Mike got 2016 off to a good start with ad work for Nestlé. Throughout the spring and summer, Mike did ads and videos for other companies as well, including KFC, Jingdong, Sunkist and more.
Mike hosted TenCent’s Chinese New Year’s Party at Beijing’s Water Cube, one of the striking architectural legacies of the Beijing 2008 Olympics. Mike brought high energy to the celebration as China welcomed in the Year of the Monkey.
Mike played the role of a purveyor of magic chocolates in the film “Suddenly Seventeen” (《28岁未成年》), a fantastical romcom and the directorial debut of Zhang Mo, daughter of famed Chinese auteur Zhang Yimou. The story follows the life of a 28-year-old woman who “finds herself” after magically feeling like 17 again.
Mike took his snowboarding to the next level with a two-week adventure in the Swiss Alps. Moving on from the gentler slopes of China and Japan’s snow resorts, Mike got a taste of the Alps’ steep trails and backcountry shredding opportunities at Zermatt and Verbier.
Mike brought his extensive knowledge of the NBA to his role on the ESPN-TenCent Web talk show “Straight Talk” (《不吹不黑》). Mike faced off against former CBA star Ma Jian debating hot NBA topics such as the likely winner of the 2016 playoffs and more.
Mike visited friends and relatives in the U.S., attended Las Vegas’s famous mega music festival, the Electric Daisy Carnival, and soaked up the sun in Newport Beach, California during much of June, preparing himself for a run of nearly non-stop work over the next several months.
Mike upped the wattage of “Chinese Bridge” (《汉语桥》), an international Chinese language competition for foreign students, as one of the co-hosts of the competition, which aired in August and September on Hunan TV. Mike used his enthusiasm and outstanding Chinese language skill to encourage the talented competitors to achieve even greater linguistic heights.
Mike returned to ESPN-TenCent’s popular Web sports show “Straight Talk” in August, verbally sparring over the prospects for China’s basketball team at the Rio Olympics.
Mike began filming the 10-part Web show “Let’s Cook” (《穿越吧厨房》). The South Korean-produced show features Mike, pop idol Henry Lau and other celebrities meeting zany challenges and displaying their cooking chops. The show will run on Youku from September through November.
Three years after it was filmed, novel-turned-TV drama “Remembering Wang Lichuan” (《遇见王沥川》) was finally released. In the sentimental love story, Mike plays René – best friend to Wang Lichuan, a young Chinese man struck with a fatal illness. Fans of the book helped make the 38-part series instantly popular, giving Mike broad visibility.
Mike traveled to New York City for about 12 days to film scenes for “Little Happiness” (《小幸福》), a dramatic TV serial. In the series, Mike plays the role of Carter, boyfriend to the protagonist‘s daughter.
Mike appeared in the comedy/adventure “I Love That Crazy Little Thing” (《那件疯狂的小事叫爱情》) as a chatty hot air balloon pilot who fortuitously lands in the Inner Mongolian desert and takes the film’s protagonists closer to their goal of finding a reclusive songwriter. Think propane, lots of flammable material and an actor with no piloting experience. Adventure indeed!
Mike took up a nearly three-month residence in the charming city of Suzhou to complete filming of “Little Happiness.” The show, featuring one of China’s top stars, Jiang Wu, will be released in 2017.
Mike produced, starred in and directed a pilot for a Web comedy series mining the humorous potential of Chinese-Western cultural clashes and male-female gender friction in everyday life. In the first episode, Mike explored the pitfalls of “paying the bill” when Chinese and Americans, men and women have wildly different expectations about this simple and ubiquitous social ritual. Filming began in Beijing in November and moved to Los Angeles in December.
Mike played the role of Wang Yifan, friend and partner to the lead in this romantic film that shows how the third try at love is finally the charm.
Mike starred as the main bad guy in an ancient-style Web comedy produced by well-known director Wang Yuelun.