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Zhang Ziyi: The Current Hottest Chinese Woman in the World by & CLM Staff Writer

Zhang Ziyi is beyond question the hottest Chinese woman in the world these days, but she may well be the hottest woman of any race or culture. If you admire Zhang Ziyi we highly recommend the website This is one of the best websties we've seen that is devoted to a particular star. If you don't admire Zhang Ziyi, then what exactly are you doing on a Chinese Online Dating site?

We don't like to gush, but the truth is that Zhang Ziyi just plain stands out.  She's beautiful, she has exceptional class, and she is an extremely talented actress.  What's not to like?

For the first time, we're including a video at the end, courtesy of, as are the following biography and all photos. The bio could use an update, but we're sure they'll get to it soon. Meanwhile, enjoy.

Zhang Ziyi (also known as Ziyi Zhang) is China's most famous and talented actress, you have seen her in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Rush Hour 2, Hero, and Memoirs of a Geisha. She has dazzled audiences with her powerful acting, martial arts grace, and stunning beauty. Her most recent action film to be released in the US was House of Flying Daggers. But Zhang Ziyi is not just an action star, she has won praise for her performance in the romantic drama 2046, and she recently won China's most prestigious acting award for her role in Jasmine Women. Ziyi recently made Memoirs of a Geisha, her first major Hollywood role.

You might wonder why she is called both Ziyi Zhang and Zhang Ziyi in the press. Chinese names differ from Western names in that the family name (Zhang) comes first before the personal name (Ziyi), hence in China she is named Zhang Ziyi. That is how she has been known for most of her career. But when a Chinese comes to the west, they usually reverse their names to match the western convention, in which case her name becomes Ziyi Zhang. She has asked the Western media to refer to her as Ziyi Zhang from now on, but half the time she is still called Zhang Ziyi. Her friends just call her Z. 


Zhang Ziyi was born the 9th of February 1979, in Beijing, China. Her father worked as an economist and her mother was a kindergarden teacher. After some friends expressed concerned she that was too frail, her parents encouraged her to take up dance and gymnastics to build up her strength.

So before Zhang Ziyi became an actress, she spent years training in traditional Chinese folk dance, first in elementary school at the Xuanwu District Children's Palace, and later at the prestigious Beijing Dance Academy. Ziyi eventually became a national champion by winning the Performance Prize at the 1994 Taoli Cup National Youth Dance Competition. Even though a career in dance seemed promising for Ziyi, she became frustrated with the art by the time she was 15, and opted to persue acting instead.

She therefore enrolled in the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing, where she received her dramatic training. It was at this time that she made her first movie, Touching Starlight. Soon after, Ziyi got her big break. She auditioned for a shampoo commercial, directed by Zhang Yimou (one of China's most renowned directors). The director of many successful films, he used the commercial as a way to audition actresses for his upcoming film.

For her first major film, The Road Home, Zhang Yimou selected Ziyi from thousands of applicants to play Zhao Di, a young girl who falls in love with the new teacher who has come to her town in rural China. The Road Home won the Jury Grand Prix Silver Bear at the 2000 Berlin Film Festival. Zhang Ziyi won the prestigious Hundred Flowers award for her performance.

Ziyi was cast in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon after being recommended to director Ang Lee by Zhang Yimou. Lee had originally planned to cast Hong Kong starlet Shu Qi for the role, but after she decided the role would require too much training, she was replaced with Ziyi, who was used to intensive training schedules from her school years as a dancer. According to director Ang Lee, Ziyi had to study "Not only martial arts, but disposition, classic movement, calligraphy, etiquette, voice. Diving-she never dived before." All this training paid off in one of the most exciting performances in film history.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon became one of the biggest hits of 2000 (and the most popular foreign films in US history), and went on to earn a roaring $130 million at the box office and garner 4 Academy Awards, among the long list of awards it won. Ziyi's role garnered her awards from critics groups in Chicago, Hong Kong, and Toronto; two Golden Globe nominations, the MTV Movie Award for Best Fight Scene in 2001, and many other honors from around the world. She was also one of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in the World.

As a result of Couching Tiger, Ziyi instantly became internationally famous and the hottest young actress in China's film industry. She was widely sought after for celebrity endorsements, of which she choose very carefully brands that would enhance her image, and managed to command the highest fees of any celebrity in China. She also received official recognition by being the youngest person named to the China Film Board, and by being named a Friendship Ambassador to Tibet by the Tibetan Development Fund.

In the summer 2001, Ziyi choose to enhance her international profile by play a villain in Jackie Chan's smash hit Rush Hour 2. This Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker cop comedy is actually the highest grossing film Ziyi has appeared in. She plays the role of Hu Li, an assassin whose weapon of choice is the biggest bomb she can carry. Highlights of her role include looking good, acting crazy, and kicking Chris Tucker's ass. She's great at all three, while Chan and Tucker add the laughs.

She was next seen in a Korean film entitled Musa, in which she portrayed a Ming princess taken hostage by Mongolian raiders. Korea's response to Gladiator, this was the biggest and most expensive film project in Korean history. Gritty and realistic violence dominates the style of Musa. After this she returned to work with Zhang Yimou to make Hero, another martial arts masterpiece.

Her first mature dramatic role was in Purple Butterfly. In 1930s Shanghai, a vulnerable young woman named Xin Xia (Cynthia) joins the resistance and is tasked with seducing her former Japanese lover, who now works for Japanese intelligence. The slow, dark, intense film was rejected by many critics because of its visual style and its dense, subtle plotting, which when understood creates a disturbingly compelling historical atmosphere. The acting was widely praised as the movie's greatest strength.

She next worked on 2046. A blend of classic romance and science fiction from Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai. In it, a writer with painful memories of love tries to escape from them both in life and in writing. A series of love stories alternating between this world and his fictional world of 2046 explore the depths of human passion and heartbreak. Zhang Ziyi plays Bai Ling, a woman who moves in next door and soon becomes his lover. Her most ravishing and mature role yet, a huge step past Purple Butterfly in her growth as an actress. Still her most highly praised performance, it won her many awards and lavish critical praise.

After working with the famous Wong Kar Wai, Ziyi choose to work with a promising young director, Huo Yong, in Jasmine Women. A story of love and loss in three generations of a single family in Shanghai. Zhang Ziyi plays mother, daughter, and granddaughter as the film moves from the 1930's to the 1950's to the 1970's. Ziyi was awarded China's most presitigious Best Actress award for her performance. Due to unusual conflicts between the producers, Jasmine Women still has not had a proper theatrical release in China, although it has been shown at several film festivals around the world.

She rejoined great director Zhang Yimou of Hero and The Road Home to take the next step in wuxia martial arts films, House of Flying Daggers. This was Zhang Ziyi's biggest action role since Crouching Tiger. It tells a much more emotional story than Hero, culminating in a spectacular if melodramatic ending. Ziyi again received exuberant critical recognition around the world, including a BAFTA nomination for Best Actress, one of the few times such a honor has been bestowed for an "action role."

In early 2004 Ziyi worked on her first Japanese film Princess Raccoon, directed by the grand old man of Japanese cinema, Seijun Suzuki. Ziyi plays a raccoon spirit princess in this musical love-story. Her character, Tanuki-hime, falls in love with a human prince who has been banished from his father's castle. For her role in the film, Zhang Ziyi took a two week dancing and singing lesson in Japan. One of the few for roles for which Ziyi did not win an award, as tap-dancing raccoons get no respect but only sweet smiles.

In late 2004 and though much of 2005, Ziyi worked on Memoirs of a Geisha, her first major Hollywood role, in which she starred with Ken Watanabe, Michelle Yeoh, and Gong Li. Adapted from the bestselling novel, the movie tells the story of a young girl who is sold into a Kyoto geisha house. While Memoirs as a film was not a critical success, Ziyi's expressive performance won her numerous Best Actress nominations, from the Golden Globes, BAFTA, and Screen Actors Guild Awards, and others.

2005 was a huge year for Ziyi in America, as her profile rose continuosly throughout the year.  Time magazine named her one the 100 Most Influential people in the world, and she appeared on the covers of Newsweek, Harper's Bazaar, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, and many others. The release of 2046 led to an avalanche of praise within critical circles, and as the year ended Ziyi's face was immortalized by the publicity campaign for Memoirs of a Geisha. Meanwhile, in Japan Ziyi was featured in over 20 magazines and was the focus of a photo exhibit in Tokyo.

In late 2005 Ziyi began work on The Banquet, an historical drama of revenge set in Tang dynasty China, loosely based upon Hamlet. It is directed by Feng Xiaogang, and should be released in the fall of 2006.


From: Copy         Author: & CLM Staff Writer         Time: 3/5/2010 3:48:20 PM

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#2012-05-28 18:19:00 by dabizi @dabizi
Reply Two years have past yet I'll agree to only one point.

beautiful : yes, though it is a fact that beauty exists merely in the mind which contemplates or, put another way, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

exceptional class : define class. For me she exceptionally has none.

extremely talented actress : no, no and no. She might qualify for the worst Chinese actress. Her play is the same in all movies. Watch her act in one movie, whichever you fancy watching, and you've seen the whole scope of her "talent"; don't bother watching another movie : she acts the same.
#2013-01-15 06:14:00 by Mahadi @Mahadi
Reply Beauty does not equates hotness.
#2013-10-06 23:13:00 by RobertB @RobertB
Reply @Mahadi
Well put. the trouble is that you may want just to look and then what?
That is bad news and good news at the same time. Other women can try to be sexy even if they maybe not that beautiful. Then other things can be added to improve the quality of the woman. Even things like the way she behaves, uses her body and so on.
There are thousands of factors that have influence on man or woman "worth". As humans we are all very valuable. Yet we have to grade somehow others and we use two scales.
One is the universal scale, that applies generally to everyone, so we think.
This lady is on top of that scale.
The other scale takes into account our own qualities and expectations plus what in real terms we can expect from the lady who is really available to us, not some one that is le t us say normally out -of -reach.
Yes, she is pretty, I prefer my own, own is own nothing beats it.
#2014-08-10 01:30:00 by Anonymous204988 @Anonymous204988
Frankly .....there are many women right here on CLM who are just as beautiful from a point of phsyical beauty as Zhang Ziyi is. And, if one is to determine sexy based on this photo....she is far from exceptional in this photo regardless of ratings for either beautiful or sexy or sensual. But for every person with eyes there is a different picture of what is beautiful, what is sensual and what is sexy or hot.
As an actress, she is one of my favorite asian actresses and is easily one of the most talented. She will I seriously believe believe reach the superstar status of such beautiful and accomplished actresses as Gong Li ,Jamie Chung and the hottest of all the Asian actresses in movieland Lucy Liu.
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