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Zhang Ziyi    章子怡


Birth name:

Zhang Zi-Yi

Chinese name:





Beijing, China



Race or Ethnicity:


Sexual orientation:






Executive summary:

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon


5' 5" (1.65 m)

Zhang Ziyi



Zhang Ziyi - Pictures

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Additional Free Pictures of Zhang Ziyi


Zhang Ziyi - Biography


Ziyi Zhang (Chinese: 章子怡; pinyin: Zhāng Zǐy; Wade-Giles: Chang Tzu-yi; born February 9, 1979) is a Chinese film actress. Zhang is coined by the media as one of the Four Young Dan actresses (四大花旦) in the Film Industry in China, along with Zhao Wei, Xu Jinglei, and Zhou Xun. With a string of Chinese and international hits to her name, she has worked with renowned directors such as Zhang Yimou, Ang Lee, Wong Kar-Wai, Chen Kaige, Tsui Hark, Lou Ye, Seijun Suzuki, Feng Xiaogang and Rob Marshall.
Zhang Ziyi was born and raised in Beijing, China. Her parents are Zhang Yuanxiao, an accountant, and Li Zhousheng, a kindergarten teacher. She has an older brother, Zhang Zinan (born 1973). Zhang joined the Beijing Dance Academy at the age of 11. When Zhang's parents suggested she attend the school, she was skeptical. While at this boarding school, she noticed how catty the other girls were while competing for status amongst the teachers. Zhang disliked the attitudes of peers and teachers so much that, on one occasion, she ran away from the school.
In 1996, Zhang entered China's prestigious Central Academy of Drama (regarded as the top acting college in China) at the age of 17.

At the age of 19, Zhang was offered her first role in Zhang Yimou's The Road Home, which won the Silver Bear award in the 2000 Berlin Film Festival.
Zhang further rose to fame due to her role as the headstrong Jen (Chinese version: Yu Jiao Long) in the phenomenally successful Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, for which she won several awards in the West, such as Chicago Film Critics Association Awards, Toronto Film Critics Association Awards and Independent Spirit Awards. Zhang's first appearance in an American movie was in Rush Hour 2, but because she didn't speak English at the time, Jackie Chan had to interpret everything the director said to her. In the movie, her character's name, "Hu Li", is translated from Mandarin Chinese to "Fox".
Zhang then appeared in Hero, with her early mentor Zhang Yimou, which was a huge success in the English-speaking world and nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe award. Her next film was the avant-garde drama Purple Butterfly by Lou Ye, which competed at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. Zhang went back to the martial arts genre with House of Flying Daggers (十面埋伏), which earned her a Best Actress nomination from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
In 2046, directed by Wong Kar-wai, starring many of the best-known Chinese actors and actresses, Zhang was the female lead and won the Hong Kong Film Critics' Best Actress Award and the Hong Kong Film Academy's Best Actress Award.
Showing her whimsical musical tap-dancing side, Zhang starred in Princess Raccoon, directed by Japanese legend Seijun Suzuki, who was honored at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.
In 2005, Zhang landed the lead role of Sayuri in the film adaptation of the international bestseller Memoirs of a Geisha. There was a slight controversy in Japan about a Chinese woman portraying a Japanese Geisha. For the film, she reunited with her 2046 co-star Gong Li and with her Crouching Tiger co-star Michelle Yeoh. For the role, Zhang received a 2006 Golden Globe Award nomination, a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination and a BAFTA nomination.
Zhang has also been known to sing, and was featured on the House of Flying Daggers soundtrack with her own musical rendition of the ancient Chinese poem, Jia Rn Qu (佳人曲, The Beauty Song). The song was also featured in two scenes in the film.
On June 27, 2005, it was announced that Zhang had accepted an invitation to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), placing her among the ranks of those able to vote on the Academy Awards.
In May 2006, Zhang became the youngest member to sit on the jury of the Cannes Film Festival. In the fall of 2006, Zhang played Empress Wan in The Banquet (Y Yn 夜宴), a film set in the Tang Dynasty.
Zhang provided the voice of Karai in the TMNT movie that was released on March 23, 2007. She later starred in Forever Enthralled (Mei Lanfang) (2008) and appeared in The Horsemen (2009) with Dennis Quaid.
Zhang announced plans to produce a film adaptation of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. However, in January 2010, it was announced she had quit the project. It is unknown if this is a temporary or permanent move.

Zhang is the face of Maybelline, Garnier and Shangri-la Hotel and Resort Group. She is also a Global Ambassador for the Special Olympics and a spokesperson for "Save the Children," a foster-home program in China.

Soon after Zhang's debut in Zhang Yimou's The Road Home, rumors arose regarding a possible affair between the actress and the older director. Zhang Yimou was previously involved in an extramarital affair with actress Gong Li, whom he similarly debuted and with whom Zhang Ziyi was quickly compared. However, no relationship between the two has been confirmed.
Hong Kong and Taiwanese media have often pushed at ties between Zhang and co-star Jackie Chan. This was fueled in part by photos that emerged of the pair during celebrations of Chan's birthday on the set of Rush Hour 2.
Zhang for a while was publicly linked with Fok Kai-shan, grandson of Hong Kong business tycoon Henry Fok.
In the July 2006 issue of Interview Magazine, Zhang Ziyi spoke of her movies' contents and being careful about the roles she takes on, especially in Hollywood.
Yes. Otherwise I could have done a lot of Hollywood movies. After Crouching Tiger I got a lot of offers, but I turned them down because they were all victim roles--poor girls sold to America to be a wife or whatever. I know I have the ability to go deeper, to take on more original roles than that. That's why I really appreciated Geisha, because it allowed us to show the world what kind of actors we are and what kind of characters we can play--not just action, kick-ass parts.
She stated in an early interview that if she had not become an actress, she would have liked to have been a kindergarten teacher, as she loves children!
In January 2007, Zhang was spotted holding hands and kissing her new boyfriend at a New York basketball game. The man was identified as Israeli multi-millionaire and venture capitalist, Vivi Nevo. The two were again seen together at an Oscar party in Los Angeles. Nevo, who has previously been tied to model Kate Moss, is a major shareholder in Time Warner and an early backer of The Weinstein Company with whom Zhang is purported to have a multi-film deal. Zhang Ziyi and Nevo are currently engaged. Zhang has also obtained Hong Kong residentship through the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme for her contribution to the local film industry.

Of the characters making up her name, Zhāng (章) is her surname (not to be confused with the more common Zhāng 张 which is a homophone but written with a different character), Zǐ (子) means 'child' or 'esteemed person', and Y (怡) means 'joy' or 'happiness'. She has appeared in English language films under the name Ziyi Zhang. In an interview, she stated that the name change was her publicist's idea of a way to appeal to Western audiences.


Zhang Ziyi - Personal Quotes


"In China, we don't consider someone truly beautiful until we have known them for a long time, and we know what's underneath the skin."

After Crouching Tiger (Wo hu cang long (2000)), there was a big change for me, with all the attention thrust upon me. I got lot of work: my first Hollywood film, Rush Hour 2 (2001), and a lot of advertisements in Asia. I think for me it's a very good part of my life. I've been lucky, because I've had great characters to play. Now I really want to work with good directors.

You know, I never think I can become an actress. But it happened. Not because I dreamed it, but because it happened.

It's my first time in a lead and I have to speak English! In a Japanese accent! [on Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)].

It was so hard working for him, but I like the challenge. We don't learn the script, every day we had to, erm ... improvise. [on working with Wong Kar-wai in '2046']

"For Western women, it's much easier to be yourself. If you want to do something, you just go and do it. In an Asian context, women are still much more modest and conservative. I want, through my roles, to express the parts in the hearts of Chinese women that they feel unable to let out."

Chinese women are much more modest than American women when it comes to clothes. We tend to show less flesh.

I've discovered that I value simplicity above all in dressing. I don't like anything I wear to be too complicated or fussy.

"Even though I've done Hollywood films, I still don't think of myself as a Hollywood actress."

"I always think it's really hard if you are Asian or Chinese to be really in Hollywood. There are not so many really great characters for you. I always think you are lucky to get offered [something like] 'Memoirs of a Geisha', but I don't think it will happen all the time."

"But I enjoy being an actress a lot, because I can feel different women's lives. I have the chance to feel like a geisha one day, and on another day maybe a scientist. That's the interesting part for me. My profession has helped me to grow up."

"I don't like kick-ass stereotypical roles. I already turn a lot down, even when they promise me a lot of money. I really want to do something in Europe. With a small movie, it can be an interesting challenge. But I have to get the right project. I don't think it's so important to go to Hollywood. All that trash that comes out of there! I don't want to do that."

"Working in Hollywood, it's clear the more money you have, the more technology you can get. So you can build a whole Japanese set. Only in Hollywood! I couldn't believe the first day I walked on the set. Rob Marshall walked me like a tourist round the set. It took 40 minutes, so how big was that? Today it can be winter, and tomorrow summer. Everything's unbelievable."


Zhang Ziyi - Filmography


The Grand Master (2010)
... aka Yi Dai Zong Shi (China: Mandarin title)
... aka Yut Doi Jung Si (China: Cantonese title)
Jian guo da ye (2009) .... Gong Peng
... aka The Founding of a Republic (International: English title)
Sophie's Revenge (2009) .... Sophie
... aka Fei chang wan mei (China: Mandarin title)
Horsemen (2009) .... Kristin
... aka Horsemen of the Apocalypse (UK: video title)
Mei Lanfang (2008) .... Meng Xiaodong
... aka Forever Enthralled (International: English title)
TMNT (2007) (voice) .... Karai
... aka Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (USA: long title)
Ye yan (2006) .... Empress Wan
... aka Legend of the Black Scorpion (USA: DVD title)
... aka The Banquet (International: English title)
Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) .... Sayuri
Operetta tanuki goten (2005) .... Tanukihime
... aka Princess Raccoon (Hong Kong: English title) (International: English title) (UK)
Mo li hua kai (2004) .... Young Mo / young Li / young Hua
... aka Blossoming Jasmine (literal English title)
... aka Jasmine Flower (International: English title)
... aka Jasmine Women (International: English title)
2046 (2004) .... Bai Ling
... aka 2046 - Der ultimative Liebesfilm (Germany)
Shi mian mai fu (2004) (as Zhang Ziyi) .... Xiao Mei
... aka House of Flying Daggers (International: English title) (UK) (USA)
... aka Attack from Ten Directions (International: English title: literal title)
Jopog manura 2: Dolaon jeonseol (2003) (as Zhang Ziyi) .... The Triad Boss
... aka My Wife Is a Gangster 2 (International: English title)
Zi hudie (2003) (as Zhang Ziyi) .... Cynthia / Ding Hui
... aka Purple Butterfly (International: English title)
Ying xiong (2002) (as Zhang Ziyi) .... Moon
... aka Hero (Canada: English title: literal English title) (UK) (USA)
... aka Jet Li's Hero (USA)
... aka Quentin Tarantino Presents Hero (USA: promotional title)
... aka Ying hung (China: Cantonese title)
Musa (2001) (as Zhang Ziyi) .... Princess Bu-yong
... aka The Warrior (UK) (USA)
... aka Musa the Warrior (Canada: English title)
... aka The Warriors (informal English title)
... aka Wu shi (China: Mandarin title)
Shu shan zheng zhuan (2001) (as Zhang Ziyi) .... Joy
... aka The Legend of Zu (Hong Kong: English title)
... aka Zu Warriors (USA)
Rush Hour 2 (2001) (as Zhang Ziyi) .... Hu Li
Wo hu cang long (2000) (as Zhang Ziyi) .... Jen Yu (Mandarin version) / Jiao Long (English dubbed version)
... aka Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (International: English title) (UK) (USA)
... aka Ngo foo chong lung (Hong Kong: Cantonese title)
... aka Wo hu cang long (China: Mandarin title)
Wo de fu qin mu qin (1999) (as Zhang Ziyi) .... Zhao Di, Young
... aka The Road Home (International: English title) (USA: DVD title)
... aka My Father and Mother (literal English title)
Xing xing dian deng (1996) (TV) (as Zhang Ziyi) .... Chen Wei


Zhang Ziyi  - Related Links

Wikipedia: Zhang Ziyi
YouTube: Zhang Ziyi

Zhang Ziyi





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