Katie Leung

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Katie Leung
Katie Leungpremiere2008.jpg
Katie Leung at the Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire Tokyo premiere, 2005
Born Katie Liu Leung
(1987-08-08) 8 August 1987 (age 26)
Motherwell, Scotland
Occupation Actress
Years active 2004 – present
Katie Leung
Traditional Chinese 梁佩詩
Simplified Chinese 梁佩诗

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.

Early life[edit]

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.[1] She attended secondary school at Hamilton College.[2][3][4][5]

Career[edit]

Harry Potter[edit]

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,[2] 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.[6] In retrospect, she stated in an interview with the Daily Record that her Scottish accent probably gave her an advantage in the casting,[7] as the casting director asked the girls who attended the audition, "Is there anyone here from Scotland?", to which only Leung raised her hand.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10]

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.[11] 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.[12][13]

Leung's voice was used in the video games Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. In July 2009, She returned as Cho Chang in Part 2.[14]

Other work[edit]

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."[15]

Leung played Hsui Tai in the episode "Cat Among the Pigeons" of ITV1's Agatha Christie's Poirot,[3][16] which premiered on ITV on 21 September 2008.

Leung has been named as Scotland's most stylish female and as the hottest Scotswoman by The Scotsman.[17] She has also been featured in Teen Vogue and in Evening Standard.[18][19]

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.[20] In December 2011, she was awarded the role of Jung Chang as her debut stage role in Jung Chang's autobiographical play Wild Swans.[21] 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."[22] The play made its world premiere in Cambridge, Massachusetts in February 2012, before returning to London.[23]

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.[24]

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.[25] Leung is also starring in the BBC's production Father Brown crime drama series.[26]

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.[27][better source needed]

Personal life[edit]

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.[28] 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.[29] In 2008, she attended University of the Arts London.[3] Leung has expressed a passion for photography.[30] 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.[31][32] While appearing in Wild Swans, Leung worked to complete her photography degree.[33] 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.[33]

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.[9] She speaks fluent Cantonese.[34]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
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
2013 Run Nu-Ying TV Mini-Series
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

Achievements[edit]

2008

2007

  • Scotland's Most Stylish Female[36]
  • No. 80 on the Cosmogirl's Hot 100 List.[37]

2006

  • Outstanding Newcomer Award, Asian Excellence Awards (Top 4)
  • Young Scots Award (nominee)

References[edit]

  1. ^ LORRAINE FISHER (29 June 2007). "Move over Hermione – there are three new girls vying for Harry Potter's attention.". Daily Mail (UK). Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Synnot, Siobhan (21 June 2007). "KISS ME KATIE". Daily Record. Retrieved 29 November 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c Williams, Amy (19 September 2008). "Small-screen gems: The young British actresses to watch". MailOnline. Retrieved 12 August 2009. 
  4. ^ LAU KIT WAI. Katie casts a spell. South China Morning Post. YOUNGPOST; Pg. 1. 11 December 2005.
  5. ^ Dougan, Andy (4 November 2005). "'Motherwell girl Katie steals Harry Potter 's heart; MOVIE SPECIAL Katie Leung on her dream role . . . and the big secret she had to keep for two months.". Evening Times (Glasgow). NEWS. p. 14. 
  6. ^ "Katie Leung 5/2007 Interview BBC.com". BBC. Retrieved 5 November 2009. 
  7. ^ "Exclusive: My Broad Accent Scot Me A Job As Harry Girl". The Daily Record. 14 November 2005. Retrieved 19 March 2011. 
  8. ^ The Scotsman (26 June 2007). "What Katie did next". Netflix. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Herald Scotland. "Lights, camera ... magic". Herald and Times Group. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  10. ^ Pride, William M.; Hughes, Robert J.; Kapoor, Jack R. (2008). Business. Houghton Miffin. p. 540. ISBN 0-618-75314-1. 
  11. ^ "Daniel Radcliffe: Harry Potter's First Kiss Took Several Takes to Get Right". Fox News AP. 29 June 2009. Retrieved 12 December 2009. 
  12. ^ "KATIE: I CRIED FOR HARRY'S ILL FANS". Scotland: Daily Record. 16 November 2005. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  13. ^ United Press International (11 April 2005). "Racists slam 'Harry Potter' actress". UPI. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  14. ^ "More Deathly Hallows cast updates". mugglenet.com. Retrieved 12 December 2009. 
  15. ^ (Chinese) "基仔張秋親熱大汗疊細汗". Sina.com. 31 July 2007. Retrieved 1 August 2007. [dead link]
  16. ^ Hendry, Steve (2 December 2007). "What Katie Leung Did Again". Sunday Mail. Retrieved 2 December 2007. 
  17. ^ Watson, Jeremy (18 November 2007). "Harry Potter actress flies from Hogwarts to top of eligibles list". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2 December 2007. 
  18. ^ "Teen Vogue". All Stars Online. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  19. ^ "Katie Leung Evening Standard photoshoot, June 2007". SnitchSeeker.com. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  20. ^ "LEUNG NEARLY QUIT ACTING AFTER POTTER". Scotland: The Express. 6 December 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  21. ^ "Harry Potter actress Katie Leung lands debut stage role". BBC News. 7 December 2011. 
  22. ^ Amy Adler (8 February 2012). "Katie Leung Goes Wild". TheaterMania.com, Inc. Retrieved 8 February 2012. 
  23. ^ Wei-Huan Chen. "'Wild Swans' tries to fit China on stage". Dedham, Massachusetts: Dedham Transcript. Retrieved 12 February 2012. 
  24. ^ Channel 4 Run Cast Announcement
  25. ^ "The World of Extreme Happiness: A Story of China's Urban Migrants". The Culture Trip - China. 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2014. 
  26. ^ Harry Potter actress Katie Leung tells nearly quit showbusiness Daily Mail UK, Retrieved 21 July 2013
  27. ^ Harry Potter's Katie Leung To Star In BBC Two Mini-Series one Child SnitchSeeker, Retrieved 1 April 2014
  28. ^ Antrobus, Corrina. "Katie Leung interview". Virgin Media. Retrieved 13 December 2009. 
  29. ^ Edinburgh Evening News (4 December 2007). "Potter star Katie helps raise £100,000". The Scotsman. Retrieved 12 December 2009. 
  30. ^ Cheesman, Chris (26 November 2009). "HARRY POTTER STAR REVEALS PHOTOGRAPHY 'PASSION'". Amateur Photographer. Retrieved 12 December 2009. 
  31. ^ "i:click". Sightsavers International. Retrieved 12 December 2009. 
  32. ^ Carswell, Andy (3 December 2009). "Amersham teen's photo to appear alongside work of Harry Potter actress". Bucks Free Press & Times Group. Retrieved 12 December 2009. 
  33. ^ a b Louise Jury (20 April 2012). "Harry Potter star Katie Leung makes stage debut... before a spell at drama school". London Evening Standard (UK). Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  34. ^ "Katie Leung: I almost quit acting after Harry Potter". UK: Metro. Retrieved 21 April 2012. 
  35. ^ "2008 Movie Awards Winners". MTV Networks. Retrieved 5 November 2009. 
  36. ^ "Awards ceremony celebrates Glasgow's style". Glasgow City Marketing Bureau. Retrieved Nov 5, 2009. [dead link]
  37. ^ "Katie Leung in Cosmo Girl magazine". snitch seeker.com. 22 May 2007. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 

External links[edit]