Barbie Hsu, also known as Barbie Xu and affectionately nicknamed Da S by fans, is one of the reigning queens of Taiwanese entertainment, and is well-known for both her films and dramas. Like Japanese actor Kamenashi Kazuya
, she has that rare combination of genuine acting gravitas and mainstream popularity and appeal.
Her career in entertainment began with a girl pop group which she formed with her sister and which they called ASOS. She went on (with her sister) to host 100% Entertainment (also known as Entertainment 100%), a hugely popular entertainment news show. It wasn't until her starring role in 2001 drama Meteor Garden
that her career took off however. Meteor Garden
, the Taiwanese adaptation of popular Japanese manga Hana Yori Dango
, became an unparalleled hit and instant classic (the Full House
of Taiwan), and galvanized the Taiwanese drama industry. All of its stars shot to instant mega-fame, particularly the three main leads Barbie, Jerry Yan, and Vic Zhou. Barbie then starred in the Meteor Garden
sequel, two other dramas, and a drama special over the next few years.
Her next big hit, and the drama which solidified her reputation forever as not just a crowd favorite but also a serious and talented actress, was Mars
in 2004, in which she starred along with Meteor Garden
's Vic Zhou. Dark but brilliant, Mars
was a critical and popular favorite and became another instant classic. The following year she did another drama series as well as her first film, The Ghost Inside
, a Chinese film which at the time of its filming was the most expensive horror film ever made by China. After another successful drama in 2007, Corner with Love
co-starring Show Luo, she turned her attention to films for the next two years. As one of Taiwan's top actresses, she has starred in a number of cross-cultural productions, including Future X-Cops
with Hong Kong star Andy Lau and Reign of Assassins
with Michelle Yeoh and Korean star Jung Woo Sung. She returned to dramas in 2010 with Summer's Desire
, a melodramatic story co-starring Mainland actor Huang Xiao Ming. She also won Best Film Actress (Taiwan) at The Channel V’s 14th Chinese Music Awards in 2010 for her role in On His Majesty's Secret Service
Barbie is known for her beauty, and for playing characters whose sassiness and spunk more than make up for her small stature and apparent fragility. Multilingual, she speaks Japanese, Korean, and English, and Chinese, and her fluency in Mandarin Chinese (as opposed to Taiwanese or Hokkien
), has allowed her to star in many crossover films and make a name for herself across Asia. If she were to have a Korean star equivalent, it would probably be Song Hye Kyo
-She began dating co-star Vic Zhou soon after Mars
ended, and the two became the leading couple of Taiwanese entertainment. They dated for seven years before breaking up.
-She has sung two of the theme songs for her dramas, including a duet with Vic Zhou for Mars