Editor’s note: In addition to films, awards and advertisements, magazine covers are also an important yardstick to measure an actress' ranking and popularity. In a chinadaily.com.cn special, we have compiled the shiniest female cover stars of 2010 according to their cover appearances on the Chinese editions of Vogue, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and Harper's Bazaar.
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After acting and promoting four films in 2009, Zhou Xun, China's top-class actress, slowed her pace and shifted her focus of work this year. Zhou spends much of her time promoting ‘tips for green living’ through Our Part, a campaign she runs jointly with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Zhou’s enduring efforts in promoting a green life style and environmental sustainability has earned her the title of the 2010 Champion of the Earth, the United Nations’ highest award for environmental leadership. Her superb mastery of acting has gained numerous Best Actress awards and won wide appreciation from famous directors. In 2011, Zhou will continuously stay active in various environmental causes and make perfect performances on the screen.
Related reading: Zhou Xun, the Champion of the Earth
2010 was a rewarding year for Zhao Wei, one of the most popular actresses in China. Not only did Zhao welcome the birth of her lovely daughter, but also won the Best Actress Award of Hundred Flowers Film Festival. Though having shifted focus from work to family, the 34-year-old actress refuses to be a full-time housewife and resumed her performing career after confinement. The 10-year ups and downs in show business have maturated this once-flamboyant sensation to a rather composed celebrity. Impressing the public with her radiant maternity and femininity, Zhao will smartly balance her roles as mother and actress.
Related reading: Zhao Wei announces new film
Late-blooming Li Bingbing, one of the A-list actresses in China, adds brilliance to her achieved splendor in 2010 after she was crowned the Best Actress Award in 2009’s Golden Horse Film Festival. Thanks to her healthy and refined public image, Li became a favorite of magazine covers and brand advertisements. Li’s well-recognized efforts in environmental protection and green campaigning have earned her the title of UNDP China National Goodwill Ambassador. Li’s performance on the screen is also worthy of expectation; her consummate acting in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and The Revolution Of 1911 will give impetus to the box office success.
Related reading: Andy Lau and Li Bingbing pose with their wax figures
Early this year “Donation Gate” had entangled famous actress Zhang Ziyi into an unprecedented credit crisis, stagnating her performing career and ceasing her brand advertisement contract. To regain her position in public favor, Zhang made great changes in her conduct with a much lower profile and down-to-earth attitude. Zhang hoped her fully-devoted acting and resolution to philanthropic undertaking will efface the dirt of her reputation. Next year Zhang’s two films, The Grand Master and Life Is a Miracle, are due to hit the cinemas; we will see whether this controversy-stricken actress will radiate her stardom again.
Related reading: Clearing her name
An overwhelmingly beautiful face eclipses Fan Bingbing’s conscientious acting; while the 29-year-old actress aspires to reverse the public’s cynical impression with the Best Actress Award of the Tokyo Film Festival. At the center of controversy for a long time, Fan has reconciled herself to the fabricated “charges” and hopes to silence the critics with her professional dedication and low-profile conduct. Apart from her performing career, Fan is also actively engaged in philanthropic undertakings. In 2010, Fan’s loving compassion for children who suffer from congenital heart defects rekindled their hope with a 500,000 yuan donation. Just like the plum flower going through hazards and hardships, Fan just bursts into full bloom.
Related readings: Silencing the critics
Six years is long enough for a singer receded from the public’s memory; while Faye Wong is absolutely an exception. As the most famous singer on China's contemporary pop scene, Faye’s comeback in 2010 generated constant buzz among her fans and hit the headlines of various media. The prosperous concert box office and out-of-demand tickets revealed her stable iconic status and momentous popularity. Wong’s frequent updates to her micro-blog bridges the gap with the public, showing her approachable self. In 2011 Wong’s concert tour will continue in Hong Kong and Taipei, injecting exuberant vitality to the mild performing market.
Related reading: Faye turns on the charm
The naked scenes in Ang Lee’s Lust Caution catapulted actress Tang Wei to sensational fame as well as engulfed her into overwhelming controversy. The immense strains wretchedly put this uprising star in a miserable dilemma with her performing career stagnated. With the lapse of two-year self-discovery, Tang returned to the public’s attention this year with her two films screened--Crossing Hennessy and Late Autumn; the former one earned her the nomination for Best Actress of Golden Horse Awards. To further propel her career, Tang is already featured in three blockbusters which will hit the cinema in 2011.
Related reading: Zhang Ziyi's loss is Tang Wei's gain
Either on the screen or the red carpet, Hsu Chi always impresses the public with her graceful looks and magnetic smile. The 34-year-old actress is still dynamic in her performing career, playing the leading role in three films and replacing Zhang Ziyi as the new brand ambassador of Emporio Armani. From the original controversy about her nudity in film scenes to the wide recognition of her meticulous devotion, Hsu has made 10-year endeavors to reverse the cynical prejudice and pave the way toward the Best Actress Award. Those twists and turns she experienced evolve into fortitudinous charm with the passage of time.
Related reading: Blind dates are not for me, says Hsu Chi
Multi-talented actress-director Xu Jinglei demonstrates her great versatility in various professions and aspires to explore her potential profoundly. Xu had been too busy working on Go Lala Go! - her fourth directorial feature which grossed more than 100 million yuan ($15 million) at the box office. She has just finished filming Cherish Our Love Forever, the film version of the hit TV series of the same name that launched her to fame in 1997. Though recognized as a fine actress and a proven director, Xu wants her name associated with a new line of jewelry. Her venture into the competitive fashion industry with a jewelry collection makes a hit in market performance. Moreover, Xu’s highly rated e-magazine and popular personal blog also epitomize her wisdom and talents.
Related reading: Her films, her blog... her jewelry
Zhang Jingchu’s amazing acting in the literary film “Peacock” catapulted her to fame and her strong malleability generated opportunities to cooperate with diverse directors. Zhang is one of the few actresses who are merely active in films; long-standing conscientiousness landed her on China’s A-list of actresses. In 2010, four films featuring Zhang hit the cinema and the film “Aftershock” earned her the nomination for Best Supporting Actress of Golden Horse Awards. With her refined acting recognized, Zhang is persistent in the pursuit of the “Best Actress” crown.
Produced by Hou Qi