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4 items from 2004

Ziyi Refuses To Play Media Game

20 December 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

House Of Flying Daggers star Zhang Ziyi refuses to reveal details about her personal life - even if it means the press write negative stories about her. The Chinese actress, 25, prefers to keep quiet because she believes the media will print whatever they want regardless of how much information she divulges about herself. Ziyi says, "Why do I have to tell them? My life is my life. Things I feel like sharing, I will share, but the rest I can keep personal. If they ask personal questions and I keep a cold front, and don't tell them anything, the next day they will say, 'She had this silly smile.' You just can't win. Either way, they are going to make up their stories." She singles out the Chinese media for further criticism, adding, "Another thing is that, in Hong Kong, they are very snobbish. Hong Kong people often have this derogatory view of mainlanders, 'How can you be an international movie star? You are only from China.' For them, China is like the countryside." »

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Language Problems on 'Geisha' Set

10 December 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Chicago director Rob Marshall is finding filming on his latest movie Memoirs of a Geisha complicated, because his cast all speak different languages. Sony Studios refused to cast non-Asian actresses in the big screen adaptation of Arthur Golden's best-selling book about the life of a Japanese geisha, and boasts Chinese Ziyi Zhang and Li Gong, Malaysian Michelle Yeoh and Japanese Cary-hiroyuki Tagawa and Ken Watanabe amongst its stars. An insider on the Japanese set tells American gossip site, "They hired a 'Pan-Asian' cast. So now they have Chinese, Japanese, Korean and other Asian actors and they have had to hire a load of interpreters, especially since there are like 15 Chinese dialects. It is costing a lot of time to do anything." Producer Lucy Fisher and Doug Wick adds, "We have a Chinese and Japanese interpreter. The movie may or may not be a day over schedule, but we are brilliantly on time for an epic and on budget." »

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Ziyi Ran Away From Dance School

14 October 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Chinese star Zhang Ziyi ran away from the dance school she attended as child and only returned when the police picked her up. The shy Hero actress found the other pre-teen pupils' habit of backstabbing too hard to live with. Wishing to avoid a confrontation, she simply upped and left. The 25-year-old recalls, "I didn't like the other girls - the way they would band together and give you a knife in the back. They loved to run to the teachers and say bad things about each other. I didn't want to fight with them, so I just ran. The teacher called the police because I disappeared for a while. I think I cried every day when I was there. If I'd had more courage I would have run away again." »

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Zhang taking 'Geisha' turn; Watanabe set

20 August 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Zhang Ziyi, who co-starred in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, is in final negotiations to play the title character in the film adaptation of Memoirs of a Geisha, while the Oscar-nominated Ken Watanabe has signed on to play the male lead. Gong Li, Michelle Yeoh, Youki Kudoh and Koji Yakusho also are in final negotiations to join the cast of the Columbia Pictures/DreamWorks/Spyglass Entertainment feature, which Rob Marshall is directing. Watanabe, who received an Academy Award nomination as best supporting actor for The Last Samurai, will portray the Chairman, a high-powered executive with whom the young geisha, Sayuri, falls in love. The Chinese-born Zhang will play Sayuri, the young orphan from a remote fishing village whose life changes when she is sent to the city to learn the ways of the geisha. »

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