Jiang Wen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jiang Wen
2008-03-14 Jiang Wen.jpg
Jiang at the Deauville Asian Film Festival in France in 2008
Jiang Xiaojun[1]

(1963-01-05) 5 January 1963 (age 60)
Tangshan, Hebei, China
Alma materCentral Academy of Drama
Occupation(s)Actor, screenwriter, film director
Years active1986–present
Sandrine Chenivesse
(m. 1997⁠–⁠2005)

(m. 2005)
Parent(s)Jiang Hongqi (father)
Gao Yang (mother)
RelativesJiang Wu (brother)
Hong Kong Film AwardsBest Supporting Actor
1997 The Soong Sisters

Hong Kong Film Critics Society AwardsBest Director
2011 Let the Bullets Fly
Best Screenplay
2011 Let the Bullets Fly

Golden Horse AwardsBest Director
1996 In the Heat of the Sun
Best Adapted Screenplay
1996 In the Heat of the Sun
2011 Let the Bullets Fly
Best Film Editing
2007 The Sun Also Rises

Hundred Flowers AwardsBest Actor
1986 Hibiscus Town
1989 A Woman for two

Chinese name
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese姜小軍
Simplified Chinese姜小军

Jiang Wen (born 5 January 1963) is a Chinese actor, screenwriter, and director. As a director, he is sometimes grouped with the "Sixth Generation" that emerged in the 1990s.[2] Jiang is also well known internationally as an actor, having starred with Gong Li in Zhang Yimou's debut film Red Sorghum (1986), and more recently as Baze Malbus in the Star Wars film Rogue One (2016). He is the older brother of fellow actor Jiang Wu.


Born in Tangshan, Hebei, in a family of military personnel, Jiang relocated to Beijing at the age of ten. In 1973 he attended Beijing No. 72 Middle School, where he studied alongside Ying Da.[3] In 1980, he entered China's foremost acting school, the Central Academy of Drama, graduating in 1984. After graduation, he was assigned to China Youth Art Institute as an actor.[3] That same year, he started acting both on the stage (with the China Youth Theater) and in films.

Jiang's debut role was in the film The Last Empress, where he portrayed Puyi.[4] He then starred in Hibiscus Town directed by Xie Jin; his role as an intellectual revolutionary earned him the Best Actor Award at the Hundred Flowers Awards.[5] Jiang once again paired with Hibiscus Town co-star in the film Chun Tao directed by Ling Zifeng.[6] Jiang was cast in Zhang Yimou's debut film Red Sorghum.[7] Jiang also featured in the France-Chinese film Tears of the Bridal Sedan, and his first commercial film The Trial.

After appearing in many television series and films, Jiang became known in China for his role in the 1992 television series A Native of Beijing in New York, based on the novel Beijinger in New York, which made him one of the most popular actors of his generation.[8] In addition to these he also starred in Black Snow (1990),[9] Li Lianying: The Imperial Eunuch (1991),[10] The Emperor's Shadow (1996),[11] and The Soong Sisters (1997). Apart from Red Sorghum, Jiang also collaborated with Zhang Yimou for the 1997 film Keep Cool.

Jiang wrote and directed his first film in 1994, In the Heat of the Sun, adapted from a novel by Wang Shuo.[12] A tale set in the Cultural Revolution, it won for its young lead actor Xia Yu the Best Actor prize at the Venice Film Festival and garnered six Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan.

In 2000, Jiang co-wrote and directed the black comedy film Devils on the Doorstep. The film premiered at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival and clinched the Grand Prix[13] but was subsequently banned in its home country;[14] said to undermine the country because it "seriously distorts Chinese history". Jiang himself was banned from making films for seven years.[15] In 2001 he was a member of the jury at the 23rd Moscow International Film Festival.[16]

Jiang starred in several films in the early 2000s; namely The Missing Gun, Green Tea, My Father and I, Warriors of Heaven and Earth, Jasmine Women and Letter from an Unknown Woman.[17]

Jiang has also acted in television series, such as Da Qing Fengyun (2006), in which he played Hong Taiji.[citation needed] He also played notable historical figures, Mao Renfeng in the propaganda film The Founding of a Republic;[18] and Cao Cao in the historical war film The Lost Bladesman.[19]

Jiang returned with his fourth feature The Sun Also Rises in 2007; a fantasy realism film which contains a polyptych of interconnected stories in different time-zones; the film received positive reviews from critics but bombed at the box office.[20][21] He then collaborated with 10 other directors on the romance anthology film New York, I Love You.[22]

Jiang's fifth feature, a Western-styled action comedy Let the Bullets Fly set a box office record by becoming the fastest Chinese-language film to break RMB100m mark ($15.15m) in Chinese cinemas; and received critical acclaim.[23][24]

In 2013 he was named as a member of the jury at the 70th Venice International Film Festival.[25]

In 2014, Jiang directed the action comedy film Gone with the Bullets, which screened at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival.[26][27]

Jiang co-starred in the Star Wars anthology film Rogue One, released in December 2016. In the film, he portrays Baze Malbus, a native of the moon of Jedha who is drawn into the war against the Galactic Empire.[28]

In 2018, Jiang directed the Republican-era spy comedy Hidden Man.[29] The film was China's submission to the 91st Academy Awards.[30]

Jiang is set to return to the small screen in upcoming historical drama Cao Cao.[31]

Personal life[edit]


Jiang Wen's father is Jiang Hongqi, a veteran of the Korean War. Described as taciturn and bookish, he played a minor role in his son's 2011 film, Let the Bullets Fly. Jiang's mother Gao Yang — “a cheerful, extroverted woman” — worked as a piano teacher. Jiang Wen is the eldest son in the family; in addition to his younger brother, Jiang Wu, he has a younger sister, Jiang Huan.

Close to his family, Jiang has a deep bond with his parents: whenever he is on site for shooting or acting, he arranges for them to come to his workplace so that he can spend time with them. Each movie he makes, he saves the best seats for them and asks for their opinions. Even on artistic composition, he sometimes resorts to them for advice. It was his parents' endorsement on the original novel of A Native of Beijing in New York that propelled Jiang into his performance. Later, during the filming of his first feature film, In the Heat of the Sun, Jiang again considered their evaluation of Xia Yu, before settling on him as the leading actor.[32]


Jiang met his first partner, Liu Xiaoqing during the production of his debut film Hibiscus Town. As he was 23 and she was 31, their relationship was controversial in the entertainment industry at that time, although it was reported that the crew was very supportive of their relationship. Liu Xiaoqing never confirmed the relationship, but only claimed that the media pressure was so suffocating that she once considered going abroad. Years later at one ceremony, Director Xie Jin finally verified this rumor, revealing that they had actually lived together for three years. Liu and Jiang separated amicably in 1994.[33]

In 1995, Jiang began a relationship with Sandrine Chenivesse, a Doctor of Anthropology at the University of Paris, researching philosophy and Taoism in China, at an artistic event. They married in Paris in 1997 and had a daughter together, but the marriage remained discreet until their appearance on the red carpet of the 2000 Cannes Film Festival. In 2005, Chenivesse announced their divorce, citing long-distance separation as the cause.[34]

In 2001, during the filming of Warriors of Heaven and Earth, Jiang was introduced to cast member Zhou Yun, by fellow actress Zhao Wei. Later, Jiang recommended Zhou to the cast of The Music Box, but each left the crew after a creative difference between Jiang and the director Chen Yifei. Jiang and Zhou married in 2005 and have two sons together.[35]



Year Title Role Notes
1986 The Last Empress
1986 Hibiscus Town
Qiu Shutian
1986 Tears of the Bridal Sedan
1987 Red Sorghum
My grandpapa
1989 Chun Tao
Wen Chiang
1990 Black Snow
Li Huiquan
1991 Li Lianying: The Imperial Eunuch
Li Lianying
1993 The Trail
Chinese policeman
1994 In the Heat of the Sun
Ma Xiaojun (adult) Director; writer
1996 The Emperor's Shadow
Ying Zheng
1997 Keep Cool
1997 The Soong Sisters
Charlie Soong
2000 Devils on the Doorstep
Ma Dasan Director; writer
2002 The Missing Gun
Ma Shan
2003 Green Tea
Chen Mingliang
2003 My Father and I
2003 Warriors of Heaven and Earth
Lieutenant Li
2004 Jasmine Women
Mr. Meng
2004 Letter from an Unknown Woman
Writer / Mr. Xu
2007 The Sun Also Rises
Tang Yunlin Director; writer
2008 New York, I Love You
2009 The Founding of a Republic
Mao Renfeng
2010 Let the Bullets Fly
Zhang Mazi (Zhang Muzhi) Director; writer
2011 The Lost Bladesman
Cao Cao
2014 Gone with the Bullets
Ma Zouri Director
2016 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Baze Malbus
2018 Hidden Man
Lan Qingfeng Director; writer

Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1993 Beijinger in New York
Wang Qiming
1997 A Sentimental Story
2005 Lotus Lantern
2006 Da Qing Fengyun
Hong Taiji


Year Award Category Nominated work Notes
1987 10th Hundred Flowers Awards Best Actor Hibiscus Town
1989 12th Hundred Flowers Awards Best Actor Chun Tao
2nd Golden Phoenix Awards Society Award Red Sorghum
1994 12th China TV Golden Eagle Award Best Actor A Native of Beijing in New York [36]
1996 33rd Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards Best Director In the Heat of the Sun [37]
Best Original Screenplay
1998 17th Hong Kong Film Awards Best Supporting Actor The Soong Sisters
2000 53rd Cannes Film Festival Grand Prize of the Jury Devils on the Doorstep
2001 54th Cannes Film Festival France Culture Award - Foreign Cineaste of the Year
2003 3rd Chinese Film Media Awards Best Actor The Missing Gun [38]
Most Popular Actor
12th Shanghai Film Critics Awards Best Actor
2004 4th Chinese Film Media Awards Most Popular Actor Warriors of Heaven and Earth [39]
11th Beijing College Student Film Festival Most Popular Actor [40]
2005 10th Golden Phoenix Awards Society Award [41]
2007 44th Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards Best Film Editing The Sun Also Rises [42]
2008 21st Tokyo International Film Festival Asian Film Award - Special Mention
2011 20th Shanghai Film Critics Awards Best Actor The Lost Bladesman [43]
48th Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards Best Original Screenplay Let the Bullets Fly [44]
11th Chinese Film Media Awards Best Director [45]
2012 3rd China Film Director's Guild Awards Best Director [46]
2014 17th Shanghai International Film Festival Outstanding Contribution Award [47]

[48] [49]


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  • Silbergeld, Jerome (2008), Body in Question: Image and Illusion in Two Chinese Films by Director Jiang Wen (Princeton: Princeton University Press)

External links[edit]