The Four Dan Actresses of the Post ‘95 Generation

The term Four Dan Actresses (四大花旦 or 四小花旦) comes from the Four Heavenly Kings. The Four Dans are usually the most bankable young actresses at the time. The first usage of the term was in reference to Zhang Zi Yi, Zhao Wei, Zhou Xun, and Xu Jing Lei in July 2000. The Four Dan of the post 95 generation are usually Guan Xiao Tong, Zhang Zi Feng, Vicky Chen, and either Zhang Xue Ying or Ouyang Nana.

Their age in this article will be the age they turned in 2021.

Guan Xiao Tong

Age: 24 (September 17, 1997)

Education: Beijing Film Academy (2016 Class)

Major Achievements: 1st Hengdian Film and TV Festival of China Best Supporting Actress, 7th China TV Drama Awards Best New Actress & 23rd Shanghai Television Festival Best Supporting Actress.

Guan Xiao Tong is an actress who’s known as the Nation’s Daughter. She is regarded not only as one of the Four Dan Actresses of the post 90 generation but also of the post 95 generation. She started acting at the age of 4 and a half with her father Guan Shao Zeng and gained recognition for her roles in The Left Ear, Shadow, To Be a Better Man, and Twenty Your Life On. Aside from acting, she’s the main host of the popular variety show Ace Vs Ace. She was admitted into the Beijing Film Academy in 2016 after placing first in both the practical and written section of the Chinese College Entrance Examinations.

My Opinion

I love Xiao Tong on Ace Vs Ace, it’s a really funny and heartwarming show and I always laugh like crazy watching her, my favorite season with her in it is definitely season 6! She’s gotten so brave and even dared to mess with Shen Teng, ahahah. 

I also love her acting, though I’ve only seen Sweet Combat and A Girl Like Me, I thought she did very well on the dramas! I loved both her characters, they were quite similar actually! She gave off Strong Boss Girl vibes in both dramas and I feel like both deserve more recognition. I love how she doesn’t let anyone boss her around and stays true to herself and, ahh, her relationship with her on-screen brother Ding Cheng Xin is so freaking cute.

I feel like she honestly has the same Strong Female Lead vibe in real life, too, and I love it. I’m super excited for her new drama, Once A Youth with Fan Cheng Cheng and Zhang Yi Shan. And as a huge Lu Han fan, I’m so happy that they’re getting married next year!

Representative Works

To Be a Better Man
 with Che Xiao, David Wang,  Sun Hong Lei, Jiang Shu Ying, Lay Zhang

The Left Ear
 with Chen Du Ling, Ou Hao, Ma Si Chun, Yang Yang

Novoland: The Castle in the Sky
with Zhang Ruo Yun,  Ju Jing Yi, Chen Ruo Xuan

Sweet Combat
 with Lu Han, Ivy Shao, Li Meng Meng, Tim Pei, Zhang Shuang Li

Untouchable Lovers
with Song Wei Long, Zhang Yi Jie, Bai Lu, Yalkun Merxat

A Servant of Two Masters
with Zhang Jia Yi, Jiang Shu Ying, Zhu Rui

with Deng Chao, Betty Sun

Twenty Your Life On
with Bu Guan Jin, Teresa Li, Dong Si Yi

 A Girl Like Me
with Neo Hou 

Highly Anticipated Upcoming Films and Dramas

Twenty Your Life On 2
with Bu Guan Jin, Teresa Li, Dong Si Yi
Hu Tong
with Zhao Lu Si, Elvira Cai, Neo Hou, Lin Yi, Liu Huan
Once A Youth
with Adam Fan and Zhang Yi Shan

Zhang Zi Feng

Age: 20 (August 27, 2001)

Education: Beijing Film Academy (2020 Class)

Major Achievements: 31st Hundred Flower Awards Best Newcomer Award, 22nd Huading Awards Best Supporting Actress, 23rd Shanghai International Film Festival Most Media Welcomed Actress.

Wendy is an actress who’s known as 国民妹妹 (Nation’s Little Sister). She started doing commercials at 5 and acting at 7 years old. She gained recognition from the movie Aftershock where she was praised and won the 31st Hundred Flower Awards Best Newcomer Award, becoming the youngest recipient to ever receive an award. She had six popular movies out in 2021 and aside from acting, she’s also a main host on the popular variety show Back to Field

My Opinion

Zi Feng’s one of my favorite actresses. I love almost everything about her, from her acting to her personality. Zi Feng’s acting is crazy good, she’s been praised for it so many times by so many people and you’d definitely agree when you watch her films.

I’ve watched a ton of her films and dramas, I really loved the cast of A Love for Separation and I really loved Zi Feng in it, I honestly can’t think of anyone else who’d play the character better then she could. 

Adoring is a movie that I’ve watched and cried during, and will continue to cry again and again whenever I rewatch it, Zi Feng and Leo Wu were absolutely adorable and I started shipping them a lot after the movie. Go Brother! showed us how important family was and great bonding between Zi Feng and Peng Yu Chang, and I especially loved the fact that they’re just as close in real life. I love watching them together on Back to Field and you can literally see the best side of Zi Feng on the show. 

2021 was one of the best years in Zi Feng’s career in my opinion because she came out with so many spectacular films! My Sister was definitely my favorite. Zi Feng has matured so much from the little girl we used to watch on screen and she even lost her first on-screen kiss to Connor Leong. She did so well in the dramas and omg the amount of times I’ve cried watching the drama. TˆT She has definitely grown a lot, and into an amazing woman, too!

Upcoming Summer‘s storyline and ending wasn’t all that great, I hated the ending but it has Zi Feng and Leo Wu and that’s honestly enough. Lastly, Home Sweet Home has so many people that I like but I can’t stand horror so I don’t think I’ll ever watch it, but I absolutely love her and Rong Zi Shan’s relationship outside of the drama because they look so cute together!

Zi Feng has one of the best personalities in the entertainment industry, she is super sweet and kind and gets along very well with everyone. A lot of elders in the industry adore her and a lot of newbies look up to her. She’s absolutely adorable on shows and she’s definitely the type of girl everyone will fall in love with right away and never stop loving! I am super super excited for Evil Alone and Crisis Route because it also has a bunch of my other favorites.

Representative Works

A Love for Separation
with Huang Lei, Hai Qing, Zhu Yuan Yuan
with Zhang Jing Chu, Chen Dao Ming, Li Chen, Xu Fan
Detective Chinatown
with Liu Hao Ran, Wang Bao Qiang
Go Brother!
with Peng Yu Chang, Zhao Jin Mai, Kele Sun, Jiang Hong Bo
with Yu He Wei, Leo Wu, Willam Chen, Elaine Zhong, Yang Zi Shan, Wallace Chung, Tan Jian Ci, Adi Kan, Guo Qi Lin, Li Lan Di

Farewell, My Lad
with Marco Zhang

My Sister
with Darren Kim, Xiao Yang, Zhu Yuan Yuan, Duan Bo Wen, Connor Leong

Home Sweet Home
with Aaron Kwok, Duan Yi Hong, Tiffany Hsu, Rong Zi Shan, Wang Sheng Di

Upcoming Summer
with Leo Wu, Hao Lei, Zu Feng, Liu Xiao Hai, Liu Dan

Highly Anticipated Upcoming Films and Dramas

Evil Alone
with Song Zu Er
The Heart of Genius
with Steven Zhang
Crisis Route
with Andy Lau, Liu Tao, Shaw Qu

Vicky Chen

Age: 18 (August 10, 2003)

Education: Central Academy of Drama (2021 Class)

Major Achievements: 54th Golden Horse Awards Best Supporting Actress, 20th Taipei Film Awards Best Supporting Actress, 54th Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival Best Actress Award

Vicky is an actress who started acting when she was 10 years old. She gained recognition from her roles in The Bold, The Corrupt and the Beautiful and Angels Wear White which led her to win a lot of major awards. She also became the youngest actress to be nominated for the Golden Horse Award for Best Leading Actress. Vicky was admitted into the Central Academy in 2021 after placing first in both the practical and written section.

My Opinion

Though I haven’t fully watched many of Vicky’s works, I always see her acting on Douyin and Weibo, and dang, just like what everyone says, she’s an amazing actress! Especially in My Treasure, she played a really mature character and she did very well.

I’ve only fully seen two of Vicky’s drama, Eagles and Youngsters and Wisher. I watched Eagles and Youngsters for Karry Wang but ended up falling for the rest of the cast. I really liked the storyline, it’s totally different from what I usually watch and I wouldn’t have watched it if it wasn’t for Karry, ahahah. I loved Vicky’s character in the drama, she did a really good job at it and I honestly really shipped Vicky and Karry a lot in the drama. I also ship them as friends outside of the drama because Karry’s honestly not that close to many girls but he was really comfortable around Vicky and I just find that really really cute! I also love how they always turn to take a sneak peak of eachother. Here’s a video of them together: <3 No one knows if they still keep in contact but I really hope they do! A few months ago, when I first started writing this article, they were rumored to work again in the drama Fantastic Doctors but then the cast was confirmed recently and it wasn’t them. I was super sad cause I was waiting for their collaboration. 🙁 But I’m sure the new cast is amazing, too!

Like Eagles and Youngsters, Wisher is something I would usually never watch, honestly most of Vicky’s work is a type that I would never watch. I’m more on the romance, lovey dovey side and Vicky doesn’t really work with them which is really really sad for me.  I still watched Wisher because I couldn’t resist, I love Fan Cheng Cheng, Guo Zi Fan, and Yang Rong (the other leads) a lot lot so of course I couldn’t help it! I get that not that many people enjoyed the drama but I personally liked it, I watched it for the cast anyways so the drama wasn’t a big problem for me, it wasn’t like I couldn’t stand it and had to skip, and Vicky was just as good as ever!

I don’t know much about Vicky’s personality since she’s never really been on any variety shows but I’ve seen her in dramas’ meet and greets and I think she’s very good and her smile is adorable.

She’s still young but has a great path ahead of her! I’m super excited for her upcoming works, especially From Dust, Flower Blooms because come on, it’s directed by Chen Kai Ge and the cast is literally Zhang Xue Ying, Liu Hao Ran, Chen Fei Yu, and Chen Hong, like who wouldn’t watch that! I also can’t wait for Bionic with Song Wei Long. I literally never watch these types of dramas but for the cast. <3

Representative Works

Angels Wear White
with Liu Wei Wei, Geng Le, Li Meng Nan, Peng Jing

The Bold, the Corrupt and the Beautiful
with Kara Wai, Wu Ke Xi

The Liquidator
with Liu Shi Shi, Deng Chao, Ethan Juan

Eagles and Youngsters
with Karry Wang, Jiang Yi Yi, Ye Xiao Wei, Sean Zheng

Somewhere Winter
with Wallace Huo, Ma Si Chun, Wei Da Xun

The Snow Queen
with Rayzha Alimjan, Dylan Kuo, Qiao Ren Liang, Andy On

with Zhang Zheng Yang, Liu Cong Dan

My Treasure
with Liu Min Tao, Roy Chiu
Gone with the Light
with Wang Luo Dan, Tan Zhuo, Huang Bo, Bai Ke Li

Highly Anticipated Upcoming Films and Dramas

From Dust, Flower Bloom
A Touch of Warm
with Hu Ge

Zhang Xue Ying

Age: 24 (June 18, 1997)

Education: Central Academy of Drama (2016 Class)

Major Achievements: Baidu Records Press Conference Most Promising Actress, Sina Best Taste Fashion Awards Most Capable Idol, Chic Style Awards Female Idol of the Year. 

Xue Ying is an actress who made her acting debut in 2003 at 6 years old. She gained recognition from her roles in Einstein and Einstein, Summer’s Desire, and Princess Silver. She was admitted into the Central Academy in 2016 after placing first in both the practical and written section.

My Opinion

Xue Ying’s acting is really good but she’s honestly so underrated internationally, especially these last few years. 🙁 Xue Ying used to be really popular before, not saying that she’s not popular now, but I feel like she doesn’t show up when I scroll through stuff that often anymore and that’s really really sad because she’s very talented. 

She just recently went on the show Dao Yan Qing Zhi Jiao and I couldn’t be happier! She can finally reveal her talents but then again, the show also doesn’t have that many viewers internationally, so. :’D The show has a great cast with a lot if great potential, Justin, Zhu Zhi Xin, Rong Zi Shan, Guo Zi Fan, Fan Cheng Cheng, etc., so check it out!

I’ve known Xue Ying for a really long time because anyone in the Chinese industry would know who she is. As far as I remember, I first watched her in When We Were Young and I didn’t particularly like the drama. I really didn’t like the fact that they had switched lives and (Xia Er) the other twin didn’t tell anyone about what was happening and it caused that huge confusion, especially the fact that Yin Yin had to live her life in danger! I get that it’s the plot but eh. But no, the drama is pretty funny and there’s nothing wrong with it and I was very satisfied with the ending. I was really happy that Chu Yin Yin and Xu Kong Lin got together in the end so do check it out! Xue Ying’s acting in it was amazing, as always! I loved the fact that she played both of the characters who had completely different personalities so well and had such great chemistry with both the male leads.

I have never really fully watched any of her other works because I don’t really like the storylines. Summer’s Desire, in my opinion, was pretty bad, maybe it’s just me but I dropped it really early on, also one of the major reasons was because i watched My Mr. Mermaid and really liked Huang Sheng Chi, he was a toxic character in the drama so couldn’t help it, ahahah. But Xue Ying was super pretty in the drama. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Princess Silver but I don’t really watch ancient period dramas unless it’s with my family so never picked it up. As for Fifteen Years to Wait for Migratory Birds, the cast is amazing, and I’m sure the storyline is too but I can’t stand sad endings so yeah, nah. 

Lastly, I cannot freaking wait for her upcoming works! She has so many amazing ones coming out next year and I cannot wait for her to shine and gain attention once again!

Representative Works

Einstein and Einstein
with Dai Xu

Lovers & Movies
with Kim Bum, Francis Ng, Gülnezer Bextiyar, Simon Yam, Kara Wai

Fifteen Years to Wait for Migratory Birds
with Sun Yi, Zhang Ruo Yun, Deng Lun

When We Were Young
with Joseph Zeng, Wang Bo Wen, Gong Zheng, Rain Lu, Wang Yi Bo

Summer’s Desire
with Qin Jun Jie, Huang Sheng Chi

Princess Silver
with Aarif Rahman, Jing Chao, Luo Yun Xi, Chen Xin Yu

The Whirlwind Girl
with Hu Bing Bing, Yang Yang, Chen Xiang, Bai Jing Ting, Leo Wu, Tan Song Yun

Hot Blooded Youth
with Z. Tao, Liu Yu Ning, Sun Meng Quan, Cao Xi Yue

Faith Makes Great
with Neo Hou, Wang Yi Bo, Leo Wu, Wang Kai, Tan Song Yun, Zhang Jing Yi

Highly Anticipated Upcoming Films and Dramas

Mo Bai
with Bi Wen Jun (the one I’m most excited for!)

Go Beach Volleyball Girls
with Xu Ling Yue, Fei Qi Ming, Koh Gao

Choice Husband
with Xing Zhao Lin, Riley Wang

Ouyang Nana

Age: 21 (June 15, 2000)

Education: Berklee College of Music (2018 Class)

Major Achievements: Hito Music Awards, iQiyi Popularity Award, 31st Japan Gold Disc Award Best 3 New Artist.

Ouyang Nana is a cellist, singer-songwriter, and actress. She was always known in the entertainment industry since her family was very involved in the industry, but only started to be active in 2014 when she gained recognition for her role in Beijing Love Story. Nana is the youngest cellist to give a solo recital debut in the Concert Hall of Taiwan. 

My Opinion

I absolutely adore Nana! She’s super, super adorable! She looks so good, I literally cannot. Aside from her absolutely stunning visuals, I also love her personality, she’s super friendly and sweet. If you watch her on variety shows and her vlogs, you’ll literally fall in love with her.  The things I love the most about Nana are her personality and her friendship with other celebrities, she has good and super close relationships with like everyone in the industry! Honestly, a lot of people think she’s bad just because she’s so close to everyone and that’s so not ok, they think she wants to create CPs (like ships) just to get more popularity and I honestly think it’s wrong for people to think like that.

Her voice is so, so beautiful. She has that sweet voice, the ones super cute girls have, my heart literally wants to melt every time I listen to her songs, it’s just so soft and sweet! TˆT I love so many of her songs, they all sound good but if I had to choose one song, it would definitely be Tell Me You Do Too! I especially love her collaborations with other artists like Chen Fei Yu, Fan Cheng Cheng, Wonderful Time Cast and Zhou Zhennan’s Produce Camp Group. And her covers are all also so freaking good, there’s so many I can’t name all of it here. Also? Can someone please get Nana and Curley Gao to work together? PLEASE?

ALSO! Guys! Have you heard Nana play the cello? IT’S SO GOOD! Her collaboration with Roy Wang was amazing. She also has a lot of specific albums of her playing the cello. My favorite is definitely her album Cello Loves Disney! It’s a combination of all the Disney songs but in the cello version and it’s so soothing and helps me focus on my studies a lot.

Nabi is getting better and better at acting and I’m so proud of her! Secret Fruit was one of the first films I had seen her in, both her and Fei Yu did very well in my opinion, I shipped them so much, you guys don’t understand. The story itself was pretty plain but I really enjoyed it! But aside from, that I haven’t watched any of her other works. She is mainly more active on variety shows so don’t forget to check those out! 

Representative Works

Beijing Love Story
with Liu Hao Ran

The Great Ruler
with Roy Wang
Secret Fruit
with Chen Fei Yu
Bleeding Steel
with Jackie Chan, Show Lo
Cello Loves Disney

(The Best For You, Tell Me You Do Too, To Be Happy)

(Gemini, Secret Garden, ALIKE)
(THE RED TIDE, You just made me cry, THE GIRL)

Upcoming Works

The Shadow
with Gao Wei Guang, Winwin, Ryan Ren
Music Camplus
(Huang Lei, Henry Lau, Charlie Zhou)

Thank you for reading and don’t forget to go support these amazing artists!
Who’s your personal favorite out of the 5?

Edited by: devitto (1st editor)

ouyang nana
guan xiao tong
zhang zi feng
zhang xue ying
vicky chen

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