Oh Baby, Baby! What Are The F4 Guys From Iconic "Meteor Garden" Series Up To These Days?
Jerry Yan, Vic Zhou, Ken Chu, and Vanness Wu have done some serious growing up since "Meteor Garden" became a pop culture phenomenon. Here's a trip down memory lane
Before the Hallyu stars, K-Pop fandoms, and K-Drama clubs of today in the Philippines, there was F4, the Taiwanese singing and acting quartet composed of Jerry Yan, Vic Zhou, Ken Chu, and Vanness Wu.
Anyone old enough to (we'll leave the exact age bracket unspecified) feel waves of nostalgia come crashing at the thought of these four smiling back at you from the TV screen will argue that yes—it was definitely F4 that gave Filipino audiences their first taste of enjoyable imported Asian pop culture treats, a trend that would only intensify over the years.
Think back to the days when 2001's Meteor Garden was the one and only thing that beckoned you straight home after school, or when you tacked countless posters and magazine tear-outs of the iconic boy band (perhaps along with female lead Barbie Hsu) onto your walls and insisted on learning Mandarin so you could sing along to F4's singles (who cares that you didn't fully understand what the words meant, it was the feelings they gave you that counted)—good times.
Almost a full two decades have come and gone since F4 ruled the airwaves and millions of teenage girls' hearts, but for the boys' most loyal fans, not even time could fade their dedication to them!
For anyone and everyone who was a part of this awesome era in TV and music and history, this one's for you! We scoured the Internet for the best updates and tidbits on Jerry, Vic, Ken, and Vanness' professional and personal lives for your reading pleasure.
He turned 43 this year and even with all his celeb exposure, he still shies away from being called a "thirst trap" by all the women who've stayed by his side all this time. Speaking of women, there's no special lady he's deemed worthy of becoming Mrs. Jerry Yan just yet! (There was news, though, that he was in a rut for some time when he learned that his on-and-off girlfriend Akira, a Japanese singer, wed in June 2019).
The Taiwanese superstar is very much single and continues to be notoriously low-key (as in, no social media) about his private life (in other words, who he's dating), though his career has been much more vibrant and dotted with successes. Since Meteor Garden, he's starred in TV shows and films alike, and his most popular titles include The Hospital, Down With Love, My Splendid Life, and Loving, Never Forgetting.
He has concentrated on acting projects and hasn't done much endorsements since the early 2000s, and his interviews, which almost only happen when he has new material to promote, are few and far in between. F4 fans will be happy that even though he and the guys have gone their separate ways professionally speaking, they've maintained their friendships and meet up from time to time, sometimes even with wives and kids in tow.
We're hoping to get our Jerry Yan quota met this year with his new romance Count Your Lucky Stars, where he stars as an uptight EIC who finds love unexpectedly. Recently, a sexy and ageless Jerry Yan trended on social media when a still from a scene in the abovementioned series surfaced.
Like his co-star Jerry Yan, Vic Zhou is just as picky about what he shares and doesn't reveal much to the public, no matter how much his fans adore him. Absent from most mainstream social media platforms, he does have a Weibo, but even then, it's not as revealing as you might think, so don't be in a hurry to make your own account to stalk him!
But unlike Jerry, the 39-year-old is deeply steeped in domestic bliss, marrying his fellow Taiwanese celeb Reen Yu in 2015 and welcoming a baby girl the year after. (Extra news for you: As much as he tried to keep it secret, the world eventually found out that he spent a fortune on a swanky apartment for his wife as a wedding present. It cost about S$8.5M. Adding to this image of successful adulting is the fact that Vic has consistently been described as a self-professed homebody who just likes to hang out with his family during his downtime, staying true to his quiet, gentle character, Hua Ze Lei.
He has consistently starred in series and movies since his small screen debut in 2001 (Meteor Garden was his first TV stint, ever), even gaining critical acclaim in more recent years. His wartime film Coming Home where he plays a soldier captured by Japanese forces landed him a Best Actor award, and another nomination for the same award for the TV adaptation of novel, The Flame's Daughter.
His last onscreen project was in 2019 via TV series Poetry of the Song Dynasty, but we hope to see him return to the set once COVID-19 is officially out of the picture!
Despite rolling the dice to make it big with a music career post-Meteor Garden, Ken Chu's current life direction is possibly the most detached from showbiz in comparison to those of his F4 buddies. After a bit of trying, and failing, at a life of popstar-dom, he did a 180-degree turnaround and returned to school to earn a college degree!
He was married and in his late 30s when he became a freshman at Beijing's University of International Business and Economics, and he's been based in China ever since. In several press interviews, the 41-year-old admitted to being unhappy in the limelight as it was a business of nodding your head in agreement with what other people wanted for your life. His life now is definitely more fulfilling, and it's made better by the fact that he's a happily married man, too. He married Chinese actress Vivian Han in 2016, but kids aren't in the plans for him just yet).
Most surprisingly, Ken has also come forward with his fibromyalgia diagnosis as being one of the foremost reasons he took a step back from acting. The condition is most commonly associated with musculo-skeletal pain, fatigue, and weakness. His last film was L-O-V-E in 2009, and his last TV series, Hero, concluded in 2012.
Despite seemingly bidding a final farewell to fame, it's safe to say that as long as Ken is happy with where he is today, his fans are, too!
And the award to most drastic transformation goes to Vanness!
His career has been the total opposite of Ken's, as he's been incredibly active in the music and fashion industries. He's also the only F4 guy with an Instagram account and it's filled to the brim with his crazy stylish OOTDs, and as if that weren't surprising enough, his bio is a Bible verse, and he's open about being a practicing Christian.
Vanness is arguably the only one who found mainstream success as a solo artist, and it didn't take much time for him to crossover to Western media. He has worked with Beyoncé and Kanye West, and in 2015, he was even an Asia's Got Talent host alongside American producer David Foster and the Spice Girls' Mel C.
The 42-year-old also does some modeling here and there up to today, and he now has his own sneaker brand, xVessel, which he launched in 2018. Don't think that he has stopped acting amidst entrepreneurial responsibilities! He has consistently starred in series and films every year since Meteor Garden, and it looks like he'll continue to do so for quite some time.
As for his personal life, Vanness was married to Singaporean heiress Arissa Cheo for five years before they got divorced in 2018.
Lead photos from Pepsi