||Place of Birth: Beijing, China|
Birthday: February 9th, 1979
Blood Type: O
Height: 164 cm, 5' 4.5"
Weight: 49.5 Kg, 109 lbs
Music: Leslie Cheung, Norah Jones, Usher
Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi ("Jahng Tz-Yee" - Zhang is her surname) grew up in, and still lives with, a working
class family in Beijing, the daughter of an economist father and kindergarten teacher mother. She is the younger of two
children. Her brother, who runs an advertising agency, works as her agent in China. She studied dance at the middle and secondary
school attachments of the Beijing Dance Academy, specializing in folk dance, for which she won the 4th Annual National Young
Dancer Competition in 1994.
"My parents sent me to study dance so I could build my muscles.
I was very small and very weak for my age. They were worried about my health."
— Zhang Ziyi
Zhang Ziyi left the Beijing Dance Academy when she was 17, took a government-sponsored aptitude test, discovering
that she had a knack for acting. She then auditioned for one of the few available spots in the China Central Drama College and was accepted.
In her second year there, she was among a group of actresses who auditioned for a shampoo commercial to be filmed at the school by
the acclaimed Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou. Unfortunately, she didn't get the role. But, the director remembered her exquisite face six months later
when he was casting roles for The Road Home, her first film.
A year later, while still in school, and at the recommendation of Zhang Yimou, she was cast by acclaimed Taiwanese-American
filmmaker Ang Lee for the role in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. With a little luck and a lot of hard work and
perserverance, Zhang Ziyi's career has since taken off, making her one of the most successful and popular actors in her
native China today and an ever-growing presence and star to watch for on the international stage.
"Except for all the luck, I think I'm quite tough, you know? I just
work very hard. I don't care if I get injured. I just keep going."
— Zhang Ziyi
Oscar nominated Hero and Golden Globe nominee House of Flying Daggers were
recently released internationally. Purple Butterfly recently received a limited North American release. 2046
and Jasmine Women, box office hits and critically acclaimed films throughout Asia, both are now expecting wide
international releases. Operetta Tanukigoten is in post-production in Japan. And Memoirs of a Geisha is currently
in production in California. Both will by released in the coming year.
Zhang Ziyi Awards Listings
"I never dreamed of working in Hollywood movies because Hollywood seemed so
far away. But now that I'm here, I like it, and I want to stay."
— Zhang Ziyi