'Meteor Garden' stars: Then and now
MANILA – Who would have thought that after a decade, the Taiwanese series "Meteor Garden" is back on Philippine television?
The Taiwanese series, which first aired locally on ABS-CBN in 2003, returned with a bang on Monday as the first episode of its afternoon re-run easily dominated conversations online.
On micro-blogging site Twitter, the comeback telecast of "Meteor Garden" was met with excitement by long-time fans and new viewers alike, making it a trending topic in the Philippines and worldwide.
But have you ever wondered what ever happened to Jerry Yan, Vic Zhou, Vanness Wu, Ken Chu and Barbie Hsu after "Meteor Garden" ended?
Here are the Asian superstars, then and now.
THEN: Jerry Yan became popular in 2003 when he played the role of Dao Ming Si. His character in the Taiwanese series “Meteor Garden” became a household name in the Philippines with many young boys trying to imitate his style. Dao Ming Si is known to be the leader of the popular group F4, which is composed of four rich, influential and handsome students. He has issues with other people and he only trusts his three best friends. He also thinks money can buy everything until he meets Shan Cai.
NOW: After F4, Yan continued a successful solo career as a singer and an actor. Since 2003, he has released record albums and starred in a number of drama series, the most recent of which is the “In Love We Trust,” which was shot in Beijing. In that show, Jerry Yan co-stars with actresses Hai Lu and Alice Tseng.
THEN: In “Meteor Garden,” Vic Zhou played the role of Hua Ze Lei, the soft-spoken member of the popular group F4. Dao Ming Si usually runs to him for advice. The kindest of the four, he is always the go-to person of his friends. His character was also seen falling in love with Shan Cai.
NOW: Zhou dated "Meteor Garden" co-star Barbie Hsu for three years, before they split up in 2008. Zhou has appeared in numerous Taiwanese dramas such as "Mars" and "Black and White." Last year, he was named Best Actor at the Golden Bell Awards, Taiwan’s version of the Emmys, for his performance in the TV series “Home.” Aside from being a recognized actor, Zhou also made headlines in 2013 when he indirectly admitted his rumored relationship with Taiwanese actress Reen Yu.
VAN NESS WU
THEN: Van Ness Wu played the role of Mei Zuo in “Meteor Garden.” His character is a boy-next-door who is a magnet to beautiful girls. A member of the F4, Mei Zuo would go lengths to protect his friends as well as Shan Cai.
NOW: Wu continued to act in movies and TV dramas and also released an album. He also has his own jewelry line 3.V.O.7. Wu is now married to long-time girlfriend Arissa Cheo, the daughter of a wealthy Singaporean businessman. According to The Straits Times, the two recently celebrated their marriage in Singapore less than two months after they tied the knot in California. Jerry Yan was the only F4 member who made it to the wedding.
THEN: Ken Chu portrayed Xi Men in the Taiwanese series “Meteor Garden.” In the phenomenal show, Xi Men is usually seen with Mei Zuo. They both love dating pretty girls but they are not the type who enter into a relationship.
NOW: Just like Jerry Yan, Chu managed to launch his solo career as a singer and an actor after “Meteor Garden.” During F4’s reunion concert in Beijing last year, Chu said he’s had “a more mature, adult way of thinking and handling situations. But after bumping into my brothers, I feel like I returned back to the days of my youth."
THEN: Shan Cai is an ordinary girl who goes to the same school as the F4. While she seems meek, Shan Cai is hardworking with a strong personality. Her parents always wish she would find a rich man whom she could marry. At first, she will develop feelings for Hua Ze Lei but she will eventually fall in love with Dao Ming Si. Shan Cai becomes good friends with the F4.
NOW: Still Shan Cai to her fans, Hsu, now 37, is already married to Chinese entrepreneur Wang Xiaofei. They tied the knot in a private wedding in March 2011. In December, Hsu announced her pregnancy via her social media account. "Thank you all for your blessings. We are now a family of three," she said. Since the “Meteor Garden” days, Hsu starred in several TV series and movies.