- 11:40 AM, Feb 20
Successfully made her way to penetrate Hollywood film industry, Zhang Ziyi definitely has the real talent and charisma to become one of the most promising Chinese actresses people ever know of. Throughout her career, she has consistently shown brilliant enactments in the films she starred and managed to add some depth to the characters she portrayed. With her powerful acting, martial arts grace, and stunning beauty, it is very possible for her to establish herself as a substantial performer who is respected by both critics and audiences all over the world.
Raised in a middle class family of a government economist and a kindergarten teacher together with her older brother, Zhang Zinan, Ziyi was born on February 9, 1979 in Beijing, People's Republic of China. Since she was considered as a frail child, her parents therefore encouraged her to take dancing and gymnastic lessons. "My parents sent me to study dance so I could build my muscles," she recalled. "I was very small and very weak for my age. They were worried about my health." Enrolled in a secondary school affiliated with Beijing Dancing College, she continued to polish her dancing skills during her four-years study there, even amazingly grabbed the Chinese Folk Dance Taoli Cup at the 4th Annual National Young Dancer Competition held in 1994.
Although many people assumed that she would have a bright career as a dancer, Ziyi instead turned her attention to another branch of performing arts: acting. Determined to accomplish her goal of becoming a fine actress, she then entered China's prestigious Central Academy of Drama in her hometown to persistently undergo a series of dramatic training. Quickly earned her first screen appearance through a TV series entitled "Touching Starlight" (1996), she afterwards joined an audition for a shampoo commercial to be shot by prominent Chinese director, Zhang Yimou. Despite her failure to obtain the part, the filmmaker, who sensed her potentiality, gave her the leading role of his 1999 romantic drama "The Road Home" instead.
Responded positively by both critics and audience, "Home" unmistakably propelled Ziyi to come into the attention of people in her country when she obtained a Hundred Flowers Award in the Best Actress category by the year 2000. As her bright talent was clearly visible following the honor, other substantial Asian director Ang Lee immediately included her in the cast of his "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (2000) which was