Red Star

Shanghai calling

Zhu Zhu

Shanghai calling

Zhu Zhu, whose grandfather was a Communist Party general, was raised in Beijing. She began learning the piano at three and is also said to have a knack for foreign languages. She went on to study electronics and information engineering at Beijing Technology and Business University before being admitted to Parsons School of Design in New York. Zhu, who speaks fluent English, later chose to return to China to work for MTV.

Why is she famous?

Since 2005, Zhu has hosted a variety of shows on MTV’s ‘international’ Chinese-language channel and in 2007 she became a VJ (video jockey) on the station’s English-language shows. She reportedly became good friends with Paris Hilton when she interviewed the Manhattan socialite during the 2007 MTV Super Festival in Shanghai. Zhu has also served as spokesperson for Land Rover’s Evoque series and the cosmetics company Olay.

More recently she appeared in the Hollywood production Shanghai Calling, which tells the story of Sam Chao, a hotshot Chinese-American lawyer (played by South Korean actor Daniel Henney) who has relocated from New York to Shanghai. Zhu plays Sam’s street-smart assistant.

Why is Zhu in the news?

Despite her achievements, Zhu was hardly a household name in China. That is, until she started dating Lapo Elkann, one of the heirs to the sprawling Agnelli empire that includes car giant Fiat and Italian soccer club Juventus. Since then Zhu’s become one of the most talked-about starlets in China. She is now said to have signed with a Hollywood talent agency and is looking to take her career global.

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