Zhou Xun

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Zhou Xun
Zhou Xun in April 2010 (cropped).jpg
Zhou Xun in 2010
Zhou Mika

(1974-10-18) 18 October 1974 (age 46) [1]
Quzhou, Zhejiang, China
Alma materZhejiang Art School (Zhejiang Vocational Academy of Art)
  • Actress
  • Singer
Years active1991–present
AgentZhou Xun Studio
(m. 2014)
Chinese name
Chinese 周迅
Vietnamese name
Vietnamese Châu Tấn

Zhou Xun (Chinese :周迅, born 18 October 1974) is a Chinese actress and singer. She is regarded as one of the Four Dan Actresses of China. She gained international fame for her roles in Suzhou River (2000) and Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (2002).


Zhou has won Best Actress honors from Asian Film Awards, Asian Television Awards, Beijing College Student Film Festival, China Film Director's Guild Awards, China TV Golden Eagle Award, Chinese Film Media Awards, Golden Bauhinia Awards, Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards, Golden Rooster Awards, Hong Kong Film Awards, Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards, Hundred Flowers Awards, Huading Awards, Shanghai Television Festival and Shanghai Film Critics Awards; as well as the French award-giving body Festival du Film de Paris. In 2009, she became the first Chinese actor to win the "Grand Slam", after winning the three biggest film awards, the Golden Horse Awards, the Hong Kong Film Awards and the Golden Rooster Awards.

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. [2]

Acting career

1995–2004: Beginnings and breakthrough

Zhou debuted in the comedy movie The Pampered Wife (1995). [3] She next starred in Chen Kaige's films, Temptress Moon (1996) and The Emperor and the Assassin (1999). [4] [2] 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 , [5] Zhou received the Audience's Choice for Actress and Best Supporting Actress awards at the 18th China TV Golden Eagle Award. [6]

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. [7] That year, she was named one of the Four Dan Actresses alongside Zhang Ziyi, Zhao Wei and Xu Jinglei. [8] She further achieved international recognition when she starred in the Franco-Chinese romance drama film Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (2002). [9] [10]

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. [11] Hollywood magazine Variety praise Zhou saying "Zhou is superb, moving with ease between her various personalities and always convincing in each". [12] Her next film, romance-themed A Pinwheel Without Wind (2002) won her the Hundred Flowers Awards for Best Actress. [13] Among Zhou's earlier notable works also include television series April Rhapsody (2000), Love Story in Shanghai (2001) and The Legend of the Condor Heroes (2003); [14] [15] [ deprecated source ]as well as the film Baobei in Love (2004). [16]

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. [17] Zhou received Best Actress awards at the Hong Kong Film Awards, [18] Hong Kong Film Critics Society Award, [19] Golden Bauhinia Awards [20] 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. [22] She won the Golden Bauhinia Awards [23] and Hong Kong Film Awards for Best Supporting Actress. [24] 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. [25]

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. [26]

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. [27] Critics again praised Zhou, crediting the film's success to Zhou's performance as Li Mi. [28] Zhou went on to receive Best Actress awards at the Asian Film Awards, [29] Shanghai Film Critics Awards, [30] Golden Rooster Film Festival, [31] and Chinese Film Media Awards. [32] 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. [33] Next came spy thriller The Message (2009), about Japanese invaders in China who try to ferret out a spy among their Chinese collaborators. [34]

In 2009, Zhou was named the Star of the Year at CineAsia exhibition and distribution convention in Hong Kong. [35] Asia-Pacific Producers Network (APN) also honored her as the Asian Star of the Year for her exemplary box office achievements. [36] In an interview with CNN , Zhou was named Asia's 25 greatest actors of all time. [37]

Zhou next featured in biographic drama film Confucius (2010) [38] and filmed the wuxia film Flying Swords of Dragon Gate (2011) directed by Tsui Hark. [39]

2012–present: Directorial and Hollywood debut, television comeback

In 2011, Zhou made her directorial debut with the short film Five Demon Traps, which stars Tony Leung Chiu-wai as a demon killer. [40]

In 2012, Zhou made her Hollywood debut in the science fiction film Cloud Atlas , playing multiple roles in the film. [41] Zhou then reprised her role in Painted Skin: The Resurrection (2012), the sequel to Painted Skin . [42] The film grossed over the 700 million yuan ($109.8 million) landmark, becoming the highest-grossing Chinese-language movie of all time then. [43]

In 2014, Zhou returned to television after 10 years in Red Sorghum , based on Nobel prize laureate Mo Yan's 1986/1987 novel of the same name. [44] Zhou's performance in the series was highly praised by the author himself for her immaculate grasp of the character's inner turmoil. [45] Zhou won the Best Actress Award at the Shanghai Television Festival [46] and Asian Television Award. [47] 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. [48] She was also rated as China's favorite star, ranking first on the 15th Huading Award international celebrity's satisfaction survey. [49]

In 2015, Zhou served as a jury for the 5th Beijing International Film Festival. [50]

In 2017, Zhou returned to the big screen, starring in war film Our Time Will Come directed by Ann Hui. Her performance garnered a nomination for Best Actress at the Hong Kong Film Awards. [51]

In 2018, Zhou starred in historical drama Ruyi's Royal Love in the Palace , playing the role of Hoifa-Nara, the Step Empress. [52] The same year she starred in the romance film Last Letter directed by Shunji Iwai, and was nominated for the Best Actress award at the Golden Horse Awards. [53]

In 2019, Zhou starred in the crime thriller film Remain Silent. [54]

Zhou is set to star in the wuxia film The Weary Poet, [55] and family drama film The Eleventh Chapter. [56]

Social activities

Zhou was named one of the 'Champions of the Earth' for her work with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), on the Earth Day, 2010, becoming the first entertainer in the world to receive this honour. LGjeonja-yuenhwangyeonggyehoeg, segyegweonwi'jiguhwangyeongdaesang'sisang.jpg
Zhou was named one of the 'Champions of the Earth' for her work with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), on the Earth Day, 2010, becoming the first entertainer in the world to receive this honour.
Zhou at the Shanghai International Film Festival in 2007 Zhou Xun2007.jpg
Zhou at the Shanghai International Film Festival in 2007

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. [58] [59] Zhou jointly runs a campaign 'Our Part', which promotes 'tips for green living'. [60]

On 22 April 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. [57] She was also the Green Ambassador for the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai. [61]

In 2011, Zhou has been honored as one of the 2011 Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum. [62]


Since 2011, Zhou had been an 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." [63] [64]

Personal life

Zhou Xun married American actor Archie Kao on 16 July 2014 on stage after a charity event in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China. [65]

Zhou received Hong Kong citizenship under the "Quality Migrant Admission Scheme". [66]



YearEnglish titleChinese 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
Maiden Rosé女儿红Hua Dao [67]
1996 Temptress Moon 风月Little dance girl
1998My 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 [68]
Beauty Remains美人依旧Xiao Fei [69]
Stolen Life 生死劫Yan Ni [70]
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 [71]
2009 The Message 风声Gu Xiaomeng
2010 Confucius 孔子Nanzi
True Legend 苏乞儿Yuan Ying [72]
2011 The Founding of a Party 建党伟业Wang Huiwu [73]
The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate 龙门飞甲Jade
2012 The Great Magician 大魔术师Liu Yin [74]
Painted Skin: The Resurrection 画皮IIXiao Wei
The Silent War 听风者Zhang Xuening [75]
Cloud Atlas 云图Talbot/Hotel Manager
2014 Overheard 3 窃听风云3Ruan Yuehua [76]
Women Who Flirt 撒娇女人最好命Zhang Hui [77]
Meet Miss Anxiety 我的早更女友Qi Jia [78]
2017 Our Time Will Come 明月几时有Fang Gu
2018 Last Letter 你好,之华Yuan Zhihua
2019 Remain Silent 保持沉默Duan Mulan
2020 The Yin Yang Master 侍神令 [79]
TBAThe Weary Poet诗眼倦天涯Wen Sanchun
The Eleventh Chapter第十一回
Ferocious Sea涉过愤怒的海

Television series

YearEnglish titleChinese titleRoleNotes
1997Red Recipe红处方Shen Pei
1998The Police Scene 警坛风云Lin Peipei
1999Maid in Green绿衣红娘Fan Xiaoxuan
2000The True Color of Money金钱本色Mandy
Just Happy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
Heart Network 心网Na Niu
Home缘来一家人Tao Tao [80]
2001 Love Story in Shanghai 像雾像雨又像风Du Xinyu
2002Ripening Orange橘子红了Xiu He [81]
2003 The Legend of the Condor Heroes 射雕英雄传 Huang Rong
Beach海滩A'Tong [82]
Business Family买办之家Su Boyuan/Xia He [83]
2014 Red Sorghum 红高粱Jiu'er/Cang Jiulian
2018 Ruyi's Royal Love in the Palace 如懿传 Ula Nara Ruyi
2020Imperfect Love不完美的她Lin Xuzhi [84]

Short films

YearEnglish titleChinese titleRoleNotes
2010Devil Nail Clippers指甲刀人魔Li Kaiyi [85]
20122032: The Future We Want2032 我们期望的未Herself [86]
I Know U星知我心D24
2014One Day:The Rising Sun太阳会飞Zhou [87]
Into the Mist霾没了Qian Xueman [88]
2016Roman HolidayVogue Film之《罗马假期》Herself [89]
2020Daughter女儿Taxi Driver [90]

Voiced films

2015Nature is Speaking [91]
The Little Prince [92]
2016Born in China [93]

As producer

YearEnglish titleChinese titleDirectorNotes
2015 Les Aventures d'Anthony 陪安东尼度过漫长岁月Janet Chun [94]

As director

YearEnglish titleChinese titleLead actorNotes
2012Five Demon Traps五行伏妖 Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Wu Gang [95]



YearEnglish titleChinese titleNotes
2005Come Across偶遇 [96]


YearEnglish titleChinese 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" [97] 流浪者之歌
2007"Companion"伴侣N/APromotional song for Motorola 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Zhu Xian 2 OST
2010"True Legend" [98] 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" [99] 幸福的开关N/A
2018"Appearance"样子 Last Letter OST
2019"What a Woderful World"多美好的世界啊featuring Laura Fygi
2019"Spring Time"春光N/A
2019"A Lifelong Wait"一生守候Remain Silent OST

Awards and nominations

Forbes China Celebrity 100

201391st [100]
201415th [101]
201517th [102]
201760th [103]
201953rd [104]
202065th [105]

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Asian Film Awards
Preceded by
Jeon Do-yeon
for Secret Sunshine
Best Actress
for The Equation of Love and Death
Succeeded by
Kim Hye-ja
for Mother
Golden Bauhinia Awards
Preceded by
Rene Liu
for A World Without Thieves
Best Actress
for Perhaps Love
Succeeded by
Gong Li
for Curse of the Golden Flower
Charlene Choi
for Simply Actors
Preceded by
Teresa Mo
for 2 Young
Best Supporting Actress
for The Banquet
Succeeded by
Golden Horse Awards
Preceded by
Shu Qi
for Three Times
Best Actress
for Perhaps Love
Succeeded by
Joan Chen
for The Home Song Stories
Hong Kong Film Awards
Preceded by
Zhang Ziyi
for 2046
Best Actress
for Perhaps Love
Succeeded by
Gong Li
for Curse of the Golden Flower
Preceded by
Teresa Mo
for 2 Young
Best Supporting Actress
for The Banquet
Succeeded by
Susan Shaw
for The Pye-Dog
Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards
Preceded by
Zhang Ziyi
for 2046
Best Actress
for Perhaps Love
Succeeded by
Gong Li
for Curse of the Golden Flower