With fame following her debut
dream with her brother.
They began to study martialskills at Shichahai Sports School, which is known for producing top action stars, such as Jet Li, Donnie Yen and Wu Jing.
“Everything had been tough for me at the beginning. I called my parents almost every night. I only knew a few words of Mandarin then,” recalls Zheng, smiling at the memory of how a broken light switch would drive her crazy.
After three years of studying in Beijing, she returned to the US in 2007. Zheng has won 26 martial arts medals and trophies, including first place at the 2009 USA World Championships in Las Vegas and another first at theUS Open in Orlando, Florida, the same year.
Last month was her first time to revisit Beijing. She gave more than 100 college students and teachers at film academies a sneak peek at Brush.
While some of them regarded it as an interesting feature with dramatic complexity, others sharply pointed out that the smuggled immigrants look cliche and outdated.
In an era that more Chinese take luxury-shopping tours and are reportedly responsible for the property-price rise in the US, Brush still features Asian immigrants as “poor” and “struggling for the American dream”, they said.
Zheng explains the film pays homage to her greatgrandparents, who were from East China’s Fujian province and migrated to Indonesia.
Moreover, she says this film is dedicated to the spirit and determination of Chinese people around the world who always work hard and stay honest even in the most difficult times.
Zhou Xing, president of the School of Art and Communication of Beijing Normal University, says Brush could be an appealing Oscar nominee because it “shows the smartness and generosity of American people, which makes it easier to strike a chord with the American market”, he says.
“Its storyline and dialogues are familiar to Western audiences.”
Zheng’s second movie— its title is yet to be decided — centers on two brothers with supernatural abilities, who flee from their abusive father and get picked up by a special agency which assists the government to hunt evil gangsters.
The action thriller, featuring Tony Todd, Madeline Zima and John Savage, will premiere in the US in spring 2016 and then be released globally.