For decades, Asian-American actors have appeared in some of the most memorable performances in Hollywood, from the martial arts action classic Enter the Dragon to the romantic suaveness of Brokeback Mountain. In a world that’s ever-evolving, Asian-American actors have become increasingly mainstream and much-admired for their performances, their charm, and charisma. Today we’re taking a look at the hottest Asian-American male actors in Hollywood.

Dev Patel

Dev Patel burst onto the scene in 2008 with his heartbreaking performance in Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, where he starred opposite Freida Pinto. The film won 8 Academy Awards and he was nominated for an Oscar. He has since appeared in notable films like The Last Airbender, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and its sequel, and the blockbuster hit, Lion. From small-budget indie flicks to critically acclaimed box office smashes, Patel is one of the hottest rising stars in Hollywood.

John Cho

John Cho is best known for his roles in the Star Trek and Harold & Kumar film series. He has also appeared in notable films like Total Recall and American Pie. But perhaps his most interesting projects are his recent turn as a leading man, starring as an Asian-American character in the Sundance hit, Columbus and its sequel Searching, where he earned rave reviews for his portrayal of a single father.

Ken Jeong

Ken Jeong is an actor, comedian, and doctor who has found success in the world of comedy. He first got his big break with a role in Knocked Up, after which he made waves in the box office hit The Hangover. He has also appeared in other noteworthy projects like Community, Ride Along 2, The Duff and Crazy Rich Asians. Jeong is a role model to many aspiring Asian-American comedians who dream of blending medical knowledge with comedy success.

Godfrey Gao

Godfrey Gao is probably best known for being the first Asian model for Louis Vuitton. He was also the first Asian actor to appear on the CW’s The Vampire Diaries. He has since starred in several other popular films and television shows, including The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and the superhero movie, The Maze Runner.

Chris Pang

Chris Pang rose to fame with a starring role in the blockbuster hit, The Meg. He also starred in the martial arts film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon II: The Green Destiny and the action-packed Crazy Rich Asians. Pang’s versatile acting range has earned him more and more fans around the world.

Masi Oka

Masi Oka is best known for his roles in the beloved television shows, Heroes and Hawaii 5-0. But he has also appeared in a number of films, including Resident Evil: Retribution and the raunchy hit, Get Him to the Greek. He has won multiple awards for his work in television, including a Primetime Emmy.

Steven Yeun

Steven Yeun gained international fame for his break-out role in The Walking Dead, where he played fan-favorite Glenn Rhee. Recently, he flexed his acting muscles in the Netflix hit, Okja, where he played a young South Korean farmer who fights against a powerful corporation. He also appeared briefly in a popular commercial for Hyundai.

Ken Watanabe

Ken Watanabe is a legendary actor renowned for his performances in the groundbreaking film, The Last Samurai, as well as in Inception, Batman Begins and Godzilla. He has been nominated for an Academy Award and has won numerous awards for his performances, including a Japanese Academy Awards.

Top 5 Up-and-Coming Asian Actors

As Hollywood continues to diversify its roles, there’s no shortage of up-and-coming Asian actors who are making waves with their captivating performances. Here are five of the most notable figures in Asian acting that you probably haven’t heard of yet:

  1. Will Yun Lee – Lee is an American actor of Korean heritage known for his leading roles in The Wolverine and Hawaii Five-0.

  2. Lewis Tan – Tan is a British-Chinese actor known for his appearances in Deadpool 2 and Into the Badlands.

  3. Ludi Lin – Lin is a Chinese-Canadian actor known for his roles in Power Rangers, Aquaman and Monster Hunt.

  4. Harry Shum Jr. – Shum got his big break as a dancer, appearing in Glee, Step Up 2: The Streets, and Crazy, Rich Asians.

  5. John Wayne Paolo – Paolo is an actor of Filipino-American descent who’s had roles in Crazy Rich Asians and Aquaman.

With their effortless charisma, solid performances, and diverse roles, Asian-American actors are taking Hollywood by storm and there’s no getting around their amazing talent. From household names like John Cho and Dev Patel to lesser-known up-and-comers like Harry Shum Jr. and John Wayne Paolo, these actors are changing the face of Hollywood with their captivating performances. Indeed, Asian Americans have come a long way in this industry and it’s safe to say that they’ll continue to attract fans with their talent and charm.

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