Zhang Ziyi Pictures
Name: Zhang Ziyi
Why Famous: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Date of Birth: 9th February, 1979
Birth Place: Beijing, China
|Zhang Ziyi Bio|
|Impulsive, naughty, poised yet childlike, Zhang is the daughter of an economist father and a kindergarten teacher mother, and is a native Beijinger. Zhang feels she worked hard from an early age. She left home at 11 and remembers climbing out of bed at 5 a.m. to study gymnastics and never sleeping until 11 p.m. Competition was an early feature of her life. "The girls at my school were competing for status, for leadership, for the affection of teachers. And I hated it. It was a dark time." So dark that she ran away from school at 13, causing her parents to call the police to track her down. "I wanted to escape so badly, so I hid in a little thicket of grass. I could hear all the teachers calling my name, but it was only when I heard my Mom's voice that I came out. It was a fleeting kind of escape."|
At the age of 18 she was asked to do a couple of commercials for a Hong Kong agency and did these successfully. It was these commercials that gained her notice by one of China's most famous film directors the following year... Zhang Yimou who cast her in his film The Road Home. Her success in this film led her to being offered the lead in the blockbuster Academy Award winning film Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon which is a film in which her strength in gymnastics and the martial arts were applied.
In the summer of 2001, Zhang Ziyi was cast as the lead villian in the sequel to Rush Hour opposite Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. She was cast despite not speaking a word of english in the film, speaking chinese with subtitles, and let's face it, would Rush Hour 2 really have been that good without Zhang Ziyi playing the femme fatale? Probably not. Rush Hour 2 has since gone onto be even more successful than the first, and its takings currently stand at $240 million worldwide.
Zhang Ziyi's family name/surname/last name is "Zhang". Her given name/first name is "ZiYi" which consists of two Chinese characters "Zi" and "Yi". In Chinese, family name comes before given name, that is why her name often appears as "Zhang Ziyi".
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