Zhang Ziyi in May 2011
|Pinyin||Zhāng Zǐyí (Mandarin)|
9 February 1979 |
|Parents||Zhang Yuanxiao (father)
Li Zhousheng (mother)
Her first major role was in The Road Home (1999). She achieved fame in the West after leading roles in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), Rush Hour 2 (2001), House of Flying Daggers (2004), 2046 (2004), and Memoirs of a Geisha (2005). She has been nominated for three BAFTA Awards and a Golden Globe Award.
Zhang was born and raised in Beijing, China. Her parents were Zhang Yuanxiao, an accountant and later economist, and Li Zhousheng, a kindergarten teacher. She is very close to her older brother, Zhang Zinan (Chinese: 章子男; pinyin: Zhāng Zǐnán; born 1973). Zhang began studying dance when she was 8 years old; subsequently, she joined the Beijing Dance Academy by her parents' suggestion at the age of 11. While at this boarding school, she noticed how mean the other girls were to each other while competing for status amongst the teachers. Zhang disliked the attitudes of her peers and teachers so much that, on one occasion, she ran away from the school. At the age of 15, Zhang won the national youth dance championship and began appearing in television commercials in Hong Kong.
In 1996, Zhang entered China's prestigious Central Academy of Drama at the age of 17.
In 1998, while she was studying in Central Academy of Drama, she was offered her first role by director Zhang Yimou in his film The Road Home. The film won the Silver Bear prize at the 2000 Berlin International Film Festival.
She rose to further fame in 2000 with her role as Jen (Chinese version: Yu Jiao Long) in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, for which she won several awards in the Western world, such as Chicago Film Critics Association Awards, Toronto Film Critics Association Awards and Independent Spirit Awards.
Zhang then appeared in Hero (2002), with her early mentor Zhang Yimou. The film was commercially successful in the United States and was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe award in the category of Best Foreign Language Film.
She then signed on to film an avant-garde drama, Purple Butterfly (2003), which competed in the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. Zhang went back to the martial arts genre in House of Flying Daggers (2004), which earned her a Best Actress nomination from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. In 2046 (2004), 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. She then accepted the lead role of Sayuri in the film adaptation based on the international bestseller Memoirs of a Geisha. Controversy arose in Japan and China about having a Chinese woman portray a Japanese geisha. For this film, she was reunited with her 2046 co-star Gong Li and with 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 Rén Qu (佳人曲, The Beauty Song). The song was also featured in two scenes in the film.
On 27 June 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 July 2010, plans were revealed for a live-action version of the Chinese folk tale of Hua Mulan, previously popularized to western audiences by Disney through their 1998 animated movie. The film was to be directed by Jan de Bont, and would star Zhang as the titular heroine. Shootings were scheduled to begin in September 2010, but ultimately did not commence due to insufficient financial resources. The current status of the project is unknown.
On 27 September 2012, the Chinese-Korean co-production Dangerous Liaisons, an adaptation of the French novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses, narrating Shanghai of the 1930s, released in China. Zhang starred next to Cecilia Cheung and Jang Dong-gun in this film. It was reported Zhang was paid 20 million RMB (approximately $3.5 million) for her role.
Zhang portrayed Gong Er in Wong Kar-wai's film The Grandmaster, which released on 8 January 2013 in China. In January, it was also reported Zhang would join John Woo's new movie The Crossing. In April 2013, Zhang was announced as one of the judges for the first season of The X Factor: China's Strongest Voice, and she later mentored the "Boys" category. In May, she was invited to be a jury member of Un Certain Regard at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
Ambassadorship and representation
Asian Area Endorsement
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. Yimou was previously rumored to be involved in an affair with actress Gong Li, whom he similarly debuted and with whom Ziyi was quickly compared. However, no relationships were ever confirmed.
Zhang was engaged to Aviv "Vivi" Nevo, a venture capitalist. They separated in late 2010:
|“||I grew up in a very traditional Chinese environment with lots of love, and I hope my own family would be the same. I want everyone to live together, with kids running around, and dogs playing with the kids. This is my ideal family life. I tried to make it work but it didn't, and I have no regrets over it.||”|
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, Hidden Dragon 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.||”|
Zhang obtained Hong Kong residency through the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme for her contribution to the local film industry. After several screen performances in 2010 and beginning of 2011, in May 2011 Zhang was named ambassador for the ScreenSingapore 2011 film festival, joining American director Oliver Stone.
|Sun Wenxue||Chen Wei|
|1999||The Road Home
|Zhang Yimou||Zhao Di|
|2000||Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
|Ang Lee||Jen Yu|
|2001||Rush Hour 2
|Brett Ratner||Hu Li|
|2001||The Legend of Zu
|Kim Sung-su||Princess Bu-yong|
|2003||My Wife is a Gangster 2
|Jeong Heung Sun||Gangster boss|
|Wong Kar Wai||Bai Ling|
|2004||House of Flying Daggers
|Hou Yong||Mo/ Li/ Hua|
|Seijun Suzuki||Princess Tanuki|
|2005||Memoirs of a Geisha
|Rob Marshall||Chiyo Sakamoto/Sayuri Nitta|
|Chen Kaige||Meng Xiaodong|
|2009||The Founding of a Republic
|Huang Jianxin||Gong Peng|
|2011||Love for Life
|Hur Jin-ho||Du Fenyu|
|Wong Kar Wai||Gong Er|
|2013||Better and Better
|2013||My Lucky Star
|2014||Magic (Short film)||Jonas Åkerlund||Cecile|
|2014||Wu Wen Xi Dong
|Fangfang Li||Wang Minjia|
Awards and nominations
- Ranked 2nd of the 100 Sexiest Women by FHM Taiwan (2001).
- Named one of the 25 Hottest Stars Under 25 by Teen People Magazine (2001).
- Named one of the 25 Hottest Stars Under 25 by Teen People Magazine (2002).
- Ranked No. 91 in Stuff magazine's "102 Sexiest Women in the World" (2002)
- Voted in at No. 100 in FHM's "Sexiest 100 Girls of 2002", UK edition. [June 2002]
- Ranked in the top 5 of "Forbes China Celebrity 100" list every year from 2004 to 2010.
- Named by Entertainment Weekly in their 'The Must List' 2005. Listed 38th out of the 122 people and things the magazine "loves" this year, Ziyi was the only Chinese to be included.
- Selected by Southern People Weekly magazine as "Chinese Top Ten Leaders of the Younger Generation" in 2005.
- Listed in People's "50 Most Beautiful People" List in 2005.
- Listed in TIME's World's 100 Most Influential People. They called her "China's Gift to Hollywood".
- Ranked one of the '100 Most Beautiful Women in the World' in the July 2005 issue of Harpers & Queen magazine. It was her first time on the list. She was ranked number 15.
- Included in People's 100 Most Beautiful People in the World the second year in a row in 2006. This is now her third appearance on the list.
- Voted in at No. 86 in FHM's sexiest women in the world in 2006. She had not appeared in the list since 2002.
- Topped Japanese Playboy's "100 Sexiest Women in Asia" list and was featured on the cover. (April 2006)
- Voted No. 1 in E!'s "Sexiest Action Stars" list in summer 2007.
- Ranked No. 3 in Japanese magazine Classy's "Super Perfect Head-to-Body Size Ratio List" in January 2009.
- Four Promising Actress Four Young Chinese Stars
- "In the mood for oriental siren Zhang Ziyi". China Daily. Retrieved 16 July 2010.
- "She Makes Magic" TIMEasia.com 11 December 2000. Retrieved 13 February 2009.
- "Zhang Ziyi, The One that Loves You Most Is Me". Hao Rizi Magazine. March 2002. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
- "Ziyi Zhang Biography – Yahoo! Movies". Yahoo!. 11 May 2010.
- "Award for The Road Home" retrieved 30 April 2013
- "Best Foreign Language Film" retrieved 30 April 2013
- Happy birthday, Zhang Ziyi!. 10 February 2012.
- "Academy Invites 112 to Membership" Oscars. 24 June 2005. Retrieved 13 February 2009.
- "THE Juries 2006". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 28 May 2006.
- "Zhang Ziyi quits "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan". Channel News Asia. 25 January 2010. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
- Channel NewsAsia (28 July 2010). "Zhang Ziyi to produce and star in 3D Mulan film". channelnewsasia.com.
- Landreth, Jonathan (4 September 2010). "De Bont to direct Zhang in 'Mulan'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 8 January 2011.
- Landreth, Jonathan (3 March 2011). "Bona Posts 2010 Revenue Gain But Net Loss". The Hollywood Reporter.
- "Zhang Ziyi to play architect-writer Lin Huiyin". Xinhua. 11 June 2010. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
- "AIDS-themed film starring Zhang Ziyi and Aaron Kwok will open on May 10". Asia Pacific Arts. 03/07/2011.
- 《危险关系》开机，章子怡和张柏芝不想谈片酬 – Production of 'Liaisons' begins, Zhang Ziyi and Cecilia Cheung refuse to discuss their salaries (bilingual), Thinking Chinese, 28 September 2011
- "Zhang Ziyi in John Woo's new movie". entertainment.yahoo.com. 25 January 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
- "Zhang Ziyi to be a judge on China X Factor". asiaone.com. 4 April 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- "Juries 2013". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- "Omega Watches Ambassador" retrieved 1 May 2013
- "Visa International" retrieved 1 May 2013
- "Maybelline" retrieved 1 May 2013
- "Precious Platinum" retrieved 1 May 2013
- "Garnier" retrieved 1 May 2013
- "Special Olympics" retrieved 1 May 2013
- "Zhang Ziyi: Rising Movie Star" china.org. 9 February 2004. Retrieved 13 February 2009.
- Dummy (11 June 2011). "Zhang Ziyi on Vivi Nevo". TheAsianActress.Com. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
- "Ziyi" Interview. July 2006. Retrieved 13 February 2009.
- "Report: Zhang Ziyi now Hong Kong resident". News.xinhuanet.com. 24 September 2007. Retrieved 16 July 2010.
- Actress Zhang Ziyi named ambassador for ScreenSingapore 2011, What's on Ningbo, 26 May 2011
- "Chicago Film Critics Awards – 1998–2007". Chicago Film Critics Association. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
- (Chinese) Golden Horse Awards official homepage 37th Golden Horse awards winners and nominees list Retrieved 22 May 2013
- (Chinese)11th Huabiao Awards winners list Retrieved 22 May 2013
- (Chinese) Golden Horse Awards official homepage 41st Golden Horse awards winners and nominees list Retrieved 22 May 2013
- (Chinese) Golden Horse Awards official homepage 46th Golden Horse awards winners and nominees list Retrieved 22 May 2013
- (Chinese)13th Huabiao Awards winners list Retrieved 22 May 2013
- "Winners announced at the 7th Annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards". Asia Pacific Screen Awards. 12 December 2013.
- (Chinese)Zhang Ziyi received "Outstanding Contribution to Chinese Cinema" Retrieved 22 May 2013
- "Ziyi poses for Playboy" China Daily. 10 March 2006. Retrieved 13 February 2009.
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