Five facts you need to know about Yang Mi
The western media takeover is here, but it’s been long overdue. While Japanese culture has always had its place in American pop culture, Korean and Chinese Hollywood has always been left out of the conversation. But thanks to the huge increase in China’s box office, and the worldwide phenomenon of K-pop, American audiences are finally taking a look at the creativity these countries offer in their content.
Of course, if you’re not from the U.S., you’ve known for years how talented the actors and actresses of China are. These stars have made their mark in a variety of films, showing their full range of genre possibilities. Just as how Hollywood has its starlets that can bank an audience, so does China. And Yang Mi is definitely on top of the world when it comes to her box office potential.
The 33-year-old actress has been acting since she could walk, and her leading-lady status has yet to fade. Whether you want to see her in crime, drama, coming-of-age, historical, or horror, Mi can do it all. So, if you want an introduction to one of China’s most profitable actresses, we got you covered.
Mi started as Stephen Chow’s daughter
Any fan of Chinese martial arts films knows Stephen Chow. A star throughout the ’90s, Chow has done numerous martial arts movies, including King of Beggars, where he portrays legendary folk hero So Chan. But within the film, Mi is just as close to royalty as Chow is.
Yang Mi got her start in King of Beggars as So Chan’s daughter. At six years old, Mi was already holding her own next to one of the legends at the time. Only two years later, her acting in Hou Wa left a huge impression on the show’s producer. It’s clear even at an early age, Mi was destined for greatness.
She’s Michael Kors global brand ambassador
What can we say? The woman has taste. Back in 2018, Mi was selected to represent the fashion brand on the global stage. With how high she consistently ranks on Forbes China’s Celebrity 100 lists, it’s no surprise the brand picked her as their representative.
Mi was even invited to the 2017 Met Gala as Kors’ special guest before their partnership was official. Talk about a true fashion icon. We’d take the chance to become Michael Kors’ best friend too if we could. She’s also announced to be a rep for Crocs in China, but we’re going to just act like she’s doing that for the money and not because she thinks they’re cute.
Mi has her own agency/studio
While also being a boss babe on screen, Yang Mi is just as busy behind the scenes with her media company Jiaxing Media, or JayWalk Studios. Mi’s shows The Interpreter, Negotiator, and Eternal Love were all produced through JayWalk Studios. The focus of the company is producing content aimed at the younger generation.
Also under the company are Vin Zhang, Lai Yi, Gao Weiguang, Zhu Xudan, and Huang Mengying. Most notably signed to JayWalk Studios is actress Dilraba Dilmurat, who is Mi’s personal mentee. But in 2018, Mi announced the company was launching another agency branch to help seek out young idols. Get ready to see some new, fresh talent thanks to Yang Mi.
Her motherhood is a hotly contested subject online
Unfortunately, like most actresses, Yang Mi is no stranger to criticism about how she raises her daughter. From the day the Internet found out her name was Noemie Lu, Mi’s daughter has been nicknamed Little Glutinous Rice in the tabloids and every move Mi makes as a mother is ridiculed.
As of late, most criticism stems from comments made by Mi’s ex-husband Hawick Lau, who says he has to take time off from his career to take care of their daughter who lives with him. From there, speculation flourished, with accusations of Mi only seeing her daughter 37 times in the past three years, to even Mi prioritizing her career over her daughter. We know the rumors are false, because it’s clear Mi cares about her daughter.
She has some American film ties
Like most Chinese actresses, Mi is no stranger to the power of the mouse, as Disney films still dominate the box office. So it makes sense she would use her company to make some money off of their endless supply of films. In 2017, Mi struck a deal with Walt Disney Studios to partner up and make live-action films in China. While Mulan wasn’t one of them, we’re excited to see what’s next with them.
On the animated side, Mi also lent her voice to the Chinese dub of Kung Fu Panda 3 as Mei Mei. The sequel was a collaboration between Dreamworks and Oriental Dreamworks, now Pearl Studio, and was the first Dreamworks film to partially be produced with Oriental Dreamworks. It also was the first Kung Fu Panda film to get a Chinese release.
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