Chris Pang, a Chinese Australian actor, landed a highly-coveted role as Chris Khoo in “Crazy Rich Asians,” this summer’s most hyped blockbuster. The rom-com will not only be Hollywood’s first all-Asian cast in 25 years but also be free of martial arts and nerdy stereotypes! It’s a movie that sparks hope for diversity and inclusion in Hollywood, which is why the X1 Asian American Film & TV destination will be featuring the film and its actors this month—check it out by saying “Asian American” into your X1 Voice Remote.
We had the pleasure of asking Chris Pang some questions about his acting journey and Chinese Australian heritage while he visited an Xfinity X1 event.
Chris Pang’s August Movie Picks
- “Enter the Dragon“
- “Joy Luck Club“
- “The Rock“
- “Dragon: Bruce Lee Story“
- “Life of Pi“
- “Apocalypse Now“
- “Blade Runner“
- “Clockwork Orange“
- “2001: A Space Odyssey“
- “Fast Five“
- “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle“
- “Better Luck tomorrow“
Tell us about your film selections featured on X1 this month!
Chris Pang: In the last 25 years, there have only been two Hollywood studio films with an all-Asian cast. Besides “Crazy Rich Asians,” the last one was “Joy Luck Club” in 1993. I’m so glad it is on X1 this month, but it’s only second on my list. Obviously, some classic Bruce Lee in “Enter the Dragon” is my most recommended!
How did you get into acting?
CP: I was always interested in acting, but my first job came when I walked into a casting agency by chance. I was selling phones door-to-door at the time. Not only did they buy some phones, they booked me the very next day for a job—voicing the English dub of the latest Jackie Chan film, “New Police Story“!
Who are some other Asian American actors who have influenced or inspired you?
CP: Growing up the only Asian American actor I even knew about was Jason Scott Lee, who is inspiring ethnicity aside. But lately, having gained a little experience and knowledge over the years, it is the energy and determination of the growing number of Asian Americans in the industry that is inspiring.
How does your Asian Australian background influence your work?
CP: Growing up in Australia and experiencing both eastern and western cultures has definitely given me a different perspective that informs my choices and decisions as an actor.
Did you ever have a “lunch box moment” (a story of how fellow classmates may have reacted to your lunch boxes at school)?
CP: Yeah, my parents discovered thermos containers at one point and went into a phase of giving me hot leftovers from dinner. Most kids had sandwiches, and, I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what I was having half the time. But I can’t blame people for saying I was eating dog food.
What is your outlook on the state of Asian American representation in new media?
CP: In new media, there’s a tone of Asian American representation with an especially strong presence amongst the Youtubers. As content becomes more immediate and less controlled by traditional structure, opportunities are rapidly opening up for creators of all ethnicities and minorities, not just Asian, to have their voices heard.
What piece of advice would you give someone looking to pursue acting and entertainment?
CP: Take a good look in the mirror and discover the reasons you want to pursue it. If the overarching reason is anything other than an artistic need for expression and a longing for creation, then forget it.
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, Chris Pang! Don’t forget to check out the X1 Asian American Film & TV destination for the “Crazy Rich Asians” mini-destination this month. Just say “Asian American” into your X1 Voice Remote.
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For more Filmmaker Spotlights or Asian American news and entertainment visit Xfinity Asian American.