Zhang Ziyi at press conference for 'Forever Enthralled'Ah, the perils of going topless.

When last we checked in with Zhang Ziyi, her latest film, Chen Kaige's Forever Enthralled, in which she stars as a Peking Opera singer, had just opened. The film did just fine at the Mainland Chinese box office, but wasn't able to duplicate its success in Hong Kong and may be a "tough sell outside of Asia" because of its unfamiliar subject matter and lack of "dramatic development," according to Variety. The film will be playing in competition at the Berlin Film Festival next month.

That might be that for Ms. Zhang at the moment, were it not for the recent publication of revealing photographs of her on a beach ... in and out of a bikini ... with her billionaire Israeli fiance being extremely playful. Reportedly, Ms. Zhang is "enraged" about the photos. More importantly, as Grady Hendrix commented at Kaiju Shakedown, "One wonders if these photos might earn her the same fate as Edison [Chen] (exiled) and Tang Wei [Lust, Caution] (blacklisted) for being sexy in public."

Despite various rumors, Ms. Zhang has not nabbed any Hollywood roles since Memoirs of a Geisha, so if Asian producers get antsy about casting her because of the controversy -- she's never been wildly popuar in China to begin with -- she may be kaput. That conceivably could have happened after she's married -- it still seems a common thing for Asian actresses to retire from the entertainment industry after they marry so as to concentrate on marriage and family -- but it would be a great shame it that happened too soon to the talented Ms. Zhang, especially when all the photos show are two people, who are actually engaged to marry, enjoying one another's company.

categories Movies, Cinematical