Move over, Jerry Yan, because there’s a new Taiwanese actor-heartthrob in town: Stephen Rong, one of the lead stars of iWant’s original romantic comedy-fantasy series “Taiwan That You Love.” In the digital series, Stephen plays Wei-Ting, the brooding bad boy who falls for Barbie Imperial’s Ivi and clashes with Paulo Angeles’ Eric – a love triangle whipped up by a magical book and destiny.
Aside from Stephen’s drool-worthy posts on Instagram, there’s more to the Taiwanese cutie than meets the eye.
Here are a few things about the “Taiwan That You Love” star:
1. He’s also an avid fan of the hit “Meteor Garden” series.
Stephen eagerly shares that—like the rest of us—he grew up with the popular F4 series.
“I watched it in high school, and that was one of the things that influenced me to go for acting,” says the Taiwanese actor. He even relates to the character of Hua Ze Lei, claiming he is also ‘the quiet one’ who jokes around with people he chooses to open up to.
2. Like most Filipinos, he loves Jollibee.
“I love it! That was the first thing I told them I wanted to eat when I got here. They got me the box with everything,” he excitedly declares.
When it comes to Taiwanese food however, he has a hard time choosing a favorite dish or delicacy, but would totally recommend a comforting bowl of beef noodle soup.
3. He’s single.
Yep, you read that right. Good-looking and physically fit as he is, the Taiwanese cutie isn’t seeing anyone right now. Stephen openly shared that he finds Filipinas attractive. If he were to date one, he claimed that he would probably bring her to Taiwan’s night market or explore the beautiful beaches in Cebu. With his singing chops, he would most likely be serenading the lucky girl with songs from his favorite artists such as Ed Sheeran and Katy Perry.
4. He’s an all-around multi-talented guy, but was supposed to be a dentist.
The now actor, singer-songwriter, DJ, model, and host was born in Virginia, United States, and was a Biology major back in college. But after one wakeup call, he flew to Taiwan by himself and started joining singing competitions. He admits he wasn’t great at it at first, but started getting better and was then offered hosting and acting jobs. Once, he was even challenged in a stage play by performing 18 different characters.
5. He experienced tragedy before realizing he wanted to start acting.
At 19, in his third year of college, Stephen lost a friend to the Virginia Tech shooting.
“Because one of my friends was the first one to go… I realized that there are a lot of things that I wanted to do. After his passing, I kind of woke up and decided that I wanted to try entertainment. That’s why I flew to Taiwan by myself and try from scratch to try to find myself in an artistic way,” shares Stephen.
6. He was initially nervous about #PauBie shippers.
Stephen knew he was coming in as another element in Barbie and Paulo’s relationship in the digital series and didn’t want PauBie shippers to hate him. But when he finally met the two, he found himself bonding with them during their eight-day shoot in Taiwan. He only has good things to say about his co-stars, who, he shares, were really helpful and extremely easy to work with.
7. He wants to star in a horror movie.
He doesn’t want to be the last survivor though. “I really want to be the second to the last person who dies. That person doesn’t live, but he sacrifices himself for that last person,” he explains. He also wants to try out Kung Fu movies, as “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” was his favorite movie growing up.
See more of Stephen in romantic comedy-fantasy series “Taiwan That You Love,” now streaming for free on the iWant app (iOs and Android) or iwant.ph. For updates, like www.facebook.com/iWant, and follow @iwant on Twitter and @iwantofficial and @dreamscapedigital on Instagram, and subscribe to www.youtube.com/iWantPH.