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20 Asian Actors Born in the 2000s

Written by YumCha! Editorial Team Tell a Friend

It seems like just yesterday we were writing about those young actors born in the 90s, and now we're already in a new decade and welcoming a new class of rising stars! From child actors who hold their own to teen idols growing into new roles, the post-00s generation hits 20 this year and they're coming up fast.

Let's find out more about 20 promising young actors born in the 2000s!

1. Suzuka Oji
Debuting less than a year ago, Suzuka Oji is the oldest yet newest face on this list. In the fall of 2016, the Okayama native was a film extra for My Teacher, which was shot at his high school. He caught the eye of lead actress Hirose Suzu, who recommended him to her manager. In 2018, he moved to Tokyo and joined Hirose Suzu's agency, taking the stage name of Suzuka Oji. Soon after, he won Men's Non-No magazine's coveted exclusive model competition. Last year, Suzuka began acting with small roles in Natsuzora, Ossan's Love: In the Sky and The 47 Ronin in Debut. Most notably, he made his film debut as a piano prodigy in Listen to the Universe. The performance gathered him a complete set of Best Newcomer awards from the Japan Academy Prize, Mainichi Film Awards, Kinema Junpo Awards, Hochi Film Awards and Yokohama Film Festival, marking him as a name to watch in the coming years.

2. Chani (Kang Chan Hee)
You may know him as SF9's Chani, but actor Kang Chan Hee has been around much longer. Before promoting as a member of idol group SF9, Chani had already made his acting debut in 2009 in Queen Seondeok and Three Brothers. He's participated in hit series like Listen to My Heart, The Innocent Man, The Queen's Classroom and Splendid Politics, but his most memorable roles are definitely Park Sun Woo in Signal and Hwang Woo Joo in Sky Castle. Chani's portrayal of these two kindhearted yet pitiful characters left deep impressions on the audience. Besides TV dramas and the web series Click Your Heart and Love in Your Taste, Chani has also been cast in the movies The King's Case Note and White Day, which is his first silver screen leading role. When he was young, he was known as one of the "mini TVXQ" and as a Tae Min lookalike. Now, he's standing on his own as singer-actor Chani.

3. Arthur Chen
You can't beat good genes. The son of auteur Chen Kaige and actress Chen Hong, Arthur Chen inherited not only his parents' looks but also their passion for film. Arthur first appeared on screen as a young king in his father's 2010 film Sacrifice. He made his proper acting debut in 2017, jumping straight to leading man in the youth romance All About Secrets. The following year, he headlined the action fantasy Ever Night, which garnered him Best Actor in a Period Drama at the Huading Awards. In 2019, besides starring in the youth romance My Best Summer and Chen Kaige's segment of My People, My Country, he also got accepted into the Beijing Film Academy. The sky's the limit for the 20-year-old whose period fantasy The Road of Awakening premieres this month. He also stars in his father's next film Flowers Bloom in the Ashes, and recently lit up social media with his casting in the highly anticipated series Immortality.

4. Hu Xianxu
Hu Xianxu has long been on the radar as one of China's best young actors. He debuted in 2011 in the film Xiao Jian De He Chang Tuan, and has since left a long trail of memorable performances. He's the smart-mouthed kid in the family comedy Return to Dafu Village, the lovestruck boy in the coming-of-age film Yesterday Once More, the trouble-making yet soft-hearted classmate in the family series A Love for Separation, and the young king forced to grow up overnight in Nirvana in Fire II. He was also Liu Ye's mature young son in Old Boy and Bai Baihe's rebellious teenage son in A City Called Macau, holding his own amongst more experienced actors. Having already spent years honing his skills as a child star, Hu Xianxu entered the Central Academy of Drama in 2018, becoming roommates with Jackson Yee. Also, he was hilarious on the reality roommates program Hi! Housemate.

5. Hamada Tatsuomi
Hamada Tatsuomi may be just 19 years old, but he's been acting for 14 years already! The former child star has appeared in well over 40 productions since 2006. Some of his more well-known outings as a kid include the TV series Marumaru Chibi Maruko-chan, Ryomaden, Kaibutsu-kun and Naniwa Shonen Tanteidan as well as the films Yellow Elephant and Gatchaman. He's slid neatly into teen heartthrob territory in recent years with the live-action Mob Psycho 100 and the Hana Yori Dango sequel Hana Nochi Hare in 2018, and has the tokusatsu fans covered with his ongoing presence in the Ultraman universe as Asakura Rika, a.k.a. Ultraman Geed.

6. Zhou Qi
In 2019, streaming giant Tencent presented the acting competition program Everybody Stand By featuring 50 actors of varying experience levels. Barely 19 at the time, Zhou Qi was already in the middle of the pack with seven years of experience. The actor entered the industry in 2012 through a musical. Since then, he's had child actor roles in various high-profile productions including Jay Chou's Rooftop, The Legend of Miyue and Tribes and Empires: Storm of Prophecy. What he's most known for is playing the mischievous, outgoing prankster in series like Fresh Teachers, Old Boy and the acclaimed 2019 family drama A Little Reunion. Pursuing both music and acting, Zhou Qi recently appeared in a Chinese staging of The Sound of Music, and he's been cast in Tian Zhuangzhuang's Cry of The Birds. Oh, and he finished in the top four on Everybody Stand By as the final pick of director Li Shaohong.

7. Itagaki Mizuki
Scouted into Stardust Promotion and EBiDAN when he was 11, Itagaki Mizuki was introduced as a member of the idol group M!LK in 2014. He also began appearing in films that year with younger character roles in Ushijima the Loan Shark Part 2, Clover and Blue Spring Ride. His first performance to actually draw notice, though, is that of the mysterious friend seeking answers in the 2015 two-part school suspense Solomon's Perjury, which won him a New Actor prize from the Japan Movie Critics Award. He also played an important character in the star-studded 2017 NHK period fantasy Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit. Last year, he rose to his first leading role in the time-slip romance film Love's Stoppage Time. Itagaki Mizuki graduated from M!LK in the beginning of 2020 in order to focus on acting.

8. Roy Wang
Roy Wang debuted in 2013 at the tender age of 12 as a member of the incredibly popular boy band TFBOYS. The most talkative of the trio, Roy left a strong impression from a young age for his variety-show savvy. Most of his early acting outings are with his bandmates – youth dramas Boys Academy Study Room, Finding Soul and Boyhood, plus special appearances in Noble Aspirations and A Love for Separation – but he's branching out. In 2016, he made his film debut in Guo Jingming's L.O.R.D.: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties, and brought in the other members for the sequel. Last year, he played a rebellious teen in Wang Xiaoshuai's Berlin Film Festival entry So Long, My Son, and this year he's starred in the fantasy period series The Great Ruler. While his bandmates are going to film and drama schools, Roy is focusing on music studies at Berklee College of Music. Our "two-character younger brother" has grown up well.

9. Jackson Yee
If there's one name that represents the post-00s generation, it'd be Jackson Yee – because the idol's unique name, Yangqianxi, means "welcoming the millennium." Born in 2000, he is one of the top ten most followed people on Weibo with 84 million followers. All three members of TFBOYS command passionate fandoms, but Jackson is particularly well liked by even casual fans – he was dubbed one of the "four great wall tops" (with actors Bai Jingting, Liu Haoran and Leo Wu) for his ability to slide into everyone's bias lists. 2019 proved to be his breakout year as an actor. Applying his mature, pensive demeanor to two very different lead roles, Jackson received universal praise for the period series The Longest Day in Chang'an and the blockbuster film Better Days. The latter earned him Best Actor and Best New Performer nominations at the Hong Kong Film Awards. Our "four-character younger brother" has also grown up well.

10. Maeda Oshiro
Many of the stars on this list started out as child actors, but Maeda Oshiro technically started as a child comedian. As the manzai duo Maeda Maeda, 7-year-old Oshiro and his older brother Koki became the youngest talents ever to reach the semi-finals of comedy giant Yoshimoto Kogyo's M-1 Grand Prix in 2007. Acting opportunities soon followed, most notably Kore-eda Hirokazu's 2011 film I Wish. The two Maedas played separated brothers who hatch a plan to meet up, and Oshiro's boisterous yet precocious performance got a Best New Actor nomination at the 6th Asian Film Awards. We met him back then when he was still mini-sized. Now he's already 19! He's maintained a steady output through his school years, including Kore-eda's Our Little Sister, Samurai Hustle, the NHK dramas Taira no Kiyomori, Idaten and Warotenka, and the youth suspense film Lemmings no Natsu in which he plays the leading role.

11. Korapat Kirdpan
Following in the footsteps of his actor father Kunakorn Kirdpan, Nanon began appearing in commercials at a young age. In 2015, the then 14-year-old emerged as a teen-actor-to-watch with supporting roles in the GMM productions Ugly Duckling Series: Don't, Wonder Teacher and Love Flight, as well as a guest stint on Hormones The Series. Continuing with the teen mini-series, he soon rose to leading roles in youth romances like Senior Secret Love and My Dear Loser: Edge of 17 and the dark school dramas Blacklist and The Gifted. He also had a major role in the first season of the 2017 historical epic The Legend of King Naresuan. This year, Nanon has starred in the TV adaptation of Jimmy Liao's Turn Left Turn Right, and he's expanding to GMM's film roster with My Precious and the Thai-Vietnamese film Bookworm Beauty, which is slated for 2021.

12. Tanapon Sukumpantanasan
Thailand's live-action boys love genre has launched quite a few young actors to stardom in recent years, among them Tanapon Sukumpantanasan. Better known as Perth, the 19-year-old made his acting debut in the 2017 supernatural mystery series Soul Call. His breakthrough came in 2018 with his leading role as Ae in the hit BL series Love by Chance. He has since appeared in other BL productions like ReminderS and Until We Meet Again as well as the 2019 supernatural island survival drama The Stranded, Thailand's first original Netflix series. As a treat to fans, Perth is also part of the boy group TEMPT with Love by Chance co-stars Plan, Gun and Title!

13. Yoon Chan Young
Yoon Chan Young first rose to fame with his performance in the 2014 MBC family drama Mama, which brought him two Best Young Actor awards at year-end ceremonies. But Mama wasn't his first drama – before that, he participated in the melodrama When a Man Falls in Love, Monstar and even the crime thriller Gap Dong. Continuing on the path of success, Yoon Chan Young has appeared in many more hit dramas, like Splendid Politics, Six Flying Dragons, Doctor Romantic, The King in Love and Still 17. Last year, he was presented Best Young Actor at the SBS Drama Awards for his performances in Everything and Nothing and Doctor John. Apart from the small screen, the actor is also slowly making a mark on the big screen with his portrayal of a rebellious stepson in the award-winning Mothers and his protagonist role in the heart-breaking Birthday about the Sewol Ferry Tragedy.

14. Liu Jiahui
In A Little Reunion, Victor Liu Jiahui plays the sensitive, introverted and bookish Lei'er, the polar opposite of his chatty and puckish cousin played by Zhou Qi. However, in one scene where Lei'er gets tipsy, he lets loose and gives a shrilly, pitch-perfect impression of his aunt. Besides being hilarious, this memorable transformation demonstrates the versatility of the 18-year-old actor. Liu Jiahui made his debut in 2015 in the historical series The Advisors Alliance, and he's quickly racked up appearances in an impressive range of works, from period dramas like Swords of Legends 2 and Queen Dugu to the police crime series The Thunder and the suspense film The Liquidator, where he plays a serial-killer-in-the-making. With the success of A Little Reunion, there's sure to be even more and bigger roles coming his way.

15. Yan Xujia
Many may know Yan Xujia through the 2015 Chinese audition program X Fire or the idol groups X NINE and R1SE, but in fact, he entered the industry way earlier. Even before competing on X Fire, he had already taken part in dramas like The Great Time in 2010, The Legend of Zhong Kui and Princess Dumping World in 2011, and Ming Dynasty Anchashi in 2013. Following his singer debut, Yan Xujia appeared in The Devotion of Suspect X, and partnered up with his bandmates in the web series Oh! My Emperor. He's begun to take bigger roles in teen and school dramas including The 40-Year-Old Man in High School, Gank Your Heart and the upcoming novel adaptation Sen Yong High School Class Two Grade Three. Last year, he and some of his X NINE bandmates joined the audition program Produce Camp 2019. The singer-actor eventually came in third and re-debuted in the group R1SE, beginning a new chapter in his career.

16. Nam Da Reum
Nam Da Reum is probably not an unfamiliar name to many K-Drama fans. He began his acting career as the young Yoon Ji Hoo in Boys Over Flowers, and since then, he's become one of Korea's most popular teen actors. Mostly portraying the young roles of "flower boy" leads, Nam Da Reum is best known for being the "mini Lee Jong Suk" in Pinocchio, While You Were Sleeping and No Breathing, plus taking part in hits like Chronicle of a Blood Merchant, Six Flying Dragons, Goblin, Radio Romance and Hotel Del Luna. With ten years of experience and over 40 works under his belt, Nam Da Reum has been awarded Best Young Actor three times, and he's developed his acting skills further over the past two years. His performances in Come and Hug Me and Beautiful World show he's becoming a more mature, expressive actor. With his appearance in the upcoming film Sinkhole, the rising star is sure to shine even brighter.

17. Suh Dong Hyun
Suh Dong Hyun first made his debut in 2010 through Legend of the Patriots and after that, he participated in many more dramas like Dr. Jin, The Fugitive of Joseon, High School King of Savvy, Potato Star 2013QR3, The King's Face and Who Are You: School 2015. In recent years, he's begun to take more important roles, such as the characters he portrayed in The Miracle We Met and Where Stars Land. Despite his soft features, the young actor can become fierce and merciless when playing antagonists. In 2019, Suh Dong Hyun took his first leading role in the KBS special Hidden as a juvenile offender, and he stole scenes as a spoiled, aggressive, self-centered bully in the JTBC family drama Beautiful World. Meanwhile, he can also play the sweet and shy boy as in his special appearance in Chocolate. That's just the charm and duality of Suh Dong Hyun.

18. Jeon Jin Seo
If you're currently binge-watching the megahit revenge drama The World of the Married, you may know who Jeon Jin Seo is. Portraying the character of Lee Joon Young, the 13-year-old actor completely pulls off the emotional, complicated mind of a teenager facing the divorce of his parents. As new as he may seem, Jeon Jin Seo isn't a newcomer. He started acting in 2012 with Can't Live Without You and has taken part in more than 30 works. He's the young Kim Tan in The Heirs, the young Cheon Yoon Jae in My Love From the Star, Prince Youngchang in Splendid Politics, the young Heo Joon Jae in The Legend of the Blue Sea, the young Eugene Choi in Mr. Sunshine and the young Cha Yool Moo in The Tale of Nokdu. The actor also made his big screen debut with Illang: The Wolf Brigade in 2018.

19. Moon Woo Jin
Moon Woo Jin may sound a bit unfamiliar, but once you see his face, you'll recognize him. Born in 2009, Moon Woo Jin debuted not long ago in 2017, but he already has more than 20 works credited. Do you remember the young Lee Young Joon in What's Wrong With Secretary Kim? Or the little boy Han Se Kye transformed into in The Beauty Inside? The child actor has basically taken part in just about all the most talked-about dramas of the past few years, from Live Up to Your Name, Dr. Heo, About Time and My ID is Gangnam Beauty to The Fiery Priest, Arthdal Chronicles, Vagabond and My Country: The New Age. Just recently, he's appeared as a young character in The King: Eternal Monarch.

20. Kim Kang Hoon
Last year, When the Camellia Blooms's Kim Kang Hoon pretty much become a household name in Korea. The ten-year-old actor's interpretation of the lovely, sensitive and protective Pil Goo in the drama was recognized with the Best Young Actor prize at the 2019 KBS Drama Awards. Despite his young age, Kim Kang Hoon has already built a long filmography for himself, ranging from period dramas like Mr. Sunshine and My Country: The New Age to popular modern series like Hotel Del Luna, Romance is a Bonus Book and Good Manager. Debuting at the age of five, he first appeared in 2014's Pride and Prejudice, and received more and more roles year by year. Kang Hoon's mature personality behind his cute round face also makes him one of the most lovable young stars in Korea!

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Published April 23, 2020

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