Born in Beijing, Zhang Zi Yi was trained as a dancer for about six years, starting when she was 11. After winning a few awards, she decided to take up acting and enrolled in the China Central Drama Academy. Her first on-screen debut came in the form of the Zhang Yimou-directed film The Road Home.
Of course, her breakthrough role came in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, where she played Jen. Her years of dancing came in handy as she performed all of the intense martial arts and wire-fu. According to some reports, director Ang Lee was hoping for a bigger Taiwanese star to take the role of Jen but took a chance on Zhang which paid off quite nicely.
She can be seen in her Hollywood debut in Rush Hour 2, which hit theatres on August 3rd, 2001. As well, you can see her in a Korean production - Moosah, released in May of 2001.
Plus many other films since the date of this wu...