Zhang Ziyi

    Zhang Ziyi(born 9 February 1979) is a Chinese film actress. Zhang is coined by the media as one of the Four Young Dan actresses in the Film Industry in China, along with Zhao Wei, Xu Jinglei, and Zhou Xun. With a string of Chinese and international hits to her name, she has worked with renowned directors such as Zhang Yimou, Ang Lee, Wong Kar-wai, Chen Kaige, Tsui Hark, Lou Ye, Seijun Suzuki, Feng Xiaogang and Rob Marshall.
    She achieved wider fame in the West after starring in major roles for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), Rush Hour 2 (2001), House of Flying Daggers (2004), and Memoirs of a Geisha (2005). She has been nominated for numerous awards throughout her career, including three BAFTA Award nominations and Golden Globe Award nomination.
    Zhang Ziyi was born and raised in Beijing, China, to Zhang Yuanxiao, an accountant and later economist, and Li Zhousheng, a kindergarten teacher. She is very close to her older brother, Zhang Zinan (Chinese; 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.
    At the age of 19, Zhang was offered her first role in Zhang Yimou's The Road Home, which won the Silver Bear award in the 1999 Berlin 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's first appearance in an American movie was in Rush Hour 2, but because she did not speak English at the time, Jackie Chan had to interpret everything the director said to her. In the movie, her character's name is "Hu Li", which is Mandarin Chinese for "Fox".
    Zhang then appeared in Hero (2002), with her early mentor Zhang Yimou. This was a huge success in the English-speaking world 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.

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Zhang Ziyi

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