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How Actor Huang Xuan Defies
the Boundary
of Stereotypes

The Chinese star discusses his role as a stereotype-defying fashion icon

Story by Malena Harbers

Huang Xuan is not your typical action movie hero. When the 35-year-old actor isn’t executing perilous missions in Asian spy drama Sniper (2019) or fighting battles in Chinese crime thriller Extraordinary Mission (2017), he prefers a quiet life practicing calligraphy, cooking at home and cuddling cats. It’s also why he’s the perfect champion for changing outdated stereotypes, not solely by sharing all facets of his life with his fans on Instagram, but through his role as a SHISEIDO ambassador.

  • Just Dance
  • Just Dance

    You won’t find many action stars on Broadway, but Xuan has loved dance from an early age. As a young boy obsessed with Michael Jackson’s iconic moves, he enrolled in a local dance school and went on to graduate from the prestigious Beijing Dance Academy. He also dabbled in singing, releasing a few singles in his native China, three of which are on the soundtracks to his films and television series.

  • Role Play
  • Role Play

    Xuan’s choice of roles has earned him the accolade of one of China’s hottest leading men. While he can command a role as a bonafide action hero, he’s also drawn to less traditional characters, such as the kung fu artist he played in Chengdu, I Love You (2009).

    Equally, he’s at ease in a romance film—he was the first love of the titular character in the historical Chinese television drama, The Legend of Mi Yue, and won acclaim for his compassionate portrayal of a blind masseur in the Berlin International Film Festival Golden Horse award-winning film Blind Massage (2014). On his performances, he told The Straits Times: “I prefer characters with a rich interior life such as Blind Massage's Xiao Ma and Extraordinary Mission’s Lin Kai.”

  • Style Swap
  • Style Swap

    A fashion icon in his own right, Xuan signed up to undergo a full style makeover for his video as a SHISEIDO ambassador. Here, he shares his thoughts on his transformation and how he challenges expectations while living his best life...

Life has many
we should
them all.

Behind the scenes

Go behind the scenes of Huang Xuan’s shoot with SHISEIDO

On Experimenting with Fashion..
“I am an actor so I like to try different things. I have never tried this unisex style or this kind of hairstyle either. I think it’s a breakthrough for me. These clothes make me feel like I’m moving and when I swing my arms, I feel the breeze behind me.”
On Self-care...
“Now that I’m working with SHISEIDO, I pay even more attention to skin care and understand it better.”
On Being a Trend-setter...
“I think having one ‘look’ puts you in a box. Why do I have to follow rules set by others?”
On Staying Open-minded...
“I used to be a dancer, and now I’m an actor. Life has many possibilities and we should embrace them all.”