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27 Asian Leading Men Who Deserve More Airtime

Asian actors don't often get starring roles in Hollywood, but these guys — American and otherwise — prove they're leading men too.

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1. Daniel Dae Kim

Works in: U.K., U.S.

Claims to fame: Lost, Hawaii Five-0

Fun fact: For two weeks, Daniel played the King of Siam in Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I at the Royal Albert Hall.

2. Naveen Andrews

Works in: U.K., U.S.

Claims to fame: The English Patient, Lost

Fun fact: Naveen has spoken about his heroin addiction and alcoholism in the mid-'90s and said he decided to get clean when he was driving drunk and scared his son.


3. Arjun Rampal

Works in: India

Claims to fame: Rock On!!, Raajneeti

Fun fact: He married former Miss India and supermodel Mehr Jesia and they have two daughters, who are very likely to be drop-dead gorgeous too.

5. Sam Milby

Works in: Philippines

Claims to fame: Pinoy Big Brother, Close to You, Death March

Fun fact: Sam was born in Ohio before moving to the Philippines in 2005, and he went to the Cannes Film Festival with Death March in 2013.

6. James Kyson Lee

Works in: U.S.

Claims to fame: Heroes

Fun fact: James was born in Seoul then he moved to New York City with his family when he was 10.

7. Sendhil Ramamurthy

Works in: U.S., India

Claims to fame: Heroes, Covert Affairs, Shor in the City

Fun fact: Sendhil could have been a hot doctor: He was pre-med at Tufts University and graduated in 1996. Instead, he’s just hot, which is also perfect.


8. Takeshi Kaneshiro

Works in: China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan

Claims to fame: House of Flying Daggers

Fun fact: As a multicultural and multilingual hottie, he voiced Tarzan in Tarzan for the Cantonese, Mandarin, and Japanese versions.

9. Julien Kang

Works in: South Korea

Claims to fame: Goodbye Dear Wife, We Got Married

Fun fact: Julien is Korean-Canadian and was born in Saint Pierre et Miquelon (an overseas French territory off the coast of Canada) to a Korean dad and a French mom. A+ for multi-culti beauty.

12. Lee Byung-hun

Works in: South Korea, Japan

Claims to fame: Joint Security, I Saw the Devil, Gwanghae

Fun fact: Byung-hun and actor Ahn Sung-ki are the first Korean actors to imprint their hand and foot prints on the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese Theatre.


14. Dennis Oh

Works in: South Korea

Claims to fame: Sweet Spy

Fun fact: He was born Dennis Joseph O'Neil in Georgia and attended Savannah College of Art and Design before his modeling took him abroad.

15. John Abraham

Works in: India

Claims to fame: Jism, Water, Baabul

Fun fact: Water was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2007, making it Canada's first non-French Canadian film to receive a nomination in that category.

17. Rick Yune

Works in: U.S.

Claims to fame: The Man with the Iron Fists, Olympus Has Fallen

Fun fact: While studying at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, Rick worked as a hedge fund trader for SAC Capital, and modeled in his spare time, ‘cause you know, those are just hobbies.


20. Stephen Rahman-Hughes

Works in: U.K., Malaysia

Claims to fame: Emmerdale, Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa

Fun fact: He is a part of the male opera group Teatro and was in a short-lived Glee/Kitchen Confidential mash-up called The Kitchen Musical in Singapore.

21. Christian Bautista

Works in: Philippines

Claims to fame: Your Song, A Special Symphony

Fun fact: Christian is a multi-platinum artist with at least eight albums in his discography. He was also in Singapore’s The Kitchen Musical with Stephen.

22. Steven Yeun

Works in: U.S.

Claims to fame: The Walking Dead

Fun fact: Steven was born in South Korea and his family moved to Michigan where he attended Kalamazoo College for his degree in psychology.


23. Aaron Kwok

Works in: Hong Kong

Claims to fame: Twilight of a Nation, Divergence, After This Our Exile

Fun fact: Aaron is only one of two actors in the history of the Golden Horse Awards to win two Best Actor Awards consecutively, the other being Jackie Chan.

24. Ken Watanabe

Works in: U.S., Japan

Claims to fame: Letters from Iwo Jima, Shizumanu Taiyō, Inception

Fun fact: Ken is one of only eight actors of Asian descent nominated for an Academy Award in an acting category. He was also diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 1989 but has beaten it since.

25. Rithvik Dhanjani

Works in: India

Claims to fame: Pyaar Kii Ye Ek Kahaani, Pavitra Rishta

Fun fact: Rithvik’s also an excellent dancer; he competed in the fifth season of Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa and came in third place.

27. Harry Shum Jr.

Works in: U.S.

Claims to fame: Glee

Fun fact: Harry was actually born in Costa Rica to Chinese parents who then moved to the United States. Spanish was actually his first language growing up, before Chinese and English.


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