Zhang Ziyi started taking dance lessons at the age of 8. By the age of 11, she got enrolled at the Beijing Dance Academy on her parents’ advice. However, she didn’t like the atmosphere at the boarding school and ran away from the school. But, she eventually managed to graduate from the academy.
In 1996, she got enrolled at the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing. She was 17 years old at that time.
Actress and model
- Father – Zhang Yuanxiao (Accountant and Economist)
- Mother – Li Zhuosheng (Kindergarten Teacher)
- Siblings – Zhang Zinan (Older Brother)
Zhang Ziyi is represented by
- Mosaic (Talent Management Company)
- William Morris Endeavor
5 ft 5 in or 165 cm
50 kg or 110 lbs
Boyfriend / Spouse
Zhang Ziyi has dated
- Zhang Yimou (1999) – Zhang was reported to be going out with director Zhang Yimou, who had given her first break in acting, in 1999. It was claimed that they had grown close while working on the TV movie, The Road Home.
- Jung Woo-sung (2001) – Zhang was going out with South Korean actor Jung Woo-sung in 2001. They had reportedly grown close while working in the South Korean epic movie, Musa, which is known as The Warrior and The Ultimate Warrior in the western countries.
- Jackie Chan (2001) – In 2001, the Chinese and Hong Kong-based tabloids linked her with the iconic actor Jackie Chan. It was claimed that their cozy equation had helped her settle down on the sets of The Rush Hour 2 more comfortably.
- Brett Ratner (2001) – Towards the end of 2001, Ziyi was also rumored to be dating director Brett Ratner. She had worked with him in The Rush Hour 2.
- Eric Fok Kai-shan (2004-2006) – Zhang Ziyi was first linked with Eric Fok Kai-shan, the second son of tycoon Timothy Fok Tsun-ting, in early months of 2004. They were eventually spotted together in April 2004. They dated for about two years before going separate ways in 2006. They were again linked with each other towards the end of 2010. They were spotted getting cozy in Macau. When responding to the media about dating rumors, he didn’t say anything but his mischievous smirk hinted at something.
- Aviv Nevo (2006-2010) – The rumors of Zhang going out with the American and Israeli venture capitalist, Aviv Nevo, who is also the biggest stakeholder in Time Warner, first started swirling around in 2006. Soon after, it was rumored that they had even got engaged. In 2008, the engagement rumors were confirmed by Nevo. Towards the end of 2009, they were having troubles with their relationship. The Chinese media claimed that they were having disagreements over property distribution. The reports of their breakup were refuted by her camp in 2009. However, it was made public in 2010 that they had called off their engagement.
- Sa Beining (2011-2013) – The reports of Zhang going out with TV host Sa Beining first surfaced at the end of summer of 2011. They had first met in May 2011 after she had appeared on his TV show to promote her new movie, Love for Life. He actively pursued her for 4 months before they officially started dating in 2011. They eventually ended their relationship in 2013.
- Wang Feng (2013-Present) – Soon after her separation from Sa Beining, Zhang found solace in the arms of rock musician Wang Feng. Shortly after, they made their relationship public. In February 2015, he proposed to her and they got married in May 2015. She gave birth to a daughter, Wang Xingxing in December 2015. After their marriage, she also became stepmother to his two daughters from his previous relationship.
Race / Ethnicity
She has Han ancestry.
- High cheekbones
- Cute smile
Zhang Ziyi has done endorsement work for the following brands –
- Maybelline (cosmetics)
- Tag Heuer watches
- 2% (Korean mineral water)
- Pantene Shampoo
- Coca-Cola (Asia)
- Lenovo Computers
- Omega Watches
- Precious Platinum
She has appeared in TV commercials for the following products and brands
- Visa Card
- Kao Corp. Asience shampoo (Japan)
Her religious views aren’t known.
Best Known For
- Being cast in the leading role in the popular martial arts movie, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000).
- Having played the supporting role in the action comedy movie, Rush Hour 2, which had Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker in the leading roles.
- Being cast in the lead role in the American epic drama movie, Memoirs of a Geisha, which was adapted from the iconic novel of the same title. For her tremendous performance in the movie, she won the nomination for Golden Globe Award and BAFTA Award.
In 1999, Zhang made her theatrical film debut in the Chinese romantic drama movie, The Road Home.
First TV Show
In 2001, Zhang Ziyi made her first TV show appearance as herself in the game show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
Zhang Ziyi often customizes her workout routine as per her acting requirements. For example, to prepare for her role in The Grandmaster, she underwent an intensive workout regime for 6 months. She was training for 6 hours every day. Also, three martial arts masters were hired to make sure that he was completely prepared for the movie.
Apart from working out, she relies on her active lifestyle to keep herself in the perfect shape. She is, in particular, a big fan of outdoor activities such as skiing and diving.
Zhang Ziyi Favorite Things
- Food – Ice Cream
- Movie – Chicago (2002)
Source – South China Morning Post
Zhang Ziyi Facts
- At the age of 15, she managed to win the national youth dance championship, which eventually helped her bag gigs in a series of commercials in Hong Kong.
- She managed to nab her first major acting gig in the TV movie, The Road Home, while she was still studying at the Central Academy of Drama. The movie was highly acclaimed and managed to win an award at the Berlin Film Festival as well.
- In 2001, the FHM Taiwan placed her in the second spot in the list featuring 100 Sexiest Women. In 2002, the FHM UK included her in the similar list.
- In 2006, Zhang was honored at the Cannes Film Festival with an inclusion in the main jury of the event.
- The Times magazine has included her in the list featuring World’s 100 Most Influential People. In the same special feature, she was called China’s gift to Hollywood.
- In 2001, Zhang was featured in the “25 Hottest Stars Under 25” list compiled by the Teen People Magazine. She was included in the similar list the following year too.
- In 2012, a Chinese website Boxun falsely alleged that Ziyi had earned more than $100 million by sleeping with top Chinese politicians and businessmen. Ziyi responded by filing a defamation lawsuit against the magazine. In December 2013, they reached an undisclosed out of the court settlement and the magazine posted an apology on the front page as well.
- Zhang also managed to win court cases against Next Media for having published similar malicious reports in Apple Daily and Next Magazine.
- In 2005, she was included in the “50 Most Beautiful People” by People Magazine. In 2006, they featured her on the list featuring “100 Most Beautiful People in the World”.
- She was appointed as the Global Ambassador for the Special Olympics held in China in 2007.
- She has served as a Global Ambassador for the Children of China Pediatrics Foundation (CCPF), which is a non-profit organization that works to provide medical services to orphans in China.
- Zhang was appointed as the spokesperson of the Care for Children, which aims to link children from orphanages to loving families looking to adopt them.
- While growing up, she wanted to become a kindergarten teacher just like her mother.
- She often uses her skills as a dancer that leaves gap due to her limited martial arts training background.
- She reportedly bagged her role in The Road Home based on the work she did in a shampoo advert, which was also directed by Zhang Yimou. Apparently, he used the footage from the advert for the preliminary auditions.
- Jackie Chan had to serve as her translator on the sets of the movie, The Rush Hour 2 due to her limited English linguistic skills.
- She was featured in top 5 of Forbes China Celebrity 100 list from 2004 to 2010.
- In 2013, she was honored by the French government with French Cultural Order at the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
- Although she has gained a cult status as one of the leading female Kung Fu icons, she is not a big fan of any martial arts discipline.
- She doesn’t have any official social media account.
Featured Image by Wang Long Wei / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0