Who is Deng Chao?
Deng Chao is a very popular name in the Chinese film industry. Over the years, Deng has gained prominence by entertaining his audience as a comedian, actor, singer and director. Deng’s fame as an actor shot up with his marvelous performances in television series such as ‘The Young Emperor’, ‘Happiness as Flowers’ and ‘The Royal Swordsmen’. On the big screen, Deng has been part of some commercially successful films like ‘The Breakup Guru’, ‘The Mermaid’ and ‘Duckweed’. He has played a variety of roles in his career till date and each one of them have set a distinctive standard for all the budding actors coming from the theatre background. Deng has achieved similar success as a director too and some of his creations have been premiered at various film festivals.
Childhood & Early Life
Deng Chao was born on February 8, 1979, in Nanchang, Jiangxi, China. He was born into a middle-class family. Though Deng is a celebrity today, there isn't much information about his parents.
From a very tender age, Deng had a dream of becoming a super star. He used to participate in every cultural fest held in his school and never missed a chance to be a part of his school skits and plays.
Deng enrolled himself at Central Academy of Drama in Beijing, a premier institute for performing arts. There he used his experience gained from stage performances during his school days and further polished his skills.
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Deng started his acting career right from his academy days. He got his first break in the form of a stage play named ‘Cui Hua’ when he was in his final year. Post the huge success of the play, Deng was offered few more plays such as ‘Serve Suancai’ and ‘Please’.
Deng gained a lot of experience in theatre, so he started directing stage plays from then. But he wanted to start off as an actor. So he shifted his focus to acting and got his first television series.
From 2003 to the next few years, Deng became popular with his phenomenal performances in super hit series like ‘The Young Emperor’ and ‘Happiness as Flowers’. He had now established himself as the ‘King of Soap Operas’.
Though Deng made his movie debut with ‘When Love Loses Its Memory’, his second film ‘Assembly’ directed by Feng Xiaogang became a blockbuster. This huge success paved the way for his shining career in the Chinese film industry.
Deng continued acting in back-to-back superhits till 2013. All of his films were not only successful commercially but were critically acclaimed too. He directed his first feature film‘The Breakup Guru’(2014) in which he played the lead as well.
Deng’s downside came with the release of ‘Devil and Angel’, which was highly criticized by the critics. The film's poor content and Deng’s bad acting was straight away rejected by the audience.
Deng didn’t have to wait long to be greeted by success once again. His film ‘The Mermaid’ became the highest grossing Chinese film till date and that once again made Deng the apple of the critic’s eye.
Deng will be seen in the film ‘Shadow’ which will release in 2018. He is all set to make his entry into Bollywood with Siddharth Anand’s directorial venture, 'Love in Beijing'. In the film, Deng can be seen romancing either ‘Priyanka Chopra’ or ‘Deepika Padukone’, two of the most successful B-town actresses.
The Young Emperor – This is Deng’s first tele drama which aired its first episode in 2003. This was a period drama and it became very popular. The success of the series helped Deng to get recognized as an actor.
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Happiness as Flowers – Deng was the protagonist in this romantic drama, set in a military backdrop. Directed by Gao Xixi, a renowned tele drama director, the series was declared the highest grossing tele drama of the year. Deng broke his image as a comic actor with this series.
The Royal Swordsmen – This series started on 30 January 2005. Deng was seen in a cameo as an emperor in this ‘Martial Art Drama’. The drama was dedicated to all the martial heroes.
The Heavenly Sword and Dragon Saber – This is the tele series version of a Chinese novel of the same title. The series aired its first episode in October 2009 on Wenzhou TV. Deng played Zhang Wuji, a fictional character who lives on Ice Fire Island.
Keep Running – This is a Chinese reality game show which aired its first season on 10 October 2014. Deng appeared on season one, in which he was nicknamed as ‘Captain Superman’. He was the representative of his team and gave a consistent performance.
Assembly – Deng’s major feature film in which he played Zhao Erdou, an Army Commander and best friend of the male protagonist. Set in ‘Chinese Civil War’ period, the film is loosely based on the novel ‘Guan Si’. The film broke all the box office records and won almost all the prestigious awards of the year in various categories.
Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame – This was an action thriller film released on 28 September 2013. The film is about two royal detectives Di Renjieand Pei Donglai, played by Deng. The film was premiered at ‘Toronto Film Festival’ in 2010.
American Dreams in China – Released in 2013, Deng starred along with Huang Xiaoming and Tong Dawei in this comedy film. The film was screened at various international film festivals.
The Breakup Guru – This rom-com was released on June 27, 2014. It was a humongous box office hit and the highest grossing film of the year in China. Deng was paired with actress Yang Mi and their on-screen chemistry created magic. He also debuted as a director with this film.
The Mermaid – This romantic fantasy movie, which was released on 8 February 2016, broke and recorded the highest first-day collection. The film is about a business hot-shotLiu Xuan, played by Deng, who falls in love with a mermaid. The film also marks a milestone in the Chinese film industry.
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Duckweed – Released on January 28, 2017, the film shows a strained father-son relationship and how they both resolve the issues in their relationship. Deng played the role of the son Xu Tailang, who hates his father but eventually develops gratitude towards him. Once again, this Deng-starrer grossed more than a billion, that too within a month of its release.
The Liquidator – This crime thriller, released on September 30, 2017, was adapted from the novel ‘Evil Minds: City Light’. Deng played a criminal psychologist, Fang Mu, who investigates a serial murder case.
The Dead End – Deng yet again starred in a crime thriller and this film too, was adapted from a novel named ‘Sunspot’. Deng played Xin Xiaofeng, a police officer, who after a course of action becomes the prime suspect in a murder case.
Only Need You – This OST is from the album ‘Young Justice Bao III’, in which Deng featured with Jin Minjia.
Brothers– Deng featured in this OST from his film ‘Assembly’.
Bloom – Released in 2009, this OST featuring Deng became the theme song for the 18th Golden Rooster Awards.
The Story of Time – Deng featured along with Huang Xiaoming & Tong Dawei in this OST from ‘American Dreams in China’.
Awards & Achievements
29th Hundred Flowers Awards (2008) –Deng won the Best Actor in a supporting role for the film ‘Assembly’.
Golden Phoenix Awards (2009) – Deng received the Best Actor Award under motion picture category for ‘Assembly’.
18th Shanghai International Film Festival (2015) – Deng won the Best Actor Award for the film ‘The Dead End’.
Deng has never been rumored dating anyone but actress Sun Li. He met the actress during a campaign and their friendship bloomed from then.
Deng married her in a simple wedding ceremony in February 2010. The couple is blessed with two children namely, Deng Han Zhi (son) and Deng Han Yi (daughter).
Deng Chao is placed at the 27th position by Forbes (Chinese edition) with a net worth of 29 million yuan.
During the shoot of ‘The Dead End’, Deng almost stifled while filming one of the action scenes. He even suffered sleeplessness and claustrophobia during the shoot.