Zhao Liying Forays into Cinema as Part of Zhang Yimou’s New Movie for Chinese New Year 2024

Zhao Liying Forays into Cinema as Part of Zhang Yimou's New Movie for Chinese New Year 2024

Anticipation is in the air for Chinese New Year 2024, a primetime for film releases due to the the holiday season. Zhang Yimou’s new movie Article 20 第二十条 was just announced as part of the lineup and among the notable ensemble cast led by award-winning stars Lei Jiayin and Ma Li, many were surprised to see Zhao Liying take a special starring role.

This marks a significant milestone in Zhao Liying’s career who rose to fame in historical idol dramas. She’s showed her versatility as she took on more serious television roles with The Story of Xing Fu and Wild Bloom, and her intent to make a mark in Chinese cinema has long been speculated. The 36-year-old actress’s participation, in a Zhang Yimou movie no less, is certainly a noteworthy step.

Article 20 is a comedy drama that follows Lei Jiayin as middle-aged prosecutor Han Ming. Zhao Liying portrays the character of a deaf-mute mother entangled in the complexities of a legal case. Her character is barely in the trailer, which introduced Ming’s family, made up of Ma Li and TNT Liu Yaowen. However, those few seconds she appeared saw her conveying profound emotions solely through expressions and gestures.

Zhang Yimou, renowned for his directorial prowess, commended Zhao Liying’s dedication in their first collaboration. He shared that the actress went hours without speaking that he actually thought she doesn’t like to talk. Then he realized she was simply immersed in her role. Zhao Liying even put on ear plugs so she wouldn’t hear.

As Article 20 gears up for its release, fans are undoubtedly eager to see Zhang Yimou’s latest project. It also marks a reunion between actors like Zhang Yi, Gao Ye and Wang Xiao from hit series The Knockout as well as Fan Wei, Chen Minghao, Liu Yitie and Jiang Qiming from The Longest Season. It is set to hit theaters on February 10, 2024.

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