Tang Wei

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Tang Wei
湯唯 Tang Wei1.jpg
Tang Wei in January 2020
Born (1979-10-07) 7 October 1979 (age 41)
NationalityChinese (China), Chinese (Hong Kong)
Other namesRebecca Tang
Alma materCentral Academy of Drama
Years active1998–present
AgentEdko Films Ltd. (China)
Creative Artists Agency (U.S.)
(m. 2014)
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese湯唯
Simplified Chinese汤唯

Tang Wei[1] (simplified Chinese: 汤唯; traditional Chinese: 湯唯; pinyin: Tāng Wéi, born 7 October 1979) is a Chinese actress. She rose to prominence for her appearance in Lust, Caution (2007).

Tang ranked 70th on Forbes China Celebrity 100 list in 2013,[2] 38th in 2014,[3] 55th in 2015.[4]

Life and career[edit]

1979–2005: Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Tang was born in Wenzhou, Zhejiang and was raised in Hangzhou, Zhejiang. She is the only child of a former stage actress and painter. In an interview, she explained that she often travelled around China and learned to paint, adding that she was influenced by her parents. Tang graduated from a local vocational high school in her hometown in 1996, where her teachers described her as "athletic" and a "good student who always did her homework". She had no plans to become famous; she originally aspired to become an archaeologist or lawyer. Tang made the decision to enter the entertainment industry after doing some modelling in 1997 and played a minor role in the TV series Chinese Female Football.[5] She graduated from the Central Academy of Drama where she majored in directing.[6]

Shortly after her university graduation, Tang met Stan Lai during one of his trips to China. He was impressed by the actress, and was quoted as saying, "The number of stars may not be good actors, a lot of good actors may not be good stars, but Tang Wei was fortunate to have done it." He proceeded to recommend her to several directors and was thus cast in more roles, although she was relatively unknown outside her hometown in China at this time.[7] Nonetheless, Tang starred in a TV series, Policewoman Swallow (2004) and a brief university drama, Che Guevara (2004).[8] After working with a more diverse group of actresses, she also appeared in TV dramas Sons and Daughters of the Red Cross (2004), Leaving Seafront Street (2005), East Meets West (2005), Born in the 60s (2006) and Silent Tears.[9][10][11]

2006–08: Lust, Caution and ban[edit]

In July 2006, Tang was selected from more than 10,000 actresses to appear in Ang Lee's Lust, Caution (2007).[12][13] Tang plays the film's main character, Wong Chia-chi, inspired by the story of the executed spy Zheng Pingru. Tang learned both Shanghainese and the related Suzhou dialect for her role.[12] After the film premiered, Tang received wider fame throughout and beyond China. She won the Golden Horse Award for Best New Performer and was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award.[14][15]

Despite her success, China's State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT) ordered a media ban due to Tang's performance of sexual acts in Lust, Caution. All print ads and feature content using Tang were removed, and her endorsements were discontinued.[16] She was set to star in Tian Zhuangzhuang's big-budget period film The Warrior and the Wolf (2009), but was replaced by Maggie Q.[17] In February 2009, during her absence from the movie industry, she was reported to have briefly attended drama classes at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom.[18]

2010–11: Return to the screen[edit]

Tang at the Chopard Trophy Awards Party at Cannes in 2008

Tang made her return to the big screen in Crossing Hennessy (2010), a romantic drama by Ivy Ho which revolves around two people who are set up on a blind date by well-meaning relatives, despite the fact that they both have somebody else on their minds.[18][19] Tang, who plays a simple girl-next-door with a stubborn streak, learned Cantonese for her role.[20] As this was Tang's first film to be shown in China since Lust, Caution, a March 2010 news article quoted her as saying, "Coming to Hong Kong for this premiere, I can see director Ivy and co-star Andy On again. I've been very happy. Now I'm just excited to see the movie. I will be happy if everyone can see my work."[21]

From November 2009 to March 2010, Tang filmed alongside Hyun Bin in Late Autumn (2010), directed by Kim Tae-yong.[22] The film was shot in Seattle, Washington.[23] Tang's performance in Late Autumn, in which she played an inmate who strikes up a relationship with a man, won over South Korean audiences and made her the only non-Korean to win the Baeksang Awards for Best Actress.[24][25]

In September 2010, it was announced she was to appear in the patriotic tribute film The Founding of a Party. However her scenes were all cut in the theatrical version, allegedly at the request of Mao Zedong's grandson, Mao Xinyu.[26][27] In December 2011, she also voiced the character of Pia Sahastrabuddhe in San Geshagua, the Mandarin Chinese dubbed version of the 2009 Bollywood blockbuster film 3 Idiots starring Aamir Khan, which was originally portrayed by Kareena Kapoor.[28]

Tang returned to mainstream cinema with two major films; Speed Angels, a car-racing flick directed by Jingle Ma and Dragon, a martial arts epic directed by Peter Chan.[29][30] Though Speed Angels was a commercial flop,[31] Dragon was successful and was named the eighth best movie of 2012 according to Time magazine.[32]

2013–present: Career resurgence[edit]

In 2013, Tang starred opposite actor Wu Xiubo in the Xue Xiaolu directed romantic comedy Finding Mr. Right. She plays a girl who goes to Seattle to give birth to a child by her wealthy, married boyfriend. The sleeper hit grossed $85 million at the box office in China and Tang received rave reviews for her performance.[33] Shanghai newspaper City Weekend wrote, "The most compelling element of the movie however, is still Tang Wei herself. It is a testament to her on-screen charisma that such a shrill, materialistic, and generally awful character can have the audience rooting for her."[34]

Tang was then cast to play Xiao Hong, a writer known for depictions of hunger and poverty in China during the 1920s and '30s in Ann Hui's biopic The Golden Era,[35] which closed at the Venice International Film Festival.[36] Though the film was highly anticipated prior to its premiere, it received mixed reviews and failed to do well at the box office.[37]

Tang made her English-language film debut in Blackhat, an action thriller co-starring Chris Hemsworth.[38] She also starred in A Tale of Three Cities, based on the wartime experiences of Jackie Chan's parents.[39]

Tang and Wu then teamed up again to film the sequel to Finding Mr. Right, titled Book of Love.[40] Book of Love was a huge commercial success and became the highest grossing Chinese romantic film of all time.[41]

In 2017, Tang was then cast as the female lead of Long Day’s Journey Into Night, directed by Bi Gan.[42] The same year, she announced her return to the small screen in the upcoming historical drama Empress of the Ming.[43]

In 2019, Tang starred in the drama film The Whistleblower directed by Xue Xiaolu.[44]

Personal life[edit]

Tang married South Korean film director Kim Tae-yong in 2014, in the front yard of the home of film legend Ingmar Bergman on the remote Swedish island of Fårö.[45][46][47] A formal wedding ceremony was later held in Hong Kong, with only immediate family members as guests.[48][49][50] In August 2016, Tang gave birth to their daughter, Summer.[51]



Year Title Role Notes
2007 Lust, Caution Wong Chia Chi
2010 Crossing Hennessy Oi-lin
Late Autumn Anna
2011 The Founding of a Party Tao Yi Scenes removed before release
Dragon Ayu
Speed Angels Hong Xiaoyi
3 Idiots Pia Sahastrabuddh Voice actor (Mandarin dub)[28]
2013 Finding Mr. Right Jia Jia
2014 The Golden Era Xiao Hong
2015 Blackhat Chen Lien
Monster Hunt Dealer
Only You Fang Yuan
A Tale of Three Cities Chen Yuerong
Office Sophie
2016 Finding Mr. Right 2 Jiao Ye
2018 Long Day's Journey into Night Wan Qiwen/Kaizhen
2019 Push and Shove Cameo[52]
The Whistleblower
2021 Wonderland Netflix film

Television series[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1998 Chinese Female Football Goalkeeper
2004 Policewoman Swallow Swallow
Sons and Daughters of the Red Cross Ning Xiaoya
2005 Brother, Brother Secretary
Leaving Seafront Street Yan Lei
Qingqian Nalati Chen Yan
2006 Born in the 60s Yue Linlin
2007 Silent Tears Shang Li
2019 Empress of the Ming Sun Ruowei


Year Title Role
2001 A Dream Like a Dream Lai Shengchuan
2004 Che Guevara Yang Ting

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2007 20th Chicago Film Critics Association Awards Most Promising Performer Lust, Caution Nominated
44th Golden Horse Awards Best Actress Nominated
Best New Performer Won [14]
2008 2nd Asian Film Awards Best Actress Nominated
61st British Academy Film Awards Rising Star Award Nominated
51st Cannes Film Festival Trophée Chopard Won [53]
8th Chinese Film Media Awards Best Actress Nominated
Best Newcomer Won
Independent Spirit Awards Best Actress Nominated [15]
2010 47th Golden Horse Awards Best Actress Crossing Hennessy Nominated
2011 11th Chinese Film Media Awards Best Actress Won [54]
30th Hong Kong Film Awards Best Actress Nominated
17th Hong Kong Film Critics Society Award Best Actress Nominated
47th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress Late Autumn Won [55]
22nd Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Actress Nominated [55]
12th Busan Film Critics Awards Best Actress Won [55]
20th Buil Film Awards Best Actress Nominated
31st Korean Association of Film Critics Awards Best Actress Won [55]
2012 3rd KOFRA Film Awards Best Actress Won [56]
13th Women in Film Korea Festival Best Actress Nominated
31st Hong Kong Film Awards Best Actress Dragon Nominated
2013 9th Huading Awards Best Actress Late Autumn Nominated
10th Huading Awards Best Actress Finding Mr. Right Nominated
10th Guangzhou Student Film Festival Most Popular Actress Won [57]
22nd Shanghai Film Critics Awards Best Actress Won [58]
2014 21st Beijing College Student Film Festival Best Actress Won [59]
5th China Film Director's Guild Award Best Actress Won [60]
32nd Hundred Flowers Awards Best Actress Nominated
33rd Hong Kong Film Awards Nominated
2nd China International Film Festival London Best Actress The Golden Era Won [61]
6th International Chinese Film Festival Best Actress Won [62]
2015 22nd Beijing College Student Film Festival Best Actress Nominated
30th Golden Rooster Awards Best Actress Nominated
51st Golden Horse Awards Best Leading Actress Nominated
9th Hong Kong Film Directors' Guild Awards Best Actress Won [63]
9th Asian Film Awards Best Actress Nominated
34th Hong Kong Film Awards Best Actress Nominated
2016 35th Hong Kong Film Awards A Tale of Three Cities Nominated
2017 36th Hong Kong Film Awards Book of Love Nominated [64]
2019 Faro Island Film Festival Favorite Actress Long Day's Journey into Night Won [65]

Other honors[edit]

  • 2004 - Miss Universe China finalist
  • 2007 - Top Chinese fashion figure
  • 2007 - New York Times listed her as one of the Best 15 Performers in 2007
  • 2008 - The Annual Independent Critics List #59 of 2008 World's Most Beautiful People
  • 2008 - Forbes ranked her 18th on the China Celebrity 100 list
  • 2008 - Japanese magazine Cut placed her in the Top 50 Best Active Celebrities
  • 2008 - Accepted invitation and appeared at the Cannes Film Festival


  1. ^ She has appeared in English language films under the name Tang Wei. In an interview, she stated that her Western name is Rebecca. Tang Wei: Lust, Caution, Past, and Future All-China's Women Federation. Retrieved 17 November 2009. Archived 29 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "2013 Forbes China Celebrity 100 List: Fan Bingbing in Top Spot". JayneStars. April 24, 2013.
  3. ^ "2014 Forbes China Celebrity List (Full List)". Forbes. May 6, 2014.
  4. ^ "2015 Forbes China Celebrity List (Full List)". Forbes. May 13, 2015.
  5. ^ "汤唯18岁演中国女足照曝光(组图)". Sina (in Chinese). 30 January 2008.
  6. ^ "Star talk Series: Tang Wei". China Daily. 20 March 2013.
  7. ^ "赖声川话剧杭州上演 澄清并未向李安推荐汤唯". Netease (in Chinese). 29 February 2008.
  8. ^ "汤唯田雨主演《警花燕子》". Sina (in Chinese). 29 December 2007.
  9. ^ "汤唯处女作《红旗渠的儿女们》10日上央视". Sina (in Chinese). 6 February 2007.
  10. ^ "汤唯《生于六十年代》更名《生死兄弟》将上市". Sina (in Chinese). 4 September 2008.
  11. ^ "《女人不哭》热播 汤唯反客为主受称赞(组图)". Sina (in Chinese). 2 April 2007.
  12. ^ a b "Ang Lee casts Tang Wei for "Lust, Caution". Xinhua News Agency. 12 July 2006. Archived from the original on 10 June 2011.
  13. ^ "Ang Lee: A passion too hot for China". The Telegraph. 2 January 2008.
  14. ^ a b "'Lust, Caution' biggest Golden Horse Awards winner". Focus Taiwan. 9 December 2007.
  15. ^ a b ""Lust, Caution" duo nominated for pre-Oscar Awards". Xinhua News Agency. 28 November 2007.
  16. ^ ""Lust, Caution" actress banned in China". Reuters. 9 March 2008.
  17. ^ "Maggie Q to star in 'Wolf'" Variety. 25 September 2008.
  18. ^ a b "Tang Wei returns, with caution". People's Daily. 15 April 2010.
  19. ^ "Tang Wei plans return to silver screen alongside Jacky Cheung". Xinhua News Agency. 4 February 2009. Archived from the original on 13 February 2009.
  20. ^ "Tang Wei: back better than ever". China.org.cn. 1 April 2012.
  21. ^ "Tang premieres new film after reported China ban". The San Diego Union Tribune. 21 March 2010.
  22. ^ "Hyun Bin, Tang Wei-wei Cast in Korea-US Project". The Korea Times. 5 November 2009.
  23. ^ "In star-studded 'Late Autumn,' Seattle plays starring role". Seattle Post-Intelligence. 28 February 2010.
  24. ^ "Tang Wei: Korean Auds Give Chinese Star A Rare Embrace". Variety. 4 October 2014.
  25. ^ "Tang Wei: Crossover Star Enchants Two Nations". Variety. 4 October 2014.
  26. ^ "China's leading lady Tang Wei deemed too racy to star in Mao movie". The Independent. 16 May 2011.
  27. ^ "Tang Wei cut from China's propaganda epic"". Variety. 14 May 2011.
  28. ^ a b Krishnan, Ananth (2 January 2012). "Success of 3 Idiots breaks China's Bollywood Great Wall". The Hindu. Beijing, China. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  29. ^ "Tang Wei in 'Speed Angels' Trailer". China Radio International. 30 November 2011.
  30. ^ "Tang Wei's in fighting form". Week In China. 24 June 2011.
  31. ^ "Tang Wei's B.O. Power Trimmed by Chinese Censors' Strong Hand". Variety. 4 October 2014.
  32. ^ "Dragon". Time. 4 December 2012.
  33. ^ "Film Review: 'Finding Mr. Right'". Variety. 7 December 2015.
  34. ^ "Film Review: Xiao Lu Xue's Finding Mr. Right". City Weekend. 9 July 2015.
  35. ^ "Tang Wei to play tragic writer". China Daily. 3 August 2012.
  36. ^ "'The Golden Era' closes Venice Film Festival". China Daily. 7 September 2014.
  37. ^ "Golden era lacks silver-screen luster". China Daily. 9 October 2014.
  38. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Tang Wei Tops Busy Year with 'Blackhat". Front Row Features. 4 January 2015.
  39. ^ "Love conquers". China Daily. 27 August 2015.
  40. ^ "'Finding Mr.Right 2' starts shooting in Macao". China Daily. 23 June 2015.
  41. ^ "On Screen China: Director Xue Xiaolu's 'Book of Love' Aims for Rom-Com Record". China Film Insider. 29 April 2016.
  42. ^ "Tang Wei to star in Bi Gan's 'Long Day's Journey Into Night'". Screen Daily. 11 May 2017.
  43. ^ "汤唯时隔十年再演电视剧". Mtime (in Chinese). 25 August 2017.
  44. ^ "汤唯雷佳音《吹哨人》定档12月6日". Mtime (in Chinese). October 29, 2019.
  45. ^ "Tang Wei to Marry Korean Director Kim". The Wall Street Journal. 2 July 2014.
  46. ^ "Lust, Caution actress Tang marries in Sweden". Associated Press. 25 July 2014.
  47. ^ "Lust, Caution star Tang Wei weds at Ingmar Bergman's house". The Straits Times. 25 July 2014.
  48. ^ "Chinese actress, Korean director had formal wedding in Hong Kong: agency". Yonhap News Agency. 19 August 2014.
  49. ^ "Tang Wei and Kim Tae-yong marry". The Korea Herald. 19 August 2014.
  50. ^ "Tang Wei's Wedding Pictures Revealed". The Chosun Ilbo. 20 August 2014.
  51. ^ "Actress Tang Wei gives birth to daughter". The Korea Herald. 28 August 2016.
  52. ^ "《狗眼看人心》首曝预告&剧照定档4月". Mtime (in Chinese). March 4, 2019.
  53. ^ "汤唯戛纳领奖心系中国:我的心与灾民一起(图)". Netease (in Chinese). 21 May 2008.
  54. ^ "Tang Wei crowned best actress on mainland". China.org.cn. 17 June 2011.
  55. ^ a b c d "Tang Wei to Pick Up Third Best Actress Award for 'Late Autumn'". The Hollywood Reporter. 1 December 2011.
  56. ^ "Film Industry Reporters Pick "Crucible" As 2011's Best Film". Soompi. 1 January 2012.
  57. ^ "《合伙人》当选最受欢迎电影 赵薇最受欢迎导演". Tencent (in Chinese). 25 November 2013.
  58. ^ "影评人奖尘埃落定". ifeng (in Chinese). 16 June 2013. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  59. ^ "21st Beijing College Student Film Festival closes". China Daily. 12 May 2014.
  60. ^ "5th China Film Director's Guild Award". China Daily. 10 April 2014.
  61. ^ "第二届伦敦华语影节开幕颁奖 陈可辛成最大赢家". Netease (in Chinese). 7 December 2014.
  62. ^ "临沂微电影《醒醒》首摘国际奖项_网易娱乐". Netease (in Chinese). 4 December 2014.
  63. ^ "Ann Hui Named As Best By Hong Kong Directors' Guild". Variety. 20 March 2015.
  64. ^ "'Soul Mate' leads 2017 Hong Kong Film Award nominations". China Daily. 8 February 2017.
  65. ^ "Faro Island Film Festival". IMDB.

External links[edit]