Crouching Tiger Shooting Star : Zhang Ziyi Can Kick, Swing a Sword and Throw Jackie Chan. No Wonder Hollywood Loves Her

By Liu, Melinda; Hesse, Katharina et al. | Newsweek International, February 26, 2001 | Go to article overview

Crouching Tiger Shooting Star : Zhang Ziyi Can Kick, Swing a Sword and Throw Jackie Chan. No Wonder Hollywood Loves Her


Liu, Melinda, Hesse, Katharina, Platt, Kevin, Newsweek International


Zhang Ziyi never dreamed she'd spend her 21st birthday in a Las Vegas casino. But then, the Chinese actress probably didn't imagine she'd be costarring with Jackie Chan in an American action film, either. Or, for that matter, deciding what to wear to the Oscars next month. Nonetheless, those are the circumstances she found herself in two weeks ago. During a break from filming inside the Desert Inn casino, the cast and crew of "Rush Hour 2" burst out singing "Happy Birthday" to Zhang, who plays a high-kicking, crimson-fingernailed villain. Chan gave her a necklace; director Brett Ratner gave her heart-shaped Cartier diamond earrings. "Jackie and I competed to outdo each other," he jokes. "I told Ziyi, 'I'll put you in my next movie.' Then Jackie said, 'I'll put you in my next three movies'."

They're not the only ones clamoring for Zhang. Ever since she starred in Zhang Yimou's "The Road Home" three years ago, the glossy-haired actress with the warm smile and the dancer's physique has been winning kudos--and ardent fans. Currently, she gives a captivating turn as a rebellious fighter in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," the lyrical martial-arts film by Taiwan-born director Ang Lee. Last week "Crouching Tiger" snared 10 Oscar nominations--a record number for a foreign film--including best film and best director. At the same time it became North America's highest-grossing foreign-language film ever, topping $62 million to beat out Roberto Benigni's "Life Is Beautiful." Which explains why, during a break in filming "Rush Hour 2," Jackie Chan is ordering Zhang a custom- made gown, barking questions into his mobile phone. "Do you want it low- cut in the front?" he asks her. "No, Chinese-style," she says, "with a little Mandarin collar." "How about low-cut in the back, showing your bottom?" Chan jokes. Zhang fires back, "Better yet, have it push my bosom up in the front!" She giggles. Plopping into an armchair, Zhang shakes her head. "It's like a dream," she says in Mandarin.

Zhang's rapid rise parallels that of China's film industry. Little more than two decades ago communist Beijing limited public cinema fare to "revolutionary operas," starring the favorite performers of Chairman Mao Zedong or his wife, Jiang Qing. Only after Mao's death in 1976 did China fling open its doors to outside investment, allowing the mainland movie trade to return to making films for entertainment. Since then, Chinese films have become increasingly popular in the United States: Zhang Yimou's "Raise the Red Lantern" for its sumptuous sets, Chen Kaige's "Farewell My Concubine" for its rich emotion, and today's martial-arts extravaganzas for their gravity-defying action. Mainland director Zhang Yang calls the West's growing fascination with the East "China Fever."

Now "Crouching Tiger" proves that a Chinese-language film can become a blockbuster. Its success came as an unexpected triumph for Ang Lee, who has demonstrated a gift for transcending cultural differences to get at the universal emotions beneath his subjects, in films ranging from "The Ice Storm" to "Sense and Sensibility." "Crouching Tiger" also resonates among many Asians because of Zhang's portrayal of Jen Yu, the willful daughter of a wealthy official who defies her family to pursue her passion for swordplay and adventure. Paradoxically, the film has been less of a sensation on the mainland. But no film can count on becoming a hit in China, where a prolific video- and DVD-counterfeiting industry regularly sabotages the box office. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Crouching Tiger Shooting Star : Zhang Ziyi Can Kick, Swing a Sword and Throw Jackie Chan. No Wonder Hollywood Loves Her
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.