The actress also turned up in unexpected rolls as a drug addict in Protege in 2007, and a district attorney in Beast Stalker in 2008.
Last year also saw Zhang star in Florian Gallenberger's 20 million dollar Sino-German co-production, John Rabe. Zhang plays a schoolgirl who photographs and records Japanese war crimes in Nanjing. The film's title refers to the "Oskar Schindler of China", who helped protect thousands of Chinese during the Nanjing Massacre. Zhang's co-stars include Ulrich Tukur, Steve Buscemi and Anne Consigny.
But to move away from the glare of bright lights on the red carpet, Zhang's making a quiet trip to southwest China's Yunnan province to begin yet another phase in her acting career. She's taken a lead role in Light Years by Taiwan director Stan Lai. Through the seemingly unrelated yet subtly interconnected stories of three individual families from different backgrounds and walks of life, the play reveals how technologies and society evolves over time and the twists and turns it brings to people's lives.