Zhang Zhiyi, born on the 9th of February, 1979, is a Chinese actress, model, and brand ambassador who became famous for her roles in movies like “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, and “Memoirs of Geisha”.
So how much is Zhang’s net worth? As of early 2017, based on authoritative sources, it is estimated to be $100 million, acquired from her years as an actress and model, which began in the mid-‘90s.
Zhang Ziyi Net Worth $100 million
Born in Beijing, China, Zhang is the daughter of Zhang Yuanxiao, an economist, and Li Zhousheng, a teacher. Zhang’s passion for the arts started at a very young age, when she began studying dance at the age of eight. When Zhang was 11, she enrolled at the Beijing Dance Academy, a boarding school where she harnessed her passion for dance. Later on her efforts paid off when she won the national youth dance championship at the age of 15. Her popularity for winning the competition led her to star in various commercials.
In 1996, Zhang decided to focus on acting, and started attending the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing. While studying, her career as an actress was also starting to gain some traction, and when she was 19, she was able to book her first movie, “The Road Home” directed by Zhang Yimou. Zhang thought that she was just auditioning for a shampoo commercial, but Yimou’s main purpose was to find a star for his film. Zhang’s starring role in “The Road Home” officially started her acting career, and also her net worth.
Not long after, Zhang enjoyed commercial success, when in 2000 she starred alonsideg Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yeoh in the critically acclaimed movie “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” directed by Ang Lee. The movie catapulted her to new heights, earning her awards as Best Supporting Actress Award from Toronto Film Critics Association Awards, Independent Spirit Awards, and Chicago Film Critics Association Awards among others.
Opportunities in Hollywood then opened up for Zhang. In 2001, she appeared in her first American movie, “Rush Hour 2” with Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. In 2002, she came back to China and appeared in movies including “Hero”, and in 2004 she “House of Flying of Daggers”. Both movies became critically and commercially successful, and were recognized by various award-giving bodies.
In 2005, she starred in the movie adaptation of the book “Memoirs of a Geisha”, in which she once again acted with Michelle Yeoh and other notable Asian actors. The movie was also a commercial success in the west, and garnered her plenty of recognition.
After appearing in a couple of Hollywood movies like “The Horsemen”, Zhang also made sure that she continued making films in her homeland. Some of her most notable films in China have included “Sophie’s Revenge”, “Love for Life”, and “The Grandmaster” for which she won 12 Best Actress awards, making her the most awarded actress for a single movie.
Aside from being an actress, Zhang is also a model, and brand ambassador for products including Omega Watches, Maybelline, Visa, and Garnier that also helped in raising her net worth.
Today, Zhang is still active in acting, with her most recent works including “Run for Love” and “The Wasted Time”. She will be coming back to Hollywood with an upcoming film entitled “God Particle”.
In terms of her personal life, Zhang married Wang Feng, a Chinese rock musician, in 2015, and together they have a daughter.
In Winnipeg shooting Horsemen (2009). [January 2007]
Engaged to Israeli venture capitalist Vivi Nevo. [August 2008]
Name is pronounced Jang (rhymes with 'young') DziYee.
On November 21, 2006, the Wall Street Journal voted her one of its "Top 10 Remarkable Women In Asian Business Circles". The newspaper commented that although Zhang Ziyi is not a typical business leader, she has great influence on the entertainment industry.
Is Global Ambassador for Special Olympics movement. She joins a select group of celebrities who are dedicated to spreading the Special Olympics message including California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; boxing legend Muhammad Ali and Olympian Nadia Comaneci.
Was a member of the jury at the 2006 Cannes Festival.
Was voted in at #86 in FHM's sexiest women in the world in 2006. She had not appeared in the list since 2002.
Was included in People magazine's 100 Most Beautiful People in the World the second year in a row in 2006. This is now her third appearance on the list.
Graduated from the Beijing Dance Academy
Was ranked one of the '100 Most Beautiful Women in the World' in the July 2005 issue of Harpers & Queen magazine. It was her first time on the list. She was ranked number 15.
Was listed in "Time Magazines" World's 100 Most Influential People. They called her "China's Gift to Hollywood".
Listed in People Magazine's '50 Most Beautiful People' List in 2005.
Selected by "Southern People Weekly" magazine as 'Chinese Top Ten Leaders Of The Younger Generation' in 2005.
Named by Entertainment Weekly in their 'The Must List' 2005. Listed 38th out of the 122 people and things the magazine "loves" this year, Ziyi was the only Chinese to be included.
Is one of 112 invitees to join AMPAS in 2005.
Joined the Beijing Dance Academy at 11 and the Central Drama College at 17.
Ranked #91 in Stuff magazine's "102 Sexiest Women In The World" (2002)
Her father is an economist and her mother is a kindergarten teacher.
[September 2004] Taking lessons to improve her English.
Forbes magazine's "China edition" recently ranked her the second most popular celebrity after NBA player Ming Yao [August 2004].
Family includes: Li Zhousheng (mom), Zhang Yuanxiao (dad) & Zhang Zinan (older brother)
Former spokesperson for Lenovo Computers.
Former spokesperson for Coca-Cola (Asia).
Former spokesmodel of Pantene shampoo.
Former Spokesmodel of 2% (Korean mineral water).
Spokesmodel of Maybelline (cosmetics).
Former spokesmodel for Tag Heuer watches.
Graduated in acting from Central Drama Academy, the top acting college in China.
Even though she has been in many kung-fu movies, she is not actually a trained martial artist, so in fact she uses many dance moves in her fight sequences.
Her first appearance in an American movie was in Rush Hour 2 (2001), but as she didn't speak English, Jackie Chan had to translate everything the director said to her. In that movie, her character's name, "Hu Li" translated from Mandarin Chinese is "Fox".
Voted in at #100 in FHM's Sexiest 100 Girls of 2002, UK edition. [June 2002]
Was named one of the 25 Hottest Stars Under 25 by Teen People Magazine (2002).
Was named one of the 25 Hottest Stars Under 25 by Teen People Magazine (2001).
Was ranked 2nd of the 100 Sexiest Women by FHM Taiwan (2001).
[In response to the offense at the controversial casting in Memoirs of a Geisha] A director is only interested in casting someone he believes is appropriate for a role. For instance, my character had to go from age 15 to 35; she had to be able to dance, and she had to be able to act, so he needed someone who could do all that. I also think that regardless of whether someone is Japanese or Chinese or Korean, we all would have had to learn what it is to be a geisha, because almost nobody today knows what that means, not even the Japanese actors on the film. Geisha was not meant to be a documentary. I remember seeing in the Chinese newspaper a piece that said we had only spent six weeks to learn everything and that that was not respectful toward the culture. It's like saying that if you're playing a mugger, you have to rob a certain number of people. To my mind, what this issue is all about, though, is the intense historical problems between China and Japan. The whole subject is a land mine. Maybe one of the reasons people made such a fuss about Geisha was that they were looking for a way to vent their anger.
It was my publicist's idea.... Either way, I'm still me, right? -- on changing the order of her name from the Chinese-style "Zhang Ziyi" to the Western-style "Ziyi Zhang", 2004
Working in Hollywood, it's clear the more money you have, the more technology you can get. So you can build a whole Japanese set. Only in Hollywood! I couldn't believe the first day I walked on the set. Rob Marshall walked me like a tourist round the set. It took 40 minutes, so how big was that? Today, it can be winter and tomorrow, summer. Everything's unbelievable.
I don't like kick-ass stereotypical roles. I already turn a lot down, even when they promise me a lot of money. I really want to do something in Europe. With a small movie, it can be an interesting challenge. But I have to get the right project. I don't think it's so important to go to Hollywood. All that trash that comes out of there! I don't want to do that.
But I enjoy being an actress a lot, because I can feel different women's lives. I have the chance to feel like a geisha one day, and on another day maybe a scientist. That's the interesting part for me. My profession has helped me to grow up.
I always think it's really hard if you are Asian or Chinese to be really in Hollywood. There are not so many really great characters for you. I always think you are lucky to get offered [something like] Memoirs of a Geisha (2005), but I don't think it will happen all the time.
Even though I've done Hollywood films, I still don't think of myself as a Hollywood actress.
I've discovered that I value simplicity above all in dressing. I don't like anything I wear to be too complicated or fussy.
Chinese women are much more modest than American women when it comes to clothes. We tend to show less flesh.
For Western women, it's much easier to be yourself. If you want to do something, you just go and do it. In an Asian context, women are still much more modest and conservative. I want, through my roles, to express the parts in the hearts of Chinese women that they feel unable to let out.
It was so hard working for him, but I like the challenge. We don't learn the script, every day we had to, erm ... improvise. [on working with Wong Kar-wai in '2046']
It's my first time in a lead and I have to speak English! In a Japanese accent! [on Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)].
You know, I never think I can become an actress. But it happened. Not because I dreamed it, but because it happened.
After Crouching Tiger (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)), there was a big change for me, with all the attention thrust upon me. I got lot of work: my first Hollywood film, Rush Hour 2 (2001), and a lot of advertisements in Asia. I think for me it's a very good part of my life. I've been lucky, because I've had great characters to play. Now I really want to work with good directors.
In China, we don't consider someone truly beautiful until we have known them for a long time, and we know what's underneath the skin.