Childhood & Early Life
Jiro Wang was born on August 24, 1981, in Taiwan to a war veteran and his wife, a tailor/custom dressmaker.
Wang was part of an underground band named ‘Karma’ during his high school years and composed the lyrics to one of their most popular songs. The band has since changed its name to ‘Dong Cheng Wei.’
Wang’s father died when he was eighteen, leaving the family mired in huge debt. In order to help his mother work off this debt, he began to work three jobs at a time– some of which included flyer distribution, construction labor, waiting tables at a bar, an assistantship in fashion retail, dressing up as mascot for the Zoo Mall in Taipei, and modeling.
He also pursued an undergraduate degree simultaneously at Taiwan’s Fu Shin Trade and Arts College, graduating with a degree in advertising design. His love of art persists to this day and reflects in his love of cosplay, design work, and personal manga-inspired art.
Very early in his career, Wang joined the army for a period of two years before coming back in 2003.
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After graduating, Wang entered the entertainment business. He was soon approached by a label, ‘BMG,’ which was interested in forming “3J Plan”– a musical trio with Wang, Jay Chou, and Jordan Chan. However, BMG’s stock crashed after 9/11 and “3J” was shelved.
Following this, the actor returned to modeling and backstage work in fashion until 2004, when he began his acting career as Ah Zhe in television series ‘The Pawn Shop No. 8.’
The year 2005 was a big one for Wang as he appeared in starring roles in two dramas that would make him a household name– Wang Da Dong in ‘KO One’ (along with his future ‘Fahrenheit’ band-mates) and Ah Jin in ‘It Started With a Kiss.’
Following the success of ‘KO One,’ ‘Fahrenheit’ became an official musical quartet on December 28, 2005, with Wang becoming the first to sign on. In keeping with the name, each band member has a season and temperature (differing by 18 degrees) assigned to them– Wang’s season is summer (hot) and his temperature is 95 degrees. Wang is the baritenor vocalist, also tasked with rapping.
The band released its first album in September 2006, first gaining popularity in Taiwan and Mainland China, before becoming well-known across all of East and Southeast Asia. Between 2006 and 2009, the band became one of the fastest-growing musical acts in the country, playing major concerts and bolstering their popularity with more television appearances (Wang appeared most notably in the sequel to ‘It Started With a Kiss’– ‘They Kiss Again’– in 2007).
On February 14, 2010, he started his own fashion label ‘M JO’ (reputed to be partly a gift to his dressmaker mother) with the motto ‘Enjoy Love, Life and Peace.’ Wang enjoys the design process and personally creates the clothing and accessories for his line in bold, bright colors, and styles.
In 2011, ‘Fahrenheit’ began an indefinite hiatus after one member Wu Chun left to focus on acting. Wang took this opportunity to kick-start his film career with a role in ‘The Purple House’ (2011). He has continued acting in both films and TV series since. The same year, Wang also announced that he had replaced Wu Chun as “Night Tenjo” in the live-action adaption of Japanese manga series ‘Absolute Boyfriend.’
He released his first solo album ‘What Are You Waiting For’ in August 2012. The subsequent year, he held several solo concerts across Asia to support this album.
In the summer of 2013, American blockbuster series ‘Transformers’ announced an online casting content in four categories for its ‘Age of Extinction’ movie. Wang emerged as the clear frontrunner in the ‘Action Guy’ category amongst 70,000 candidates, but had to pull out eventually due to prior commitments to the ‘KO One’ franchise. He released a statement detailing his disappointment but thanked his fans for their efforts in voting.
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He flew to Japan to meet the creator of Japanese manga series ‘Chibi Maruko-chan,’ Momoko Sakura, in 2013. She was so impressed with his personal artwork that she decided to collaborate with him for the series’ 30th anniversary publication. The following year, Wang and his friend acquired exclusive merchandising rights for the series in Taiwan with plans to make a movie where Wang plays the titular Maruko’s father or classmate.
The year 2014 was otherwise a busy one for the actor– he was asked to design an exhibit for the Hong Kong World Trade Center in time for the 2014 FIFA World Cup as well as a ‘M JO- JO Robot’ sticker line for LINE. In the same year, he and ‘Fahrenheit’ band-mates, Calvin Chen, and Wu Chun, jointly invested in a hair salon ‘WoMen Hair,’ to be run by long-time friend and collaborator, Sam Chen.
He produced and starred in the highly anticipated TV series ‘The Crossing Hero.’
His first US film ‘Security’ was shot in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2015.
In 2016, he starred in the popular live-action manga adaptation ‘Rakshasa Street,’ which reached a viewership of 2.9 billion in 2017. A second season is forthcoming.
Wang is devoted to his mother and is currently dating Japanese singer-model Lena Fujii after reportedly pursuing her for nine years.
He is actively involved in philanthropy, and has often used his celebrity status to promote social causes and help organizations like the ‘Syinlu Social Welfare Foundation’ in Taiwan. He remains private about his personal contributions and does not disclose them.
The actor is interested in Gundam models and cosplay and uses much of his downtime to explore these interests – he often dresses up as manga/ anime characters and Western superheroes.