Actor Zhang Jin had been known less for gripping performances and more for being the husband of Hong Kong superstar Ada Choi for years. But since joining the cast of reality show Fight for Her (《为她而战》), Zhang’s luck has turned around.
In Fight for Her, Zhang, 41, comes across as a dreamy husband who is deeply loving and caring toward Choi, also 41. Micro bloggers have taken note of Zhang’s charms, flooding the Web with their dreams of locking arms with their hero.
The road to adoration was long for Zhang, but he is a trained fighter, and so his spirit held strong against the challenges.
After retiring with several national wushu championship titles, Zhang began his career in the entertainment industry as an action choreographer and stuntman. Across the span of more than a decade, he’s appeared in dozens of action flicks as a stunt double for big names such as Zhang Ziyi in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (《卧虎藏龙》, 2000).
And like many talented stunt doubles, his face went unrecognized both on and off screen. Meeting and falling in love with Choi, however, seems to have twisted his fate toward the stars. The outgoing and energetic actress brought him joy, but he admits not always feeling on equal footing with his wife previously. He once told 163 Entertainment at his lowest point he couldn’t even afford a plane ticket to visit then-girlfriend Choi.
Instead of walking away from entertainment, Zhang accepted what had become his station in life. “Most people may not have the chance to enjoy the moment in the limelight,” he told the Shandong-based Morning Post. “But anyway life goes on.”
After spending 14 years in the industry, the actor finally got a breakthrough last year when he won Best Supporting Actor at the Hong Kong Film Awards for his role in The Grandmaster (《一代宗师》, 2013).
His success came to him slowly, but Zhang still considers himself lucky. He told online news site Jiemian as much: “Only by going through all these experiences, both those bitter and those sweet, could I become who I am now.”