You can call her the Asian Julia Roberts, because Zhang Ziyi is the most beautiful Chinese actress to ever make a splash in the US, and her undeniable talent coupled with her youthful innocence has made her one of the most successful Asian actresses in the history of American cinema. Headlining a number of popular cult wuxia films that have been imported from the Far East for American moviegoers to experience, Zhang Ziyi is one of the leading ladies in a sudden outburst of an Asian cinema craze that was first sparked by the success of Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill.” Born in February, 1979 in Beijing, China, little Ziyi was originally interested in becoming a professional dancer or gymnast and entered the dancing world at the ripe age of eleven. After she was accepted to a sister school of the famous Beijing Dancing College, Ziyi spent four years training for and competing in national competitions. Frustrated with the low success rate of dancers in China, Ziyi changed her career aspirations towards acting, and at fifteen, enrolled in the Central Drama Academy in Beijing.
After spending a number of years in training and auditions that led to nothing better than shampoo commercials, Ziyi was cast by Zhang Yimou in the lead role of his upcoming film, “The Road Home.” The young actress received little critical attention for her performance in her first major picture, but she had secured the nickname of “Little Gong Li,” in reference to the Asian actress who enjoyed a critically-praised career working under Yimou’s brilliant storytelling. Her sudden push into the star circuit came without warning and by the time she had appeared in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and it had made its way over to the states in time for the Oscars, she was already a hot commodity in both countries. Ziyi has since kept the ball rolling with a number of cameo appearances in many Asian films (not all Chinese) and has since re-teamed with Zhang Yimou for two more great performances as an ass-kicking beauty in "Hero" and "House of Flying Daggers." Ziyi topped People magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People in the World” list in 2001 and rightly so. The rising actress has had such an amazing career over the past five years that it seems outlandish to think that she hasn’t even peaked. Now that she’s working double-time over in Asia and the US, watch for Ziyi to make another explosive leap into Hollywood stardom sometime in the near future.
Zhang Ziyi on the Web
A short biography page that contains a small collection of photos from her past films and appearances.
An online database of the actress' US and overseas film career.
TV Guide: Zhang Ziyi
Zhang Ziyi Videos, Interviews and More on TV Guide's Online Video Guide
An unofficial fan site of the actress that includes updated news, six picture galleries, videos and a nice collection of magazine interviews and articles.
Sizzlin' Zhang Ziyi
10 galleries of the sexy Chinese actress looking her best.
Another great fan site with plenty of pictures and videos to keep the common fan occupied.
An asian film site that is extremely dedicated to the rising actress.
Zhang Ziyi Online
This general celebrity site offers more updated news, eleven galleries and a few extra magazine articles.
Zhang Ziyi on the Screen
Zhang Ziyi is about as new to the Asian film circuit as she is in the states, making a lot of noise with the Ang Lee blockbuster "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" on both sides of the Pacific before slowly edging into a number of immensely popular films like "Rush Hour 2" and Zhang Yimou's "Hero." Ziyi has worked with Yimou two more times, in her first major film, "The Road Home," as well as the next huge Asian import, "House of Flying Daggers," and it seems that Ziyi's natural beauty and magnetic charm have made it easy for her to transform into a rising star in both Asian and US cinemas.
Zhang Ziyi's upcoming schedule includes a number of Asian-produced feature films that will surely make their way to the states with her current success as an imported starlet and her first English-speaking role as a mainstream Hollywood actress. Ziyi is curently set star as a mail-order bride in the comedy "Good Cook, Likes Music," a film that was supposed to star Adam Sandler until the busy actor signed on to the unusually similar "Spanglish."