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]



Year Title Chinese Title Role Notes
1991 Old Grave 古墓荒斋 Jiao Na
1993 Story of Rouge Chamber 胭楼记 Zheng Yue'e
1995 The Pampered Wife 小娇妻 Yangyang
Nü'er Hong 女儿红 Hua Dao
1996 Temptress Moon 风月 Little dance girl
1998 My Rice Noodle Shop 花桥荣记 Xie Yan
1999 The Emperor and the Assassin 荊軻刺秦王 Blind girl
2000 Suzhou River 苏州河 Mei Mei / Mou Dan
If I Lose You 如果没有爱 Xun
2001 Beijing Bicycle 十七岁的单车 Hong Qin
Hollywood Hong Kong 香港有个好莱坞 Hung Hung/Tong Tong
2002 A 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
2004 Baobei in Love 恋爱中的宝贝 Bao Bei
2005 A 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
2006 The Banquet 夜宴 Qingnü
2007 Ming Ming 明明 Mingming / Nana
2008 The 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]
2009 The Message 风声 Gu Xiaomeng
2010 Confucius 孔子 Nanzi
True Legend 苏乞儿 Yuan Ying
2011 The Founding of a Party 建党伟业 Wang Huiwu
The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate 龙门飞甲 Jade
2012 The Great Magician 大魔术师 Liu Yin [25]
Painted Skin: The Resurrection 画皮II Xiao Wei
The Silent War 听风者 Zhang Xuening [25]
Cloud Atlas 云图 Talbot/Hotel Manager
2014 Overheard 3 窃听风云3 Ruan 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]
2017 Remain Silent 保持沉默 Duan Mulan Not released [25]
Our Time Will Come 明月几时有 Fang Gu


Year Title Chinese Title Role Notes
1997 Hong Chu Fang 红处方 Shen Pei
1998 Jingtan Fengyun 警坛风云 Lin Peipei
1999 Lüyi Hongniang 绿衣红娘 Fan Xiaoxuan
2000 Jinqian 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
2001 Love Story in Shanghai 像雾像雨又像风 Du Xinyu
2002 Ripening Orange 橘子红了 Xiu He
2003 The Legend of the Condor Heroes 射雕英雄传 Huang Rong
Beach 海滩 A'Tong
Business Family 买办之家 Su Boyuan/Xia He
2014 Red Sorghum 红高粱 Jiu'er/Cang Jiulian
2017 Ruyi'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]


Year Title Chinese Title Album Notes
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/A Theme song of Travel Channel
2005 "Journey" 行囊 N/A
"Outside" 外面 Perhaps Love OST
"Crossroads" 十字街头
"Forget Who I Am" 忘了我是谁 with Takeshi Kaneshiro
"Bubble" 泡泡 N/A Promotional 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 OST with Anthony Wong
"Song of the Vagrant" [26] 流浪者之歌
2007 "Companion" 伴侣 N/A Promotional 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/A Theme 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 OST with 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