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Paramount announced the four Chinese actors who will star in Michael Bay’s Transformers 4. The actors were picked through a reality television series that aired over the summer.
The series, titled Transformers 4 Chinese Actor Talent Search, was announced in April as a joint venture between Paramount, Chinese Movie Channel and Jiaflix Enterprises. It started just days after the studio confirmed that the fourth Transformers film would be a co-production with China, working with the same studios that produced the talent search. The show aired on the government-run CCTV's Movie Channel.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, four contestants were picked out of the 70,000 people who entered. Actor and martial arts specialist Byron Li was cast as a kung-fu master and Candice Zhao, who won a bikini pageant, was cast as a “sexy goddess,” the producers said.
Taiwanese actor Austin Lin was picked to be a computer geek and Teresa Daley will be a character named Loli.
Li Bingbing and Han Geng, who are well-known stars in China, already have parts in Transformers 4, but the casting contest ensured that the film would have more roles for Chinese actors. It also significantly raised the project’s profile in China.