China Times (in Chinese). Retrieved 2015-04-23.

External links[edit]