Today’s flashback isn’t really that much of a flashback as we’re taking a look at where the kids from 2016’s A Love for Separation 小别离. Back when they shot the drama in 2015, they were only around 13-15 years old. While some child actors have faded into obscurity over the years never to be seen again, not these three. Wendy Zhang Zifeng, Hu Xianxu and Angel Zhao Jinmai have all slowly but surely grown up in front of our eyes.
Wendy Zhang Zifeng (Then at 14 and Now at 20)
Remember Fang Duoduo whose parents were so obsessed with her education in the series? Her character was played by actress Zhang Zifeng who’s now 20-years-old. In the past, Zhang Zifeng had always played “younger sister” characters and it wasn’t until last year when she played the titular lead in the coming-of-age film My Sister 我的姐姐 that people realised she’s all grown up. In fact, Zhang Zifeng’s brilliant performance in the film was very much lauded by critics with some even calling it her breakthrough performance.
Hu Xianxu (Then at 15 and Now at 21)
Meanwhile, since playing Xiaoyu in the series, 21-year-old Hu Xianxu has been a series regular in a handful of variety shows such as Hi! Housemate, Back to Field and Youth Periplous where he continues to show off his talent and his funny side. The actor has also added a lot of dramas and movies under his belt, notably last year’s historical film 1921 which starred Huang Xuan, Ni Ni, Wang Ren Jun and Liu Hao Ran as well as the film Hi Brothers where he landed one of the leading roles as Yang Ting Feng. Fans of the live adaptation of Hikaru No Go might also remember him as Shi Guang who plays Hikaru’s character in the Chinese version and ends up possessed by the spirit of master Go player Chu Ying.
Angel Zhao Jinmai (Then at 13 and Now at 19)
Last but not the least is Zhao Jinmai who you may remember played the child prodigy Jin Qinqin. Now 19-years-old, the actress got her start in the industry as a child actress mostly in supporting roles where she plays the daughter and a school girl. Now that she’s older, Zhao Jinmai has picked up lead roles in different genres such as the college romance series A Little Thing Called First Love, fantasy adventure Ling Long and the recent hit sci-fi thriller Reset.
TFBoys (Then and Now)
Who can forget the special appearance made by the TFBoys as students on the show. Karry Wang Junkai, Roy Wang and Jackson Yee made their industry debut at the tender ages 12 and 13 back in 2013 and were probably just 14 and 15 when they filmed their cameos in A Love for Separation.
Individually, Karry, Roy and Jackson have also broken into different areas of showbiz with a number of dramas, movies and variety shows under their belt. Jackson in particular who’s now 21 has put more focus on building up his acting repertoire. Amongst his works, he won acclaim internationally after co-starring in 2019’s Better Days which was nominated for Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards. Last year, Jackson had another hit in The Battle at Lake Changjin which has become China’s top-grossing film.
Roy on the hand seems to be more intent in pursuing his interest in music. The 21-year-old singer-actor decided to put his promising career on hold after getting accepted into Berklee College of Music back in 2019. Meanwhile, the 22-year-old Karry has also been quite busy building up his portfolio. Karry’s upcoming movies include 731 and The Fallen Bridge.
It’s been a while since all three boys have performed on-stage together so fans are wondering if this lunar new year will finally see all three return to the stage and perform together once again even if just for one night.