What does the C-ent industry think of Liu Haoran?

From the day Haoran first entered the industry through now, he’s been blessed to have worked with a lot of people in the industry, while simultaneously establishing a reputation for himself as a serious young actor who’s proven himself with every work. Over the years, he’s continued to add to his resume and reputation, and one of the greatest things, as a fan, is to have witnessed how his rep has continued to blossom, not just with audiences, but with those in the industry as well.

And as Haoran continues to thrive in his career, we are seeing a growing number of directors, producers, hosts, veteran actors, peers, authors, and other people in the industry who have shared their thoughts (prompted and unprompted) on his talent, his character, his accomplishments, and his place in the industry, especially as he’s continued to be one of the faces of the new generation of film stars.

This post will serve as a running collection of interview translations, quotes, and thoughts from both those who he’s worked with and those who he hasn’t (yet). If I missed anything, feel free to drop me a note on CC.

Since some of the names will be unfamiliar to the international audience, I also wrote a intros on each person to show the weight they carry in the industry. As always, sources for all quotes/comments are linked.

Of course, the biggest compliment on his reputation and work ethic is his personal network of friends and seniors, as well as the projects that he continues to get!

(T/N: You’re going to see the phrase “little fresh meat” (小鲜肉) here a couple of times – if you are unfamiliar with the term, it basically refers to young, good-looking male celebs – typically those under 30. At one point, and maybe in some cases still, it had a pretty negative connotation within the industry, but it’s typically used as a generic blanket term)

You will also see “younger generation/new generation” used a lot – note that depending on the age/experience of the speaker, it can mean anything from those born after 1990 to everyone under 35. Haoran is usually mentioned in the context of both. Also when media uses “peers” or “same age”, they aren’t referring to just 97-ers or even post-95ers.)

Warning: Super long, may lag as there’s a lot of content. Probably best viewed on computer.


Chen Kaige

  • One of the two directors Haoran is most often associated with as they’ve worked together 3x now, which is a huge compliment in itself – first for Legend of the Demon Cat, then Flowers Bloom in the Ashes (not yet released), and My People My Country, which filmed back to back. Haoran first met Director Kaige at auditions for LODC when he was 18.
  • Widely considered one of the top 2 directors in mainland China alongside Zhang Yimou, in terms of both accolades (many global/domestic nominations and wins) and influence. Hence, also one of the biggest names in the industry. One of the most interesting things about the VogueMe cover for April 2019 (aside from it being the stars of the eventual Moses on the Plains) is that it was right before Zhou Dongyu started filming for a Zhang Yimou film, Haoran for a Chen Kaige film.
  • One of the leading names of the famous Fifth Generation of Chinese directors (alongside Zhang Yimou, Tian Zhuangzhuang, etc., who made Chinese cinema more popular both domestically and internationally .
  • Winner of the 1993 Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival for Farewell My Concubine, which remains the only Chinese language film to have ever won the award; has had five films selected for competition at Cannes.
  • Often chairs big film industry events, including the recent 2019 Golden Rooster Awards.

During filming for My People My Country (2019)

“He really knows how to act.” + one take scenes with Haoran

During Legend of the Demon Cat promotions (2017):

Interviewer: You chose to cast Huang Xuan and Liu Haoran for this film. They are both considered to be actors with great popularity. When you were going through the casting process, aside from deciding whether they fit the part or not, did you also consider their popularity?

Chen Kaige: It was the first time I had worked with this casting director, and he brought several pages worth of traffic data to me, saying that we should have the casting discussion based on that. However, I wasn’t really willing, and I told him, “Read the script first, then let’s discuss. Whoever fits the best gets the part.”

When I look at Liu Haoran, he gives off this really fresh and pure energy. It’s hard not to like him. There’s something about his face and spirit – it just sucks you in, and I felt that really fit Bai Long.

(He also talks more about Bai Long in a different interview – translating this part because this shows Bai Long is a character near and dear to his heart)

Interviewer: Does Bai Long love Yang Gui Fei romantically?

Chen Kaige: In my films, there will always be one character who stands up and says “no”. In this film, it is Bai Long. I don’t believe that he loves Yang Gui Fei – what does a teenager know about love? He is a rebellious and hot blooded youth, who dares to say, “You are all wrong”. So the heart of the film lies with Bai Long, as he unifies everything.

Interviewer: Usually creators will have one character in their work where they project their own thoughts and feelings. Who was that in this film?

Chen Kaige: It would still be Bai Long. Some people have said that all of of my films have one thing in common – that the heart of the film always lies with an orphan, and that does seem to be the case. They strive to find a sense of family, a sense of belonging. Thus, Bai Long’s never-changing youthful, heroic spirit is quite important to me.

Bonus – Haoran’s birthday message to director Kaige during Tencent’s acting show Actor, Please Take Your Place, which hit home how big of a role Director Kaige has had in Haoran’s growth as an actor (and career growth).

Tian Zhuangzhuang

  • Prominent fifth generation director in his own right who is childhood friends with Chen Kaige and was classmates with Chen Kaige, Zhang Yimou, and Li Shaohong at the Beijing Film Academy
  • His movie The Horse Thief was named by Martin Scorsese as his favorite film of the 90s
  • Has been instrumental in helping other directors emerge, and returned to the Beijing Film Academy for many years as head of the directing program, overseeing and helping young directors such as Ning Hao, Zhao Wei, and Wen Muyue (Dying to Survive)
  • In the last few years, has been more active as an actor than director, and was invited by Chen Kaige to appear in his part of My People My Country, which was how Haoran met him for the first time

During promotions for My People My Country (2019)

“Haoran is quite a talented child. Very expressive. What he expresses is very on target. This is very important, so if he can maintain it well, I feel he will have a great future.” (from behind the scenes clip shared above)

Kong Sheng

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  • Executive at the esteemed Daylight Entertainment, which is considered one of the best drama production companies in China
  • Has won numerous times for his achievements in drama directing, including the 2019 Magnolia Award for Best Director in a Drama. Widely considered one of the best directors in dreamland and the best director at Daylight
  • Director (or co-director) of Nirvana In Fire, Nirvana In Fire 2, Romance of Our Parents, Battle of Changsha, All Is Quiet in Peking, Ode to Joy, Like A Flowing River, and more
  • Additional note: Haoran is the youngest main lead actor in a Daylight Entertainment production to date (NIF2 was filmed when he was 19)

Interview for Nirvana In Fire 2 (2018)

“Liu Haoran and Zhang Huiwen – the two young actors both really surprised me. It was the first television drama* for both of them, but not only did they have great attitudes, they also showed continuous improvement throughout the filming process – they are two very good young actors.

When we were in the casting process, we took particular note of the actors’ attitude towards performance, and whether or not they could hold themselves accountable. This was something that was really important to us, so I feel very pleased by the results.

“The second half of the drama was very reliant on Haoran’s ability to hold up the story. We were also a little worried on whether he could do it, but not only did he complete it well, he completely exceeded our expectations. You will see a completely different Xiao Pingjing later on. He took on a task that neither his brother nor his father could complete. And you’ll think, this child (Pingjing) is incredible.*”

*With You was made with the intent of being a webdrama – later in 2018, it got picked up twice to air on TV, more than two years after its premiere

(He also praises LHR in another interview – this is one of my favorite scenes in the drama so I’m excited Kong Sheng loves it too)

“In the scene where Pingjing returns from his victory in war, he walks down the long hall to his elderly father, who is sitting in the room, watching him. When Pingjing finally reaches his father and falls to his knees – the two actors are absolutely fantastic in that scene. Pingjing has a lot of burdens on his shoulders and is feeling all sorts of conflicting emotions, and Haoran did a great job showing that.”

Andrew Lau

  • Award winning Hong Kong director with strong ties to Bona Film Group, one of the largest film production/distribution companies in China (Flowers Bloom In the Ashes is produced by Bona)
  • Director of Founding of An Army, best known for being the director of Infernal Affairs and the Young and Dangerous series; also directed last year’s box office hit The Captain

During filming for The Founding of An Army (2017):

“Liu Haoran is only nineteen years old, but he has a deep understanding of what kind of person Su Yu was. And because Liu Haoran’s father was in the military, he really treasures this role.”

Bonus – Haoran’s cut in the Founding of An Army documentary, including interactions with director Andrew Lau, who was known for bringing up Haoran’s age all the time on set, “He’s only nineteen!” because he couldn’t believe it

Gordan Chan

  • Award winning Hong Kong director/producer/screenwriter best known for Painted Skin
  • Served as Chairman and Vice Chairman on the The Board of Directors for the Hong Kong Film Awards for multiple years
  • He actually didn’t say anything directly, but he reposted a Weibo comment from film critic Huang Feiyu and gave it a thumbs up – this was when Detective Chinatown 2 was doing super well at the box office and Haoran was earning a lot of attention. Gordon Chan has not worked with Haoran before.

“Actors should rely on their performances to do the talking for them, particularly in film. When I watched Detective Chinatown 1, I couldn’t believe that among the so-called little fresh meats, there was someone like him. Later, The Founding of the Army and Detective Chinatown 2 proved that my instincts were correct. Among the younger generation of actors, the one who is most likely to win an award for Best Actor in the future is Liu Hao Ran!” – film critic Huang Feiyu (February 2018)

Zhang Xiaobo

  • Director of Novoland: Eagle Flag; director associated with Linmon Pictures (one of the more well known production companies)
  • Best known for To Be A Better Man, which was nominated for Best Drama at the 2017 Magnolia Awards

“Haoran is extremely like Lv Guichen, He is what I’m looking for from the entirety of Novoland: Eagle Flag. He cares and is empathetic to the state of the world.”

At one of the preview sessions for Novoland: Eagle Flag:

“He accomplished everything he could. He reached my expectations, and he successfully portrayed the most sincere interpretation of the character. I believe he did very well.”

Liu Chang

  • Director of With You, which is currently rated 8.9 on Douban and is considered to be one of the best youth dramas (has the highest rating + number of ratings for a youth drama)

“Out of the three main characters’ casting, we were the most sure about Liu Haoran. Because when we talked to him, we realized that Liu Haoran isn’t the Yu Huai in the script – he’s the Yu Huai from the novel. His looks, his qi zhi – it’s like Ba Yue Chang An (author of the novel) met Liu Haoran first, and then wrote the novel. So we never doubted the decision to bring Liu Haoran onto this project.” (Source)


Huang Jianxin

  • Award winning director and producer that’s often considered to be part of the Fifth Generation of Directors and a well known name in the industry
  • Executive producer for The Founding of An Army (personally called Haoran’s team to ask him to play Su Yu), Happiness Is Coming (Haoran had a cameo), and My People My Country

“Liu Haoran has one of those naturally pure and innocent faces. So when he is fired up, you feel hope.” (Source)

(He also appeared in LHR’s birthday video with a message)

“Haoran, we first met you in Beijing Love Story. And now, you’re already twenty years old. These past few years, we’ve seen you grow up, seen you improve, and we’re so happy for you. We love you very much.”

(Gave Haoran a personal shoutout when My People My Country hit 22 million RMB at the box office on Haoran’s lunar birthday)

Hou Hongliang

  • Daylight Entertainment founder and CEO, award winning producer (executive producer on most of Daylight Entertainment works) ; one of the biggest names in the drama industry
  • Former executive at Shandong Film & TV Production (Shanying), co-producer of Daylight Entertainment’s early works like Nirvana In Fire and Battle of Changsha, production company of hit dramas All Is Quiet In Peking, Parents’ Love, etc.
  • Makes lead casting decisions for big Daylight projects – it is rumored he is the one who decided on Haoran after seeing his audition

(In Haoran’s birthday 20th birthday wishes video)

“Haoran, happy 20th birthday. I’m currently watching the completed version of Nirvana In Fire 2. You completed it very well. Hope we can work together again in the future.”

(At the press conference for Nirvana In Fire 2 – talking to Haoran with iQiyi founder and CEO Gong Yu – Haoran also chatted with Gong Yu at iQiyi Scream Night in late 2018)

“Did you know he’s only one year older than my son? I look at my son (who still seems so little) and then turn around (to this one – Haoran) and he’s already so mature.”

Gong Yu: “What year in the 90s were you born in? (Haoran: 1997) Three years older than my son.”

(He also had a long chat with Haoran at iQiyi Scream Night in Dec 2018 – someone cc me if they can find the video, but there was also this)

Xu Xiaoou

  • VP at Linmon Pictures, production company behind Novoland: Eagle Flag, A Little Reunion, A Love For Separation, Hunting, The Legend of Fuyao, & more

“To be honest, for (the role of) Lv Guichen, aside from Liu Haoran, there was no one else that we considered. We felt that his appearance is very East Asian (in reference to wanting NEF to an East Asian fantasy), that he has that quiet inner conflict. So we persistently pursued Liu Haoran. Jiang Nan also recommended him, so for us, he was our first and only choice. We never considered anyone else. After the collaboration was agreed upon, we were very thankful, and felt that he gave us a perfect Lv Guichen. Lv Guichen is incredibly hard to play because he doesn’t have a lot of movement – most of it (emotions) are through his eyes and demeanor.” (source)

Additional Industry People

Yin Hong

  • Professor of Film and Television Studies at Tsinghua University (top 2 university in China); vice-Chairman of the China Literature and Arts Critics Association
  • Has been a panelist for the Huabiao Awards, Golden Rooster Awards (one of the three major film awards), the Flying Apsaras Awards, and the Golden Eagle Awards (aside from the Magnolia Awards, these are the other two mainstream TV award shows)
  • Served as moderator for the New Film Power Forum in 2017, which Haoran also attended

(Media interview in May 2018)

Interviewer: Which actors and actresses have caught your eye the most?

Professor Yin: Caught my eye the most?

Interviewer: Or the ones that you like the most.

Professor Yin: The ones I like the most…there’s a huge age range here! I like Chen Daoming, because his aura is the closest to what I hope to see. And among the younger ones…recently I’ve been watching a lot of Liu Haoran and I’ve really liked what I’ve seen. In the new generation of actors, he’s stood out as I think he has the potential to take on a variety of roles. That’s pretty good, because in the future, for his generation, you can’t just rely on your good looks to get by. You have to be able to rely more on your ability as an actor. For actresses, I like Zhou Xun and Tang Wei (T/N: coincidentally, these two are Haoran’s favorite actresses).

He Jiong

  • China’s most well known MC and one of the most beloved celebrities , co-MC of Happy Camp
  • Extremely close to Haoran and has pretty much seen him grow up since Haoran’s first variety appearance was on Happy Camp; He Jiong is the key reason Haoran ended up agreeing to go on Who’s the Murderer in 2018

“Liu Haoran has the personality of a gege (older brother). I sometimes feel like he is even older than me.”

“He honestly is probably the most intelligent young man I have ever met. When we filmed Who’s the Murderer together, I felt like I was with a real detective.”

“There was one time when Liu Haoran posted in the Moments (friends’ circle) section of WeChat and said, ‘I think I’ve been wasting too much time here. So from today on, I am going to close my Moments.’ For young people, it’s natural for them to be curious and want to spend time there – it’s hard to resist temptation. So the fact that he can be so disciplined – or to put it another way – self-aware – I think that’s a very valuable trait.” (source)

Xie Na

  • Used to be (still is?) the most followed person on Weibo; co-MC for Happy Camp

(She posted the following when she was still on maternity leave in early March 2018, when DC2 was tearing it up at the box office amidst update posts on her new twins – the guess is she was feeling pretty sentimental)

“Shortly after Liu Haoran first debuted, he made his first Happy Camp appearance. Teacher He Jiong predicted at the time, ‘Liu Haoran, one day you’re going to be hugely popular, and you are going to regret today’s performance!’. (So, do you regret this performance now?)”

Referring to this (he’s performing a traditional Chinese folk dance):

Zhang Shaogang

  • Well known MC and Assistant Professor at the Communication University of China (one of the major media universities aside from the Big 3 – Ni Ni and Ma Sichun are among graduates of the school; many announcers, including CCTV ones, are also alumni)
  • Insisted on still MCing Haoran’s 20th birthday fanmeet despite a leg injury

(Context of the discussion: Famous Chinese director Feng Xiaogang heavily criticized the little fresh meats in the industry in early 2017 during a director’s pane, which became a hot topic, and Zhang Shaogang was on a talk show with CCTV’s Sa Beining (though you probably know him from Who’s the Murderer) discussing it)

“I want to talk about a little fresh meat that I know – his name is Liu Haoran. Out of all the little fresh meats that I’ve worked with, he’s the freshest. The impression that he gives me is that he’s always humble, polite, and asks a lot of questions. I love people who ask a lot of questions. Before an event or filming, Liu Haoran will always do a lot of prep work. I’ve worked with him several times, and there has never been a time where he didn’t show up an hour beforehand. So I don’t think we should just label these kids.”

National Treasure team

  • National Treasure is a very popular CCTV cultural variety show, and integrates celebrity guests to introduce cultural artifacts to the audience
  • Haoran was invited as a guest alongside Xiao Yang in Season 2; their skit performance was highly talked about and praised, and was reposted by huge accounts including CCTV News and The People’s Daily

National Treasure’s acting director:

“Liu Haoran’s performance was very real, especially when he was about to leave and his older brother Xiao Yang finally let go, and he smiled, everyone on set became mesmerized. Really…I became a fan of Liu Haoran this time.”

(Full appearance cut subbed)


Sun Chun

  • Award winning (Golden Rooster) actor; played Xiao Tingsheng in Nirvana In Fire 2

“Liu Haoran is very intelligent. In my scenes with him, he is able to catch the important points. This child has a great understanding of the character that he is playing.” (source)

(Another quote – This one is provided by Tong Liya, though Sun Chun has also said something similar himself)

Tong Liya: Sun Chun said to me, “Yaya, your* Haoran has really grown up. There was a scene where I watched him walk towards me from far away and my tears just naturally fell. In that moment, I suddenly felt that this child has grown up.”

*as in, your family’s Haoran, due to Haoran and Yaya’s family-like relationship

(Another Sun Chun quote – he is known for helping Haoran significantly on set, to the point where Haoran dedicated a part of his book to the vet actor and sent him a copy. He used to go around on set saying, “Look at how handsome my son is, look how good looking my son is”, as a way to encourage the nervous Haoran.)

“You look at Liu Haoran – he’s tall and thin, 180+cm – so when he puts on those robes and has his hair up, he looks like a child that has walked out from a Japanese manga. Every time he approached me in costume, when I looked at him, I felt natural affection for him. And it’s like our characters’ relationship – as the lao wang ye, I would naturally love my child very much.”

(Another interview)

“(When he first met Haoran) I felt he was very graceful, and has a very special appearance. He is really a young scallion, what a heavy burden at such a young age. I can’t really raise any specific examples, but he is a sensitive child. It’s only when you are sensitive that you can feel, and it’s only when you feel (emotions) that you can let go. That’s how he is.”

(From the same interview – on his impression of Haoran after reading his book)

“Sun Chun thought about when he was 19, he didn’t have any so many thoughts and feelings on the concept of death (a topic Haoran mentioned in his book). He believes in the future, Liu Haoran will bring more surprises to the audience. Aside from gaining more experience, Liu Haoran’s self-awareness and awareness of the world will also grow. But whether other people discover this isn’t important. From Sun Chun’s perspective, Liu Haoran is good at discovering himself.”

Liu Ye

  • One of China’s most well known actors; has won Best Actor Awards at both the Golden Horse and Golden Rooster Awards
  • Was costars with Haoran in The Founding of An Army

“There was a scene where you needed to show a lot of enthusiasm. Liu Haoran was considering the historical context of the scene and his character’s personality in his performance. Later, I told him to not think too much – just consider how a young person would react. Even though the eras are different, the spirit and excitement that young people have are still the same, and Liu Haoran did a great job in his performance as Su Yu.” (source)

Feng Gong

  • Actor/director/comedian best known for his skits on CCTV’s annual Chinese New Year’s Gala – even 85+ grandparents know who he is
  • Haoran had a guest appearance in Feng Gong’s film Happiness is Coming (this translation is going to sound kind of sarcastic but it’s the way Feng Gong talks – he’s a xiang sheng performer by trade and old habits die hard)

“He has all of the good points of a millennial and none of the bad points. He has inherited all the good things about the entertainment circle, and none of the bad things. To me, Liu Haoran is someone who is both talented performance-wise and possesses great moral integrity*. I strongly recommend this child.” (source)

*The phrase Feng Gong uses here is 德艺双馨 (de yi shuang xin) – you’ll hear the interviewers laugh in the video when he says this because 1) it’s a term rarely used and usually only by older, traditional performers, and 2) it is high praise

Mei Ting and Liu Jun

  • Played the Empress and Emperor in Nirvana In Fire 2
  • Liu Jun is also known for his performances in other Daylight productions, especially as Minglan’s dad in Story of Minglan
  • Mei Ting is an award winning actress in both film and dramas and is a highly regarded vet actress – Haoran actually worked with her again for Moses on the Plains (she’s rumored to play his mom)

Liu Jun: We were in the palace filming a group scene so there were tons of people in the room. Mei Ting quietly said to me, “Look at Haoran. There are so many people here, but he just catches your eye. When you look at him, his qi zhi* is just so different from everyone else’s.” She used the phrase yu shu lin feng** and I think that is the perfect way to describe him.

*aura, or presence

**literally means “a jade tree in the wind”, which is used to describe a young man who stands out due to their looks and talent

Zhao Lixin

  • Veteran film/TV/stage actor; part of the judge’s panel for the 2018 Magnolia Awards

Interviewer: Among the younger generation of actors, who do you think has the most potential?

Zhao Lixin: They’re all good – they are healthy and they look good. They have enviable lives as their futures are so bright and they already have a solid foot in the industry at such a young age. However, I haven’t seen a lot of their works and I don’t judge anything that I haven’t seen. But I’ve worked with Liu Haoran for Great Expectations – it hasn’t aired yet. Does he count as a little fresh meat? In that case, I think sometimes the “little fresh meats” aren’t deserving of their bad rep.

Liu Haoran is someone who takes performance very seriously. He is very passionate about it, and will constantly ask himself, “Who am I? What am I doing?” to try to grasp the concept of a scene. A lot of people don’t want to think about these questions, nor do they want to answer them. So the impression that Liu Haoran gives me is that he’s an actor who just wants to perform well, but he accidentally earned the love of so many. And because of that, he wants to do even better.

Xiao Yang

  • Director/actor, member of group Chopsticks Brothers (who have several viral songs under their belt, including “Little Apple”
  • Has worked with Haoran on all three Detective Chinatown films


Lei Jiayin

  • Well known/popular vet actor who has worked his way up and will be starring in Zhang Yimou’s upcoming Under the Light
  • Has known Haoran before debut due to close friendship with Tong Liya
  • It became a bit of a popular joke/meme that he is the older version of Haoran as they have the exact same height and head circumference

“I’m very accurate (in predicting young actors who’ll make it). All the kids that have caught my eye have been successful. When we knew Haoran, he didn’t really have anything yet. But when we saw these kids, we knew they’d make it.” (source)

(Banter with Yaya on Haoran)

Interviewer: Do you sincerely think you and Liu Haoran look alike?

LJY: Of course I really think we look alike.

Interviewer: Yaya, do you think they look alike?

TLY: If I were to pick a detail, I guess it’d be the monolids. Kind-heartedness.

LJY: The face is the index of the heart. Like Haoran, that child, you can just tell he’s kind.

TLY: Don’t try to gain off of him (jokes). Everyone knows Haoran is kind, you just want to compliment yourself. We hope that Haoran can become like you one day. A good person, a good actor (like you). We hope that he can always be like this.


Li Guangjie

  • Has also known Haoran since before debut – was college classmates with Chen Sicheng and also close with Yaya; best friends with Lei Jiayin and Guo Jingfei
  • Haoran’s costar in Novoland: Eagle Flag

Wang Ou

  • Best known for her roles in Nirvana In Fire, The Disguiser, Novoland: Eagle Flag, and more

Jing Boran

  • Currently holds highest box office for someone born after 1985 on movies with first billing
  • Has a Hundred Flowers Best Actor nomination and acting nominations at the Golden Rooster Awards and Hong Kong Film Awards

Zhang Rongrong/Sandrine Pinna

  • Played Yang Guifei in Legend of the Demon Cat; previously nominated for Best Actress at the Golden Horse Awards

“I love Haoran didi. After my first meeting with him, I told my agent that I think he is a great kid. He’s polite, sincere, willing to learn, and has a good sense of humor and jokes around with me. He also invited me to eat hot pot! Little Bai Long is a great actor and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for him.” (source)

Chen Feiyu

  • Haoran was Feiyu’s first (similar age) friend in the industry as they met when Feiyu hadn’t quite debuted yet, on the set of his father Chen Kaige’s film Legend of the Demon Cat
  • The two have been costars twice – both times for Chen Kaige film

“Haoran is a very spirited (vibrant) actor. Whether it’s from perception or in terms of techniques, I feel it (his acting) is already very rich (abundant).” (source)


Shu Chang

  • Former child actress who’s had supporting roles in well known historicals

(She posted this without even knowing Haoran’s name at the time)

“Just watched the movie Beijing Love Story. The story was told very well, it’s a good film. In the story, the sunshiny little actor who made us feel warm performed very sincerely – he acted very well!”


Jiang Nan

  • The well known author of Novoland: Eagle Flag, as well as other works

Han Han

  • One of China’s most popular bloggers and authors; also a director with box office success in the three films he’s done so far (For the longest time, Haoran was rumored for the film adaptation of Han Han’s debut novel Triple Door – however, Han Han has said he’s found the script too hard to write and has no plans to film it anytime soon. Han Han is also known to be quite proud and critical, so this was rare praise from him)

“I am very impressed by Detective Chinatown 2 as they were able to deliver such a high quality product after a very short filming and post-production period. Normally, I’m not someone who likes exaggerated performances, but Wang Baoqiang and Liu Haoran’s pairing works very well. The film was also able to hit several important points – there was depth, the pacing was comfortable, and the camerawork was fluid. Among the new generation of actors, Liu Haoran is excellent.” (source)

Fei Wo Si Cun

  • Popular romance novelist dubbed “Stepmother” as she’s the queen of romantic tragedies
  • Many of her works have been adapted into dramas, including Goodbye My Princess and Siege In Fog

“Let’s talk about something happy. I went to watch Detective Chinatown 2 today – Haoran didi is so good looking in it! He’s such a refreshing youth who has already developed his own special characteristics and acting skills. His future is boundless! When he gets a little older, he might be able to win a best actor award. If I can get tickets today, I want to catch another one of the Chinese New Year films – I’ve heard there are several good ones. Knowing that such great people and films exist definitely gives me hope and motivation in this new year!” (source)


Yin Shanshan (CAD teacher)

  • Not one of Haoran’s teachers/does not know him personally; she was talking about acting in general in an interview

“So from a teacher’s perspective, how do we predict if a student can not only achieve fame, but also be able to have a long acting career? Appearances are important – that goes without saying – and you should like reading. And you have to be serious about performance and want to delve deeper into it. Not only should you be able to pull off the role you are given, but you should also understand the background of your character and the context that you are being put in. I’ll give you an example.”

“Among the little fresh meats, there exists someone called Liu Hao Ran. I think very highly of his future, because I think he’s got great potential. From what we know of him, he is like the golden boy. He’s still studying at our school, and there’s no doubt that he’s a good looking child. In terms of acting, in Detective Chinatown 1, we’ve already seen proof of his skills, right?”

” The other thing is, according to my colleagues and from what students have told me, he is a very studious student. He has great attendance in classes, and when he isn’t in class, he’ll take the subway to filming sites. And he loves to read. I believe that not only has he been blessed with good looks, he also has the heart of a true performer. Teachers will like this kind of actor, as will fans – and the film and television industries will be lucky to have him.” (source)


  • Will be updating with posts from various media members here as it comes up

Leslie Zhang

  • Well known photographer who also does celebrity photo shoots, including Haoran’s S/S 2020 campaign for Tod’s and OK! China photoshoot

(He was asked about Haoran from a photography fan who is also a fan of Haoran’s)

“There are some celebrities that I’m not willing to work with, because I can’t photograph them in a non-idol way. But Liu Haoran is a true actor. Liu Haoran is pulling away from the new generation of male celebrities, I’m not stepping on other people, just saying that he’s someone filming seriously, not pursuing (the path of a) liu liang. I’m going to say something honestly. He’s a good person, a refreshing presence in the entertainment circle. It’s not just him either, his team is also very nice. When I filmed Tod’s with him, we were in Beijing. Artists usually have their own resting area. But when the staff was eating, his team came out and told my staff and I, we have a lot of food, let’s eat together. They’re very good to staff.”

Haoran’s Boss(es)

Tong Liya

  • 2016 Golden Eagle Best Actress co-winner
  • Wife of Haoran’s boss, Chen Sicheng (considered his industry big sister)
  • Played Meng Qianxue (Pingjing’s sister-in-law) in Nirvana In Fire 2

Interviewer: You had the chance to work with Haoran didi again (for Nirvana in Fire 2). You’ve watched him grow up in the past few years – how has he changed?

TLY: He is a child who works extremely hard. Even though he is already twenty years old, he is still a child in my eyes. This was his first period drama – and his first television series as well, so he struggled a little bit in the beginning trying to get a grasp on his character. Because the first Nirvana in Fire was so successful, he felt a lot of pressure. When he was frustrated, he would come to chat with us, asking how he could give a better performance.

The directors, production team, crew, and the veteran actors – they all spent a lot of time talking with him. They advised him to put aside his worries and frustrations, and just try to experience the character. So later on in the filming process, he was a lot more comfortable. There was a time when I didn’t have many scenes so I didn’t have to come in, but when I arrived on set again, the director said to me, “Your Haoran is amazing – he’s improved so much.” Other members of the cast and crew also said similar things to me, so as a big sister, I’m very happy.

Chen Sicheng

  • Director of Beijing Love Story and the Detective Chinatown series; currently considered one of the most successful directors of the new generation in Chinese cinema
  • Was the one who discovered Haoran and casted him for his debut film
  • Haoran’s boss and benefactor

Interviewer: How would you describe Liu Haoran’s growth and development in the past couple of years? Since you have watched him grow up.

CSC: I feel like he has grown up incredibly fast, especially after entering college and getting some stage experience. And now, his aura, his presence have changed drastically. Because I am also a drama school graduate, I know how important presence is to stage acting. When you stand there on stage, with the audience looking on, you have become the central focus. It’s a great way to build your confidence up in a very short amount of time. Hao Ran has had two years of drama school studies now, and he’s also filmed a lot of projects, including films with great directors like Director Kaige and Director Andrew Lau. As a result, he’s very confident now.

He just turned twenty years old, and has had greater experiences and opportunities than most – so he already possesses a maturity level and presence that other young actors his age don’t have yet. He has been extremely lucky to have received such great opportunities that have brought him to the position that he is in today. I have told him to not lose his way, to not forget the person he was at the beginning. And the good thing about Hao Ran is that he feels the same way. He has a rather pure heart, and he doesn’t put a lot of emphasis on fame and celebrity. The child is in this industry because he truly loves acting, so I think that’s great.

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