"I didn't want to be affected by the original. After all, this is an adaptation. The characters have similarities, but they're not identical," the 27-year-old actress says in an interview posted Sunday on the Chinese Web site Sina.com.
Zhang, whose screen credits include Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," says she appeared in "Hamlet" while a student at China's Central Academy of Drama.
"The Banquet," directed by Xiaogang Feng and set in ancient China, is due for release later this year.
"I wanted to present the character with my personal style," Zhang says. "Maybe my presentation will have a modern interpretation, but I think this is a modern work in the sense that it is created by modern people. It may be more meaningful."
Zhang's screen credits also include "Memoirs of a Geisha" and "Rush Hour 2."