Kid monk turns hunk
9. Cao Jun, 28, actor
Cao Jun, who played the kid monk (left) on Channel 8’s The Royal Monk series, is pursuing a full-time career in acting in China. Images: Mediacorp, Beijing Stprm Action Media
Best known for: Playing child monk Kai Xin in the Channel 8 period drama The Royal Monk (1997) and its sequel The Return Of The Royal Monk (1998)
Chinese actor Cao Jun can heave a sigh of relief that his days of being bald are over.
At the age of eight, he shaved his head for his debut television role as the martial arts-wielding monk Kai Xin and was teased by schoolmates and endured multiple mosquito bites on his head during filming.
ade me mad,” he says over the telephone from Beijing, where he is based.
The Royal Monk was the most- watched TV series here in 1997. A sequel aired the following year, making Cao one of the biggest child stars of the 1990s.
All grown up now, the baby- faced actor sports a full head of hair, a buff physique and the same charming smile.
An acting major graduate from the Shanghai Institute of Visual Art, he is a full-time actor in China. He has starred in 25 drama serials and three films.
He recently played a civilian soldier in war drama Min Bing Kang Bao (2015). He also plays a nimble thief in a yet-to-be aired period drama The Youngster.
The bachelor calls Kai Xin his “gateway to acting”, though rarely anyone calls him by that name now. “Without that opportunity, I don’t know what I would be doing now,” says Cao, the only child of parents who own a dry-cleaning shop in Shanghai.