Liu began his acting career as a 20 year old student majoring in performing arts at the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing, and his talent in acting was apparent very early on. Liu was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role as a young postman in one of his first films, Postmen in the Mountains, at the 1999 Golden Rooster Awards. Shortly after his graduation, Liu won Best Actor at the 38th Golden Horse Awards for his performance as a young homosexual man in Lan Yu. Three years later, he clinched Best Actor with his role in The Foliage at the 24th Golden Rooster Awards. In addition, several of Liu's films have also featured in many international film festivals, for example Lan Yu, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, Purple Butterfly and The Floating Landscape.
Instead of making use of his good physical appearance to become a teen idol, Liu has chosen the path of continuously challenging himself by taking on difficult roles. From simple, honest, and down-to-earth "peasant-like" roles, introvert and melancholic personas, to manly and Casanova roles, Liu has not only convinced the audience, but also well-established international directors, of his remarkable acting skills. He has been openly praised and roped in by directors such as Stanley Kwan (Lan Yu), Chen Kaige (The Promise), Zhang Yimou (Curse of the Golden Flower) and John Woo (Blood Brothers), to take part in their major productions.
Liu's first Hollywood film Dark Matter, inspired by a true story in the early 1990s, was screened at major international film festivals in 2007. Starring with actress Meryl Streep, Liu starred as Chinese physics postgraduate Liu Xing. Dark Matter won the Alfred P. Sloan Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and was released in the United States in April 2008. Liu's first villainous role was in Connected (2008), a remake of the American film Cellular.
Liu starred in Lu Chuan's 2009 film City of Life and Death, which pays tribute to the victims of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre.
In the 2011 film The Founding of a Party, it was reported that Liu was required to gain 10kg in order to play a 30-year old Mao Zedong, a feat he achieved by eating 20 eggs a day.
Read more about this topic: Liu Ye (actor)
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