Did you know that there’s a term called Wang Fu (旺夫) which means to bring fortune to your husband. While not to be taken literally, there are actresses who have earned the title due to their uncanny ability to boost their co-stars popularity.
Take last year’s Ashes of Love for instance where Yang Zi starred together with Deng Lun. It was a smashing success, garnering a huge number of views with Deng Lun being catapulted into mainstream fame. Another example is the recently concluded Go Go Squid! This time Yang Zi paired up with Li Xian to make audiences laugh, cry and fall in love. The romantic comedy is one of this year’s most watched dramas and Li Xian’s popularity rose to new heights.
On being identified as someone who can bring fortune to her ‘husband’, Yang Zi says that she isn’t particularly happy about it. The success of a drama is a group effort where everyone works hard. She feels that saying she launched an actor to fame is unfair as it’s like saying that the actor’s efforts don’t matter, and it’s one credit she’d rather not take.
Yang Mi has a similar track record that dates as far back as 2011. Feng Shaofeng used to be in a lot of dramas before but didn’t get his big break until he starred with Yang Mi in Palace. Swords of Legends put Li Yifeng’s name on the map and the rest was history. Probably the most popular example in recent years is Three Lives Three Worlds Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms. It was a bona fide hit. The onscreen pairing of Bai Qian and Yehua sizzled and Mark Chao’s fame reached new heights along with Yang Mi. Legend of Fuyao was similar in bringing renewed attention to Ethan Ruan.
Zhao Liying is generally known for being a ratings magnet. Wallace Huo may have gotten more attention after Chinese Paladin 3, but it wasn’t until he was casted alongside Zhao Liying in Journey of Flower that he reached the top of his career. One can say the same for Lin Gengxin and Shawn Dou after Princess Agents. Jin Han was initially hated for playing the manipulative villain in the drama but his acting skills got him noticed when he played Zhao Liying’s leading man in Our Glamorous Time.
With hits like The Prince Who Turns Into Frog and Fated To Love You, Joe Chen is the very definition of an actress with Wang Fu qualities. Her dramas in the past were so popular that they’re getting remakes to this day and she’s had a string of successful tandems with leading men that include Ming Dao, Ethan Ruan and many more. Of course, Wang Fu in and of itself is just a term of endearment and not meant to disregard the actor’s merits in anyway, but these ladies definitely deserve recognition for their extraordinary charm.