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Zhang Ziyi: Major Talent or Lucky Starlet?
(Updated Tuesday, Apr 1, 2008, 04:50:04 PM)

or some she was the most memorable part of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. They were mesmerized by the dark energy she brings to her portrayal of a freespirited young adventuress. For others she was one more annoying thing about a glacial, poorly edited sword-fight flick. They were left cold by the hard, souless gleam of her obsidian eyes and her puckish face. Zhang Ziyi
     Regardless of your opinion of Zhang Ziyi, one fact is indisputable: since the release of CTHD in late 2000, the media has lionized the gamin-faced actress. Virtually every glossy and tabloid has hailed her as the hot new Asian female actor and/or great new beauty. In the heat of CTHD's surprise success Zhang was signed to several projects, including Rush Hour 2, The Legend of Zu, 2046 (a science fiction flick), Hero (a Jet Li kung-fu flick) and Musa (a Corean film set during the wars between the Yuan and Ming Dynasties).
     Luck is essential to every success, but Zhang Ziyi appears to have enjoyed more than her share during her brief acting career.
     She was born February 9, 1979 in Beijing to an economist father and a kindergarten teacher mother. At the age of 11 she enrolled in a dance school. Four years later she decided to switch to acting despite some promise as a dancer. She went for a shampoo commercial audition and was picked out by the legendary director Zhang Yimou to play a schoolgirl who falls in love with her teacher.
     When The Road Home was released in China in 1999, the young actress was promptly dubbed "Little Gong Li" on the popular suspicion that she had followed the great actress into Zhang Yimou's bed. (Zhang Yimou had discovered Gong Li in 1987 and lost her in 1994 when she left him to marry Singaporean businessman Ooi Hoe Siong.)
     The Road Home received no attention in the U.S. but won the 2000 Jury Grand Prix Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. It also caught the eye of Ang Lee who was casting Crouching Tiger. No one suspected that the low-budget film he was planning to shoot in China would go on to become the next year's most profitable film, ultimately grossing $150 million worldwide. It turned Zhang Ziyi into an international superstar in one fell, elaborately-wired swoop.
     Is Zhang Ziyi really a great beauty and first-rate actor? Or is she a second-rater whose fame is as un-credible as her CTHD fight sequences?

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I think ZZ is a beautiful and great actress. It's pure talent and a bit of luck that made her such a teriffic actress (hey everyone needs luck to become known). I don't she's a second-rater at all.
   Wednesday, April 16, 2003 at 14:35:24 (PDT)    []
She is pretty, but there are prettier Chinese girls that haven't had the break or become known.
But she has very good Chinese dialect and voice, that's why her films should never be dubbed! Especially film for western audiences.
good voice
   Thursday, January 23, 2003 at 12:48:13 (PST)    []
Every actor or actress needs a "lucky break" to get started in this business. Zhang Ziyi is no different. She did get her lucky break, but it didn't just fell on her lap. She worked very hard to get that break. There's a reason why both Zhang Yimou and Ang Lee chose her.

"Zhang Ziyi appears to have enjoyed more than her share of luck"?

Do you even have a clue what you're talking about? Let me clear it up for you. This is the movie industry, people don't just open their doors and say please come in if you don't have what it takes. Zhang Ziyi is no second-rater. She has what it takes to make it in this business. That's why she was given her "lucky break". That's why she's the success she is today.

As far as looks go, I think ZZ is one of the most beautifu woman I've ever seen. But even without her looks, she would still make it because she has more than enough talent to carry her.
H. Nguyen    Wednesday, January 08, 2003 at 23:17:50 (PST)    []
To answer the question is she a great beauty.. I would say no. Is she a first rate actor? Well,that's a little too early for me to tell. I have only seen her in CTHD and Rush Hour2. Although, I agree that she can act well enough to carry a film--I have seen more senior asian stars who are better. I believe with time, she too will trully be considered a first-rate actress. She does have talent but I suspect she could do better. Her part in Rush Hour 2 wasn't that big. I hope to see more of her. We need more asian celebrities to identify with.
   Saturday, December 28, 2002 at 07:37:40 (PST)    []
Hi, I just want to say hi. You're the best in Rush Hour 2.
Phetsalath Phommathep    Thursday, December 05, 2002 at 11:59:26 (PST)    []
I've been away for a while, seemingly this debate is out of fuel and steam now......

So, hopefully this will be my last post on this subject.

No one has the right to deny zhang ziyi's accomplishment. I believe she is a talented young actress(to what extent is beyond my scope to conclude), i wish she can continue her success.
   Tuesday, December 03, 2002 at 08:53:18 (PST)    []
Why so much importance as to who's MOST beautiful? Why should physical beauty be the ultimate criteria for an actress or female for that matter?
   Sunday, December 01, 2002 at 00:43:21 (PST)    []
I think zhang ziyi is attractive but she's certaintly not the most beautiful, I think that Hsu Chi looks better than her, Ohhhh and I'm just talking about her looks okay, don't drag this into an argument about skills or whatever.....Not everyone thinks zz is the best that outshines all others.
   Tuesday, November 26, 2002 at 16:30:42 (PST)    []
Hey, I can live with that.

But she is a brilliant and talented actress...
   Saturday, November 23, 2002 at 00:23:05 (PST)    []