World-renowned martial arts master and
international film star Jet Li burst
into Hollywood in
1998 with his first English language
film appearance in Lethal Weapon 4. After
completing over 20 films in Hong Kong and China, Li took his first
role as a villain starring opposite
Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Rene Russo
and Chris Rock in the Richard Donner
Last year, Li garnered
rave reviews for his performance in
the Warner Bros. box office success Romeo Must Die. In this modern
day Romeo and Juliet, Li plays 'Romeo' to singer Aaliyah Haughton's
'Juliet.' Produced by Joel Silver, the film blended hip-hop with
kung fu and created a new type of action picture.
completed production on the 20th Century Fox film Kiss of the Dragon where
he also serves as a producer. Li plays
a foreigner who goes to Paris on assignment and becomes involved
in a deadly conspiracy. The film co-stars Bridget Fonda and Tcheky
Karyo. The film, directed by Chris Nahon, written by Luc Besson
and Robert Kamen is slated for a July 2001 release.
Li is currently
in production on the Revolution Studios'
action-adventure film, The One directed
by James Wong and co-starring Delroy Lindo and Jason Statham. In
a stunning dual role, Li portrays 'Gabriel Yulaw,' a police officer
confronted with a sinister form of himself. The malevolent alter
ego escapes from the advanced parallel universe from which he originated
and pursues 'Gabriel' with the intent to kill him. This leads to
a battle between good and evil that changes 'Gabriel's' perception
of reality and forces him to examine the evil hidden within himself.
The One is scheduled for an August 2001 release.
On the horizon is
the Warner Bros. film First Emperor,
which Li will star and co-produce with
Joel Silver. Based on an original idea by Li, the film will combine
the suspense, action and thriller elements portrayed in films such
as Indiana Jones and The Mummy. In addition, Li has teamed with
Mel Gibson's Icon Productions to produce a martial arts television
series entitled Invincible. Featuring the ancient martial art of
Wushu, American audiences can expect spectacularly choreographed
action sequences in the Hong Kong filmmaking style.
Born in Beijing,
Li began studying the art of Wushu
(the general Chinese term for martial
arts) and was enrolled in the Beijing Amateur Sports School at the
age of 8. After three years of extensive training, Li won his first
national championship for the Beijing Wushu Team. As part of a world
tour in 1974, he had the honor of performing a two-man fight for
President Nixon on the White House lawn. For the next four years,
he remained the All-Around National Wushu Champion of China.
after retiring from the sport at the
age of 17, he was offered many starring
roles and subsequently began on his film career with director Chang
Hsin Yen for Shaolin Temple. Upon its release, Li was propelled
into instant movie stardom and the film was an enormous success
that spawned two sequels. This led to Li completing 25 successful
Asian films before coming to America.
- Li currently resides in Los
Angeles with his wife and daughter.