Hong Chau is a Golden Globe Awards nominated actress who has become very popular for her role in Downsizing and Inherent Vice. With a career that began in 2006, the actress has come a long way with more than 20 TV shows and films to her name while bagging many accolades for her exceptional acting in Downsizing which after she lost out in the 90th Academy Awards nominations, many found it rather surprising as they assumed she had earned a place on the list.
Who Is Hong Chau? Biography and Age
As stated, Hong Chau is an American actress whose resume is decorated with a few great movies including Downsizing, Inherent Vice, and Treme.
She was born in 1979 in Thailand. Following the end of the Vietnam War, there was a massive migration which peaked in 1978 and 1979. Those involved in the migration were referred to as the Vietnamese boat people. Among them, in 1979, was the mother of Hong who was at the time, six months pregnant with the actress whom she later gave birth to in a refugee camp in Thailand.
With two other siblings, she was raised in New Orleans, thanks to a Vietnamese sponsor family which was not even related to her. The family was able to get the sponsors with the help of the Vietnamese Catholic church in New Orleans and the family kept them for between a year or two before they could find their footing.
For her parents to be able to see her and her siblings through school, they took menial jobs including cleaning toilets and washing dishes. She got her education from Eleanor McMain Secondary School and then Ben Franklin Senior High School before finishing at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts. From here, she moved to Boston University where she began studying Creative Writing before she switched to Film Studies because her parents needed her to study something that was more practical.
Following her education, Hong Chau got a job with PBS. She wanted to remain at the background doing documentaries because she is an introvert. After some time, she moved to New York City where she studied acting.
In 2008, she got a role on The Sarah Silverman Program as an Asian Masseuse, but it was in 2010 that her career took off with TV shows like How I Met Your Mother in which she played in the “Perfect Week” episode, Trenches, NCIS, My Boys, and $h*! My Dad Says. She continued with other works such as Treme (2011 to 2013), A to Z (2014 to 2015), and Big Little Lies (2017) among others.
The first film she took part in was Inherent Vice in 2014. In 2017, she got to play the role of Ngoc Lan Tran, a Vietnamese political activist who was jailed and later lost her leg in the movie, Downsizing. Her portrayal of the character earned her a lot of praise.
A good looking woman, Hong Chau is not the tallest actress that you will see on the screen. Even though she may sometimes look somewhat tall, she only stands at a height of 5 feet.
1. While growing up, she never considered becoming an actress because she felt that for someone like her, it was almost not possible.
2. As a child, Hong Chau was very shy and because of this, she decided to take public speaking classes, something she felt would help get her out of her shell. To improve on her confidence, she began going for auditions, something she described it as her own version of Fear Factor and not for the sake of acting. However, she got good feedback and she enjoyed it.
3. Inasmuch as it is in the US that she was brought up, the New Orleans grown actress is still very good with her Vietnamese. In fact, she grew up speaking the language and only got to learn English when she was in school. She revealed that she is very grateful that her parents still speak Vietnamese with her.
4. For her role in Inherent Vice, Hong Chau was awarded the Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award while for Downsizing, she got a Santa Barbara International Film Festival Virtuosos Award and various other awards for best-supporting actress including Critics’ Choice Movie Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, and St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award.