She appeared as a minor role in the 1997 movie comedy Aiqing Mala Tang, (Spicy Love Soup), directed by Zhang Yang. While in 2000, she starred in an advertisement for Qing Zhui (fresh mouth) chewing gum during the CCTV's broadcast of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, and is thus known to viewers as Qing Zhui Nu Hai'er ("fresh mouth girl").
In 2002, she played the leading role of Zhuo Zhiruo in Yi Tian Tu Long Ji (The Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre), a drama based on the same-titled novel by the acclaimed wuxia writer, Jinyong (Louis Cha). Increasingly well known in Asia, Gao has also made inroads into the international market. In 2005, she was on the red carpet at the 58th Cannes Film Festival, where her film Qing Hong (Shanghai Dreams), directed by Wang Xiaoshuai, won the Prix de Jury prize. Jackie Chan has described her as "having the freshest look and chaste spirit that no Hong Kong actress could approach". Chan also picked Gao up as his partner in the action movie comedy Rob-B-Hood.
Gao is also selected in 2008 to be a torch bearer in the Nanjing city, Jiangsu province leg of the torch relay for the Beijing Olympic Games on 27th of May, 2008.
Review Wheel of misfortune Beijing Bicycle (PG) Director: Wang Xiaoshuai Starring: Cui Lin, Li Bin, Zhou Xun, Gao Yuanyuan
Jul 25, 2002; IN CHINA, in the information age, the modern-day rickshaw boys are bicycle couriers: poor country kids who come to Beijing to...