The performance endeared Zhang to audiences and directors. The same year saw Hong Kong director Hsui Hark offer a lead role in Seven Swords, a swashbuckling epic that opened the Venice Film Festival in 2005. Zhang found herself playing against A list stars in Hong Kong and from abroad. In 2006, she paired with Finnish heartthrob Tommi Eronen in Jade Warrior, by Finnish director AJ Annila. The film married Finland's national epic Kalevala with kung fu and Chinese mythology. A year later, Zhang appeared in Rush Hour 3 with Jackie Chan.
Chinese director Zhang Jiarui has found Zhang Jingchu to be his muse. The director has cast Zhang three times in various roles. Their first collaboration came in Huangyao Bride in Shangrila in 2005, in which Zhang tossed aside the gentle and quiet image to become a rather rebellious woman Fengmei trying to join and revolutionize a man's dragon-dancing team.
One year later in the Road, Zhang played a ticket seller whose love affair with a local doctor spans more than three decades. Her convincing performance playing a girl who ages from ten to fifty won Zhang the Best Actress Award at the 2006 Cairo International Film Festival.
In the latest Zhang Jiarui production, the low-budget Red River, Zhang portrays a mentally-challenged Sino-Vietnamese girl who emigrates to China with her aunt. The film will also see Zhang sing the theme song for the first time.