TW-media Singles Out A-list Actresses that Make their Costars More Popular

This is an interesting article that taps into a popular Chinese cultural myth and might have some nuggets of anecdotal truth to it. A Taiwanese newspaper recently wrote about four of the most popular actresses in the Chinese-speaking entertainment world in a different context beyond their own popularity and acting successes. There is a commonly held belief that a man should marry a woman who “brings prosperity to her husband” (wang fu 旺夫). It’s the opposite of the Chinese superstitious fear of a man marrying a women who brings bad luck to him.

And yes, I know how sexists these old cultural concepts are but it’s fairly ingrained in Chinese folk beliefs even today. Taking this concept over to the acting world, the media loves to compliment actresses on being 旺夫 if acting opposite her makes the male costar become more popular. This recent news article pointed out that Ariel Lin, Rainie Yang, Chen Qiao En, and Yang Mi are not only popular in their own regard, they are each even more sought after as leading ladies because they have a track record of making their male leads better off career wise after acting with them.

Ariel boosting the careers of Joe Cheng after It Started with a Kiss and transforming Bolin Chen from indie movie darling to bona fide movie star after In Time With You. Mike He got way more popular after Love Contract with Ariel and Wu Zun‘s first acting gig was with Ariel in Tokyo Juliet.

Rainie revving up the popularity of Will Pan after Miss No Good and Joseph Chang from movie staple to reluctant matinee idol after Drunken to Love You. Show Luo got his one and only acting nomination doing Hi My Sweetheart with Rainie.

Chen Qiao En kickstarting the career rise of Ming Dao thanks to their cult hit Prince Turned into Frog and Ethan Ruan got his big career break after acting opposite her in Fated to Love You.

Yang Mi moving Feng Shao Feng and now hubby Hawick Lau from B-listers to A-listers after she did Gong with the former and Ru Yi with the latter. You can call it sheer coincidence that these four leading ladies have all participated in or around the popular rise of their male leads but that’s the whole point of 旺夫, it’s this ephemeral feeling that after this girl arrives she makes the guy’s life luckier and better. I suppose it’s a compliment to these ladies, all of whom I really like, and it’s a better association that being called the opposite of “brings bad luck and ill tidings to her husband” (ke fu 克夫). Feng Shao Feng might be marinating in the most good luck as he worked with three our of four of these leading ladies, in addition to a few dramas with Yang Mi, he did the modern melodrama The Girl in Blue with Chen Qiao En and the period drama King of Lan Ling with Ariel.


TW-media Singles Out A-list Actresses that Make their Costars More Popular — 30 Comments

  1. I remember after Prince Turns to Frog Chen Qiao En and Ming Dao did that HS Detective Crew show that you used for their photos (in uniforms)…Jerry Yan was in it too…it was kind of messy LOL

    • Qiao En and Ming Dao worked in like 5+ dramas or something. The uniform one is from Ying Ye 3+1, not with Jerry Yan though. It was Jerry Hwang from The Rose. If I were ever embarrassed of loving a drama that is equivalent to a hot mess x infinity, this would be it LOL.

  2. but rainie doesn’t seem to be that interested in acting anymore idk? i passed the one she did in china because it didn’t interest me that much, hope she does a tw drama again soon

  3. Personally, I feel like Rainie Yang doesn’t belong that much on this list (at least, not now). She only made me discover Mike He. As for Show Luo, he was already a big star before Hi My Sweetheart. I think that if one name is missing in this list, it is Liu Yifei. She really made all her costars huge(r): Jimmy Lin, Hu Ge, Huang Xiao Ming.
    Well… Since it is a list made by TW media, I suppose they had to put 3 TW-actresses in it.

    • It’s kinda funny that I started to notice Hu Ge because of one of the 4 actresses on the list, namely Ariel Lin, from the lovely but sad drama they did together, Fairy in Wonderland, which is still one of my favourites after so many years.

      • I love how Ariel is on this list. Before Lan Ling Wang, I never really cared much for C-dramas. So I was surprised how much I loved it, esp. Ariel’s spunky, innovative and altruistic Xue Wu. Watching her in LLW led me to have a craze for Feng Shaofeng and Daniel Chan for a while. I followed this up with Legends of the Condor Heroes 2008. Her Huang Rong and Hu Ge’s Gao Jing blew my mind away and I couldn’t get enough of them. So this frenzy led me to Fairy in Wonderland. This drama forever cemented my love for the Hu Ge-Ariel pairing. To be fair, I realized from reading up on these three actors-FSF, DC and HG- that they were already superstars in their own rights before pairing with Ariel. But it was my fascination with Ariel’s superb acting that led me to discover that they existed and ultimately, that there were a lot of excellent C-dramas to be savored and enjoyed. This is all thanks to Ariel.

    • please forgive my opinion but I disagree with Liu Yifei being included in the list. Sure, she’s extremely beautiful, but that gorgeous face alone cannot compensate for her lack-luster performances. I sometimes feel that she’s like a gaily wrapped present that only proves disappointing when opened. Further, I disagree about her making at least 3 of her male co-stars famous. Jimmy Lin has been considered as one of the 4-dan actors in the C-show business way before he ever acted with LYF. Feng Shaofeng’s star was already high and bright before they acted together in White Vengeance and his portrayal of Xiang Yu is like the stuff of legends. Lastly, Hu Ge was already making a name for himself because of his stellar qualities and magnificent acting so any credit for his fame is all own.

      • Haha, it is true that Liu Yifei isn’t the best actress ever. But in all three dramas (which is pretty much the whole list of dramas she played in), she came out as the biggest reason people watched it. Jimmy Lin was already famous before, but he wasn’t doing so well at the time. However, with his gained popularity with LYF, he filmed multiple music videos with her and showed his appreciation. At the time, Hu Ge was not so popular while LYF was considered a goddess. So she was one of the big reason people stay tuned to the drama. Lastly, Huang Xiaoming was not so popular before ROCH. Even today, when people talk about ROCH adaptations, they rarely think of Huang Xiaoming, but instead to the fairy LYF.

  4. I wish Rainie would do more dramas. Back then, I complained because she always does the same kind of roles in almost the same type of rom-coms. But now, I don’t care if she has to do those, I’d just like her back. She did the C-drama recently that I just couldn’t get into. T-dramas has always been her thing so I hope she soon gets paired with Ethan, Aaron, Mike, Ming Dao or whoever else for a good rom-com.

    Also, since Ming Dao and Qiao En has done infinity projects together, it shouldn’t be an issue to do one more? I miss them in a legitimately good project. That hasn’t happened since their first. I did like Beauties of the Emperor, but I admit a lot of my like had to do with them being in it rather than it being good. Like any Yu Zheng drama is good… If they’d pair up for a T-drama soon, I’d be in seventh heaven.

  5. It’s the same in Korea, Ha Ji Won is one of the actress said to make her male-costar goes famous. Hyun Bin and Lee seung gi

    • Just my opinion but I think Wonbin has been well-known in Korea since “My name is Kim Sam Soon”. As an international audience, though, I didn’t hear anything about him again until “Secret Garden”.

      And I think the key factor that made Lee Seunggi famous to every Korean household is “1 Night 2 Days”.

      This is kinda an iffy issue I guess.

      • Acting wise, I will say “Brilliant Legacy” with Han Hyojoo is the turning point of LSG’s acting career. Wasn’t the highest rating of that drama in the 40s%?

  6. I think besides HJW, Park Shin Hye can also be in the list for Korean actresses too: Name a few Jang Geun Suk and Jung Yong Hwa in You’re beautiful, Lee Min Ho (he was big but Heirs put him to another level) and Kim Woo Bin in Heirs…

    • Interestingly, in a recent interview, this concept of making her male stars famous was presented to Park Shin Hye. But she demured and humbly said that rather than being the reason for their fame, she just contributed to their brightness.

  7. o_o Really!?I thought Show received acting nominations for The Outsiders II and Hot Shot before Hi My SweetHeart. Correct me if I’m wrong

  8. Ming Dao and Chen Qiao En, the best drama couple of Taiwan dramas, arguably the best Chinese drama couple. Their chemistry is electrifying and they fit very well in any category or genre of acting, from old school classic period pieces to high school drama, you name it, these two sizzle on screen together.. Joe and Ariel are not bad either. Mike and Raine, not so much.

  9. Thank you Mrs Koala for bringing back old memories, mostly about DTLY’s Joseph Chang. Darn the charisma. Viewing his acting performances should always come with the following warning sign; “Watch at your own risk because this man is too hawt to handle”. 😀

    • On a sidenote, where was shot your very last pic above? The background behind the couple seems familiar and very Mediterranean.

  10. I feel like Rainie belongs on the list 🙂 It’s true that she hasn’t been active recently in terms of dramas…but I do believe Mike He actually got his career boost from Rainie, more so than Ariel with both the dramas they did together. Will Pan really got a boost from her, She also helped George Hu get a little better off by selecting him to be in her MV and there was gossip surrounding them when they worked on ToGetHer (although he ddn’t really hit the big time with popularity till Love Now)…Even though she hasn’t be super active, even Aaron Yan has said he’d like to work with Rainie, which really shows her status as a drama queen. Hopefully she gets around to doing Taiwanese dramas soon again!

    • I disagree. Rianie and Mike had no chemistry in none of the work they did together. I cannot say Mike got his boost from Rainie or any other actor or actress for that matter. Mike got his career boost from the fan girls and fairy boys. They tune in by the millions to watch his face, they food, or used to flood threads like these to drool over him. They bought products he endorsed and made him bankable. His acting and half done modelling did not make him popular or boost his career, the mikemaniacs did. As for Rainie, she never impressed me as an actress or a singer. She is more or less a grown annoying brat.

  11. I first saw Hawick Lau in a leading role with Michelle Yip (Ye) in Spell of Fragrance, which I believe came out before Ru Yi, so I am not sure who made him an A-lister.

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