Retrospective: Movie Heartthrob Takeshi Kaneshiro Embraces Aging Gracefully in the Pages of GQ Taiwan

A sure sign of time’s relentless passing is when one is forced to examine memories of the past with the reality of the present. In the 2015 issue of GQ Taiwan, the magazine featured one of the most critically acclaimed Taiwanese heartthrob movie actors of the last decade, in a pictorial and interview and addresses his aging head on. The spread is so evocative it’s worth sharing even if I don’t write about Asian cinema as much these days. Takeshi Kaneshiro (Jin Cheng Wu) is the face of GQ Taiwan and discussing his noticeable aging now that he’s all of 42 years old and has plenty of white hairs.

My path towards appreciating Takeshi took the long path, when he started off right out of high school as a Taiwanese boy idol singer is was lulzworthy bad, especially since he spoke Taiwanese and Japanese in real life but had to phonetically sing in Mandarin which is a dialect he didn’t even know back then! I also knew people who went to high school with him, and that makes it hard to fangirl when said idol seems way more boy next door than hottie du jour. All that changed gradually in the twenty plus years he’s developed his career as a bona fide movie star. Singing was never for him, but acting is like breathing the way he approaches it. He’s gotten older but aging has never looked as good as it does on him, at this point he’s basically the Asian equivalent of George Clooney.


Retrospective: Movie Heartthrob Takeshi Kaneshiro Embraces Aging Gracefully in the Pages of GQ Taiwan — 28 Comments

  1. Oh I liked him so much in House of Flying Daggers ! I watched it so many times 😀

    I remembered watching God, Please Give Me More Time and I was surprised to see a such theme for a drama (prostitution of school girl, HIV, etc)

    • I honestly fell in love with him in House of Flying Daggers. Even when Andy Lau was in there and he is one hell of an actor. Zhang Yimou is brilliant, how beautifully he captured the chemistry between Zhang Ziyi and Takeshi Kaneshiro.

      • I don’t really like Zhang Yimou works these days. He is so obsessed with producing something grand that he lose the storytelling bit. His last movie “The Great Wall” really got me pulling my hair.
        Takeshi Kaneshiro always has that magnetic presence and I love him so much in “The Warlords”, also featuring Andy Lau.

      • That happens to directors who are too obsessed with getting awards and box office hits that they forget their essence. Zhang Yimou is practically a virtuoso when it comes to visuals and breathtaking scenery and coloring. The Great Wall was plain bad, there is no excuse. I’m wondering if it is the producers and investors who demanded that kind of outcome. It’s not only Zhang Yimou but this kind of development is happening in Hollywood too. Seems like it’s hard not to lose integrity when investors money is at question.

  2. A great actor who has really perfected his skills…A true actor in that sense who has matured with class and style and actors actor now.

  3. Oh I remember how I used to have his poster on my bedroom wall. I literally watched all of his movies and one of my fave is teenage flick “School Days”.LOL.
    He is such a down-to-earth person and that shy smile still melting me until today. And I am so proud that my crush turned out to be such a credible actor.

  4. When he was a student in Taiwan, Taiwanese was a dialect and Mandarin was (and still is) the official language. He knew Mandarin but could not speak it very well because his Mom spoke only Taiwanese at home and he went to the Japanese school in Taipei.

    He has certainly aged like fine wine but I am not sure the George Clooney analogy works for him. He has none of that smooth, swaggering seductiveness but is all winning bashfulness instead.

  5. I love this man! Golden Bowl, Kamisama mo sukoshi dake, House of Flying Daggers, Warlords, Lost and Found, Chungking Express, Red Cliff, Perhaps Love…etc..I sniffed out everything he ever did and watched them. I’ve grown old with him.

    • Golden Bowl! the first drama I watched of Takeshi Kaneshiro. It was love at first sight. Since then, I’ve been following all his works.

    • Lost and found is my fav of TK’s movie! As he ages, I wish him not to take any immature romcom like the recent “This is not what I expected” which is kind of embarrassing to watch.

      Takeshi is nonetheless and remains one of the biggest stars in the East with magnetic charm.

      • We all have our own opinions. I am a grandmother and I thought TK was was very good in “This is not what I expected.” It was after all a comedy and he won an Award for his role. It was the emotions he evoked by his facial expressions that my husband. I enjoyed. He was very believable.

  6. Wow! He looks so different. I remember him from when he was at TVB. He also speaks Cantonese pretty well. Have. ot heard about his news in a long time.

  7. Seeing him featured here brings back a lot of my memories of me watching Japanese dramas and Chinese movies he was in. What a versatile and talented actor. He brings out the fan girl in me when I thought I was getting too old for that haha.

  8. Ohh I remember watching him in Butterfly Lovers with Charlie Yeung, his ex if I’m not wrong. It was so romantic and heartbreaking. He’s not only good looking but a fantastic actor too. He has definitely aged like fine wine, can’t find any Hollywood equivalent, maybe Keanu Reeves because they are both mixed, very Low profile and grounded and both are gorgeous of course.

  9. Love him! Been a follower for many many years. Even with it’s flaws, Kamisama Mou Sukoshi Dake is one of my all time fave Japanese doramas. He’s a good looking man!

  10. Oh darn it. You knew someone going to high school with him? I can’t imagine me going to school with Takesshi. I would definitely not dragging myself to school in those days and sure having full attendance. Yup, that’s right!

    • @ Rch311:

      You brought up a very good point. I’m sure he helped his school full or almost full school attendance for those years. Especially for the female students. 🙂

  11. George Clooney to Takeshi’s hotness, heck no. He’s hotness on his own! Nobody mentioned Mermaid Got Married, right? That and House of Flying Daggers! Those are my two favorites of his-wait, The Returner also! Ah!

  12. I agree with a lot of people above that Takeshi is so much better looking and aged a lot better than George Clooney 🙂

    To me he is the most handsome man on earth. Literally. If they were able to make robot lovers I’d want mine to look like him. I also love his speaking voice (singing is not really for him as Koala pointed out). It is a deep voice that aplifies my emotions.

  13. Oh yesss. He has an awesome speaking voice! Takeshi, I thought I had already gotten over you long ago. You’re one beautiful man.

  14. I love him and he’s aged very well. He still so handsome, but what’s even better than that is that he seems so likable and down to earth.

  15. Dear Aniki, Love At first sight ( House Of Flying Daggers ) Since then I’ve following all your works , I have your posters on my bedroom wall and your picture frame by my bed. I love to look at your face before I get to bed and I love to see you in the morning when I awake… your face,your eyes and your smile… I keep all in my heart!! Aniki,We will grow old together ?

  16. Yes I remember I first saw him in house of flying daggers and I was instantly in love then I saw his movie the returner and started watching every movie I could find him in and really enjoyed them. Also at that time I was not in a good place in my life and it changed me to feel happy and love again with all the wonderful movies and it got me threw that time. And I thank u for that so much you are still my biggest crush. And I have to tell you that watching you in all ur movies woke me up again to what my true passions are in life and why I wasn’t doing them and so I took a deep breath and accomplished one of them so thank you. I still watch ur movies still crushing on u. It so cool to like who ur attracted to and it’s u handsome thank u. It would be cool if we could hang out and just do fun stuff.

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