Nicknamed by fans as the “historical prince”, 33 year-old Hu Ge is one of the most popular and prolific TV actors in China. He is also an accomplished singer who performs many of the songs for the soundtracks of the television dramas he stars in.
Why is he famous?
While studying at Shanghai Theatre Academy, Hu was invited to play the leading role Li Xiaoyao in the 2005 series Chinese Paladin and shot to fame as one ofthe country’s most popular young idols.
However, a near-death experience in a car accident in 2006 kept him from the screen for a year. After undergoing a series of operations and a lengthy healing process, he returned to the entertainment industry, and embarked on a number of TV roles themed around wuxia, a fictional genre focusing on the adventures of martial artists in ancient China. Hu starred in a number of films and was nominated for Best Newcomer at the Hundred Flowers Awards, China’s equivalent of the Oscars, in 2012.
Why is he in the news?
2015 was deemed to be the year that Hu completed his transition from an audience heartthrob to a recognised actor. Three acclaimed TV series saw him in leading roles – the period drama Langya Bang, the spy drama The Disguiser and the contemporary love story Good Times.
Langya Bang was a huge success (see main story) and Hu’s portrayal of Lin Shu won over audiences by combining wisdom with grief, confidence with vulnerability, and longing with self-sacrifice.
Following his surge in popularity and public awareness, Hu was appointed as Shanghai Tourism Ambassador last month and was invited to perform in the annual CCTV Spring Festival Gala, where he sang We Are a Loving Family with a Taiwanese singer.
Already followed by almost 45 million fans on Sina Weibo, Hu recently disclosed that he intends to take a six-month break to learn a new skill and differentiate himself from rival male leads. As Hu already speaks some English, WiC wonders if he’s plotting his international breakthrough.
Another question that’s often raised with Hu is his marital status. He has expressed a desire to get married but mentions it has been difficult due to his mother’s strong say in the matter (and her propensity to veto his choice of partner).
It seems even a “prince” can’t always get what he wants…
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