C-ent Discusses Deep Resourced Stars Who Just Can’t Seem to Breakout into Super Stardom Starting From Chen Fei Yu to Li Yi Tong and Chen Yu Qi

True popularity is a combination of timing (right role/right time) and talent and in the cutthroat world of C-ent with countless talents rising and on the rise it’s one misstep and off the cliff. But there are also stars who always seem on the cusp of breaking out but never seem to, and recently there was an article discussing this group titled “Have the Resources But Can’t Get Popular”. The group pertains to stars who seemingly have it all (looks, deep pockets (wealthy family), strong agency, and lead roles) but somehow just can’t garner that elusive groundswell of buzz. Topping the list is Chen Fei Yu, who at least is still young and also male leads have countless projects to keep trying to become the It Boy. But it’s the ladies that seem mired in B-status starting from Li Yi Yong (even playing Huang Rong can’t make her breakout). Chen Yu Qi (Yukee Chen) who is legit the prettiest leading lady who cannot act, Jing Tian (even Hollywood blockbuster roles can’t give her buzz back home), and Hu Bing Qing (so many dramas, nothing memorable). This also confirms that there are stars who break out with one drama but then fall flat after including Yuan Bing Yan (Love and Redemption), Peng Xiaoran (Goodbye My Princess), Wu Jing Yan (Story of Yanxi Palace) and Yu Meng Long (Three Lives Three Worlds, Ten Miles Peach Blossoms).


C-ent Discusses Deep Resourced Stars Who Just Can’t Seem to Breakout into Super Stardom Starting From Chen Fei Yu to Li Yi Tong and Chen Yu Qi — 35 Comments

  1. Money does half the work in China, let’s be honest, even if you are at best a mediocre talent. But to really become a star? No money will make you one.

    China has way fewer stars than what many claim because a lot of popularity is just plain water. Until they get rid of monetary pushing and money I fluencing dramas and their casting and content it will stay that way.

  2. Jing Tian proved her TV chops in Rattan and Glory of Tang Dynasty 1/2 which were all very successful (Glory of Tang turned Allen Ren into a liuliang), the truth is she bit off more than she could chew with all those Hollywood film roles given that her English is limited and all she did was play a vase. There are rumors she dated a film producer who got her those roles at the time.

    The first time Jing Tian was in Yu Mama’s Banshu Legend in 2014, she was the glowing heroine and outshone everyone, and Banshu Legend had everyone from Dilreba, Sun Yi, Guan Xiaotong, Zhang Xueying, Zhang Xinyu…. After that Jing Tian stopped taking TV roles and did movies which was a dumb move. If she didn’t do that she couldve been a lot more successful on TV. Bad career planning.

  3. There is a famous saying in c-ent – 小火靠捧,大火靠命。You can gain small popularity through spending a ton of money and resources, but gaining huge popularity depends on fate.

  4. I feel bad for Chen Fei Yu. The way he is trying to buy his way to popularity. It’s kind of embarrasing. He is in a hurry like he’s turning 35 tomorrow. slow down champ. Stop buying headlines telling people how popular you are now. No one believes it. Lighter and princess is barely a small hit. Strange Tale from Tang Dynasty had more heat and more discussions and the leads on that show are not break out stars.

    Yukee Chen is hopeless. That’s all there is to say.

    Li Yi Tong is the luckiest actress in showbiz. She gets all the work and money and none of the hassle of fame. No one is trying to take her down because she is popular. Other actress don’t see her as a treat as she is taking all their jobs. lol Some actors are in it for the fame, but Li Yi Tong is in it for the work. She will outlast them all.

    • Outlast means what? They will die first? Lol

      Li Yitong got lead roles because shes serviceably pretty and did well as Huang Rong in Condor Heroes and Bloody Romance, at that time she was seen as a potential star so Koala is exaggerating how much she gets pushed, its not like she was under Yuzheng and he liked to use her a lot.

      In any case “outlast” or whatever doesn’t mean shit, once you hit 30 you better be popular like Yang Mi, Dilreba, Yangzi, Zhao Li Ying or have awardwinning potential like Reyizha, Tong Yao, Mao Xiaotong or else you will just get relegated to side roles. Li Yitong already played a side role in LBFAD, she did well. That’s her future. Nobody can do lead roles forever and unless Li Yitong wants to start doing serious dramas to declare her intent for awards she will get relegated to side roles.

    • Why do you feel bad for Chen Feiyu? He is rich than you, arguably goodlooking, and is “born at the destination” as they say. With his looks by 35 he will be a producer like his parents, you should worry about yourself lol

      • Yes, you are right. She shouldn’t feel sorry for him.

        She should despise him because nepotism will get him there, eliminating someone else with actual talent. Keep simping for the rich, it’s a funny to see it.

      • Hahaha, Ikr! Chen Fei Yu is young (22), handsome, can speak good English and at the same time Mandarin, comes from or graduated from the prestigious Beijing Film Academy, can act, can sing, has the best parents in the world, and has directorial experience, so the least you need to worry, @COOL , is Arthur Chen. Lol!

      • @lol suffered from identity theft

        Nepotism as you mentioned, if he is using that, maybe he is like Zhao Lusi that is doing so many dramas without stopping, but it is the opposite. He is taking dramas or movie that’s very seldom so nepotism is out of the situation.

      • @guest

        He is absolutely using nepotism to keep where he is. Even his international fans know, look at the answers here. Everyone in Chinese fan circles knows. It’s really not a secret his father is doing all he can to make him into a star. If he fails, he will just get him into production.

    • Don’t feel bad for Chen Fei You
      Do you know me? No right?
      But you know Chen Fei Yu
      Which makes him popular
      And remember “all fingers are not equal”
      That’s a saying in my local language

  5. If Li Yi Tong is casted again as Si Ming in the iQIYI-Stellar adaptation of the novel, she’ll be more popular when that show takes after LBFAD in quality and buzz.

    • I hope one day you understand why what you wrote made no sense.lol

      Just knowing someone’s name does not make them popular. Is he a celebrity? Yes. Is he a popular celebrity? No. At least not yet. I knew of xiao zhan and lusi when they acted in oh my emperor. We’re they popular then? No.

      Chen Fei is young. It may or may not happen for him. Time will tell. Faking it won’t do him any service. The end.

  6. I can only comment on Yukee Chan. She is pretty, she has the acting chop BUT she lacks stage presence and charisma. She did well as a supporting character. But as lead she fell short. She got sooo many chances to shines from all of the leading roles that she took but none made a hit.
    Some of her fans blamed it on the shitty scripts and bad directors but I can say that Crystal Zhang in Go Go Princess shined brightly despite the shitty of everything.

    The conclusion is despite the abundance of cash, sponsors, backing, chances and talent some people just don’t have what it takes to became a superstar.

    • You are absolutely correct with your conclusion. There are really people that are born to be star and there are not. So just stick to what they do best (supporting cast or 2nd lead) and earn and save more so in the future, lead or not, main cast or just supporting, there will be no blaming because the finances are stable.

  7. Idk I feel that breaking out into super stardom is incredibly difficult these days in both C-ent and K-ent. Gone are the days where you could just star in 1 hit drama with mediocre acting which somehow makes it big in the region and catapults you to a-list. Alot of the big stars in K/C-ent hit it big a long time ago – way before social media and Netflix ran the show. Now they have to run on hype and social media trend – but none of that is an ingredient for huge stardom cos everything fades super quickly these days.

    In China it’s a little more complicated because the media/entertainment industry is still super controlled and there are alot of murky things going on behind the scenes that nobody will ever know about. There are also alot of things that factor into stardom, and because of the sheer size of the country, there are so many people just waiting to take over your place if you fumble. Competition is so incredibly stiff and it’s difficult to constantly make all the “right moves” to hit it big.

    Also lookism and sexism is alive and real in entertainment, esp in Asia, where actresses are constantly criticised and judged more for their looks than their talent (this site is full of female posters picking apart actresses’ looks, for eg). So it limits their potential and career trajectory because the time they are 40 – people are calling them old hags and reducing them to grandma/aunty/supporting roles. Whereas the men can be 60 and still be the dashing male lead.

    With the way media is now and with the hyper-focus on social media popularity and looks – Asia won’t be churning out huge stars anytime soon. You won’t be seeing another Yang Mi, Fan Bing Bing, Song Hye Kyo, Jeon Ji Hyun anymore. Instead you will be getting 1, 2, 3-hit wonders who fade away and actors/actresses who just get by on a very average career. The world is just not the same now.

  8. I’m actually surprised that Li Yitong is considered a “flopping” actress because in my view, she gets cast in interesting dramas with some hype, and they did fine in spite of not being massive hits. Also I feel like she’s one of the few leading actresses who try to play different characters even though her dramas are IPs.I think people need to cut Yuan Bingyuan some slack, I mean she only did one drama after “Love and Redemption” and she had to take a break before she got to demonstrate her star power further. Previously Jing Tian was doing okay but she is picking up her momentum after “Rattan”, and I think she should stick to heroines who are not afraid to be themselves and fight for themselves, rather than the Mary Sue heroine who is more tell than show. I really don’t see the problem with Peng Xiaoran’s acting because she was convincing as A’feng in “Good Bye My Princess” but she was much less booked than her co-star Chen Xingxu (how so?), and it didn’t help that her drama with Elvis Han was released a bit too late.

    • The entire post is meant to shade non-liuliangs, I guess Koala feels very strongly about popular actresses like Zhao Lusi or Yang Mi even if they can’t act.

      Li Yitong is a very decent actress without a fandom like Yang Mi or Lusi but it does not mean she is a flop. She debuted in showbiz relatively late at 26 years old, before that she was a dance teacher after graduating from Beijing Dance Academy. Her pathway is like Leo Luo, because they started quite late in showbiz their fandom is limited. I really like Yitong and in LBFAD she looked and spoke better than Esther, she just has to keep working hard. Just because an actress isn’t a liuliang does not mean they are a flop, and liuliangs are liuliangs because they spend a lot of time and money creating fake scandals, posting dance videos on Tiktok (Bailu and Zhao Lusi are the queens of Douyin), and marketing themselves. Li Yitong may not want to do this in her free time and that is fine, not being a liuliang isnt the end of the world. If you can’t rely on popularity to get gigs like Lusi you need to have acting skills and Li Yitong is very decent as an actress,

  9. Chen Feiyu’s acting is still very green to be quite honest. He’s great in some roles. In my mind, he is still the one and only Ning Que. I think with time he’ll continue to improve and get his time to shine. Ever Night 1 is still one of my favorites and I occasionally rewatch it from time to time. As for Yu Meng Long, the answer is quite simple. He’s a terrible actor. The guy cannot emote if his life depended on it. He’s not so good looking that you can overlook that lack of improvement over and over again. There are many good looking actors in the entertainment industry.

    I can’t really comment much about the ladies because sometimes it’s just the lack of “fate” with the audience. Starring in Jin Yong series doesn’t do much for popularity anymore since there’s been so many adaptations that it’s really not drawing in the same attention.

  10. I feel that C-netz don’t really like the stars with strong backing behind them. They tend to like the hardworking no-resource backing type. Look at Bai Jingting this year.

      • He belongs to the 京圈 in C-ent, direct translation Beijing Circle (Group?Clique?). His co-stars in majority of his dramas are enough proof.

      • Bai Jingting, Zhang Ruoyun and Liu Haoran. These trio from the Who’s the Murderer variety show are well-known for having good resources/backing, though Bai Jingting doesn’t have as much as the other two. Bai Jingting constantly have media exposure through variety shows

        So while you can say that Bai Jingting doesn’t have the top-level resources/backing, you cannot say he has none or almost none. It’s just that his priority or importance level is not that high within the group of backings he belongs to.

  11. Rarely does anyone go like I’ll be the top 0.05% accountant/wedding planner/veterinarian/marketing exec in the entire industry. I feel like if they do a good job and give good service and they, themselves, find satisfaction in their work, their work and career trajectory are worthy of respect rather than pity if they can’t make it to super-accountant-dom.

    Acting is just a job. Some people are in it for the art, but I think many just want to do their job well, be a good colleague among good colleagues, be respected for their work, and get paid. Maybe they can’t be the lead, but having a steady job as a supporting character is pretty sweet too if you don’t expect to own 3 sports cars and a large 5 bedroom condo in a luxury high rise.

    I don’t know how younger actors can even hit super stardom. There is always something new and potentially fun to watch. No longer is a nation relegated to a handful of dramas of dramas a month. I’m surprised at how dramas get any big hype in china. Like if you weren’t already putting in the air date on your calendar, by the time you hear about it, they’re already on episode 10. And then the whole thing finishes airing in a month. And a new drama starts. Even when start with the drama, I still fall behind in the episodes.

  12. Only one in this group I really like is Yuan Bingyan. I hope she can rebound from that tax fiasco and get her career back on track.
    So bummed she had to be dropped from Fox Spirit Matchmaker!

    Only good role I saw of Yukee Chen was in Ashes of Love.

  13. @lol suffered from identity theft

    Nepotism as you mentioned, if he is using that, maybe he is like Zhao Lusi that is doing so many dramas without stopping, but it is the opposite. He is taking dramas or movie that’s very seldom so nepotism is out of the situation.

    • Zhao Lusi is not mentioned in the article, yet two comments do – it seems people just can get over her. She is not beautiful like Chen Chsoyue-but she is pretty and has a special charisma.
      She did not study drama like Guan Xiaotong- but she has innate undeniable talent.
      She is not rich like billionaire Yu Shuxin – but they spread rumors her daddy invests in her movies
      She doesn’t have paparazzi posting boyfriends movies like Bailu – but people call her slut because of her chemistry with her partners in drama

      She does not go to parties and is not on shows every day or on magazines or 20 enforsements- so she posts photos on her weibo and videos on Baidu, and does her work.
      She started with small roles age 18 for which she auditioned, and her acting slowly improved – she just celebrated her 24th birthday.
      That’s it.

  14. I don’t know about other actors mentioned here but Chen Fei Yu has the potential of becoming popular if that BL drama he filmed with Leo Luo ever gets aired. The chances of airing are very slim for now but this could be his breakout role like with most actors who starred in BLs.

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