Drama

Cheng Yi: From Unknown Actor to Rising Star

awkward potato


Hi, Potato here! A Cheng Yi fan since 2021, I’ve been regularly following his works and activities. The drama which got me into knowing Cheng Yi is none other than Love and Redemption. Cheng Yi’s portrayal as Yu Sifeng captivated me with his micro expressions, hence cemented me in being his fan. It’s a great pleasure to be working with Mon on this fan guide.

Mon


Hey there, I’m Mon. My interest in Cheng Yi began when I saw him in Love and Redemption. His performance blew me away as he conveyed every emotion with absolute precision. He is one of my favorite actors, so working with awkward potato on this fan guide has been a true pleasure. I hope that you enjoy reading this article and that you will (hopefully) learn a thing or two about Cheng Yi.

Disclaimer: While great care and research have been done to write this fan guide, please note that we cannot guarantee it is a hundred percent spoiler-free. Gifs are linked to their sources. This article is best read in light mode.

Basic Info

Name: Cheng Yi | 成毅

Birth name: Fu Shi Qi | 傅诗淇 

Nickname: Qiqi, Yi Ge

Birth date: May 17, 1990

Birth place: Huaihua City, Hunan Province

Height: 181 cm

Agency: H&R Century

Profession: Actor, Singer

Weibo: 成毅

Early Career

Cheng Yi officially debuted in November 2011 with the historical drama Beauty World. The following year, he made his movie debut with the thriller suspense Haunting Love.
Afterwards, he starred in smaller scale films such as the youth romance Forgive Me, It’s Too Late to Love You (2012) and another thriller, Girls’ Dormitory (2014), to name a few. Cheng Yi didn’t star in any dramas until later in 2016 with Noble Aspirations.

Dramas

Noble Aspirations (2016)

Season 1 | Season 2

One night, when Zhang Xiao Fan was eleven years old, everyone in his village was killed, leaving only his childhood friend Lin Jin Yu and a villager Uncle Wang survived.
(Source: TVDB)
➙ Cheng Yi’s comeback to drama land. This series boast a number of popular actors and actresses; Zhao Li YingYang Zi and Qin Jun Jie, to name a few.
➙ He won the award in the ‘Newcomer’ Award category at the 7th Donews Award ceremony held at the Beijing Performing Arts Center. 

The Lost Tomb 2 (2019)

A group of daring young explorers reunites to take their tomb raiding adventures underseas, after a mysterious wreck is discovered in the stormy waters near the North Reef, in the Paracel Islands of the South China Sea.
(Source: Viki)
➙ Cheng Yi plays two characters in The Lost Tomb 2. One, as the immortal Zhang Qi Ling (affectionately known as Xiao Ge) and the other is a general called Zhang Bu Xun.
➙ The three main leads sang the ending song titled Shēng rú kuánglán (Living Like Raging Wave).

Love and Redemption (2020)

According to legends, the God of War saved the heavens in a deadly battle against the Luo Hou Ji Du, a powerful warrior of the Demon Tribe a thousand years ago. Both fell from the heavens and disappeared from the world. Thousand years later, a baby was born without her six senses, and was said to be the reincarnation of the God of War.
(Source: DramaWiki)
 Love and Redemption is the drama that got Cheng Yi recognised internationally, and propelled him to stardom. His acting as the tragic male hero, Yu Sifeng, won viewers’ hearts and was dubbed as ‘August Boyfriend‘ in China that year!
➙ Cheng Yi provides an OST called Shǒu (Guard).

The Promise of Chang’an (2020)

A story that follows a young woman who once naive and carefree who matures into a wise ruler. Hers is a legendary journey about overcoming trials and tribulations to become the empress dowager of the Great Sheng nation.
(Source: IMDb)
The Promise of Chang’an is probably the most tragic and depressing drama out of Cheng Yi’s filmography. Even he said that his character is a miserable one in this interview. Prepare lots of tissues, you’ve been warned.

Stand By Me (2021)

It tells the fateful reunion of twin sisters Cheng Ruo Yu and Qiu Yan Zhi as they become involved in political affairs upon encountering the young Emperor Qi Yan.
(Source: Apple TV)
➙ The series is actually based on real historical figures of the Tang Dynasty. Due to censorship issues, some of the information have been revised. Qi Yan’s role is based on Emperor Wuzong Li Yan while Prince Guang’s role is based on Emperor Xuanzong Li Chen. (Source: chengmusings.com)

The Imperial Age (2022)

A story that follows Zhu Yuan Zhang’s fourth son, Zhu Di, who fought many battles from a young age that aided him in his journey to become a qualified military commander and a skilled politician.
(Source: Chinesedrama.info)
➙ Cheng Yi plays a supporting role here, as the young Emperor Zhu Di. His adult counterpart is played by Feng Shao Feng.

Immortal Samsara (2022) 

Part 1 | Part 2 | Special Episode

Yan Dan and her twin sister, Zhi Xi, are the only descendants of an ancient tribe whose true form is powerful healing medicine, the four-leaf lotus. While pursuing their goals in the heavenly realm, Yan Dan encountered the biggest trial in her life, the love trial, while serving under Lord Ying Yuan. Yan Dan and Lord Ying Yuan struggle with the heavenly rule to stay abstinent from love, thus having to face the consequences of their feelings.
(Source: DramaWiki)
➙ Cheng Yi plays not one, not two, but three characters in Immortal Samsara. Viewers can definitely see the distinction between the three characters, and are playfully “divided” into Team Ying Yuan, Team Tang Zhou or Team Xuan Ye!
➙ While the characters Ying Yuan and Tang Zhou are dubbed by a professional voice actor, Cheng Yi voices the character Xuan Ye.
➙ Cheng Yi provides an OST called Wàng chuān (Forget the River).

Draw the Line (2022)

Draw the Line tells the story of Fang Yuan, Zhou Yi An, Ye Xin and three other court personnels, who have devoted themselves to the construction of the rule of law. They braved the difficulties and dangers in a judicial case concerning the vital interests of the people, practiced their original mission and adhered to the belief in the rule of law.
(Source: Supreme People’s Court Weixin)
➙ A tribute drama in which Cheng Yi’s portrayal as grassroots judge Zhou Yi An, earned him praises from the Chinese Supreme Court. A translation excerpt can be read here.
➙ To make this drama as realistic as possible, Cheng Yi and fellow co-actors interned a month at the Supreme Court prior to filming.
➙ Cases covered in the drama are based on real life cases; an example is the Jiang Ge murder case.
➙ Cheng Yi doesn’t want to inaccurately portray a judge’s image in China, hence willing to appear in a drama without idol makeup/styling or blurring filters.

Upcoming Dramas 

(subject to change) 

Southwind Knows My Mood

Botanist Fu Yun Shen and Zhu Yang, who works with ‘Doctors Without Borders’, travel deep into underdeveloped regions to offer humanitarian relief while searching for a special medicinal plant that can save many lives.

Mysterious Lotus Casebook 

Li Lian Hua and his nemesis Di Fei Sheng who no longer cared for worldly affairs, become inspired by the young and idealistic Fang Duo Bing as they join hands in solving mysterious cases to uphold justice.
(Source: Chinesedrama.info)

Deep Lurk 

Set before the Battle of Changsha, this is a story about unsung heroes during a time of warfare, and follows a man who learns to fight for a greater cause in his journey to find his father’s killer.

Variety Shows 

(selected)

Hello Saturday

(20220924)

Cheng Yi and co-star Cai Wen Jing, were guests on the show to promote Draw the Line. Like his previous appearances on Happy Camp a few years back, he still has no luck with games and ends up making the hosts keel with laughter.

Happy Camp 

(20201121 | 20210828)

Cheng Yi’s playful side can be seen in the Happy Camp episodes, where he brings continuous laughter with his antics. While he may not be the best in games, Cheng Yi always tries his hardest, despite losing many times. In other instances, competitors tend to “steal” his answers, leaving him lost and confused.

Workplace Newcomers: Forensic Season

While Cheng Yi is a little awkward in game variety shows, he shines in intellectual variety such as Workplace Newcomers: Forensics. A dialogue and discussion type of programme, Cheng Yi expresses what he’d been through to achieve his dreams of becoming an actor. His friendly and sincere exchanges with the other guests got everyone applauding for him. 

Hard work, perseverance and discipline

It hasn’t been a smooth sailing experience for Cheng Yi to get where he is now. Many directors and producers once said that he couldn’t make it as an actor. There was even a director who said directly to him, “You are not suited to be an actor this whole life.” However, Cheng Yi knows that as long as he doesn’t give up, hope will always be there. He persevered, working hard day to day and also disciplined himself to achieve his body goals. His dedication and sincerity towards acting is infinite. When he talks about the interpretation of a role, he’s able to analyse and understand the character he plays. Cheng Yi doesn’t use stunt double for his action scenes, hence getting injuries are like second nature to him. He sprained his back in Stand By Me, whereas he filmed some parts of Immortal Samsara with a leg cast.
For nine years, he was without any endorsements, relying purely on his acting skills to win the audiences hearts. His script never leaves his hands during filming breaks; going through with the director and screenwriters, and implementing ideas on how to improve his scenes. Cheng Yi is humble, modest, serious in filming and displays high professionalism when it comes to his work. He says that he is always learning to polish his skills and become a better actor in the future.

Fun Facts

• His hobbies are fishing and singing
• He has a younger sister 
• He graduated from the Central Academy of Drama
• Cheng Yi’s fandom name is Qi Yi Guo (奇异果) which means kiwi
• He rarely uses social media unless it’s for work
• He is a tea enthusiast
• Cheng Yi is known to have pretty hands
• In an interview, he said singing and dancing makes him feel less tired
• Despite playing (mostly) serious and tragic characters, Cheng Yi has a playful disposition during filming 

Photoshoots

Thank you for reading our article!

Acknowledgments: Credits belong to their rightful owners. Images taken out of MDL are linked to their respective sources. Special thanks to the editors!
Edited by: devitto (1st editor)
cheng yi
love and redemption
immortal samsara
draw the line
the lost tomb 2
dream of chang’an
the promise of chang’an
southwind knows my mood
the lotus casebook
deep lurk

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