With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

ACF 470: Happy Birthday, Ziyi Zhang!

Ziyi Zhang as The Empress Wan in
Legend of the Black Scorpion

Today marks the 31st birthday of Chinese actress Ziyi Zhang. Born in Beijing in 1979, she trained as a dancer, but gave it up and later studied at the China Central Drama College in Beijing, her birthplace. Her first noteworthy role was as Zhao Di, the young woman who's determined to marry the new teacher who comes to her village in Zhang Yimou's The Road Home (1999).

Her career skyrocketed with Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon the following year. Her dance training served her well in that film's many martial arts sequences, and she at least held her own opposite veteran costars Chow Yun-fat and Michelle Yeoh.

In 2046

She's also worked with director Tsui Hark in The Legend of Zu (2001), his unfortunately inferior remake of his own Zu: Warriors of the Magic Mountain; Wong Kar-wei in 2046; Seijin Suzuki in his Princess Racoon (2005), and Robert Marshall in Memoirs of a Geisha (2005). She also re-teamed with Zhang Yimou for Hero (2002) and House of Flying Daggers (2004).

In House of Flying Daggers

Multi-talented and beautiful, her career to date has been phenomenal. Unfortunately, she hasn't been a presence on movie screens in America for awhile.

So, heartfelt "Happy Birthday" wishes to you, Ziyi Zhang. Your fans in the U.S. surely wish you health, happiness, a continued, long and lustrous career, and to see you again soon doing what you do so well - lighting up our theaters, our widescreeen TVs, and our hearts.

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