For someone who never really considered becoming an actor, Eddie Peng, who once aspired to be a businessman, has done pretty well for himself in showbiz. His almost meteoric rise from virtual unknown to in-demand heartthrob is the stuff of all wannabe actors' dreams.
Born in Taiwan, Peng migrated to Canada with his family when he was 13 and spent the next 10 years there. In 2002, the Economics major at the University of British Columbia returned to Taiwan to attend his grandmother's funeral, and was "discovered" by director Yang Da Qing, who cast the 20-year-old as the second male lead in the TV series, Tomorrow. The Taiwanese romantic comedy, which also starred Rainie Yang, Shawn Yue and Christine Fan, is based on Japanese manga series, Asunaro Hakusho, written by Fumi Saimon.
Unbeknownst to Peng then, this serendipitous casting marked the beginning of his very enviable and swift rise to fame.
The following year, Peng landed yet another lead role in TV drama, Scent of Love, playing a star-crossed lover searching for his soulmate through different lifetimes. But it was his role as Tang Yu in the 2005 TV drama, Chinese Paladin, which truly propelled him onto a bigger stage. Banking on his newfound fame, Peng followed up with more TV roles in Only You (2005), When Dolphin Met Cat (2005), The Young Warriors (2006), Wayward Kenting (2007), Honey and Clover (2008), The Concerto (2009), My Sassy Girl (2012) and Sound of the Desert (2014).
In 2006, Peng made his big screen debut in the Taiwanese teen flick, "Exit No. 6", by Yu-Hsien Lin. Hooked by the acting bug, Peng made quick strides and soon proved just how committed he was to his newfound profession.
Renowned for his 'take no prisoners' approach to each role, Peng is known to devote weeks and months to intense training. Peng also adheres to old-school method-acting techniques and has a reputation for striving to get under the skin of each character he plays.
In "Hear Me", released to coincide with the 2009 Deaflympics, Peng played a delivery boy who falls for a hearing-impaired girl. The role required him to use sign language throughout the entire movie. To play a gymnast in the coming-of-age movie, "Jump Ashin!", he spent 12 hours a day over an eight-month period practising gymnastics. He endured rigorous workout regimes to play a boxer in Dante Lam's "Unbeatable" and put in weeks of gruelling training for his role as a professional cyclist in "To the Fore", which co-stars Korean heart-throb Si Won Choi.
His dedication to the craft has not gone unnoticed. He's earned nominations for Best Supporting Actor for Only You (2006) at the 41st Golden Bell Award, and Best Male Actor for Wayward Kenting (2007) the subsequent year, Best Newcomer at the 44th Golden Horse Awards for the romcom "My DNA Says I Love You", Best Actor for "Jump Ashin!", and Best Supporting Actor for "Unbeatable".
Peng's turn in 2011's inspirational box-office hit "Jump Ashin!" proved to be a crucial turning point in his career. It launched his career as an action star and put him firmly on the A-list of hot new Chinese actors. He went on to star in sci-fi flick, "Love", Hong Kong police thriller "Cold War", romcom A Wedding Invitation (2013) and "Unbeatable" opposite Nick Cheung, which also earned him a nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the Hong Kong Film Festival in 2014.
That same year, he landed the coveted lead in "Rise of the Legend", taking on the role of Chinese martial arts legend Huang Fei Hung. To get into character, Eddie not only had to learn kungfu, he studied others who had also played this role, including Jackie Chan and Jet Li, and had to relearn how to walk, speak and think. Although not director Roy Chow 's first choice, Peng's performance and dedication earned him a Best Actor nomination at the Hong Kong Film Awards in 2015.
With his good looks, six-pack abs and new title as this generation's kungfu hero, Peng could've easily become stuck as just another action movie typecast, but he refused to be pigeonholed, seeking out instead varied roles that allow him to portray a spectrum of different characters. Dialling back the alpha male posturing, he went on to star in Back in Time (2015) an emotive adaptation of Jiu Ye Hui's novel of the same name, which follows the journey of six best friends from their youth to their adulthood.
Not content to just be an actor, the multi-talented Peng has also dabbled in music, releasing five songs on an EP called Must Love in 2009 with a photo book. He has also appeared in several music videos for well-known pop artists such as Maggie Chiang, Fish Leong, Fiona Sit and A-Lin.
Now known affectionately as Taiwan's most successful million-dollar man, Peng's celluloid success has led to a strong of commercial sponsorships, including Longines, where he joins the elite ranks of Kate Winslet, Simon Baker, Chi Ling Lin, Aaron Kwok and Aishwarya Rai as Ambassador for Elegance.
Name: Eddie Peng
Known for: Unbeatable
BirthDay: 24, Mar ,1982