Zhang Ziyi: Zhang Ziyi (Zhang Ziyi; 章子怡; leather jacket; earrings; finger ring; )
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Zhang Ziyi (章子怡; pinyin: Zhāng Zǐyí) (born February 9, 1979 in Beijing, China), is a Chinese actress.
Zhang Ziyi is one of the most well-known Chinese actresses working today, with a string of international hits to her name. She has worked with renowned directors such as Zhang Yimou, Ang Lee, Wong Kar-Wai and Rob Marshall.
Of the characters making up her name, Zhāng (章) is her surname (not to be confused with the more common Zhāng 张 which is a homonym but written with a different character), and can be literally translated as an essay or a chapter of a book, Zǐ (子) means child or esteemed person, and Yí (怡) means joy or happiness. Her name is sometimes represented in the Western order (Ziyi Zhang).
Zhang has been taking English lessons. She stated in a 2003 interview that she had started them after she began receiving more and more fan mail from the United States. (One of the supplementary documentaries on the American Hero DVD features Zhang speaking in English, and her dialogue in Memoirs of a Geisha is almost entirely in English.)
As part of a self-taught crash course in the language prior to filming Geisha, Zhang listened to and repeated words and phrases she heard on television commercials and music CDs. One of the English-language recording artists she was listening to during this time was Eminem, which apparently led to some embarrassing moments for the actress: "I don't always know what [Eminem] is talking about, so I write down the lyrics and repeat them. Later, I understood how rude they were."
She has also tried very hard to improve her English, both in the States and in China, and has made great strides, using some of the best English instructors, schools in New York, and apparently American and Canadian tutors in Beijing.