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Zhang Ziyi

Zhang Ziyi

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Also Known As: Cheung Ji Yi, Ziyi Zhang Died:
Born: February 9, 1979 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Beijing, CN Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A delicately beautiful Chinese actress, Ziyi Zhang first caught the attention of filmgoers at the 2000 Berlin Film Festival with her debut performance as a young girl who falls in love with a schoolteacher in director Zhang Yimou's acclaimed drama, "The Road Home" (1999). Her strong performance and the rumors of a romance with Yimou led many Asian journalists to dub the newcomer "little Gong Li," after the director's former leading lady, whom he helped raise to prominence in the United States. Within months, she enjoyed a further career boost when the martial arts romance "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (2000) premiered at Cannes. Her performance as the headstrong Jen Wu, a sheltered aristocrat with a taste for adventure, anchored the movie and demonstrated her astonishing range, while stealing the thunder from stars Michelle Yeoh and Chow Yun-Fat. Already one of the biggest stars in China - and the frequent subject of many tabloids in her native land - Zhang reached mainstream success in America with "Memoirs of a Geisha" (2005), a role that earned her widespread critical acclaim and the rare opportunity to become a high-profile Chinese actress in the United States.

A delicately beautiful Chinese actress, Ziyi Zhang first caught the attention of filmgoers at the 2000 Berlin Film Festival with her debut performance as a young girl who falls in love with a schoolteacher in director Zhang Yimou's acclaimed drama, "The Road Home" (1999). Her strong performance and the rumors of a romance with Yimou led many Asian journalists to dub the newcomer "little Gong Li," after the director's former leading lady, whom he helped raise to prominence in the United States. Within months, she enjoyed a further career boost when the martial arts romance "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (2000) premiered at Cannes. Her performance as the headstrong Jen Wu, a sheltered aristocrat with a taste for adventure, anchored the movie and demonstrated her astonishing range, while stealing the thunder from stars Michelle Yeoh and Chow Yun-Fat. Already one of the biggest stars in China - and the frequent subject of many tabloids in her native land - Zhang reached mainstream success in America with "Memoirs of a Geisha" (2005), a role that earned her widespread critical acclaim and the rare opportunity to become a high-profile Chinese actress in the United States.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Love for Life (2011)
3.
4.
 Mei Lanfang (2009)
5.
 Jian guo da ye (2009)
6.
 Horsemen (2009)
7.
 Sophie's Revenge (2009)
8.
 TMNT (2007)
9.
 Banquet, The (2006)
10.
 Ye Yan (2006)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Enrolled in dancing school as a child; won
:
At age 17, auditioned for a shampoo commercial directed by Zhang Yimou
1999:
Feature film acting debut, "The Road Home", directed by Zhang Yimou
2000:
Breakthrough screen role as the impulsive romantic heroine Jen Wu in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", helmed by Ang Lee
2001:
Co-starred in "Zu, Warriors of the Magic Mountain 2", directed by Tsui Hark
2001:
English language acting debut, "Rush Hour 2"
2002:
Co-starred with Jet Li and Maggie Cheung in "Hero," helmed by Zhang Yimou
2004:
Starred as a blind girl in "House of Flying Daggers" helmed by Zhang Yimou
2005:
Starred as Sayuri, the lead in Rob Marshall's film version of Arthur Golden's best selling novel "Memoirs of a Geisha"; earned Golden Globe and SAG nominations for Best Actress
2007:
Voiced the character of Karai in the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" reboot, "TMNT"
2009:
Co-starred opposite Dennis Quaid in the drama thriller "Horsemen"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

China Central Drama College: -

Notes

"I don't mind being called the Little Gong Li. I feel no pressure. If I have the ability, then I can manage that. The times are different now from Gong Li's day. China's cinema has been rising for some time; it has more exposure, so my chances of becoming internationally known are better. But the first thing I have to do is learn English. If I can grasp the language, then perhaps I can think about the U.S."---Zhang Ziyi quoted in Time Asia, July 10, 2000.

"I feel that in one sense that job of an actor (a lot of what you are doing) is to accumulate experience. You are continually growing as you are taking on new roles."---Ziyi Zhang to Venice, December 2004/January 2005.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Zhang Yuan Xiao. Economist.
mother:
Li Zhou Sheng. Schoolteacher.

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