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Wu Jian Hao (Chinese: 吳建豪; pinyin: Wú Jiànháo, born August 7, 1978 in Santa Monica, United States), also known as Vanness Wu, is a Taiwanese-American musician and actor. He is former member of the idol group, F4. Wu is best known for his roles in Meteor Garden, Autumn's Concerto, and The Princess Weiyoung.

Wu debuted in Meteor Garden as F4 member, Mei Zuo. He reprised his role in Meteor Rain and Meteor Garden II.

Biography

Early life

On August 7, 1978 in Santa Monica, California,[1][2] Wu was born to Taiwanese parents,[3] George Wu[4] and Mimi Yang.[5] He has two older sisters, named Stacy and Wendy. His parents divorced when Wu was young. His mother subsequently got remarried and had two more children, Geoffrey and Melody Yao.[6][7]

Wu graduated from Corona del Mar High School.[7] He grew up dancing with the L.A. Boyz and became particularly close friends with Jeff Huang. At eighteen, Wu appeared in the music video for Jason Nevins' version of Run-DMC track "It's Like That."[6]

Career

Early success

Vaness and his costars while filming Meteor Rain

After dropping out of college, Wu decided to move to Taiwan at Huang's urging. He later described the first few months on the island as "hellish" since he could not read or write Chinese. Wu was spotted by producer Angie Chai while participating in a beauty pageant on the variety show, Super Sunday. He was chosen by Chai to play Mei Zuo in the hit Meteor Garden (2001).[3] Wu and his costars Jerry Yan, Vic Chou, and Ken Chu shot to superstardom virtually overnight. They formed the Mandopop group F4, named after the clique that they played on the show.[8] Their first album, Meteor Rain, was released in 2001.[9] It sold over 200,000 copies within a couple days.[10] The F4 reprised their Meteor Garden roles in Meteor Rain (2001)[11] and Meteor Garden II (2002).[12] Wu also had a starring role in Peach Girl in 2001.[13]

In 2002, F4 also appeared together in Come to My Place.[14] Wu released his first solo album, Body Will Sing that August.[15] Later the same year, F4 released their second album, Fantasy 4ever, which included their version of "Can't Help Falling in Love" from the Lilo & Stitch soundtrack.[16][17] The next year, Wu was featured on Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love" for the Asian edition of her Dangerously in Love album.[18] He made his film debut in Daniel Lee's Hong Kong action flick, Star Runner (2003), opposite Korean actress Kim Hyun-joo.[19] Wu collaborated with Lee again in Dragon Squad (2005)[20] and Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon (2008).[21] In 2004, he appeared in the first story of Say Yes Enterprise as the love interest of Hebe Tien's character.[22]

Transition to solo work

In 2006, Wu formed a music duo with South Korean singer Kangta.[23] They recorded one album, Scandal, in Mandarin and Korean.[24] In 2007, F4 was forced by Japanese publisher Shueisha to cease using their name. Producer Chai changed the band's name to JVKV.[25] However, their third album, Waiting for You, still bore their old name.[26] They went on to perform seven concerts in Japan before going on hiatus.[27] The same year, Wu released his second solo album, V.DUBB.[28] In 2008, he reunited with bandmates Chou and Chu in Wish to See You Again.[29] Wu released a third studio album, In Between, that year.[30] The following year, Wu appeared in Kung Fu Chefs, a Hong Kong film starring Sammo Hung,[31] and portrayed a lawyer who falls for Ady An's character in Autumn's Concerto.[32]

Wu ventured into producing with 2010's Year of the Rain, in which he also had a guest role.[33] That year, he released his first Japanese album Reflections,[34] which he followed with V[35] and C'est La V (both 2011).[36] Wu starred in the film The Road Less Traveled[37] and the television drama Material Queen with Lynn Hung that year. Wu also performed the opening theme to Material Queen.[38] The next year, he starred opposite Joanne Tseng in Ti Amo Chocolate[39] and played a baseball player in Baseball Love.[40] In 2013, Wu reunited with his F4 bandmates on Jiangsu TV’s Spring Festival. It was the first time they had performed together in five years.[27] Later that year, Wu released his seventh album Different Man.[41] In 2014, he appeared alongside Wallace Chung and Ivy Chen in the romantic-drama Girls.[42]

Recent work

Wu served as a judge for the first season of Asia's Got Talent in 2015.[43] The same year, he joined director Daniel Lee again in Dragon Blade starring Jackie Chan[44] and appeared in the ensemble film Monk Comes Down the Mountain.[45] In 2016, he appeared with his sister in the third season of The Amazing Race China.[46] That year, he starred as a ruthless prince in The Princess Weiyoung with Tiffany Tang and Luo Jin.[47] His eighth studio album #MWHYB was released in 2016.[48] Wu starred opposite Cecilia Cheung in her comeback drama, Love Won't Wait, in 2018.[49] In late 2019, he starred alongside Donnie Yen in Ip Man 4: The Finale.[50]

Personal life

Wu was in a serious relationship with actress and singer Vivian Hsu for three years.[51][52] He dated Singaporean heiress and entrepreneur Arissa Cheo for seven years, before marrying her on November 15, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.[53][54] In January 2015, Wu and Cheo had a public fight on Instagram,[55] though by June, the couple appeared to have reconciled.[56] In June 2018, Cheo filed for divorce after living separately from Wu for three years.[57][58] Their divorce was finalized in February 2019.[59]

Wu was a Buddhist, before being introduced to Christianity when he moved to Taiwan. He fully committed to the religion in 2008 and often speaks about it passionately.[60]

Filmography

Television dramas

Year Title Role Notes
2001 Meteor Garden Mei Zuo
Meteor Rain Mei Zuo
Peach Girl Gang Ah Li
2002 Come to My Place JJ
Meteor Garden II Mei Zuo
2004 Say Yes Enterprise Song Zhen Kai Episodes 1-4
2008 Wish to See You Again Leo
2009 Autumn's Concerto Ren Guang Xi
2010 Year of the Rain Counselor Cameo
2011 Material Queen Cai Jia Hao
2012 Ti Amo Chocolate Fang Jia Hua
2016 The Princess Weiyoung Tuoba Yu
2018 Love Won't Wait

Films

Year Title Role Notes
2003 Star Runner Bond Cheung
2005 Dragon Squad Wang Sun Ho
2006 Cars Lightning McQueen Voice
2007 Kung Fu Fighter Ma Li
2008 Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon Guan Xing
2009 LaMB Jack Griswold Voice
Kung Fu Chefs Long Jian Yi
2010 The Haunting Lover Liang Guang / San Ye
1040 Himself Documentary
2011 The Road Less Traveled Mike
2012 Baseball Love Lin Cheng Hui
2013 Machi Action Cameo
2014 Girls Jiu Tian
2015 Dragon Blade Christian
Monk Comes Down the Mountain Cui Dao Rong
2016 Lulu the Movie Himself
2019 Ip Man 4: The Finale Hartman Wu
2020 A Choo Dr. Gul [61]
Pili Back Liu Lei [62]

Notes

Wu at Ken Chu's wedding

  • Wu and his F4 bandmates have remained friends throughout the years. Despite being busy, the four meet every once in a while.[63]
  • Due to his background, Wu often spoke English phrases in Meteor Garden. Similarly, Tsuyoshi Abe, his Japanese drama counterpart, had his heritage featured by speaking Mandarin on occasion.
  • Wu's mother played his mother in Meteor Garden II (2002). The producers did not tell him beforehand, surprising him at rehearsal.[64]
  • He attended Ken Chu's wedding in 2016 with Jerry Yan.[65]
  • His "silky smooth hair" began trending when Meteor Garden was re-aired in April 2018. Wu was asked on social media whether it would return. He replied that he did not want to wake up early to fix it.[66]
  • After not performing together since 2013, F4 had an "unconventional" reunion in October 2020 on Jiangsu TV. Wu was the only one whom performed live, while the others were pre-recorded and projected onto the stage. The arrangement was likely due to COVID-19 restrictions.[67]

  • He opened a Taiwanese bakery, called Bake Culture, in New York City with fellow entertainers Wu Chun and Calvin Chen.[68]
  • In 2008, Wu opened for Kanye West for his Glow in the Dark concert in Shanghai.[69]

  • Wu appeared in Peach Girl (2001) with Edward Ou.
  • Jerry Yan, Ken Chu, and Vic Chou also starred in Come to My Place (2002).
  • He starred opposite Kim Hyun-joo in the 2003 film, Star Runner.
  • Barbie Hsu, Dee Hsu, Blue Lan, Edward Ou, and Winnie Chien also had parts in Say Yes Enterprise (2004), though not in the same segments.
  • Wu reunited with Chu and Chou in the 2008 drama, Wish to See You Again.

  • References

    1. http://angelansula.tripod.com/vanness.htm
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    3. 3.0 3.1 https://taiwantoday.tw/news.php?unit=20,29,35,45&post=24798
    4. https://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/entertainment/buzzing-van-ness-wus-father-sentenced-to-jail
    5. https://www.instagram.com/itsmimitime/
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    8. http://edition.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/asiapcf/06/16/talkasia.f4.script/index.html
    9. http://www.sonymusic.com.tw/album_info.php?al_prodno=sdd0125 (Chinese)
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    54. https://www.dramafever.com/news/autumn-concertos-vanness-wu-finally-gets-hitched-/
    55. https://www.dramafever.com/news/is-vanness-wu-in-trouble-with-his-heiress-wife/
    56. https://www.dramafever.com/news/vanness-wus-wife-arissa-posts-her-x-ray-online-to-refute-plastic-surgery-rumors/
    57. https://www.star2.com/entertainment/2018/06/21/van-ness-wu-arissa-cheo-divorce/
    58. http://www.asiaone.com/entertainment/its-official-vanness-wu-and-arissa-cheo-have-split
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    60. https://www.citynews.sg/2009/03/20/vanness-wu-christian-first-entertainer-second/
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    69. http://english.cri.cn/3086/2008/11/02/1221s420334.htm

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