Lynn Hirschberg: A Star Rises in the East

From The New York Times:

Four years ago, Ziyi Zhang, who had literally soared to the attention of Hollywood as a nobleman’s beautiful daughter in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” arranged to meet Steven Spielberg. She knew he was interested in directing the best-seller “Memoirs of a Geisha,” and though Zhang is Chinese and geishas are Japanese, she recognized the scarcity of great parts for Asian actresses and wanted him to consider her for the title role. It was a peculiar meeting. Aside from the question of nationality, Zhang did not speak English. Ang Lee, the director of “Crouching Tiger,” had suggested that she learn the language, but she ignored him. Although she’s ambitious, at the time she was not concentrating on the West. “In China, they don’t care about American films,” Zhang reasoned. “And no one thought ‘Crouching Tiger’ would be so successful.”

February 20, 2005 7:24 PM
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Categories: Culture & the Arts
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