Hollywood has become a melting pot for different talents, and Osric Chau is a testament to that fact. As the oldest film industry known to the world, Hollywood set the pace for the development of other national industries and continues to lead the pack. In fact, it is regarded in some quarters as the global film industry; it has grown so big and influential that it now outsources many of its production to countries like New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. This has made it possible for talents like Chau to become famous in the United States, and indeed the world at large, even though they are not citizens of the nation.
The Chinese-Canadian actor has had roles in several Hollywood productions like Supernatural, The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, 2012, Fun Size, The Man with the Iron Fists, and much more. Now a popular name in the business wherein he has been active since 2002, Chau began his career doing stunt work as a martial artist before he debuted as an actor. Being a stuntman was his dream career and it had him work with EA Games, an American video game company before he embraced acting. With the many roles he has played across the small and big screens, it is only natural that he is someone that piques the interest of many people who are also interested in keeping up with his life outside of his career.
7. The Chinese-Canadian Actor Is 35 Years Old and Was Born In Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
As the actor continues to land more roles in popular productions, more and more people have become curious about Chau’s age, family background, and things of that sort. It is not a secret that he was born on the 20th of July 1986, and that his place of birth was in Canada, precisely in Vancouver, British Columbia. Looking at Osric Chau, one does not need to be told that he is of Asian heritage. The actor was born to a Malaysian mother and a father originally from Hong Kong. So, he is a Canadian of Chinese extraction and not the only child of his parents.
While details about his upbringing and the family he hails from are quite hard to come by, we can confirm that he has a younger brother named Owen Chaun. Reports have it that Owen also got involved in martial arts like his older famous brother and that he is not Osric’s only sibling. When Chau was around 14 years old, he began learning Wing Chun, a Southern Chinese Kung fu style. He kept up with this for about eight years and also trained in other forms of martial arts. Notably, he trained in Shadowboxing (tai chi) and Kungfu under a renowned trainer called Zhang Zhi Bing.
He would later train with the West Coast Chinese Martial Arts in Vancouver before he traveled to Beijing, China, where he trained for over half a year with the Beijing Wushu Team, a famous wushu team from Beijing Sport University known to have produced several international stars like Donnie Yen, Jet Li, Wu Jing, and Zhang Hongmei. After Osric Chua returned from China, he joined the Canadian National Wushu Team. He subjected himself to all of this training because he wanted to become a renowned stuntman; being an actor wasn’t what he aimed for.
6. Osric Chau Is 5 Feet 8 Inches (1.73 m) Tall; Most Men From His Country Are Taller Than Him
Many people would agree that having a good height is only an advantage for someone who wants to become an actor, but not a crucial factor. As filmmakers have ways of manipulating the height of a performer, casting directors would almost always choose talent over height as long as the role isn’t particular about the physique of the character. Being a stuntman, Osric Chau has the skill and talent that has helped him land several roles. This has hugely compensated for what he lacked in height.
Based on what several platforms have reported, the average height of Hollywood actresses is 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 m), and the average height for actors, 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m). If this is true, it means that most actors in the industry are taller than Chau. This has not made him less of an actor in any way, in fact, he is significantly taller than many other prominent actors like Daniel Radcliffe, Al Pacino, and Tom Cruise. Respectively, these actors stand at 5 feet 5 inches, 5 feet 6 inches, and 5 feet 7 inches. Chau shares the same height with actors like Zac Efron and Mark Wahlberg.
In countries like Indonesia where the average height is 5.183 feet (62.2 inches) or Timor, a Southeast Asia nation where the average height for men is 5 feet 3 inches (1.60 m), the Chinese-Canadian actor would be considered a tall man. But in Canada, he is not as tall as the average man in the country. It is said that the average height for men in Canada is 5 feet 10.1 inches; this means that majority of men in the country are at least 2.1 inches taller than Chau. In the United States where he now resides, the average height for men is 5 feet 9.3 inches (1.76 m) and 5 feet 7.6 inches in China.
5. He Made His Acting Debut In 2002 As Vic Dnang In Cold Squad
Cold Squad premiered on CTV in January 1998 and ran for seven seasons which spewed a total of 98 episodes until June 2005. The Canadian police procedural television series brought several performers to the limelight and to the best of our knowledge, was the work that ushered Osric Chau into his acting career. He played Vin Dnang in a 2002 episode of the series titled “Back in the Day”. After he made his acting debut, one would imagine that he would focus on pursuing a career in the industry but Chau was happy being a stunt man and he continued working as such.
In 2006, he performed stunts in a short action film titled 500 to 1. The film directed by Bruce Fontaine stars Aaron Au alongside Ryan Chan and Brian Ho. The following year, Osric landed another acting role in the CBC Television miniseries, Dragon Boys. Starring Eric Tsang, Byron Mann, and Tzi Ma alongside other popular names, the series which aired in January 2007 earned Osric a great deal of attention that paved the way for him to get his first significant role as an actor the following year.
In 2008, the Canadian actor got to play Lan Han in the two-part miniseries that aired on Spike TV, Kung Fu Killer. His performance in the production which featured other eastern Kung Fu talent motivated Chau to actively pursue a career in acting. He got his breakout role the next year and hasn’t looked back ever since.
4. Osric Chau’s Breakout Role Was As Nima In 2012
After Kung Fu Killer, Osric Chau for the first time deliberately pursued a career in acting, and 2009 saw him land his breakout role. He played a young monk named Nima in the American science fiction disaster film, 2012. The movie written and directed by Roland Emmerich stars John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Thandiwe Newton, Danny Glover, and Woody Harrelson. While the film received mixed reviews, it performed well at the box office as it grossed $791.2 million on a budget of $200 million. Through this work, Osric gained international fame which he consolidated on with roles in subsequent productions.
His next major film role after playing Nima in 2012 was in What Women Want (Wo zhi nv ren xin). The actor played Chen Er Dong in the 2011 Chinese-Hong Kong romantic action comedy film, a remake of a 2000 American romantic fantasy comedy film of the same title. That same year, he had a role in Elixir, a short romance fantasy that Jennifer Schwerin co-wrote and directed. Also, he pulled off a role in Best Player, a television film released in March of the same year. Before all of these, the actor was seen as Hector in the “Forest Gump” episode of The Troop, Imer in a short film titled Rasa, and Tom in another short film titled Gardenesque.
3. His First Lead Role On The Big Screen Is as Peng In 2012’s Fun Size
2012 was a defining year for Osric Chau and his career. It was the year he pulled off his first lead role on the big screen and also the year he began playing Kevin Tran in Supernatural. An American teen comedy film written by Max Werner and directed by Josh Schwartz, Fun Size had the Canadian actor play a nerd named Peng Chong alongside Thomas Mann, Jane Levy, Jackson Nicoll, Victoria Justice, and Thomas Middleditch. The movie grossed only $11 million against a budget of $14 million and mostly received negative reviews for its sexual content and adult humor. The flop didn’t bother the actor much as it was only his first movie lead role.
It was in the same year that Chau played a supporting role in the American martial arts film, The Man with the Iron Fists. The movie directed by Robert Fitzgerald Diggs (RZA) grossed $20.5 million against a budget of $15 million and was released to mixed reviews. Also in 2012, the Canadian actor landed what remains his most notable acting role, as Kevin Tran in the American dark fantasy drama television series, Supernatural. The series aired from September 2005 to November 2020 and Osric played the recurring role in a total of 19 episodes from 2012 to 2019.
2. Osric Chau Is Also a Director and Producer
In addition to the foregoing, the actor has had roles in other notable productions like the BBC America comic science fiction series, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency; the Hallmark series, Morning Show Mysteries, and the 2016 independent film, The Matchbreaker.
More than playing roles in movies and TV shows, he is also a filmmaker who has directed and produced multiple projects. The first work he directed was Candlelight, a short thriller film written by Chris Tom, he co-directed the 2011 production with Stanley Tsang. The following year, Osric directed his second project, another short film titled Must Come Down. The animated action film written by Eric Stirpe stars Osric alongside his younger brother Owen Chau and Wyatt Banks.
As of 2021, the Chinese-Canadian actor has completed directing his third project titled Good News; it is also a short film that Osric wrote and it stars Jacky Lai, Ken Kirby, and Viv Leacock. Chau has so far produced at least 13 projects, including the three short films he directed. Most of his production projects are short films, apart from Empty by Design and Superhost. The former is a 2019 drama feature film written and directed by Andrea A. Walter. Osric played Eric thereof alongside Dante Basco and Desmond Chiam. Superhost, on the other hand, is a 2021 horror thriller written and directed by Brandon Christensen. It also stars Osric Chau opposite Sara Canning and Gracie Gillam.
1. He Didn’t Want to Become an Actor Because He Wasn’t Good At It
For someone who has not only played multiple roles across the small and big screens but has also directed and produced multiple projects, it is hard to imagine that Osric Chau didn’t want to become an actor. As hinted earlier, his dream was to become a stuntman and he pursued a career in that path. It inadvertently earned him his first acting role but even at that, the Canadian was unwilling to attempt pursuing a career in acting. According to him, this was because he took acting classes when he was much younger and realized he “really sucked” at it.
Based on what he said, what has helped him survive in the field, apart from his martial arts skills and experience as a stuntman, is his prowess for public speaking. The actor was president of the Student Council when he was in high school. This meant he gave a lot of speeches through which he became comfortable talking in front of an audience. While he didn’t aspire to become an actor, he has fallen in love with the profession and is grateful for the opportunity to play various characters.