Jiang Wen (姜文, born 5 January 1963) is a Chinese film actor, screenwriter and director.
As a director, he is sometimes grouped with the “Sixth Generation” that emerged in the 1990s. Jiang is also well known internationally as an actor, having starred with Gong Li in Zhang Yimou’s debut film Red Sorghum (1986). He has a younger brother who is also an actor, Jiang Wu. Born in Tangshan, Hebei, in a family of military personnel, Jiang relocated to Beijing at the age of ten. In 1980, he entered China’s foremost acting school, the Central Academy of Drama, graduating in 1984.
Jiang Wen images
That same year, he started acting both on the stage (with the China Youth Theater) and in films. After appearing in many television series and films, Jiang became known in China for his role in the 1992 television series A Native of Beijing in New York, which made him one of the most popular actors of his generation. In addition to these he also starred in Hibiscus Town (1984), Black Snow (1990), The Emperor’s Shadow (1996) and The Soong Sisters (1997). Apart from Red Sorghum, Jiang also collaborated with Zhang Yimou for the 1997 film Keep Cool. Jiang wrote and directed his first film in 1994, In the Heat of the Sun, adapted from a novel by Wang Shuo. A tale set in the Cultural Revolution, it won for its young lead actor Xia Yu the Best Actor prize at the Venice Film Festival and garnered six Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan. Jiang’s second feature film, Devils on the Doorstep, set during the Japanese occupation of China in the early 1940s, won him the Grand Prix in the 2000 Cannes Film Festival. In 2001 he was a member of the jury at the 23rd Moscow International Film Festival. Jiang has also acted in television series, such as Da Qing Fengyun (2006), in which he played Hong Taiji. Jiang was married to French actress Sandrine Chenivisse, with whom he has a daughter. He is now married to Chinese actress Zhou Yun and they have two sons. In 2013 he was named as a member of the jury at the 70th Venice International Film Festival.
Jiang Wen filmography