By Nina Huang
Northwest Asian Weekly
The Year of the Horse lands on Jan. 31. It is said to be a good year for those who are hardworking, who persevere, and who want to achieve success. Some horse traits include being popular, intelligent, talented, and kind. On the other hand, they can also be stubborn, too talkative, and impatient. Here’s a look at some celebrities who exemplify their horse traits, some more than others.
Genghis Khan, born circa 1162, was the founder and emperor of the Mongol Empire. At age 20, he built a large army with the intent to destroy individual tribes in Northeast Asia and unite them under his rule. Like a true horse, Genghis was successful in running his empire well until after his death in 1227. Fifty years after his death, his empire became the biggest in history, forging a historical link between Asia, Europe, and the Muslim world.
Shinzo Abe (1954) is the current prime minister of Japan. He became Japan’s youngest prime minister since World War II, and is the first to be born after the war. During his term, with the horse’s strength, Abe has notably fortified Japan’s strategic ties with Africa, India, the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and Taiwan.
Jackie Chan (1954) has become one of the biggest Hong Kong celebrities to make it big in America. Known for his acrobatic fighting style, comic timing, use of improvised weapons, and innovative stunts, Chan has appeared in over 150 films since the 1960s. Rumble in the Bronx, Rush Hour, and Who Am I? were among some of his biggest blockbuster hits. Without a doubt, Chan resembles the ideal horse, as he has won over his audiences with his popularity and successful acting career.
Ang Lee (1954) is a Taiwanese American film director, screenwriter, and producer, and two-time Academy Award recipient for Best Director (Brokeback Mountain in 2005 and Life of Pi in 2012). Success has been a common pattern for this horse throughout his directing career. Also known for his films Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and Lust, Caution, Lee has been able to transcend cultural and linguistic barriers to speak to global audiences.
Bai Ling (1966) is a Chinese American actress who has starred in The Crow, Wild Wild West, and TV shows including Entourage and Lost. But Ling might be more known for her appearance on the Playboy magazine cover, appearance on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, or her shoplifting incident at the airport in 2008.
Unlike her other horse peers, her success and popularity has been impeded by her public image and troubles over the years.
Tamlyn Tomita (1966) was a beauty queen before she got her big break as an actress in The Karate Kid II. Her other major role was in The Joy Luck Club, which was based on the eponymous 1989 novel by Amy Tan. Tomita had a few other minor roles in films, such as The Day After Tomorrow and The Eye, but has taken on more TV roles since then. Tomita also spends a lot of time giving back to the Japanese American community in California. Although she hasn’t seen as much success in the film world, Tomita should be on track for a prosperous year with her philanthropic activities.
Nicole Scherzinger (1978) is probably best known for her lead singer role in the Pussycat Dolls. This exotic beauty (father is Filipino and mother is Hawaiian Russian) has been singing since she was a teenager, competing in singing contests and eventually landing back-up vocal gigs for various musical groups. With her natural talent, Scherzinger eventually joined the Pussycat Dolls and they became one of the top-selling artists in 2006, despite the initial controversy of them being too provocative and sexy. She left the group in 2010 to pursue individual projects, such as being a contestant of Dancing with the Stars and a judge on America’s Got Talent, as well as being involved with charity work.
Manny Pacquiao (1978) is the first and only eight-division world champion of boxing.
Affectionately known as “Pac-Man,” he is the pride and joy of many Filipino boxing fans around the world. Pacquiao has won many awards over the years, and was long rated as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world by many sporting news outlets and boxing websites. Not only is he known for boxing, but he is also a politician. He was elected to the House of Representatives in the 15th Congress of the Philippines, representing the province of Sarangani. Like his horse companions, Pacquiao was been blessed with talent, success, and popularity. (end)
Nina Huang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.