Although the actress once said she didn't like being compared
with popular Chinese star Zhang Ziyi, Zhang Jingchu, who starred in
2005 Berlin Film Festival winner Peacock, is heading for
Hollywood in a way similar to her schoolmate.
As the new Asian face in Rush Hour 3, Zhang Jingchu
shined on the red carpet at the July 30 premiere, together with
veteran actors Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, at the Mann's Chinese
Theatre in Hollywood.
Six years ago, Zhang Ziyi did the same thing for Rush Hour
Coming back to China after the premiere, Zhang Jingchu told
shanghai-based Morning Post that she would devote herself more to
working in Hollywood in the future.
Thanks to the training she received for shooting Rush Hour
3, the star conquered the first barrier to a successful
Hollywood career: the English language.
"Speaking English was no problem for me. But it was the first
time I performed in English," she said. "Performing was a more
difficult thing, because you had to deliver emotions through your
words. It was really a challenge."
Zhang Jingchu plays an American-born-Chinese college student in
the film. The role requires her to speak in frequent English, with
a Los Angeles accent.
Thus, after she signed the contract, the production company
arranged for a dialect teacher to coach her, the same one who
taught Zhang Ziyi for Memoirs of A Geisha.
"I practiced my lines daily, feeling like I have returned to
school in my lines classes," Zhang Jingchu recalled.
Her persistence was rewarded. "At the end, many people thought I
was born in America!"
Reports say later this year Zhang Jingchu will co-star with
Jackie Chan again, this time in Shinjuku, a literary film
about Chinese migrants in Japan.
Cast member Zhang Jingchu arrives at the
premiere of Rush Hour 3 at the Mann's Chinese theatre in
Hollywood, California July 30, 2007. The movie opens in the U.S.
(CRI.cn August 7, 2007)