Tang Wei

Tang Wei, born on October 7, 1979, is a renowned Chinese actress known for her exceptional talent and contributions to both Chinese and international cinema. She gained widespread recognition for her remarkable performance in “Lust, Caution” (2007), which earned her a nomination for the BAFTA Rising Star Award at the 61st British Academy Film Awards. Her career is marked by leading roles in several critically acclaimed films, including “Late Autumn” (2010), “Finding Mr. Right” (2013), “The Golden Era” (2014), “Long Day’s Journey into Night” (2018), and “Decision to Leave” (2022).

Tang Wei’s outstanding work in the film industry has garnered her numerous awards, including a Cannes Film Festival Award, a Golden Horse Film Festival Award, a Blue Dragon Film Award, and two Baeksang Arts Awards. Notably, her Baeksang wins in the Best Actress – Film category make her the only non-Korean recipient of this prestigious honor.

Life and Career

1979–2005: Early Life and Career Beginnings

Tang Wei was born in Hangzhou, Zhejiang and is the only child of a former stage actress and painter. Her upbringing involved frequent travel around China, where she learned to paint and was influenced by her artistic parents. Tang Wei graduated from a local vocational high school in 1996 and had initially aspired to become an archaeologist or lawyer. However, her journey into the entertainment industry began when she started modeling in 1997 and played a minor role in the TV series “Chinese Female Football.” She later graduated from the Central Academy of Drama with a major in directing.

After university, Tang Wei had a fateful encounter with Stan Lai, who recommended her to various directors, leading to her casting in multiple roles. She starred in TV series like “Policewoman Swallow” (2004) and the university drama “Che Guevara” (2004), among others.

2006–08: “Lust, Caution” and Controversy

In July 2006, Tang Wei was chosen from a pool of over 10,000 actresses to play the main character, Wong Chia-chi, in Ang Lee’s “Lust, Caution” (2007). Her portrayal of Wong Chia-chi, inspired by the story of the executed spy Zheng Pingru, was a breakthrough role for Tang. To prepare for the part, she learned both Shanghainese and the Suzhou dialect. The film catapulted her to fame, and she received the Golden Horse Award for Best New Performer and a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award.

However, her performance in “Lust, Caution” sparked controversy in China. The State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT) imposed a media ban on Tang Wei due to explicit scenes in the film. Her print ads and endorsements were removed, and she was replaced in the film “The Warrior and the Wolf” (2009). During her temporary hiatus from the film industry, Tang Wei reportedly attended drama classes at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom.

2010–11: Return to the Screen

Tang Wei made her return to the big screen with “Crossing Hennessy” (2010), a romantic drama by Ivy Ho. Her role as a simple girl-next-door who learns Cantonese for the role marked her comeback. She also starred alongside Hyun Bin in “Late Autumn” (2010), directed by Kim Tae-yong. Her performance in the film, where she played an inmate forming a relationship with a man, resonated with South Korean audiences and earned her the Baeksang Awards for Best Actress.

In 2011, Tang Wei voiced the character Pia Sahastrabuddhe in the Mandarin Chinese dubbed version of the Bollywood blockbuster film “3 Idiots.” She later appeared in films like “Speed Angels” and “Dragon”, with the latter becoming a success.

2013–present: Career Resurgence

Tang Wei’s career experienced a resurgence with the romantic comedy “Finding Mr. Right” (2013), where she played a girl who goes to Seattle to give birth to a child by her wealthy, married boyfriend. The film became a sleeper hit, grossing $85 million at the Chinese box office, and Tang Wei received acclaim for her performance.

She portrayed writer Xiao Hong in Ann Hui’s biopic “The Golden Era,” which premiered at the Venice International Film Festival. While highly anticipated, the film received mixed reviews.

Tang Wei made her English-language film debut in “Blackhat,” an action thriller alongside Chris Hemsworth. She also starred in “A Tale of Three Cities,” based on the wartime experiences of Jackie Chan’s parents.

In 2017, she played the female lead in “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” directed by Bi Gan and announced her return to television with the historical drama “Empress of the Ming.”

In 2019, Tang Wei starred in the drama film “The Whistleblower” directed by Xue Xiaolu.

Her career reached new heights in 2022 with the South Korean mystery-romance film “Decision to Leave,” directed by Park Chan-Wook. The film received critical acclaim, and Tang Wei’s performance earned her several awards, including Best Actress at the 43rd Blue Dragon Film Awards and Best Actress – Film at the 59th Baeksang Arts Awards.


Tang Wei has been associated with various renowned brands:

Personal Life

Tang Wei married South Korean film director Kim Tae-yong in 2014 in a unique ceremony held on the remote Swedish island of Fårö. They later had a formal wedding in Hong Kong, and in August 2016, Tang Wei gave birth to their daughter, Summer.

Tang Wei’s career continues to shine, and her contributions to both film and fashion have solidified her status as a prominent figure in the global entertainment industry.

Poster for the movie "Only You"

Only You

Only You (Chinese: 命中注定) is a 2015 Chinese-United States romantic comedy film directed by Zhang Hao and starring Tang Wei and Liao Fan. The film is a remake of 1994’s Only You that starred Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey, Jr. The film was released on July 24, 2015.

Poster for the movie "A Tale of Three Cities"

A Tale of Three Cities

A former spy in the Chinese Nationalist Party falls for an opium-dealing widow, as China is ravaged by war and revolution. Set in turbulent China in the late 1930’s during the Sino-Japanese War, FANG (Sean Lau) falls in love with CHEN (Tang Wei).

Poster for the movie "Monster Hunt"

Monster Hunt

Young monster kids try to make peace between the world of humans and the world of the monsters. The film takes place in the distant past, where the Human race existed alongside the Monster race. They once shared the world in peace and harmony until the Humans drove the Monsters out from their home, for they sought total dominion over their lands. Recently, a civil war took place in the Monster Realm which resulted in … Read more

Poster for the movie "The Golden Era"

The Golden Era

Hong Kong master Ann Hui recreates the life of the pioneering and prodigiously talented 20th-century female novelist Xiao Hong.

Poster for the movie "Speed Angels"

Speed Angels

Three female racing drivers clash on and off the track in this high speed action drama.

Poster for the movie "Late Autumn"

Late Autumn

Anna learns in prison that her mother has passed away in Seattle. Prison officials grants Anna a three day furlough to attend her mother’s funeral. Anna embarks on a long trip to Seattle. Hoon is a Korean immigrant who works as a gigolo. Hoon is now on the run from a wealthy client’s furious husband. These two seemingly lost souls are about to share three memorable days together.

Poster for the movie "Lust, Caution"

Lust, Caution

During World War II a secret agent (Tang Wei) must seduce, then assassinate an official (Tony Leung Chiu Wai) who works for the Japanese puppet government in Shanghai. Her mission becomes clouded when she finds herself falling in love with the man she is assigned to kill.