Joan Chen - Rotten Tomatoes

Joan Chen

Highest Rated:   100% American Masters (2008)
Lowest Rated:   0% Golden Gate (1994)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Shanghai, China
Joan Chen has been one of a very few actors to have a viable career both in Hollywood and in Hong Kong. Whether playing a wizened Vietnamese peasant woman or the doomed Empress of China, she lends her characters a natural elegance and a beguiling vulnerability.Chen was born tp a family of doctors on April 26, 1961, in Shanghai, China. She tasted fame early in her life when she made her film debut in Xie Jin's Youth (1976) at age 14. She soon enrolled in the prestigious Shanghai Foreign Language Institute while making a couple more feature films, including Zhang Zheng's Little Flower (1979), which eventually won her a Best Actress Prize at the Hundred Flowers Awards (the Mainland Chinese equivalent of the Oscars). Having reached the pinnacle of fame in her own country, Chen made the unusual step to leave China -- not for Hong Kong as many later Chinese stars such as Gong Li and Jet Li did -- but for the United States. While studying at California State University in Northridge, she landed a small role in Wayne Wang's Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart (1985), a gentle portrait of Chinese-American family life.In true Hollywood style, she was summarily cast as May-May in the adventure-epic Tai-Pan (1986) after being spotted in the Lorimar parking lot. Though it was savaged by critics (Leonard Maltin called it "silly") and bombed at the box-office, Tai-Pan did allow Chen to segue into her breakthrough role. As Empress Wan Jung in Bernardo Bertolucci's Oscar-award winning The Last Emperor (1987), Chen brilliantly played a woman whose love and life are tragically destroyed by China's rigidly patriarchal culture and the machinations of fate. Hollywood roles being notoriously hard to land for Asian and Asian-American actors, Chen's newfound fame did not immediately lead to better movie offers. She appeared in such low-budget fare as The Blood of Heroes (1989) before she attracted public attention again as Josie Packard in David Lynch's TV series Twin Peaks. In 1993, she played a Vietnamese mother who suffers for a lifetime in a country at war in Oliver Stone's Heaven and Earth.That same year, she returned to Asia to make a pair of critically successful films. She played a supernatural temptress in Clara Law's Temptation of a Monk (1993), a historical epic with the sweep and visual flare of a Sergio Leone film with a pronounced erotic edge. The role was a brave one to tackle as it not only featured Chen as the movie's clear villain, but it also featuring an unusually graphic sex scene for a mainstream Chinese film. In Stanley Kwan's Red Rose, White Rose (1994), which was nominated for Berlin's Golden Bear, Chen played another deliciously evil vixen opposite Winston Chao. For her effort, she won a Best Actress Golden Horse award, Taiwan's equivalent of the Oscar. Her return to the U.S. was marked by another succession of subpar flicks, including On Deadly Ground (1994) and Judge Dredd (1995). Chen also co-produced and starred in The Wild Side (1995), a lesbian romantic thriller in which she played opposite a still-in-the-closet Anne Heche.In 1998, Chen made her directorial debut with Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl, a lyrical, harrowing tale about the loss of innocence and respect during the tumult of the Chinese cultural revolution. Featuring sumptuous cinematography and subtle, remarkably assured direction, Xiu Xiu won armfuls of international prizes, including a virtual sweep of the Golden Horse awards and a nomination for a Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. In 1999, Chen climbed back into the director's chair and began production of Autumn in New York, starring Richard Gere and Winona Ryder.Over the next several years, Chen would cement her position as one of the most loved and respected actresses in film, especially on the Eastern side of the globe, appearing in movies like Sunflower, Lust, Caution, Love in Disguise, and 1911.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Lady Of The Dynasty (Wang Chao De Nv Ren: Yang Gui Fei)
  • Actor
2015
No Score Yet White Frog
  • Irene Young
2013
No Score Yet Passion Island (Yit oi dou)
  • Actor
2012
No Score Yet To Whom It May Concern: Ka Shen's Journey
  • Actor
2012
56% Hemingway & Gellhorn
  • Madame Chiang
2012
No Score Yet Erci puguang (Double Xposure)
  • Actor
2012
8% 1911
  • Empress Dowager Longyu
$0.2M 2011
55% Mao's Last Dancer
  • Niang
$4.9M 2010
No Score Yet Ai chu se (Color Me Love)
  • Actor
2010
No Score Yet Love in Disguise (Lian ai tong gao)
  • Actor
2010
No Score Yet All God's Children Can Dance
  • Actor
2008
100% American Masters
  • Actor
2008
90% 24 City (Er shi si cheng ji)
  • Gu Minhua (Little Flower)
2008
No Score Yet The Leap Years
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet Shi qi
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet Secrets from Another Place: Creating Twin Peaks
  • Actor
2007
72% Lust, Caution
  • Yee Tai-tai
$4.7M 2007
No Score Yet The Sun Also Rises
  • Lin
2007
69% Sunflower
  • '''Xiuqing'''
2007
67% Americanese
  • Betty Nguyen
2007
No Score Yet The Home Song Stories
  • Rose
2007
No Score Yet Tonight at Noon
  • Actor
2007
No Score Yet Cyber Wars
  • Actor
2006
87% Saving Face
  • Ma
$1.1M 2005
No Score Yet Mo li hua kai (Jasmine Women)
  • Actor
2004
20% Autumn in New York
  • Director
2000
52% What's Cooking?
  • Trinh Nguyen
$0.7M 2000
No Score Yet Chi Yu Fungbo
  • Shirley Kwan
1999
No Score Yet In a Class of His Own
  • Linda Ching
1999
96% Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
1999
No Score Yet Turtle Beach (The Killing Beach)
  • Minou Hobday
1996
No Score Yet Precious Find
  • Camilla
1996
18% Judge Dredd
  • Ilsa
1995
60% Wild Side (All The Way)
  • Virginia Chow
1995
No Score Yet Hong mei gui, Bai mei gui (Red Rose, White Rose)
  • Wang Jiao-Rui
1994
9% The Hunted
  • Kirina
1994
42% Heaven & Earth
  • Mama
1994
10% On Deadly Ground
  • Masu
1994
0% Golden Gate
  • Marilyn Song
1994
No Score Yet You Seng (Temptation of a Monk)
  • Princess Scarlet/Violet
1993
No Score Yet Turtle Beach
  • Minou
1992
No Score Yet Where Sleeping Dogs Lie (1991)
  • Sara
1991
No Score Yet Wedlock (Deadlock)
  • Noelle
1991
No Score Yet Strangers
  • Actor
1991
No Score Yet Killing Beach
  • Actor
1991
13% The Blood of Heroes
  • Kidda
1990
92% The Last Emperor
  • Wan Jung "Elizabeth"
1987
No Score Yet Night Stalker
  • Mai Wing
1987
20% Tai-Pan
  • May-May
1986
100% Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart
  • Young Mah Jong Player
1985
No Score Yet Xiao Hua
  • Zhao Xiaohua
1980

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
24% Marco Polo
2014-2016
  • Chabi
  • 2016
92% Fringe
2008-2013
  • Reiko
  • 2011
No Score Yet American Masters
2001
  • Appearing
  • 2009
No Score Yet Twin Peaks
1990-1991
  • Jocelyn `Josie' Packard
  • 1991
  • 1990
No Score Yet MacGyver
1985-1992
  • Lin
  • 1985

Quotes from Joan Chen's Characters