Zhang Ziyi:
Rushing the Hour to Stardom

Zhang Ziyi may say that she is not in the rush to stardom, but the bright lights and big movie capital seems to be catching up fast on the lithe and pretty Beijing-born actress.

Zhang Attack!

Not since her breakthrough role as Jen in the Oscar-winning “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” has Hollywood sat up and noticed the ingénue. In fact, she currently shuttles between the US (where she just finished “Rush Hour 2” with Jackie Chan) and Asia where she has just finished doing the promotional circuit as the newest woman ambassador of Tag Heuer’s Alter Ego ladies’ watches; which was how Tsinoy.com was able to catch up with her in Hong Kong during the regional launch last July of the watch company’s new time ambassador, the first Asian international celebrity to do so.

At 21, this former dancer and wannabe kindergarten teacher is definitely on the cusp of serious stardom. No less than People magazine recently named her as one of the “50 Most Beautiful People in the World”. She has also appeared in several style magazines, a beauty that has inspired many to compare her to Audrey Hepburn.

Such fascination was evident during the cocktail event at the Cyrano Restaurant at Island Shangri-la. She sparkled silently in a black Fendi ruche dress, diamond studs, and, of course, an Alter Ego watch as journalists from Japan, Hong Kong and the Philippines jostled for her attention.

“I think she has a lot of talent and is extremely intelligent,” says Dominique Taieb, regional marketing director of Tag Heuer’s Asia-Pacific operations, of the company’s choice of Zhang Ziyi as spokesperson. “She is a perfect match to Tag Heuer’s Alter Ego line.”

Such intelligence shone through the next morning during the exclusive interview session with the Filipino press. Despite the fact that she doesn’t speak a word of English, she made sure her interpreter answered questions just as eloquently in Mandarin.

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