Who Is Jay Chou? Meet the Actor Joining Vin Diesel in the new ‘xXx’ Movie

Jay Chou has reportedly signed on for the upcoming xXx 4. Chou will be a new face to many, as he has only appeared in a couple of films in the United States.

The film will also see a return of stars Vin Diesel and Deepika Padukone. The previous three films in the franchise have been wildly successful and Vin Diesel’s participation in the fourth one all but guarantees it will be also be a success, given his track record for box office hits.

Who is Jay Chou?

Jay Chou

Jay Chou | Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images

Jay Chou is a Taiwanese actor, singer, songwriter, and producer. Chou is considered a superstar in China, where he is most widely known for his musical talents. Chou has won four World Music Awards and has been dubbed the “King of Mandopop.” He has been a judge on The Voice in China for the past two seasons. Chou also owns his very own record and management company called JVR.

Chou married Hannah Quinlivan, a Taiwanese actress and model, in 2015. Chou and Quinlivan have two children together, a girl and a boy.

Previous Jay Chou movies

Chou made his Hollywood debut in The Green Hornet in 2011. Chou starred as the Green Hornet’s sidekick, Kato, alongside Seth Rogen and Christoph Waltz. The Green Hornet was a commercial failure, however, Chou’s portrayal of Kato was well received.

Chou joined the ensemble cast of Now You See Me 2 in 2016. The sequel to Now You See Me was directed by John Chu and starred Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, and Lizzy Caplan. Chou portrayed the character Li. Chou’s inclusion on the movie’s poster was perceived as a step forward in Asian representation for Hollywood.

Chou lent his musical talents to the soundtrack of Now You See Me 2, as well as 2014’s The Interview and 2016’s Kung Fu Panda 3.

The Asian influence in Hollywood

Vin Diesel

Vin Diesel | Jason Merritt/Getty Images

According to The Hollywood Reporter, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage grossed $168 million in China in 2017. With nearly half of its global earnings coming from the Chinese box office, the franchise is cashing in on its Asian popularity by increasing the Asian presence across the board on its fourth installment.

Chinese Zodiak‘s Zoe Zhang has been cast in the film along with Chou, and Jackie Chan’s investment banner, Sparkle Roll Media, will be one of the financial backers for the film.

Increasing its Asian presence could bode well for the film in the US as well as China. Asians are extremely underrepresented in Hollywood, which is one of the reasons why Crazy Rich Asians, which consisted of an all-Asian cast, performed so well this year.

When will ‘xXx 4’ be Released?

An official release date has not been announced for xXx 4, but filming is set to begin in 2019. The movie is currently in pre-production, so details are still very limited.

xXx 4 is expected to do well at the box office, given the track record of the first three xXx films. xXx, xXx: State of the Union, and xXx: The Return of Xander Cage grossed almost $1 billion.

What’s next for Jay Chou?

While xXx 4 could propel Chou into Hollywood stardom, he doesn’t appear to have any intentions of abandoning his Mandopop fanbase. If anything, Chou is expanding it.

Chou is currently in the final stretch of a two-year world tour that included stops in the UK in 2017 and will conclude with two dates in the US in February 2019. If his US tour dates are any indication, Chou may possibly be the artist to finally take Mandopop to global popularity.