Zhou Xun

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Not to be confused with Zhou Xuan.
Zhou Xun
周迅 Zhou Xun.jpg
Zhou at the MTV Movie Awards in Beijing 2002.
Chinese name
Pinyin Zhōu Xùn (Mandarin)
Jyutping Zau1 Seon3 (Cantonese)
Born (1974-10-18) October 18, 1974 (age 41)
Quzhou, Zhejiang
Other name(s) Zhou Gongzi (周公子, "Young Gentleman Zhou")[1]
Occupation Actress, singer, model
Voice type(s) Lyric Contralto
Years active 1991–present
Spouse(s) Archie Kao (m. 2014)
Parents Zhou Tianning (father)
Chen Yiqin (mother)
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Zhou.

Zhou Xun (born October 18, 1974) is a Chinese actress and singer. She gained international fame for her earlier roles in Suzhou River (2000) and Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (2002).

Zhou is widely considered to be the most critically acclaimed Chinese film actress, and has received critical acclaim for her many works; She has won Best Actress honors from Asian Film Awards, Beijing College Student Film Festival, Chinese Director's Association Awards, Chinese Film Media Awards, Golden Bauhinia Awards, Golden Horse Awards, Golden Rooster Awards, Hong Kong Film Awards, Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards, Hundred Flowers Awards and Shanghai Film Critics Awards; as well as the French award-giving body Festival du Film de Paris. She is regarded as one of the Four Dan Actresses of China.

Early life[edit]

Zhou was born to a middle-class family in Quzhou, Zhejiang. Her father, Zhou Tianning (周天宁), was a local film projectionist, and her mother, Chen Yiqin (陈以琴), was a salesperson at a department store. She had her schooling in Quzhou No.1 Middle School. After she graduated,Zhou enrolled at the Zhejiang Arts Institute to further her interest in dramatic arts, against the wishes of her parents, who wanted her to graduate from a university. She was handpicked for a role in the film Strange Tales Amongst Old and Desolate Tombs during her teenage years in school.

Acting career[edit]

1995 - 2004[edit]

Zhou debuted in the comedy movie The Pampered Wife. The same year, she auditioned for a minor role in Chen Kaige's Temptress Moon and was praised for her acting skills. Chen Kaige then invited her to star in his film The Emperor and the Assassin, where she played a blind girl.

In 2000, Zhou starred in historical drama Palace of Desire as the young Princess Taiping, and won the Most Popular Actress Award at the 18th China Golden Eagle TV Art Festival.

Zhou's rise to fame came in 2000, when she starred in Lou Ye's Suzhou River. In the film, she plays two different women, and won the Best Actress award at the 15th Festival du Film de Paris. She was named as one of the Four Dan Actresses alongside Zhang Ziyi, Zhao Wei and Xu Jinglei.

In 2001, Zhou starred in Hollywood Hong Kong, where she performed all her lines in Cantonese. She was nominated at the Hong Kong Film Awards and Golden Horse Awards for Best Actress.

She then starred in Zhao Ningjing's directorial debut A Pinwheel Without Wind, which won her the Hundred Flowers Awards for Best Actress.

Following Suzhou River in 2000, Zhou once again achieved international recognition when she starred in the Franco-Chinese romance drama film Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (2002). The same year, Zhou starred in the popular series Ju Zi Hong Le, and was named as one of the Top 10 Actors of the year.

In 2003, Zhou starred as Huang Rong in the 2003 television series The Legend of the Condor Heroes, reuniting her with Kaixin Jiuhao television co-star Li Yapeng, who played Guo Jing. The series was one of the most watched ones in mainland China in that year.[citation needed] The series was also broadcast in Japan, where it became very popular, and raised Zhou's profile there.

From 2004 to 2005, Zhou starred in a couple of films, namely Baobei in Love, Beauty Remains and A West Lake Moment. She won the Chinese Director's Association Awards for Best Actress for her performance in Baobei in Love.

2005 - 2010[edit]

Zhou made her foray into the Hong Kong film industry in 2005, starring in Peter Chan's musical film Perhaps Love, which represented Hong Kong at the 2006 Academy Awards and entered the Top 5. Zhou was awarded Best Actress honors at numerous prestigious award ceremonies for her performance, including the Hong Kong Film Awards, Hong Kong Film Critic's Society Awards, Golden Bauhinia Awards, Golden Horse Awards, Beijing Student Film Festival and Hangzhou Student Film Festival for her performance. Zhou also sang the theme song of the movie with Takeshi Kaneshiro, titled "Shi Zi Jie Tou"; it was named as the "Best Original Film Song" at the 43rd Golden Horse Awards.

In 2006, Zhou signed on with Huayi Brothers, and starred in Feng Xiaogang's wuxia film The Banquet. She won the Golden Bauhinia Awards and Hong Kong Film Awards for Best Supporting Actress.

Zhou's next project was Susie Au's film Ming Ming (2007), which won high praise at the 2006 Pusan International Film Festival held in South Korea. At the premiere of the film, she released her new music video, featuring the theme song of Ming Ming.[2][3]

In 2008, Zhou starred in Cao Baoping's romantic thriller The Equation of Love and Death as a taxicab driver on the lookout for her missing boyfriend.[4][5] Despite achieving lackluster results, Zhou was highly praised. Reviews by Western critics cite Zhou's performance as Li Mi as the redeeming point of the movie and that "...the film ultimately belonged to Zhou Xun." Zhou went on to receive 5 different Best Actress awards at the Asian Film Awards, Golden Rooster Awards, Chinese Film Media Awards, Shanghai Film Critics Awards and Beijing Student Film Festival.

She then appeared in Gordon Chan's Painted Skin, a remake of a classic supernatural thriller of the same title. The film was a box office and critic success. Zhou played a fox spirit who disguises herself as a human.

In 2009, Zhou starred in critically acclaimed espionage spy thriller The Message. The same year, she was named the Star of the Year at the GSCA Asian Film Expo. Asia-Pacific Producers Network (APN) also honored her as the Asian Star of the Year for her exemplary box office achievements, with her films Pained Skin and The Message achieving commercial success. Zhou also represented Asia to become the cover model for French magazine Le Point, and received an interview from CNN who named her as one of the "Top 25 Actors" of the World.

In 2010, Zhou was cast in the 3D wuxia film Flying Swords of Dragon Gate. The film was released in 2011 and became the second highest grossing local production of the year.

As part of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, Zhou starred in biographic drama film Confucius (2010) and The Founding of a Party (2011), a patriotic tribute detailing the process of establishing the People's Republic in 1949.

2012 - Present[edit]

In 2012, Zhou made her Hollywood debut in the science fiction film Cloud Atlas, playing multiple roles in the film.[6]

Zhou then starred in Painted Skin: The Resurrection, the sequel to the 2008 film Painted Skin, reprising her role as Xiao Wei. The film grossed over 700 million yuan to become the highest grossing Chinese film of all-time, before being beaten by Lost in Thailand. Zhou received critical acclaim for her performance, and she was nominated at the Chinese Director's Association Awards for Best Actress.

The same year, Zhou starred in two Hong Kong films; the action-fantasy comedy The Great Magician and thriller The Silent War alongside Tony Leung Chiu-wai. She was nominated at the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actress for both films, but did not win any awards.

In 2014, Zhou starred in two films Overheard 3 and Women Who Flirt, both of which are solid mid-level hits. She received the French Cultural Order at the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres Awards.

In October 2014, Zhou made her highly anticipated return to television after 10 years in Red Sorghum, based on Nobel prize laureate Mo Yan's 1986/1987 novel of the same name. The series was broadcast on 4 major broadcasting channels - CCTV, SDTV, Zhejiang TV and SMG; and achieved first place in ratings. Online views of the show exceeded 2.5 billion views in 3 weeks. Zhou won the Best Actress Award at Asian Television Award and Shanghai TV Festival for her performance.[7]

In 2016, Zhou began filming for award-winning director Ann Hui's new film The Great Escape, in which she would star together with Wallace Huo as a couple who has to give up their romance due to war. She is then cast in legal suspense film Remain Silent alongside Francis Ng and Zu Feng.

In August 2016, Zhou began filming for the historical costume drama The Legend of Ruyi, the sequel to the 2012 hit drama The Legend of Zhen Huan. She would star as the titular character Ruyi. Due to Zhou's immense star power as an A-list-er, the drama has already been pre-sold at a price higher than any other Chinese drama in history.

Singing career[edit]

Apart from her acting career, Zhou has also participated in the soundtracks of films, such as Perhaps Love, Ming Ming and Baobei In Love. She has also released two solo albums, Summer (2003) and Come Across (2005).

Environmental advocate[edit]

Zhou Xun is the 2010 Laureate of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)'s Champions of the Earth (Inspiration & Action). She was the first entertainer in the world to receive this honour.

Zhou Xun and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) jointly runs a campaign 'Our Part', which promotes ‘tips for green living’.

She was named a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador for China in 2008 with a special focus of promoting environmental sustainability.

She was also the Green Ambassador for the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.[8]

Fashion[edit]

Since 2011, Zhou was formally announced as a new ambassador for Chanel. Chanel chief designer Karl Lagerfeld noted Zhou Xun for her strong fashion sense, describing the actress as "a synthesis of young Coco Chanel and Ballet Troupe Zizi Jeanmaire."[9]

Personal life[edit]

Zhou Xun married American actor Archie Kao on July 16, 2014 on stage after a charity event in Hangzhou, China.[10]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Chinese Title Role Notes
1991 Old Grave 古墓荒斋 !! Jiao Na
1993 Story of Rouge Chamber 胭楼记 Zheng Yue'e
1995 The Pampered Wife 小娇妻 Yangyang
Nü'er Hong 女儿红 Hua Dao
1996 Temptress Moon 风月 Little dance girl
1998 My Rice Noodle Shop 花桥荣记 Xie Yan
1999 The Emperor and the Assassin 荊軻刺秦王 Blind girl
2000 Suzhou River 苏州河 Mei Mei / Mou Dan Festival du Film de Paris for Best Actress
If I Lose You 如果没有爱 Xun
2001 Beijing Bicycle 十七岁的单车 Hong Qin
Hollywood Hong Kong 香港有个好莱坞 Hung Hung/Tong Tong Nominated - Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actress
Nominated - Golden Horse Awards for Best Actress
2002 A Pinwheel Without Wind 烟雨红颜 Zhao Ningjing Hundred Flower Awards for Best Actress
Beijing Student Film Festival for Top Ten Favorite Actress
Where Have All the Flowers Gone 那时花开 Huan Zi
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress 巴尔扎克和小裁缝 Little seamstress
2004 Baobei in Love 恋爱中的宝贝 Bao Bei Chinese Director's Association Awards for Best Actress
2005 A West Lake Moment 鸳鸯蝴蝶 Xiao Yu
Beauty Remains 美人依旧 Xiao Fei
Stolen Life 生死劫 Yan Ni
Perhaps Love 如果·爱 Sun Na Golden Horse Award for Best Actress
Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actress
Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards for Best Actress
Golden Bauhinia Awards for Best Actress
Beijing Student Film Festival for Best Actress
Hangzhou Student Film Festival for Best Actress
2006 The Banquet 夜宴 Qingnü Hong Kong Film Award for Best Supporting Actress
Golden Bauhinia Awards for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated - Golden Horse Awards for Best Original Film Song
Nominated - Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards for Best Actress
2007 Ming Ming 明明 Mingming / Nana
2008 The Equation of Love and Death 李米的猜想 Li Mi Asian Film Awards for Best Actress
Golden Rooster Awards for Best Actress
Chinese Film Media Awards for Best Actress
Shanghai Film Critics Awards for Best Actress
Beijing Student Film Festival for Best Actress
Painted Skin 画皮 Xiao Wei Nominated - Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actress
Nominated - Hundred Flowers Awards for Best Actress
Nominated - Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards for Best Actress
All About Women 女人不坏 Ou Fanfan
2009 The Message 风声 Gu Xiaomeng Nominated - Golden Horse Award for Best Actress
Nominated - Chinese Film Media Awards for Best Actress
Nominated - Asia Film Critics Society Awards for Best Actress
2010 Confucius 孔子 Nanzi
True Legend 苏乞儿 Yuan Ying
2011 The Founding of a Party 建党伟业 Wang Huiwu
The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate 龙门飞甲 Jade Nominated - Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actress
Nominated - Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards for Best Actress
Nominated - Hundred Flowers Awards for Best Actress
Nominated - Beijing Student Film Festival for Best Actress
2012 The Great Magician 大魔术师 Liu Yin Nominated - Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actress
Painted Skin: The Resurrection 画皮II Xiao Wei[11] Nominated - Chinese Director's Association Awards for Best Actress
The Silent War 听风者 Zhang Xuening Nominated - Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actress
Cloud Atlas 云图 Talbot/Hotel Manager
Yoona~939
Rose
2014 Overheard 3 窃听风云3 Ruan Yuehua Nominated - Hong Kong Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress
Women Who Flirt 撒娇女人最好命 Zhang Hui
Meet Miss Anxiety 我的早更女友 Qi Jia
2016 Remain Silent 保持沉默 Duan Mulan
2017 The Great Escape 明月几时有 Fang Gu

Television[edit]

Year Title Chinese Title Role Notes
1997 Hong Chu Fang 红处方 Shen Pei
1998 Jingtan Fengyun 警坛风云 Lin Peipei
1999 Lüyi Hongniang 绿衣红娘 Fan Xiaoxuan
2000 Jinqian Bense 金钱本色 Mandy
Kaixin Jiuhao 开心就好 Tan Gege
Palace of Desire young Princess Taiping
April Rhapsody 人间四月天 Lin Huiyin
The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom 太平天国 Shi Yiyang
Xin Wang 心网 Na Niu
Yuanlai Yijiaren 缘来一家人 Tao Tao
2001 Love Story in Shanghai 像雾像雨又像风 Du Xinyu
2002 Ripening Orange 橘子红了 Xiu He
2003 The Legend of the Condor Heroes 射雕英雄传 Huang Rong
Beach 海滩 A'Tong
Business Family 买办之家 Su Boyuan/Xia He
2014 Red Sorghum 红高粱 Jiu'er/Cang Jiulian Asian Television Award for Best Actress
Shanghai TV Festival for Best Actress
2017 The Legend of Ruyi Ru Yi 如懿传

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Awards
Asian Film Awards
Preceded by
Jeon Do-yeon
for Secret Sunshine
Best Actress
2009
for The Equation of Love and Death
Succeeded by
Kim Hye-ja
for Mother
Golden Bauhinia Awards
Preceded by
Rene Liu
for A World Without Thieves
Best Actress
2006
for Perhaps Love
Succeeded by
Gong Li
for Curse of the Golden Flower
Charlene Choi
for Simply Actors
Preceded by
Teresa Mo
for 2 Young
Best Supporting Actress
2007
for The Banquet
Succeeded by
None
Golden Horse Awards
Preceded by
Shu Qi
for Three Times
Best Actress
2006
for Perhaps Love
Succeeded by
Joan Chen
for The Home Song Stories
Hong Kong Film Awards
Preceded by
Zhang Ziyi
for 2046
Best Actress
2006
for Perhaps Love
Succeeded by
Gong Li
for Curse of the Golden Flower
Preceded by
Teresa Mo
for 2 Young
Best Supporting Actress
2007
for The Banquet
Succeeded by
Susan Shaw
for The Pye-Dog
Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards
Preceded by
Zhang Ziyi
for 2046
Best Actress
2005
for Perhaps Love
Succeeded by
Gong Li
for Curse of the Golden Flower