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Wen Jiang

Jiang Wen is one of the most exciting and important figures in Chinese film today, both as an actor – he is the dominant male performer of his generation on the mainland – and as a director. His second directorial effort, Devils on the Doorstep, in which he also stars, took the Grand Prix at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival. As an actor, Jiang Wen is perhaps best known to international audiences for his starring role opposite Gong Li in director Zhang Yimou's breakthrough film Red Sorghum (1987).

Born into an army family in Tangshan, Hebei province on Jan. 5, 1963, Jiang Wen moved to Beijing at age 6 and showed an interest in acting at an early age. He entered China's foremost acting school, the Central Academy of Drama, in 1980. After graduating in 1984 he was assigned to the China Youth Theater, and gave many stage performances with the troupe. He began acting in films the following year. His performances have won him numerous awards at home and abroad, but for Chinese audiences it was his starring role in the 1992 Chinese TV series A Beijinger in New York which made him one of the best-loved actors of his generation. He also starred in such other well-known Chinese films as Hibiscus Town, from director Xie Jin, Black Snow, from director Xie Fei, and The Emperor's Shadow, directed by Zhou Xiaowen. His second collaboration with Zhang Yimou came on that director's 1997 film Keep Cool.

Jiang wrote and directed his own first film in 1994. In the Heat of the Sun, adapted from a novel by Wang Shuo, which won the Best Actor prize at the Venice Film Festival for its young lead Xia Yu and numerous other prizes, including Best Feature at the Singapore Film Festival and six Golden Horse awards in Taiwan. It was cited by Richard Corliss in Time as the best film of 1995.

Since 1996, Jiang Wen has been a professor and researcher at his own alma mater, the Central Academy of Drama. In 2003, he was also seen on the screen in director Zhang Yuan's Green Tea.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.

Wen Jiang Facts

BirthdayJanuary 5, 1963 (60)
BirthplaceTangshan, People's Rep. of China
Height5' 11" (1m80)  How tall is Wen Jiang compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Lost Bladesman, The
Forbidden Kingdom
Legendary Assassin
Warriors of Heaven and Earth
Melinda and Melinda
The Soong Sisters
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