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Sun Hong-Lei
- actor -
Sun Hong-Lei as Fire-Wind in The Seven Swords (2005)

Sun Hong-Lei has quickly become one of the most dynamic and versatile actors to emerge from the Mainland in recent years. He was born on August 16, 1970 in Harbin, where he developed an interest in performing at a young age. Often skipping school to learn breakdancing on the streets*, Sun eventually gave up his studies entirely to pursue dancing and performed with a modern dance troupe for a couple of years. He later became a popular local nightclub singer and host before setting his sights on acting. In 1995, Sun attempted to get into the famed Central Academy of Drama (the alma mater of the likes of Gong Li, Zhang Ziyi and Jiang Wen), but was told by the instructor that he was too fat. He was finally accepted after he lost 18 kg in one month by running 25 laps a day around the academy fields. Sun graduated in 1997 and has since gone on to star in numerous TV dramas and films and has won many awards for his stage work.

Sun's film debut was in Zhang Yimou's The Road Home (2000), in which he played the grown son of Zhang Ziyi's character and also served as the narrator. Zhang reportedly cast him because he didn't look like an actor, which Sun later realized was actually the ultimate compliment, though he had been insulted at the time. Next he romanced Gong Li in Zhou Yu's Train (2002) and rumours have been flying ever since that they became an item offscreen as well (both deny this). Sun recently took on the role of Fire-Wind, the main villain in Tsui Hark's Seven Swords (2005), with many critics singling out his performance as the best in the film. He is currently in talks to work with Tsui again, possibly in a prequel to Seven Swords or a comedy. (Yinique 2005)

*This actually paid off when he won at the first ever Heilongjiang province-wide breakdancing competition. Sun later entered the national competition and took home second prize.

selected filmography
(actor unless otherwise noted)
The Road Home (2000)
Zhou Yu's Train (2002)
Manhole (2004)
The Seven Swords (2005)
Shanghai Red (2006)
Triangle (2007)
Blood Brothers (2007)
Mongol (2007)
The Underdog Knight (2008)
Forever Enthralled (2008)
The Founding of a Republic (2009)
My Fair Gentleman (2009)
A Simple Noodle Story (2009)
Welcome to Shamatown (2010)
If You Are The One II (2010)
The Warring States (2011)
I Do (2012)
Lethal Hostage (2012)
Drug War (2012)
Silent Witness (2013)
When a Peking Family Meets Aupair (2014)
One Step Away (2014)
The Ark of Mr. Chow (2015)
Go Fighting! (2016)
Ji Xian Tiao Zhan (2016)
To Be a Better Man (2016)
back to top Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen