Liu Ye is one of the top actors in China. He's a one-of-a-kind talent who doesn't chase fame despite his handsome looks. Find out more about new drama Old Boy's hot leading man.

The 39-year-old versatile actor is at the top of his game, boasting a very prolific and enigmatic career.

1. He was born in 1978 and was bit by the acting bug at an early age. His father was a lighting technician for the Changchun Film Studio, where his mother was a clerk. At the age of 17, he left home to enter the Central Acting Academy in Beijing, becoming the youngest student in his class.

2. At the age of 19, he debuted as a village boy in Postman in the Mountains (1999). The movie went on to win various awards, including Most Popular Film at the Festival des Films Monde held in Canada. Liu Ye was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Golden Rooster Awards in China.

3. Fresh out of college, he starred in Lan Yu, a rare Chinese movie that followed a forbidden and heartbreaking romance between a couple of male lovers. For his performance in the 2001 movie, Liu Ye won Best Actor at the Golden Horse Awards, where the movie also won multiple honors including Best Movie, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Editing.

4. After a series of popular dramas as a romantic lead, he starred opposite famous American actress Meryl Streep in the movie Dark Matter (2007). He played a frustrated graduate student who turned violent, in a fictional story adapted from the University of Iowa shooting. The movie won the Alfred P. Sloan Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.

5. He has continued to play diverse and vivid characters. He played Mao Zedong twice, the man popularly known to the world as Chairman Mao of the Chinese Communist Party. To play a 30-year-old Mao in the 2011 patriotic movie, The Founding of a Party, it was reported that Liu Ye gained 22 pounds in weight by eating 20 eggs a day.

6. He has played tough guys too. Here he is in the movie Underdog Knight (2008).

7. His real-life love is French photographer Anais Martane. The couple married in Beijing in 2009, and have a son and a daughter together.

8. In Old Boy, Liu Ye is an airline pilot whose easy going and carefree lifestyle is interrupted by two strangers: his teenage son that he didn't know existed, and the feisty teacher who helped her student to track down the father. All three of the characters will go through tumultuous life events to mature, which will affect the formerly carefree pilot the most.

To perfect his latest role of a pilot, Liu Ye even took flying lessons.


Old Boy - 老男孩

Starring Liu Ye and Ariel Lin

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Are there any characters that Liu Ye hasn't tackled? Maybe that's why he is now starring in Old Boy.

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