Zhang Ziyi Filmography and Profile. Check out Zhang Ziyi biography, photo gallery, pictures, interviews, pics at Film Bor!
Zhang Ziyi was born on 9 February 1979. He is a Chinese actress and model. She is considered one of the Four Dan Actresses of China, and the most well-known Asian actress in the West.
In 1998, while she was studying in Central Academy of Drama, Zhang was offered her first role by director Zhang Yimou in his film The Road Home, which won the Silver Bear prize at the 2000 Berlin International Film Festival. Zhang plays a country girl who was in love with her teacher, and won the Best Actress Award at the 2000 Hundred Flowers Awards for her performance.
She rose to international fame in 2000 with her role as Jen (Chinese version: Yu Jiao Long) in martial arts film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The film grossed US$128 million in the United States, becoming the highest-grossing foreign-language film in American history and becoming one of the most influential Chinese films internationally. Zhang plays a young Manchu noblewoman who has secretly learned martial arts and runs off to become a wandering swordswoman rather than commit to an arranged marriage, which bagged her Best Supporting Actress awards at the 54th British Academy Film Awards, Independent Spirit Awards, Chicago Film Critics Association Awards and the Toronto Film Critics Association Awards.
Although she has done many acrobatic fight scenes in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and later movies, Zhang does not actually know Chinese martial arts; rather, she relies on her dancing skills to mimic the Gongfu choreography.
Zhang’s first appearance in an American movie was in Rush Hour 2. Through this movie, Zhang officially broke into the Hollywood market and became one of the most sought-after Asian actresses.
Zhang then appeared in Hero (2002) alongside Tony Leung, directed by 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 film 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), again by Zhang Yimou, where she starred along Takeshi Kaneshiro and Andy Lau. She plays the blind dancing girl Mei, who despite the lack of eyesight, is a skilled fighter. In preparation for the part, Zhang spent two months living with an actual blind girl. Her performance earned her a Best Actress nomination at the BAFTA Awards. She was also 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 film was commercially successful and, together with Hero, broke box office records and set a new peak for the Chinese film industry at that time.
Zhang became well known for her “wuxia film trilogy” – Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), Hero (2002) and House of Flying Daggers (2004), which were also regarded as her representative roles.
She then starred in Wong Kar-wai’s romantic drama film 2046 (2004), which featured many top Chinese actors and actresses. Zhang later won the Hong Kong Film Critics’ Award and Hong Kong Film Academy Award for Best Actress. This was followed by a starring role in the critically acclaimed Jasmine Women, adapted from Su Tong’s novel titled Women’s Lives.
Showing her whimsical musical tap-dancing side, Zhang starred in Princess Raccoon (2005), directed by Japan’s Seijun Suzuki, who was honored at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival. In the same year, she played the lead role of Sayuri in the American film adaptation based on the international bestseller Memoirs of a Geisha. Controversy arose in Japan and China about having a Chinese woman portray a prominent Japanese geisha. Nonetheless, the film was well-received in the West. For the role, Zhang was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama, the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role.
On 27 June 2005, Zhang accepted an invitation to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), placing her among the ranks of those who are able to vote on the Academy Awards. In May 2006, Zhang was chosen as a jury member of Feature Films at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.
Zhang returned to China in 2006 for the Chinese wuxia film The Banquet, directed by Feng Xiaogang. The film was another box office success and although it shared similar characteristics to Zhang’s previous films of the same genres, there was much less action. Zhang attended the Venice International Film Festival in August 2006, where the host Marc Muller named her as the China’s Box Office Queen. TIME also called Zhang as “China’s gift to Hollywood”, and French magazine Le Point said Zhang is synonymous to China in the Western media; showing Zhang’s worldwide influence and recognition.
In 2007, she performed the voice of Karai in the American animated film TMNT (2007). This was her second acting performance in English, after Memories of a Geisha in 2005.
In Forever Enthralled (2008), which tells the story of legendary Peking opera actor Mei Lanfang, Zhang appears in the second act as one of the first biologically female Peking opera actresses (before the May Fourth Movement, all female characters had been played by men). Her most distinctive trait is that she specializes in portraying elderly male characters, as a parallel to the biologically male Mei Lanfang who specialized in young female characters. Zhang’s successful portrayal of the character Meng Xiaodong garnered her the Outstanding Actress Award at the Huabiao Awards.
Her next American film was The Horsemen (2009), where she starred opposite Dennis Quaid. She plays a crazed female killer with an outwardly gentle appearance. Following 2001 and 2003, Zhang once again appeared in People magazine where she was listed as the Top 50 Most Beautiful People in the World. The American media also touted her as Asia’s Most Beautiful Woman.
Back in China, she played the titular character in her own self-produced film Sophie’s Revenge (2009); a comic book artist seeking to punish her unfaithful boyfriend.
As the year 2009 also marked the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, much of the Chinese film establishment collaborated in making The Founding of a Republic; a patriotic tribute detailing the process of establishing the People’s Republic in 1949. Zhang is featured in a small cameo role.
In 2011, she starred alongside Aaron Kwok in the AIDS-themed film Love for Life. Zhang was named as the image ambassador for the 1st inaugural Beijing International Film Festival together with Jackie Chan.
In 2012, Zhang Ziyi starred next to Cecilia Cheung and Jang Dong-gun in the Chinese-Korean co-production Dangerous Liaisons, an adaptation of the French novel Les Liaisons dangereuses, narrating Shanghai of the 1930s. Zhang was reportedly paid 20 million RMB (approximately $3.5 million) for the role. The same year, Zhang was invited to the New York Asian Film Festival, where she represented the Chinese film industry and helped promote Chinese films.
Zhang reunited with Wong Kar-wai and Tony Leung for The Grandmaster (2013), which also marks her return to the martial arts genre after 7 years since The Banquet (2006). The film was China’s submission to the Academy Awards for Best Foreign-Language Picture. Once again, it brought Zhang a number of prestigious awards. Zhang became the only actress to bag Best Actress honors from all five prestigious award ceremonies in the Chinese entertainment industry – Hundred Flowers Awards, Huabiao Awards, Golden Rooster Awards, Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards and Hong Kong Film Awards. In total, Zhang won 12 Best Actress awards for her role in The Grandmaster, becoming the most awarded actress for a single film.
On June 27, 2013, Zhang attended the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres Awards, where she receives the French Cultural Order for her immense contributions and achievements to the film industry.
In the same year, she reprised the role of Sophie in My Lucky Star, a sequel to Sophie’s Revenge. Zhang also became a judge for the first season of The X Factor: China’s Strongest Voice, where she mentored the Males team. She also served as a jury member of Un Certain Regard at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
In 2014, Zhang starred in John Woo’s The Crossing, in which she plays a poor illiterate woman waiting for her soldier lover in 1940’s Shanghai.
In 2015, Zhang produced her third film Oh My God, which stars Zhang Yixing and Li Xiaolu. She made a cameo appearance in the film.
In 2016, Zhang Ziyi starred in romance anthology film Run for Love opposite Eddie Peng, and thriller The Wasted Times, about a Japanese spy trying to locate a former friend in order to uncover the truth of his family massacre in Shanghai years ago. Zhang will be returning to American films in science thriller film God Particle, which would be released on 24 February 2017.
It was announced that Zhang would be starring in her first television drama, Emperor’s Conquest alongside Hu Ge.