is now widely regarded as one of the top female stars in mainland China – (she is ranked third on Forbes' China Celebrity List after basketball superstar Yao Ming and actress Zhang Ziyi
) and her success has begun reaching across the rest of Asia with her performance in the recent smash hit comedy from Hong Kong director and actor Steven Chow, Shaolin Soccer. Her big-eyed look of mischievous innocence has made her a much sought-after star. In Time Magazine, Richard Corliss wrote, "When Zhao shares a scene with anyone -- with Jiang Wen, China's De Niro, or Hong Kong heartthrob Ekin Cheng
, or bad boy Nicholas Tse
-- she's the one to watch.." Just before going to Xinjiang in northwest China to shoot Warriors of Heaven & Earth, Zhao Wei shot, So Close, for director Cory Yuen. After finishing Warriors, she filmed Chinese Odyssey for director and writer Jeff Lau (also the writer of So Close). And, she is a cop conflicted by love and honor in Ann Hui's new film, Jade Goddess of Mercy.
Zhao Wei rose to fame in the 1998 Chinese TV series Princess Pearl. A 1999 sequel to the series was equally popular and firmly established Zhao as one of the very top actresses in China. The series brought her China's top TV award, the Golden Eagle, for best actress, and also gave her the nickname by which she is known to her millions of fans, Little Swallow, the name of the character she portrayed. In China, she has appeared in the films Valley of Girls and A Fate Too Beautiful for Words. In 2003, she appeared opposite Jiang Wen in another film, director Zhang Yuan's Green Tea.
An accomplished singer and musician, Zhao Wei has released several pop CDs, including Spirit Across the Sky, The Charm of Love, and Last Parting. Zhao Wei was born in Wuhu, Anhui province, China. She attended the Beijing Film Academy, where she studied acting. Zhao Wei lives in Beijing.
Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.
Zhao Wei Facts
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