Prominent and talented Chinese actress and director Xu Jinglei (徐静蕾)


Sexy China  Updated:Mon, Aug 12, 2013 08:31 AM   By Bernd Chang


Born 1974 in Beijing, Xu Jinglei (Chinese:徐静蕾, English name: Jane Xu) is an actress and director. She graduated from Beijing Film Academy in 1997, Along with Zhao Wei, Zhou Xun and Zhang Ziyi, Xu has been named as one of the Four Dan actresses.

Xu Jinglei (Chinese:徐静蕾, English name: Jane Xu), born April 16, 1974 in Beijing, is an actress and director most famous in mainland China. Xu graduated from the Beijing Film Academy's prestigious Performance Institute in 1997. Along with Zhao Wei (赵薇), Zhou Xun (周迅) and Zhang Ziyi (章子怡), Xu Jinglei has long been given the title by Chinese media as one of the Four Dan Actresses (Top four famous actresses, Chinese: 四大花旦). 

Early life

Xu Jinglei was born 1974 in an intellectual family in Beijing. Her parents had little expectation of her aside from being a polite and literate woman.  Her father was very strict with her and required her to practice Chinese calligraphy and recite poems written by poets in Tang Dynasty when she was young. 

Her strong point at Chinese calligraphy earned her a spot in the 80th middle school in Chaoyang District of Beijing. This school was full of talented students and Xu Jinglei was frankly speaking not so excellent and pretty compared to her classmates. 

Three years later when she took part in the college entrance examination she chose to apply for a position in China Central Drama Academy but was refused. But a seemingly more promising opportunity fell on the young Xu: she was enrolled by the Acting School of Beijing Film Academy.

But when she entered the famous film academy she was not able to be proud of herself at all.  This academy was full of beautiful girls. As a girl with “plain chest” yellowish face, simple clothes, and no cosmetics, Xu Jinglei was just an ordinary and simple girl in eyes of others. And her lack of confidence hid her potentials as well.

She was simple, but if others were all fashionable, she stood out different from the rest, which brought her opportunities. She was the first among her classmates to receive invitations to act in films.

Talented beauty

She rose to fame for her role in TV dramas Push Love to the End 将爱情进行到底 in 1998, which made her an idol of the teenagers and young adults. The next year she was voted as the top 2 most popular actress by Beijing University students, only second to Xu Fan. 

In 2002, She starred in movie I love you 我爱你, which earned her Newcomer award in Huabiao Awards.  The same year she starred in Spring Subway 开往春天的地铁, which earned her the Best Actress award in the Hundred Flowers Awards. Her performance in Far from Home 我的美丽乡愁 won her Best Supporting Actress in Golden Rooster Awards.

Jinglei Xu has earned a name as talented beauty, because she is a very versatile woman. Xu Jinglei was not satisfied with only being a successful actress, she would like to be more. In 2002 she directed her first movie My Father and I 我和爸爸. In 2005, the film Letter from a Strange Woman 一个陌生女人的来信 directed by Xu Jinglei was popular among Chinese audience. And in 2006, she directed Dream Surpass Reality 梦想超越现实. 

Xu Jinglei has constantly changed who she was, from an actress to a director, then a famous blogger in 2006. Her blog named Lao Xu on Sina proved to be the most popular in China, recording 10 million visits within 120 days since its inception.  

However, these changes were not all planned,  including many “firsts” such as writing in her blog for the first time, recording a song, performing in a music video, being a director, winning an award, and judging a film festival. 

Actress, director, writer, and blog queen, Jinglei Xu is all

Xu was a director for the first half of the year 2007, while a performer for the second. What she will be next year? Nobody knows, even herself. She admited that she is a fickle person: “I am always changing and I try to eliminate bottlenecks at any time in my life. I loved being an actress several years ago, however, I want to try  new things because, you know, everyone is  fickle at a certain stage. I am interested in many things and so I will try them out..” 

In the eyes of her movie fans, Xu is very intelligent and witty. Other than being an actress and a director, she is a good writer. She likes drawing, and photography, even winning an award for her Chinese calligraphy in 2007, when her handwriting was given a name Fangzheng Jinglei Style. 

In 2008 she created an electronic magazine Kaila. In 2009 she returned to her second role as director and directed Promotion of Du Lala 杜拉拉升职记 and Dear Enemy 亲密敌人.  She even won the Silver Shell for Best Director for A Letter from an Unknown Woman she directed at the 52nd annual Donostia-San Sebastián International Film Festival (2004). This award is the highest award a Chinese director ever win in international stage and the film made more than 100 million RMB, making Xu the only Chinese female director that brings such high box office.

In December 2012, Xu Jinglei won the title as China’s top grossing actress at the box office over the last ten years. 

A group of renowned Chinese film critics came together to rank the list of actresses and the box office sales figures of the films they starred in. The shortlisted actresses include Xu Jinglei, Zhang Ziyi, Zhou Xun, Vicki Zhao Wei (赵薇), Li Bingbing (李冰冰), Fan Bingbing (范冰冰) and Tang Wei (汤唯).

With an aggregate score of 0.875, Xu Jinglei was named the top grossing actress of the decade! Second and third place went to Zhou Xun’s .788 and Li Bingbing’s .766 aggregate scores respectively.

Married to Stanley Huang 黄立行?

Xu Jinglei appears always in a rush in her life. She cares so much her profession and business that she seems to have little time to make boyfriends.  There are rumors of her affairs with Chinese writer Wang Shuo 王朔, but few compared to other big name Chinese actresses such as Zhang Ziyi. 

In early July 2013, a rumor claiming Xu Jinglei was married to Taiwan actor Stanley Huang went viral on Chinese social media. The Weibo report claimed that Xu filed her "Application Forms for Hong Kong" by ticking the "married" box in the "Marital status" section. The rest of the information on the form such as her birthday and career was totally the same as Xu's real status.

Actress Xu Jinglei declared Monday afternoon on that she was not married, adding that she would rather hide her weight than her marital status.

The rumor went out when Xu and actor Stanley Huang shot the film "Go LaLa Go!" in 2009. Over the past four years the two were reported to be married on many occasions. In August 2011 Huang was said to have bought a house in Los Angeles and Xu once went to Taiwan to visit Huang's family members.

Although the rumors were widespread, the two have never officially confirmed this or spoken about each other in public; rather, they prefer to simply smile and withhold comments.


Profile of Jinglei Xu 徐静蕾

  • Chinese Name Jinglei Xu 徐静蕾
  • English name:  Jane Xu
  • Nickname: Old Xu, Talented Beauty
  • Birthdate: April 16, 1974
  • Birthplace: Beijing
  • Ethnicity: Han Chinese
  • Height: 170cm
  • Weight: 49kg
  • Measurements: B83cm- W64cm-H89cm
  • Chinese zodiac: tiger
  • Constellation: Aries
  • Blood type:O
  • Family: Xu Zijian (father), In Shu-rong (mother), XU Xinyu (brother)
  • Occupation: Actress, director, writer
  • Education: Graduated from Beijing Film Academy
  • Agency: Beijing Flower Flourishing Entertainment Co., Ltd. 北京鲜花盛开影业有限公司
  • Representative works: Push Love to End《将爱情进行到底》, Letter from a Strange Woman《一个陌生女人的来信》, Promotion of Du Lala《杜拉拉升职记》
  • Favorite color: Black and white
  • Favorite flower: Tulip
  • favorite cities: Beijing, Rome 
  • favorite things: shopping
  • The most memorable thing: sleep late 
  • Favorite sport: Ping-pong (table tennis)
  • Favorite actor: Mel Gibson, Kevin Costner
  • favorite artists: Gauguin, Monet 
  • favorite actress: Isabelle Adjani 
  • favorite films: "Killer Butterfly Dream" 



As a director

  • My Father and I 我和爸爸 (2003)
  • Letter from an Unknown Woman 一个陌生女人来信 (2004)
  • Dreams May Come 梦想超越现实 (2006)
  • Go Lala Go! 杜拉拉升职记 (2010)
  • Dear Enemy 亲密敌人 (2011)

As an actress

  • Spicy Love Soup 爱情麻辣烫 (1997)
  • The Storm Riders (1998)
  • Dazzling 花眼 (2002)
  • Spring Subway 开往春天的地铁 (2002)
  • Far From Home 我的美丽乡愁 (2002)
  • I Love You 我爱你 (2002)
  • Heroic Duo 双雄 (2003)
  • My Father and I 我和爸爸 (2003)
  • Brothers 兄弟 (2004)
  • Last Love, First Love 最后的爱, 最初的爱 (2004)
  • Letter from an Unknown Woman 一个陌生女人的来信 (2004)
  • Dreams May Come 梦想超越现实 (2006)
  • Confession of Pain 伤城 (2006)
  • The Warlords 投名状 (2007)
  • Shinjuku Incident 新宿事件 (2009)
  • Go Lala Go! 杜拉拉升职记 (2010)
  • Eternal Moment 将爱情进行到底 (2011)
  • Dear Enemy 亲密敌人 (2011)
  • Better and Better 越来越好之村晚 (2013)



  • 2003 – Best Actress (for Spring Subway) at the 26th annual Hundred Flowers Film Awards
  • 2003 – Best Actress (for Far From Home and I Love You) at the 9th annual Huabiao Film Awards
  • 2003 – Best Supporting Actress (for Far From Home) and Best New Female Director (for My Father and I) at the 23rd annual Chinese Golden Rooster Awards
  • 2004 – Best New Director and Best Actress (both for My Father and I) at the 4th annual Chinese Film Media Awards
  • 2004 – Silver Shell for Best Director for A Letter from an Unknown Woman at the 52nd annual Donostia-San Sebastián International Film Festival
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