Cover Hong Kong actor Tony Leung is one of the entertainment stars in Tatler's Asia's Most Influential list (Photo: Visual China Group via Getty Images)

From Tony Leung, Michelle Yeoh to Angel Locsin, we’re putting the spotlight on some of the famous entertainment stars on Tatler’s Asia’s Most Influential list

Tatler’s inaugural Asia’s Most Influential list is the definitive directory of people shaping Asia, the people that you need to know if you haven’t already. The flagship list features 300 of the most influential individuals in each of the markets we operate and are divided into their respective categories from finance to sustainability.

Here, we’re putting the spotlight on the most famous entertainment stars on the list including Tony Leung from Hong Kong, Michelle Yeoh from Malaysia, Angel Locsin from the Philippines and more. Read on to find out which entertainment stars have made and continue to make an impact in society.

See also: Everything You Need To Know About Asia’s Most Influential—The Definitive Directory of People To Know

1. Donnie Yen, Hong Kong

Donnie Yen is one of Hong Kong’s most prominent actors especially when it comes to action and martial arts movies. The actor is widely credited for bringing mixed martial arts into mainstream Asian movies. His own martial art skills are second to none, having worked on the choreography for many local and international films early into his career.

Yen is best known for his role as the legendary Ip Man in the Ip Man series and his international popularity further exploded when he appeared in Rogue One, the first Star Wars spin-off film. He’s set to appear opposite Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 4.

See also: 10 Best Donnie Yen Movies to Watch Before ‘John Wick 4’


2. Tony Leung, Hong Kong

Hong Kong acting legend Tony Leung is widely acclaimed as one of the city’s greatest actors. With a career lasting over four decades, Leung’s acting is pure masterclass. Over the years, he has taken on a variety of roles where he was able to showcase his versatility as an actor but through it all, his performances remain poignant and soulful.

One of his most notable roles is in In the Mood for Love (2002) for which he won best actor at the Cannes Film Festival, a first for any Hong Kong actor. In addition to working with auteur Wong Kar-wai, Leung has also worked with Zhang Yimou and Ang Lee. While already a household name in Asia, his debut in Hollywood with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings further catapulted the actor into the international limelight.

Don’t miss: 10 Best Tony Leung Movies to Get You in the Mood After ‘Shang-Chi’

3. Keung To, Hong Kong

The Mirror mania has taken Hong Kong by storm and leading the charge is member Keung To. Since breaking into the scene in 2018, Mirror has become the biggest Canto-pop group in decades. Keung To is one of the 12 members of the homegrown band and serves as its lead vocalist and its biggest individual star.

He made his solo debut in June 2019 with the single No 1 Seed, which quickly drew in numerous awards including the Most Popular Male Singer at the 2020 Ultimate Song Chart Awards Presentation. Keung To’s superstar power is also exerted as he continues to be in demand among luxury brands including Burberry, Cartier and Louis Vuitton. It’s become a daily occurrence to see the singer’s image plastered across Hong Kong.

Don’t miss: Mirror’s Keung To: 7 of the Hong Kong Singer's Most Stylish Looks

4. Michelle Yeoh, Malaysia

Michelle Yeoh not only continues to be one of the most recognised faces in Asia but also in Hollywood. Yeoh has appeared in some of the most notable hits in the past few decades including the award-winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Crazy Rich Asians. She will next be seen in the highlight anticipated sequel to Avatar, one of the highest-grossing films in history.

Yeoh appeared in a string of Hong Kong action and martial arts films, doing almost all of her own stunts and fight scenes. Eventually, she became a bonda fide female action star known for her impressive acting skills and strong work ethic. Today, Yeoh is still present on both the Asia and Hollywood stage and continues to shine in the cutthroat entertainment industry.

See also: Michelle Yeoh, Daniel Wu and More Join the Cast of Disney+’s ‘American Born Chinese’ Adaptation

5. Yuna, Malaysia

It’s not easy for an Asian artist to make a breakthrough in the competitive US music industry but singer-songwriter Yuna did just that. The award-winning singer has worked with some of the biggest artists such as Usher, Pharrell Williams and Jay Park.

At 14, Yuna started to write songs and later taught herself to play the guitar. Eventually, she started singing in the local indie scene all while studying law. Her big break came when she was scouted by an indie-pop label and was subsequently signed to a New York-based indie-pop record label and launched her international career.

See also: Yuna Begins a New Chapter in Her Musical Journey

6. Henry Golding, Malaysia

Before his breakout role in Crazy Rich Asians, the name Henry Golding didn’t ring a bell. After the Asian-led and director movie came out, Golding suddenly found himself as an in demand leading man in Hollywood.

Prior to his Hollywood break, Golding took on small roles in Malaysian movies and became a presenter for a number of TV programs. Since Crazy Rich Asians, Golding has starred in a slew of projects including his titular role in Snake Eyes, a G.I. Joe movie spin-off. Golding’s rise to fame also helped subvert stereotypes when it comes to Asian leading men.

7. Anne Curtis, Philippines

Anne Curtis’ star power remains matchless even after 25 years in the entertainment industry. The Filipino Australian actress boasts 17 million followers on Instagram and an added 14 million followers on Twitter, making her one of the most followed and popular celebrities from the Philippines.

Curtis is no stranger to the limelight, having acted since she was in her early teens and it didn’t take long for her to rake in blockbuster films. Being more than a bankable actress, Curtis is also a multimedia star, spanning a career in commercial endorsements, magazine covers, even music as a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador.

See also: Anne Curtis Talks Career Highlights and New Ventures

8. John Arcilla, Philippines

Taking home Best Actor at the 78th Venice International Film Festival for his role in On the Job: The Missing Eight might have been one of John Arcilla’s crowning glories as an actor but he also represents the best that Filipino actors can offer. With almost four decades in the industry, Arcilla’s many years of experience is admirable.

Some of his most notable roles include Heneral Luna (2015) and Birdshot (2016), both of which have been the Philippines’ official entry to the Oscars and while the two were never shortlisted, Arcilla has had a way of giving performances that cements himself into the hallmarks of cinema.

Don’t miss: John Arcilla on His Road to the Volpi Cup—'acting and expressing do not have boundaries'

9. Angel Locsin, Philippines

Two words come to mind when describing Angel Locsin: actress and philanthropist. Angel Locsin’s humble beginnings as an actress began with secondary or supporting roles until she was recommended for a role that would change her life: Alwina in the fantasy show Mulawin.

The actress became a superstar overnight and more TV projects and movies soon followed, one of which is Lobo for which she earned a Best Actress nomination for an International Emmy Award.

But Locsin’s most remarkable role to date is playing Darna, the Philippines’ own version of Wonder Woman. She trained and did her own stunt, eventually transforming herself into an action star. Like the superhero she played, Locsin responded to the call for relief efforts during the pandemic.

Read also: Angel Locsin Gets Candid About Her Advocacies

10. Jay Chou, Taiwan

Singer, musician, record producer, actor and director—Jay Chou can do it all. When it comes to music, the Mandpop legend has sold over 30 million records, earning himself a place as one of Asia’s most popular artists.

But as his talent demonstrate, Chou’s achievement doesn’t stop there. When it comes to acting, Chou is best known for Secret (2007) which also marked his directorial debut in addition to being the film’s writer, producer and composer.

The Taiwanese superstar has also made his way into Hollywood, debuting as Kato in The Green Hornet and then Now You See Me 2. He was most recently in J-Style Trip, a 12-part hit series on Netflix.

Don’t miss: Is Jay Chou Buying a New US$55 Million Home in Taipei?

11. Ruby Lin, Taiwan

Since making her mark as Xia Ziwei in My Fair Princess (1998), Ruby Lin became a household in Taiwan. Her fame eventually reached pan-Asia status, notably in China and Southeast Asia. The actress, producer and pop singer has been dubbed Taiwan’s “TV Drama Queen” for her many notable roles since her acting debut in 1993 when she was just 17 years old.

In addition to acting, Lin also has six studio albums. Cementing herself as entertainment royalty, Lin established the Ruby Lin Studio in 1999 to produce TV dramas and films in China and Taiwan. Today, her studio continues to work on critically acclaimed projects.

12. Rich Brian, Indonesia

Rich Brian’s success story is one for the generation. His song, Dat $tick which he released through SoundCloud in 2016. It was instantly picked up by international music label 88rising and the rest is history. Brian became one of 88rising’s top acts and its most recognisable artist, eventually becoming a household name in Indonesia and making a breakthrough overseas. 

In 2018, Brian released his first album Amen which made it to the top 20 of the Billboard 200 chart. Thanks to the album’s success, he also became the first Asian artist to reach number one on iTunes hip-hop chart. But there’s more to see as Brain continues to be a force in the hip-hop community internationally.

See also: Rich Brian on His New EP Brightside and Why Jollibee Reminds Him of Home

13. Bunga Citra Lestari, Indonesia

Being a talented singer and actress boosted Bunga Citra Lestari’s continued rise to fame. The songstress, known by her acronym BCL, first appeared as a teen soap opera star in the early 2000s. Soon enough, her passion for singing became known and started off as a singer for Pas Band in 2004.

After going on a hiatus after her marriage, she made a stellar comeback in 2012 with the movie, Habibie Aiunun, which became a box office hit that raked in 4.6 million viewers. Apart from her thriving career, BCL is keen to nurture the next generation of Indonesian singers, becoming a judge for Indonesian Idol in 2017 and 2019 and X-Factor in 2021.

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