ZHANG ZIYI Biography - Actors and Actresses


Biography » actors and actresses » zhang ziyi


Name: Zhang Ziyi                                                                     
Born: 9 February 1979 Beijing, China                                                 
Zhang Ziyi (born February 9, 1979 in Beijing)                                         
is one of the best-known Chinese film actresses working today, 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, Seijun Suzuki and Rob           
Born in Beijing, China, Zhang Ziyi joined the Beijing Dance Academy at the age       
of 11, and at 15 she entered China's prestigious Central Academy of Drama (regarded   
as the top acting college in China).                                                 
When her parents suggested she go to the dance academy, she was skeptical. While     
at the boarding school, she noticed how catty the other girls were while             
competing for status amongst the teachers. She would cry each night and morning,     
and on one occasion ran away from the school.                                         
At the age of 19, she was offered her first role in world renowned director           
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       
in the phenomenally successful Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, for which she won     
the Independent Spirit's Best Supporting Actress Award and the Toronto Film           
Critics' Best Supporting Actress Award.                                               
Her 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 translate everything the         
director said to her. In the movie, her character's name, "Hu Li," is translated     
from Mandarin Chinese to "Fox".                                                       
After this she went on to make Hero with her early mentor Zhang Yimou, which was     
a huge success in the English-speaking world and an Oscar and a Golden Globe         
contender. Her next film was the avant-garde drama Purple Butterfly by Lou Ye         
which competed at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. She went back to the martial         
arts genre with House of Flying Daggers, which earned her a Best Actress             
nomination from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.                     
For her next drama 2046, directed by Wong Kar-wai, starring many of the best-known   
Chinese actresses (from mainland, Hong Kong, and Taiwan), 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 82-year-old Japanese legend Seijun Suzuki who was honored at     
the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.                                                       
In 2005, she landed the lead role of Sayuri in the film adaptation of the             
international bestseller Memoirs of a 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, she 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 Ren Qu (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's most recent film was released, a new drama set in       
the Tang Dynasty of China called The Banquet.                                         
Most recently she provided the voice of Karai in the TMNT movie that was             
released on March 23, 2007. She has recently finished filming a movie called         
Horsemen with Dennis Quaid. Zhang is now working on a new movie called Mei