Born in Nanjing, Ni Ni graduated from the Communication University of China, specialising in television broadcasting and hosting. She was also an avid swimmer and dancer before becoming an actress.
Why is she in the headlines?
Ni made her debut in Zhang Yimou’s The Flowers of War (2011), playing a lead role. Zhang wanted to find a native actress to star in his film. But his other criteria was that she had to speak English as she would be sharing substantial screen time with Hollywood actor Christian Bale. Ni was chosen and spent more than two years training for the role.
Why is she in the news?
Ni is appearing in the film Redemption, her first role since The Flowers of War. The movie has been grabbing headlines after its producer Zhu Qing got into a public feud with director Zhang Jiarui about who could claim to be its ‘real’ director. According to Zhu, she spent over three years on the project, allowing her to make her claim. Zhang took to his weibo to refute that Zhu should take any credit: “This is the work of Zhang Jiarui. I laboured over every scene in the film from start to finish. All she (Zhu) did was direct one scene and now she calls herself the director.”
Despite the spat, the film featured at the Cannes Film Festival to positive reviews. It opened in China early this week.
Watch out for Ni. She has two more films due to be released in China this year and looks like being one of the industry’s up-and-coming starlets.
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