Vivian Wu or Wu Junmei (Chinese: 邬君梅; born February 5, 1966) is a Chinese actress.[1] Her big break came in 1987, appearing in the biographical film The Last Emperor. She later went to starring in films Iron & Silk (1990), The Guyver (1991), Heaven & Earth (1993), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), The Joy Luck Club (1993), and most notably playing the leading roles in The Pillow Book (1996) and The Soong Sisters (1997). In 2020, she stars as Dr. Lu Wang in the Netflix science fiction drama Away.

Vivian Wu
Wu in 2007
Wu Junmei

(1966-02-05) February 5, 1966 (age 56)
Shanghai, China
Years active1981–present
Height1.67 m (5 ft 6 in)
(m. 1996)
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese鄔君梅
Simplified Chinese邬君梅

Early lifeEdit

Wu was born in Shanghai, China.[2] Wu is the daughter of Zhu Manfang, one of the leading actresses in China during the 1940s and 1950s.[3] Wu attended Shanghai Shixi High School and began acting at the age of 16 in Shanghai Film Studio.[4] In 1987, she attended the Hawaii Pacific University, studying tourism.[citation needed]


In 1985, then 18-year-old Wu was given an audition for the role of Wenxiu in Bernardo Bertolucci's 1987 film The Last Emperor. Six months later, she was chosen for the role, making her big screen debut.[2] Wu later went on to star in the drama film Shadow of China (1989), directed and co-written by Mitsuo Yanagimachi, followed by the action comedy Iron & Silk (1990). The following year, she appeared in the poorly received superhero comedy film The Guyver with Mark Hamill. She was chosen by People as one of The 50 Most Beautiful People in the World in 1990.[4]

Wu gained some critical acclaim after appearing in The Joy Luck Club (1993) directed by Wayne Wang, and playing the leading role in the erotic drama film The Pillow Book (1996).[5] Wu also played Mitsu in the 1993 film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III. She played historical figure of Soong Mei-ling in the 1997 historical drama film The Soong Sisters, and The Founding of a Republic (2009) and well as on 2011 television series Departed Heroes.

Beside films, Wu has also worked in television, making guest appearances in shows, such as The Untouchables, L.A. Law, Tales from the Crypt, Highlander: The Series, JAG, Murder, She Wrote, F/X: The Series, ER, and Ghost Whisperer. She also starred in the live action video game Supreme Warrior (1994).[6] As May–Lin Eng in Eve and the Fire Horse (2005), Wu received a Genie Award nomination. She also appeared in the video game Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb as Mei Ying. She is one of the original four judges of Hunan TV's "Worlds's got Talent".

In 2020, Wu made her return to Hollywood productions after nearly 25 years, with a starring role as Chinese astronaut Lu Wang, in the Netflix science fiction drama Away opposite Hilary Swank.[7][8]

Personal lifeEdit

Wu married Cuban-born director and producer Oscar Luis Costo in 1994.[1]




TV seriesEdit

Video gamesEdit


  1. ^ a b Chen Nan: Lady Shanghai. China Daily, 27 April 2007
  2. ^ a b "Vivian Wu: The Shanghainese beauty takes to the silver screen once more | CNN Travel".
  3. ^ Liu Wei: For love or money. China Daily, 28 April 2007
  4. ^ a b Feng Yi: Vivian Wu: The Shanghainese beauty takes to the silver screen once more. CNN, 20 June 2011
  5. ^ "The Pillow Book (1997)" – via
  6. ^ "Supreme Warrior Prepares to Fight". GamePro. No. 64. IDG. November 1994. pp. 60–62.
  7. ^ "Vivian Wu Talks 'Away' on Netflix and Her Return to Hollywood". Entertainment Tonight.
  8. ^ Team, Poptimes News (September 10, 2020). "'Away' Star Vivian Wu on Her Return to Hollywood After Nearly 25 Years (Exclusive)".
  9. ^ "邬君梅变身霸气甄嬛 《如懿传》再度开启诡谲宫斗". Sina (in Chinese). November 2, 2017.
  10. ^ "Vivian Wu". Retrieved February 26, 2010.
  11. ^ "Vivian Wu". Retrieved February 26, 2010.

External linksEdit