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Daniel Wu (吳彥祖) is an Chinese-American actor, director and producer based in Hong Kong, and as of 2015, starring as Sunny in the AMC martial arts drama series Into the Badlands. Since his film debut in 1998, he has been featured in over 60 films. Wu has been called "the young Donnie Yen," and is known as a "flexible and distinctive" leading actor in the Chinese-language film industry.
Daniel Wu developed an interest in martial arts after seeing Jet Li in The Shaolin Temple and Donnie Yen in Iron Monkey. He began practicing wushu at the age of 11. While attending the University of Oregon, Wu founded the Wushu Club. He also took film classes and frequented local theaters. Wu's acting career began when he moved to Hong Kong. At the time, Wu had no intention of beginning an acting career. At the suggestion of his sister, Wu began modeling.
Film director Yonfan contacted Wu about starring in a film after seeing Wu featured in a clothing ad. Despite the fact that Wu could not speak or read the language, he starred in Yonfan's Bishonen in 1999. After Bishonen, Wu was offered the lead role in Mabel Cheung's City of Glass, for which he was later nominated for "Best New Actor" at the Hong Kong Film Awards.
Wu met Jackie Chan at a restaurant opening and was quickly signed to Chan's JC Group. His breakthrough role was in 1999 with Gen-X Cops. His next extremely successful role was in Love Undercover. Wu began to receive criticism for sexual scenes in his film Cop on a Mission; however, this film marked the turning point in the types of roles he chose in the future.
Daniel Wu has continued his acting and modeling careers. He is a spokesperson for many different products, including Seiko and L'Oréal. Some of his most recent projects include Sky on Fire, Tomb Raider, and Into the Badlands.