Katie Leung at the Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire Tokyo premiere, 2005
|Born||Katie Liu Leung
8 August 1987
|Years active||2004 – present|
Katie Liu Leung (born 8 August 1987) is a Scottish film, television and stage actress. She is perhaps best known for playing Cho Chang, first love interest for lead character Harry Potter, in the Harry Potter film series. A kiss between Leung and Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix drew world-wide press attention. In 2012, Leung made her stage debut in the play Wild Swans. Leung has an interest in painting and photography and studied art and design at the University of the Arts, London.
Leung was born in Motherwell, Lanarkshire to Peter, a businessman, and Kar Wai Li Leung, who works in a law firm. Her parents are now divorced. An immigrant from Hong Kong, her father owns a profitable restaurant and a Chinese food wholesale firm. She attended secondary school at Hamilton College.
Leung's father saw an advertisement for a Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire casting call, and suggested she should try out. She waited four hours in line for a five-minute audition, despite feeling she had little likelihood of obtaining the role, Two weeks later, she was called back for a workshop and was cast as Cho Chang, beating out over 3,000 other girls for the part. In retrospect, she stated in an interview with the Daily Record that her Scottish accent probably gave her an advantage in the casting, as the casting director asked the girls who attended the audition, "Is there anyone here from Scotland?", to which only Leung raised her hand. In a 2011 interview Leung said her fondest memory of the Harry Potter experience was the first audition, because both her parents, who were separated at the time, went with her. "It was a really nice moment because my parents hadn't seen each other for a long, long time," Leung said. In an effort to heavily promote Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Warner Bros. sent Leung to China in the film's second week of release, which was unusual for a market not used to frequent celebrity visits.
She appeared in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in which she and Daniel Radcliffe (Harry) shared an on-screen kiss that received much media coverage. Her role was significant in the series at this point as Harry Potter's first romance. While Leung was greeted warmly by most fans of the series, some Potter fans, jealous of Leung's relationship with Harry in the film, created a "I Hate Katie" website and racist messages posted on fan websites were upsetting to Leung at the time.
In July 2007, Leung was cast by Gold Label Records, a subsidiary of EMI in Hong Kong, to be the female lead in the music video Love Coming Home (愛回家) by Leo Ku. Leung filmed the video in London while promoting the new Harry Potter film. Ku described Leung's acting as "professional" and "mature."
Following the end of the Harry Potter films, Leung said she was uncertain if she wanted to continue a career in acting. However, after attending a drama course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland she was inspired. In December 2011, she was awarded the role of Jung Chang as her debut stage role in Jung Chang's autobiographical play Wild Swans. In comparing film to live performances, Leung said, "The obvious challenge is of course getting it right the first time, which is weirdly exciting for me." The play made its world premiere in Cambridge, Massachusetts in February 2012, before returning to London.
In June 2012, it was confirmed that Leung will be starring in Channel 4 four-part drama series called Run as leading character called Nu-Ying. Leung's character Nu-Ying is an illegal Chinese immigrant who sells pirate DVDs and stolen phones on the streets of Brixton in hope of making a life for herself in the UK. But first she must pay her debts to the Snakehead gang who smuggled her into Britain. When an immigration raid leaves her with no friends, no home and no money, an unlikely love story begins which could offer Nu-Ying a way out.
She starred in The World of Extreme Happiness (The Shed at the National Theatre, 2013), in which she played Sunny, along with Vera Chok as Xiao Li, a female migrant worker, in a production about the world of migrant workers in rapidly emerging modern China. Leung is also starring in the BBC's production Father Brown crime drama series.
In April 2014, it was announced that Leung is to play the role of Mei. Mei, a first-born Chinese girl adopted by an American mother and British father, is asked to return to her birthplace, Guangzhou, when her birth mother desperately seeks her assistance in saving her son. How far will Mei go to help the woman who gave her away and the brother she’s never met? This drama takes a new look at what it means to be family. It is made by BBC Drama production for BBC Two and is co-produced with Sundance TV. One Child begins production in May in London and Hong Kong and will air in late 2014.[better source needed]
Leung delayed plans to go to art college and university to film Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. During this period, Leung had said she was undecided about pursuing an acting career after Harry Potter and wished to attend university to study art and design. In 2007, she helped The Prince's Trust charity of Scotland raise £100,000 by launching a children's art competition and also donated one of her own paintings which was auctioned for £960. In 2008, she attended University of the Arts London. Leung has expressed a passion for photography. In 2009, she was one of two celebrities who donated a photo to Sightsavers International's i:click 2009 competition. Sightsavers International is a charitable organisation to combat blindness in poor countries. While appearing in Wild Swans, Leung worked to complete her photography degree. On the completion of the play Leung has said she will attend the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, where she is currently studying on the BA Acting course.
Despite having experienced a great deal of international influence, travelling to promote Harry Potter and visiting relatives in Hong Kong, Leung has said “I feel very Scottish." Leung still lives in Motherwell, where she was born. She speaks fluent Cantonese.
|2005||Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire||Cho Chang||Film|
|2007||Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix||Cho Chang||Film|
|2008||Agatha Christie's Poirot||Hsui Tai||(TV) Episode "Cat Amongst the Pigeons". ITV1 TV Production|
|2011||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2||Cho Chang||Film|
|2012||Wild Swans||Jung Chang||Stage production|
|The World of Extreme Happiness||Sunny||Stage production|
|2014||Father Brown||Jia-Li Gerard||TV Production (Series 2, Episode 8:"The Prize of Colonel Gerard")|
|The Merchant of Venice||Portia||Stage production|
|One Child||Mei||TV, pre-production|
- Outstanding Newcomer Award, Asian Excellence Awards (Top 4)
- Young Scots Award (nominee)
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- Channel 4 Run Cast Announcement
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