Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Has Wallace Huo become Yang Zi's official boss? (updated 8.31.2014)

Although there is no official announcement or confirmation, many observant Chinese netizens believe Yang Zi has changed management company and joined Wallace Huo's self-established entertainment company, Hua Jae Studio. I can tell from recent interviews that Wallace Huo is quite fond of Yang Zi and sees great acting potential in the former child-actress. Having just graduated from Beijing Film Academy, Yang Zi is probably looking to expand her acting career and give a new fresh image as a mature actress to the Chinese audience. Therefore, it is not  surprising she would want to leave her old management company, Huayi Brothers, who is infamous for not doing much to promote new talents under its umbrella, and want to explore other options.

Many famous Chinese actors and actresses nowadays prefer to establish their own company/work studios than contract under major media companies to retain more financial/artistic freedom. Such actors/actresses include Zhou Xun, Yang Mi, and Fan Bing Bing. Wallace Huo is known to be a fiercely private person and independent actor in the Chinese showbiz. He rarely does commercials and only participates in variety shows/talk shows for the promotion of his projects.  For this reason, he refuses to contract with any of the major management companies in China who will most likely dictate his career choices. He prefers to "manage" himself and formally established Hua Jae Studio.

Until recently, Hua Jae Studio has always been an one-entertainer (Wallace Huo) talent agency. But in recent interviews, Wallace Huo has expressed his ambitions to do more behind-the-scene work. I believe Hua Jae Studio's decision to take Yang Zi under its management is evidence of Wallace Huo's next step to expand his career choices.

After the shooting of Battle of Changsha, netizens noticed that Hua Jae Studio's official weibo has lended a hand in promoting Yang Zi's  works and the manager/staff of Hua Jae Studo are often seen accompanying/interacting with Yang Zi during press events/ on weibo. One Chinese writer, who is also friend with the scriptwriter/author for Battle of Changsha, claimed on weibo that Yang Zi is now under contract with Hae Jae Studio. If this bit of news is true, I hope it means the probability for Wallace Huo to collaborate with Yang Zi again will skyrocket? Battle of Changsha fans, can we scream "Oh YAY!"? I wonder how does it feel to co-star with your boss? LOL.

Update 7.24.2014: 
I think it's unofficially confirmed that Yang Zi joined Hua Jae Studio when Wallace Huo's middle school best friend/business partner/Hua Jae co-founder, Lian Jun Jie (Jae), congratulated Yang Zi on her pending graduation from Beijing Film Academy.

Update 8.31.2014
It's official that Yang Zi joined Ruan Mei Company late in July. Huajae staff had just unofficially acted as her manager while she was looking for better long-term options.

Weibo Post Translation:

Lian Jun Jie: Congratulation! You are now entering a new stage in life and into "society college." Let's move forward together. Add oil*, Yang Zi!"

* roughly means "keep it up" or "you go girl!"

Yang Zi's response: Thank you Brother Jun Jie!


Wallace Huo and Yang Zi groofing off on the set of Battle of Changsha


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