Joan Chen first became famous in China in 1979 for her performance in Zhang Zheng’s Little Flower for which she won the Hundred Flowers Award in China. Chen achieved this stardom status while still a teenager and caused Time magazine to dub her “the Elizabeth Taylor of China”. At age twenty, Chen moved to the United States where she studied filmmaking at California State University, and became a naturalised USA citizen. Her first Hollywood movie was Tai-Pan, filmed on location in China. She went on to star in Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor in 1987 and the David Lynch/Mark Frost television series Twin Peaks. In 1993 she co-starred in Oliver Stone’s Heaven & Earth. Tired of being cast as an exotic beauty in Hollywood films, Chen moved into directing in 1998 with the critically acclaimed Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl. She later directed Autumn in New York in 2000.
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