Jiang Wen initially discovered Xia Yu by during his semi-autobiographical film In The heat Of The Sun, in 1994.
Xia was chosen partly because of facial resemblance to a young Jiang Wen. He achieved international fame by winning many awards for his first film, including Best Actor from the
Venice Film Festival.
He became the younger actor to won that award in the history of the festival. After his first film, he was accepted into the most prestigious acting school Central Academy of Drama in Beijing.
After completing his studies there, Xia Yu remains an active force in the cinema and television series of China.
His most recent film appearance was in Waiting alone (2005)-the modern Chinese comedy. He also appeared in the Dragon Squad, 2005.