Zhou Xun (Chinese: 周迅, born 18 October 1974) is a Chinese actress and singer. She gained international fame for her earlier roles in Suzhou River (2000) and Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (2002).

Zhou has won Best Actress honors from Asian Film Awards, Beijing College Student Film Festival, Chinese Director's Association Awards, Chinese Film Media Awards, Golden Bauhinia Awards, Golden Horse Awards, Golden Rooster Awards, Hong Kong Film Awards, Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards, Hundred Flowers Awards and Shanghai Film Critics Awards; as well as the French award-giving body Festival du Film de Paris. She is regarded as one of the Four Dan Actresses of China.



Early life

Zhou was born to a middle-class family in Quzhou, Zhejiang. Her father, Zhou Tianning (周天宁), was a local film projectionist, and her mother, Chen Yiqin (陈以琴), was a salesperson at a department store. She had her schooling in Quzhou No.1 Middle School. After she graduated,Zhou enrolled at the Zhejiang Arts Institute to further her interest in dramatic arts, against the wishes of her parents, who wanted her to graduate from a university. She was handpicked for a role in the film Strange Tales Amongst Old and Desolate Tombs during her teenage years in school.

Acting career

1995–2004: Beginnings and Breakthrough

Zhou debuted in the comedy movie The Pampered Wife. She next starred in Chen Kaige's films, Temptress Moon and The Emperor and the Assassin. But it was not until in 2000 that Zhou received recognition in China. With her role as young Princess Taiping in historical drama Palace of Desire, Zhou received the Audience's Choice for Actress and Best Supporting Actress awards at the 18th China TV Golden Eagle Award.[21]

Zhou achieved breakthrough on the big screen with Lou Ye's Suzhou River (2000), which won her the Best Actress award at the 15th Festival du Film de Paris. That year, she was named one of the Four Dan Actresses alongside Zhang Ziyi, Zhao Wei and Xu Jinglei.[22] She further achieved international recognition when she starred in the Franco-Chinese romance drama film Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (2002).[23]

A string of successful projects followed. In her first Hong Kong film Hollywood Hong Kong directed by Fruit Chan, Zhou impressed critics with her performance. Hollywood magazine Variety praise Zhou saying "Zhou is superb, moving with ease between her various personalities and always convincing in each".[24] Her next film, romance-themed A Pinwheel Without Wind won her the Hundred Flowers Awards for Best Actress.[25] Among Zhou's earlier notable works also include television series The Legend of the Condor Heroes and the film Baobei in Love.[26]

2005–2011: Critical acclaim

Zhou impressed critics once again with her performance in Peter Chan's musical film Perhaps Love (2005). The film represented Hong Kong at the 2006 Academy Awards.[27] Zhou received Best Actress awards at the Hong Kong Film Awards,[28] Hong Kong Film Critics Society Award,[29] Golden Bauhinia Awards[21] and Golden Horse Awards.[21] She next starred in Feng Xiaogang's wuxia film The Banquet (2006), inspired from William Shakespeare's Hamlet. Zhou plays the girlfriend of the crown prince, equivalent to Ophelia.[21] She won the Golden Bauhinia Awards[21] and Hong Kong Film Awards for Best Supporting Actress.[21] In 2007, she starred in Susie Au's film Ming Ming, which was highly praised at the 11th Pusan International Film Festival. Zhou played dual roles - twins with absolutely different characteristics and personalities.[21]

With a string of successful films, Zhou was brought into the spotlight as one of China's top actresses. Her ability to pull off various roles makes her a favorite with Chinese directors and won her the reputation of "Angel in the World" among the audience.[21]

She then starred in Cao Baoping's romantic thriller The Equation of Love and Death (2008) as a taxicab driver on the lookout for her missing boyfriend.[21] Critics again praised Zhou, crediting the film's success to Zhou's performance as Li Mi.[21] Zhou went on to receive Best Actress awards at the Asian Film Awards,[21] Shanghai Film Critics Awards,[22] Golden Rooster Film Festival,[22] and Chinese Film Media Awards.[22] The same year she appeared in Gordon Chan's horror-adventure film Painted Skin, a remake of a classic supernatural thriller of the same title.[22] Next came spy thriller The Message (2009), about Japanese invaders in China who try to ferret out a spy among their Chinese collaborators.[22]

In 2009, Zhou was named the Star of the Year at CineAsia exhibition and distribution convention in Hong Kong.[22] Asia-Pacific Producers Network (APN) also honored her as the Asian Star of the Year for her exemplary box office achievements.[22] In an interview with CNN, Zhou was named Asia's 25 greatest actors of all time.[22]

Zhou next featured in biographic drama film Confucius (2010)[22] and filmed her first wuxia film, Flying Swords of Dragon Gate (2011) directed by Tsui Hark.[22]

2012–present: Directorial and Hollywood debut, Television comeback

Zhou made her directorial debut with the short film Five Demon Traps (2011), which stars Tony Leung Chiu-wai as a demon killer.[23]

In 2012, Zhou made her Hollywood debut in the science fiction film Cloud Atlas, playing multiple roles in the film.[23] Zhou then reprised her role in Painted Skin: The Resurrection (2012), the sequel to Painted Skin.[23] The film grossed over the 700 million yuan ($109.8 million) landmark, becoming the highest-grossing Chinese-language movie of all time then.[23]

Zhou returned to television after 10 years in Red Sorghum (2014), based on Nobel prize laureate Mo Yan's 1986/1987 novel of the same name.[23] Zhou's performance in the series was highly praised by the author himself for her immaculate grasp of the character's inner turmoil.[23] Zhou won the Best Actress Award at the Shanghai Television Festival[23] and Asian Television Award.[23]

The same year, she received the Chevalier medal in the Order of Arts and Letters by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius for her contribution in film, public welfare and Sino-French communications in Beijing, China.[23] She was also rated as China's favorite star, ranking first on the 15th Huading Award international celebrity's satisfaction survey.[23]

In 2015, Zhou served as a jury for the 5th Beijing International Film Festival.[24] Zhou returned to the screen in 2017, starring in war film Our Time Will Come directed by Ann Hui.[24] The same year, she will also star in historical drama Ruyi's Royal Love in the Palace.[24]

Social activities


Zhou Xun was named the first United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassador for China in 2008 with a special focus of promoting environmental sustainability.[24][24] Zhou jointly runs a campaign 'Our Part', which promotes ‘tips for green living’.[24]

In 2010, she became the Laureate of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)'s Champions of the Earth (Inspiration & Action). She was the first entertainer in the world to receive this honour.[24] She was also the Green Ambassador for the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.[24]

In 2011, Zhou has been honored as one of the 2011 Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum.[24]

On June 17, 2012 Was invited to attend the sponsored by the United Nations development programme (UNDP), held in Rio DE janeiro, Brazil's peak BBS "action China ─ green and development", and environmentalists discussed ecological environmental problems and make a speech. on the 18th, a visit to vicente mariano school in the Malay slums of Rio DE janeiro. 20, the United Nations development programme UNDP and zhou xun studio co-production, taken by the United Nations public welfare short film "2032: the future of our expectations", in Rio DE janeiro, Brazil + 20 during the world premiere of the United Nations conference on sustainable development. The entire cost of the short film production is borne by zhou xun studio.

On July 18, as AD 2032: she expect the future to promote the ambassador, the event is organized the first goodwill ambassador Zhou Xun, "the United Nations development program (undp)" with the former Olympic champion li ning, director Du Guyi a contributor accepted the UN secretary-general, ban ki-moon, particular as short meeting and praise.

On July 16, 2014, initiated by the Zhou Xun and their studio "care for special children ONE NIGHT benefit concert" held in Hangzhou Huanglong Stadium​, the NIGHT is "ONE DAY" (ONE DAY) focus on nine kinds of special children project, fundraising, donations totaling 3023350 RMB.

In July 2017, Zhou Xun became the international ambassador of special Olympics. On August 20, Zhou Xun participated in the "walking power" of the spiritual construction project initiated by Chen Kun​.

On January 31, 2018, the Chinese philanthropist unveiled the 2017 China charity celebrity list, with Zhou Xun ranked 21st.


Character evaluation

Zhou Xun has a remarkable understanding and sensitivity, and her performance is always beyond the reach of ordinary people. Is a very reserved, emotional and destructive actor. In her age group, there are not so many subtext performances as she is, and not many actors. Zhou Xun, who is very cute and delicate in her life, is one of the top actresses on the mainland. Zhou xun is a talented and diligent actress with excellent acting skills. She is a rare actress.  Zhou Xun has developed a double life in the TV series and the film, with a variety of styles and styles, and the style of acting is the title of "the 100 change spirit" in the circle. His savvy and unique aura impressed every director who worked with him, and he had the reputation of being "the spirit that fell into the world".

Zhou is very beautiful, she also conforms to the characteristics of zhejiang beauty, acting orZhou xun is fashionable, sexy, such as "if. Love big commercial film, her performance is very good, she resolutely in music performance, it may come from the direction of personal expression, looking at her will find she is a very romantic person, very perceptual person.

Zhou xun is the first person in the domestic entertainment industry to set up her own environmental project "OUR PART contribution". It is the first star to have an "environmental official website". As by domestic focus on "low carbon", zhou xun and the first to the United Nations development program (undp) identity to Shanghai film festival in 2008 became the first carbon offsets film festival, more responsibility to the body, be the first to pay their annual mileage of public figures. As a green travel ambassador for the world expo, we have made our contribution to the world expo with a low carbon footprint.

From the beginning of the word "daming palace" to "tangerine red" and "the banquet", people gradually discovered zhou xun's mature and well-developed acting skills. She is an actress with a personality, with a little maturity in her appearance, a little vicissitudes in her voice, and a little woman in her personality.


Since 2011, Zhou was formally announced as a new ambassador for Chanel. Chanel chief designer Karl Lagerfeld noted Zhou Xun for her strong fashion sense, describing the actress as "a synthesis of young Coco Chanel and Ballet Troupe Zizi Jeanmaire."[24][25]

Personal life

Zhou Xun married American actor Archie Kao on July 16, 2014 on stage after a charity event in Hangzhou, China.[25]

Zhou received Hong Kong citizenship under the "Quality Migrant Admission Scheme".[25]



YearTitleChinese TitleRoleNotes
1991Old Grave古墓荒斋Jiao Na 
1993Story of Rouge Chamber胭楼记Zheng Yue'e 
1995The Pampered Wife小娇妻Yangyang 
Nü'er Hong女儿红Hua Dao 
1996Temptress Moon风月Little dance girl 
1998My Rice Noodle Shop花桥荣记Xie Yan 
1999The Emperor and the Assassin荊軻刺秦王Blind girl 
2000Suzhou River苏州河Mei Mei / Mou Dan 
If I Lose You如果没有爱Xun 
2001Beijing Bicycle十七岁的单车Hong Qin 
Hollywood Hong Kong香港有个好莱坞Hung Hung/Tong Tong 
2002A Pinwheel Without Wind烟雨红颜Zhao Ningjing 
Where Have All the Flowers Gone那时花开Huan Zi 
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress巴尔扎克和小裁缝Little seamstress 
2004Baobei in Love恋爱中的宝贝Bao Bei 
2005A West Lake Moment鸳鸯蝴蝶Xiao Yu 
Beauty Remains美人依旧Xiao Fei 
Stolen Life生死劫Yan Ni 
Perhaps Love如果·爱Sun Na 
2006The Banquet夜宴Qingnü 
2007Ming Ming明明Mingming / Nana 
2008The Equation of Love and Death李米的猜想Li Mi 
Painted Skin画皮Xiao Wei 
All About Women女人不坏Ou Fanfan[25]
2009The Message风声Gu Xiaomeng 
True Legend苏乞儿Yuan Ying 
2011The Founding of a Party建党伟业Wang Huiwu 
The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate龙门飞甲Jade 
2012The Great Magician大魔术师Liu Yin[25]
Painted Skin: The Resurrection画皮IIXiao Wei 
The Silent War听风者Zhang Xuening[25]
Cloud Atlas云图Talbot/Hotel Manager
2014Overheard 3窃听风云3Ruan Yuehua[25]
Women Who Flirt撒娇女人最好命Zhang Hui 
Meet Miss Anxiety我的早更女友Qi Jia[25]
2017Remain Silent保持沉默Duan MulanNot released[25]
Our Time Will Come明月几时有Fang Gu 


YearTitleChinese TitleRoleNotes
1997Hong Chu Fang红处方Shen Pei 
1998Jingtan Fengyun警坛风云Lin Peipei 
1999Lüyi Hongniang绿衣红娘Fan Xiaoxuan 
2000Jinqian Bense金钱本色Mandy 
Kaixin Jiuhao开心就好Tan Gege 
Palace of Desire大明宫词young Princess Taiping 
April Rhapsody人间四月天Lin Huiyin 
The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom太平天国Shi Yiyang 
Xin Wang心网Na Niu 
Yuanlai Yijiaren缘来一家人Tao Tao 
2001Love Story in Shanghai像雾像雨又像风Du Xinyu 
2002Ripening Orange橘子红了Xiu He 
2003The Legend of the Condor Heroes射雕英雄传Huang Rong 
Business Family买办之家Su Boyuan/Xia He 
2014Red Sorghum红高粱Jiu'er/Cang Jiulian 
2017Ruyi's Royal Love in the Palace如懿传Ulanara·Ruyi 

Voiced films

  • Nature is Speaking (2015)[25]
  • The Little Prince (2015)[26]
  • Born in China (2016)[26]



  • 2003: Summer (夏天)
  • 2005: Come Across (偶遇)[26]


YearTitleChinese TitleAlbumNotes
1999"Wander Aimlessly"飘摇Hainan Hainan 
2000"Heart like a Tragic Melody"心如悲歌Heaven and Earth Musical OST 
2001"No Choice"无奈Ripening Orange OST 
"Spring Comes Back and Forth"春去春又回 
2002"A Head of Lychee, Three Grabs of Fire"一棵荔枝三把火Hollywood Hong Kong OST 
2013"Sunrise and Sunset"日出日末Beach OST 
"Looking at the Sea"看海 
2004"In My eye"Baobei in Love OST 
"Empty like the Sky"虚拟天空 
"Busy Line"占线 
"The Body Hasn't Move, The Heart Already Wandered"身未动,心已远N/ATheme song of Travel Channel
"Outside"外面Perhaps Love OST 
"Forget Who I Am"忘了我是谁with Takeshi Kaneshiro
"Bubble"泡泡N/APromotional song for Olay
2006"Song of the Yue"越人歌The Banquet OST 
"Electric Shadows"电影往事Electric Shadows OST 
"Look"看看Ming Ming OSTwith Anthony Wong
"Song of the Vagrant"[26]流浪者之歌
2007"Companion"伴侣N/APromotional song for Moto
2008"Outside the Window"窗外The Equation of Love and Death OST 
"Love Earnestly"用力爱All About Women OST 
2009"Love and Hate Extensively"爱恨恢恢N/ATheme song of Zhu Xian 2
2010"True Legend"[26]走马看黄花True Legend OST 
2011"Only One in the World"这世界唯一的你N/A 
2012"Guess the Lover"猜情人The Great Magician OSTwith Tony Leung Chiu-wai
2014"For the Child"给小孩One Day OST 
"A Switch to Happiness"[26]幸福的开关N/A 

Awards and nominations