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Joan Chen (1961)

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  Summary  

Joan Chong Chen is a Chinese actress, film director, screenwriter and film producer. She became famous in China for her performance in the 1979 film Little Flower and came to international attention for her performance in the 1987 Academy Award-winning film The Last Emperor. She is also known for her roles in Twin Peaks, Red Rose White Rose, Saving Face and The Home Song Stories, and for directing the feature film Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl.

  Biography  

 Early life and career
Chen Chong was born in Shanghai, China to a family of pharmacologists. . She and her older brother, Chase, were raised during the Cultural Revolution. At the age of 14, Chen was discovered on the school rifle range by Jiang Qing, the wife of leader Mao Zedong and major Chinese Communist Party power figure, as she was excelling at marksmanship. This led to her being selected for the Actors' Training Program by the Shanghai Film Studio in 1975, where she was discovered by veteran director Xie Jin who chose her to star in his 1977 film Youth as a deaf mute whose senses are restored by an Army medical team. Chen graduated from high school a year in advance, and at the age of 17 entered the prestigious Shanghai International Studies University, where she majored in English.

 Acting career
Chen Chong first became famous in China for her performance alongside Tang Guoqiang in Zhang Zheng's Little Flower in 1979, for which she won the Hundred Flowers Award . Chen portrayed a pre-Maoist revolutionary's daughter, who, reunited with her brother, a wounded Communist soldier, later learned that his doctor was her biological mother. Little Flower was her second film and she soon achieved the status of China's most loved actress; she was dubbed "the Elizabeth Taylor of China" by Time magazine for having achieved stardom while still a teenager.

In addition, Chen is famous in China for her role in the 1979 film Hearts for the Motherland . The film directed by Ou Fan and Xing Jitian depicts an overseas Chinese family that returns to China from southeast Asia out of their patriotic feelings but encounter political troubles during the Cultural Revolution. The songs, "I Love You, China" and "High Flies the Petrel" , sung by Chen's character, are perennial favorites in China. In 1981, Chen starred in Awakening , directed by Teng Wenji .

At age 20, Chen moved to the United States, where she studied filmmaking at California State University, Northridge.

Her first Hollywood movie was Tai-Pan, filmed on location in China. She went on to star in Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor in 1987 and the David Lynch/Mark Frost television series Twin Peaks as Josie Packard. In 1993 she co-starred in Oliver Stone's Heaven & Earth. She portrayed two different characters in Clara Law's Temptation of a Monk : a seductive princess of Tang dynasty, and a dangerous temptress. The award-winning film was adapted from a novel by Lilian Lee.

In 1994 she came back in Shanghai to star in Stanley Kwan's Red Rose, White Rose opposite Winston Chao, and subsequently won a Golden Horse Award and a Hong Kong Film Critics Society Award for her performance. In 1996, she was a member of the jury at the 46th Berlin International Film Festival.

Tired of being cast as an exotic beauty in Hollywood films, Chen moved into directing in 1998 with the critically acclaimed Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl , adapted from the novella Heavenly Bath by her friend Yan Geling. She later directed Autumn in New York, starring Richard Gere and Winona Ryder, in 2000.

In the middle of the 2000s, Chen made a comeback in acting and began to work intensely, alternating between English and Chinese-language roles.

In 2004, she starred in Hou Yong's family saga Jasmine Women , alongside Zhang Ziyi, in which they played multiple roles as daughters and mothers across three generations in Shanghai. She also starred in the Asian American comedy Saving Face as a widowed mother, who is shunned by the Chinese-American community for being pregnant and unwed and therefore has come to live with her lesbian daughter.

In 2005, she appeared in Zhang Yang's family saga Sunflower , as a mother whose husband and son have a troubled father-son relationship over 30 years. She then starred in the Asian American independent film Americanese and in Michael Almereyda's Tonight at Noon, the first part of a two part project, scheduled to be released in 2009

In 2007, Chen was acclaimed for her performance in Tony Ayres' drama The Home Song Stories. She portrayed a glamorous and unstable Chinese nightclub singer who struggles to survive in seventies Australia with her two children. Chen. The role earned her four awards including the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress and the Golden Horse Award for Best Actress. The same year saw her co-starring in two other acclaimed films: Ang Lee's Lust, Caution, opposite Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, and Jiang Wen's The Sun Also Rises, opposite Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, for which she received an Asian Film Award for Best Supporting Actress.

In 2008, she starred alongside Sam Chow in Shi Qi , directed by Joe Chow , as a rural mother of a 17-year-old in eastern Zhejiang province. The same year Joan Chen portrayed in Jia Zhangke's 24 City a factory worker once fancied because she resembled Chen herself in the 1979 film Little Flower, but who missed her chance at love.

Chen narrated the MP3 audio guide Louis Vuitton Soundwalk Shanghai City Guide, one of the three audio guides for Chinese cities produced by Louis Vuitton and Soundwalk, and released in June 2008.

She then co-starred in Bruce Beresford's 2009 adaptation of the autobiography of dancer Li Cunxin Mao's Last Dancer, along with Wang Shungbao and Kyle MacLachlan.

In 2009, Chen starred alongside Feng Yuanzheng and Liu Jinshan in the Chinese TV series Newcomers to the Middle-Aged , directed by Dou Qi , in which she played a female doctor facing middle-age problems. She also played the part of goddess Guan Yin in the 2010 Chinese TV adaptation of Journey to the West, directed by Cheng Lidong .

In October 2009 Joan Chen was the curator of the first Singapore Sun Film Festival, whose theme was The Art of Living Well. She selected and curated five films for screening during the festival: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Dead Man Walking, Hannah and Her Sisters, Still Life and Edward Scissorhands.

In 2010, Chen joined the cast of Leehom Wang's directorial debut Lian ai tong gao ., Alexi Tan's Color Me Love , Ilkka Järvilaturi's Kiss, His First (alongside Tony Leung Ka-fai and Kwai Lun-mei) and veteran acting coach Larry Moss' Relative Insanity . In May 2010, she was set to star and direct one of the three parts of the anthology film Seeing Red.

As of the 2011 episode 3.13 entitled "Immortality" she plays Secretary Bishop's girlfriend on the J.J. Abrams created sci-fi television series FRINGE.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Joan Chen", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.