Yimou Girls (谋女郎) is a term that refers to actresses that got their big break from starring in Zhang Yimou’s movies. Perhaps the most notable are A-listers Gong Li and Zhang Ziyi who have achieved fame not only in China but also internationally.
Love and Destiny star Ni Ni is actually another actress discovered by Zhang Yimou. After all, it was Zhang Yimou who gave Ni Ni a chance when he was in Nanjing to cast for the 2011 movie The Flowers of War opposite Christian Bale where he ultimately recommended her to be the leading lady.
Ni Ni’s subsequent projects may not have seen a string of blockbuster hits after that, but she has certainly proven her staying power and acting talents over the years. Unlike the other Yimou girls, Ni Ni has only ever worked with Zhang Yimou once. Nonetheless, she is thankful for Zhang Yimou’s help that led to her big break. While attending the recent Venice Film Festival, Ni Ni had a photo taken with Zhang Yimou’s portrait which she later uploaded to Instagram with the word “Gratitude.” Many were touched that Ni Ni hadn’t forgotten where she started. A grateful heart truly is beautiful.