Date of Birth : Feb 9th 1979
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 2000 Berlin Film Festival.
Zhang further rose to fame due to her role as the headstrong Jen (Chinese version: Xia Long) in the phenomenally successful Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, for which she won several awards in the West, 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 didn’t speak English at the time, Jackie Chan had to interpret everything the director said to her. In the movie, her character’s name, “Hu Li,” is translated from Mandarin Chinese to “Fox”.
Zhang then appeared in Hero, with her early mentor Yimou, which was a huge success in the English-speaking world and nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe award. Her next film was the avant-garde drama Purple Butterfly by Lou Ye, which competed at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. Zhang went back to the martial arts genre with House of Flying Daggers, which earned her a Best Actress nomination from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
In 2046, 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, showing her whimsical musical tap-dancing side, Zhang starred in Princess Raccoon, directed by Japanese legend Seijun Suzuki, who was honored at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.