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Zhang Ziyi (Chinese: 章子怡; pinyin: Zhāng Zǐyí; born February 9, 1979 in Beijing) is one of the best-known Chinese film actresses working today, with a string of Chinese and international hits to her name. She has worked with renowned directors such as Zhang Yimou, Ang Lee, Wong Kar-Wai, Seijun Suzuki and Rob Marshall.
Zhang Ziyi is the face of Maybelline, Garnier and Shangri-la Hotel and Resort Group. She is also a Global Ambassador for the Special Olympics and a spokesperson for Care for Children, a foster-home program in China.
- 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), Zǐ (子) means child or esteemed person, and Yí (怡) means joy or happiness. She has appeared in English language films under the name Ziyi Zhang. In an interview, she stated that the name change was her publicist's idea of a way to appeal to Western audiences.
- Zhang says that one of her methods of learning the English language was listening to Eminem, which apparently led to some embarrassing situations. She said "I don't always know what he is talking about, so I write down the lyrics and repeat them. Later, I understood how rude they were."