Albert M. Chan

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Albert M. Chan
Albert M. Chan at the 13th Annual Vancouver Asian Film Festival
Albert Michael Chan

(1975-10-01) October 1, 1975 (age 47)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Occupation(s)Actor, filmmaker
Years active2004—present
WebsiteOfficial Website of Albert M. Chan

Albert M. Chan (born October 1, 1975) is a Canadian actor and filmmaker based in the United States.[1]


Chan was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and lived in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. He moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 1997, to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering.[1]


Career development[edit]

Chan first began his career working on student films, indie films, and theatre in the Boston area while still a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It took several years before he landed his first major role in 2006, a part in Walt Disney Picture's Underdog,[2] which was released in 2007. He followed up with TV roles that same year in The CW Television Network pilot I'm Paige Wilson and Showtime's Brotherhood.

Also in 2007, Chan took matters into his own hands and wrote, directed, produced, and starred in his own film, Fate Scores, which also featured the acoustic guitar song "It Won't Be Long", written and performed by Chan.[2] In his directorial debut, Chan was recognized by the National Film Board of Canada as second runner-up for Best Canadian Short Film at the Vancouver Asian Film Festival in 2009.[3] Fate Scores premiered at the Wisconsin Film Festival on April 5, 2009, and has since appeared in seven additional film festivals in North America.[4] The film was acquired for distribution in 2010 by Moving Images Distribution (formerly Canadian Filmmakers Distribution West).

In 2008, Chan was cast in a supporting role working alongside Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner in the New Line Cinema romantic comedy Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and also completed filming Every Day, starring Helen Hunt and Liev Schreiber, which opened at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival.

In 2009, Chan filmed the supporting role of Richard in the indie feature Life of Lemon, starring Dan Lauria, Beth Grant, and Rachel Miner and also had a role on the NBC hit drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In 2010, he was cast in ABC's Body of Proof, and the following year he was cast in Spike Lee's HBO pilot Da Brick.

Chan returned to filmmaking in 2011 when he wrote, directed, executive produced, and starred in his own film, The Commitment, about an interracial gay couple adopting a newborn baby. The film was inspired by an unsuccessful adoption in Chan's actual life. "Those familiar with domestic adoption had told us before we began that the adoption process is truly a roller coaster ride, and now we finally understood what these people meant," Chan explained on the film's official website.[5] "I dealt with the feelings of loss and disappointment the only way I knew how—I wrote a screenplay. Four unsuccessful birthparent matches and one year later, The Commitment went into production. Two weeks after the film wrapped, our beautiful son Andrew was born, the result of our fifth match." The film premiered in Palm Springs on September 22, 2012, and has since won the 2013 National Association of Social Workers Media Award for Best Feature Film (edging out fellow nominees Moonrise Kingdom and What to Expect When You're Expecting (film), the Audience Award for Best Short at the 2013 Desperado LGBT Film Festival (Phoenix, AZ), both the Jury Award and Audience Award for Best LGBT Film at the 2013 SENE Film, Music, & Arts Festival (Providence, RI), a Best LGBT Film nomination at the 2013 Out in the Desert: Tucson's International LGBT Film Festival, Audience Favorite - Short Series at the 2012 Palm Springs Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (shared with Little Ones and Groom's Cake), and Best Supporting Actress - Short Film at the Summer 2012 Asians On Film Festival.[5] The film has screened at over 40 film festivals on six continents.[5]

In 2012, Chan appeared as Roy on the NBC hit comedy series 30 Rock. He also filmed two television movies: Clear History starring Larry David and Jon Hamm and directed by Greg Mottola for HBO, and The Makeover starring Julia Stiles and Camryn Manheim for ABC and the Hallmark Hall of Fame. The Makeover premiered on ABC on January 27, 2013, and Clear History premiered on HBO on August 10, 2013. Also in 2013, Chan was cast Lloyd Chang in his second role on the NBC hit drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, opposite special guest star Cybill Shepherd.

In 2014, Chan completed Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future, a film he wrote and directed, starring Golden Globe, Emmy, and Drama Desk nominee Tina Chen,[6] which won Best Screenplay and Best Actress at the 2015 NYC Downtown Short Film Festival.[7] The film, based on the immigration history of Chan's family, was awarded a Puffin Foundation Grant and named a finalist for the Roy W. Dean Film Grant.[6]

In 2016, Chan was cast in the Boston Marathon bombing film Patriots Day starring Mark Wahlberg and Kevin Bacon and also in the final season of the hit HBO series Girls, which aired at the beginning of 2017. That same year, Chan guest starred on the FOX drama Gotham and shot a recurring role as Tony Q on the upcoming TV series Big Dogs.

Chan also wrote and co-directed Welcome to the World in 2017, a dark drama about a troubled man who records a video message for his sister. Chan shot the film in one continuous take with a budget of less than $140.[8] Richard Propes of The Independent Critic gave the film four stars and wrote, "riveting piece of human drama... Chan's performance is deeply moving... lingers in your brain long after the closing credits".[9] Kirk Fernwood of One Film Fan praised the film as "intelligent, inventive, and inspired... Chan does a fantastic job... drawing you in with every word... the finale is a stroke of creative brilliance and artistry".[10] The film has screened at over 40 film festivals on six continents.[11]

In 2019, Chan was cast as a therapist in the Anna Kendrick HBO Max series Love Life, which premiered in 2020. That same year, he scored a role on the hit NBC series New Amsterdam. Also, two of his projects premiered on the same day on Amazon Prime Video: the feature film Big Exit in which Chan plays insurance agent Tim, and the TV series Big Dogs in which Chan has a recurring role as wardrobe stylist Tony Q. The latter also premiered on Tubi.

Other work[edit]

He is currently an on-line spokesperson for Staples Inc. where he demonstrates printers as Mike from EasyTech.

As a consequence of both his academic and acting careers, Chan has an Erdős–Bacon number of 4. He co-authored a peer-reviewed paper on OFDM, giving him an Erdős number of 3.[12][13][14] Chan appeared alongside Kevin Bacon in Patriots Day, giving him a Bacon number of 1.[15]


Chan has been featured as an up-and-coming actor and director in numerous print and on-line articles including a story by The Advocate,[16] an Asian American Risings A-Profiler feature,[17] four Sampan articles,[18][19][20][8] two Bay Windows interviews,[21][22] an MIT Alumni Association profile,[23] and a Slice of MIT article.[24] He has also appeared as a panelist at a sneak preview of the PBS TV show American Masters: Hollywood Chinese.


Year Title Role Notes
2004 Overserved Wang Long
2005 Number Two Pencil Phillip
2006 Interrogation Charles Han
2007 Underdog Geek Worker
Brotherhood Brothel Manager Episode: "Not Dark Yet 3:5-6"
American Experience Chinese Prisoner Episode: "The Living Weapon"
I'm Paige Wilson Dealer The CW pilot
2008 Ana's Time Ken Chuen
2009 Ghosts of Girlfriends Past Groomsman Sam
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Banker 1 Episode (Sugar)
Fate Scores Guitarist Also director and writer
2010 Every Day Dr. Lee
2011 Life of Lemon Richard
Body of Proof Lab Tech 1 Episode (Letting Go)
Da Brick Tim HBO pilot
2012 30 Rock Roy 1 Episode (Alexis Goodlooking and The Case of The Missing Whisky)
The Commitment Robert Also Director and Writer
2013 The Makeover Pearce
Clear History Electron Motors Co-Worker
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Lloyd Chang 1 Episode (An American Tragedy)
2014 Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future Andrew Also director and writer
2016 Patriots Day Computer Forensic Tech
2017 Girls Ming 1 Episode (All I Ever Wanted)
Welcome to the World Man Also co-director and writer
Gotham Pharmacist 1 Episode (A Dark Knight: The Blade's Path)
2020 New Amsterdam EEG Tech 1 Episode (Perspectives)
Love Life Therapist 1 Episode (Bradley Field)
Big Dogs Tony Q 2 Episodes (Things I've Done, All for None)
Big Exit Tim
2022 Julia Owner 1 Episode (Crepes Suzette)
The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry Mr. Balboni


  1. ^ a b "Asian Actor Albert M. Chan". Retrieved October 17, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Albert M. Chan at IMDb
  3. ^ "Vancouver Asian Film Festival 2009: NFB award winner announced". Archived from the original on 2012-10-17.
  4. ^ "Fate Scores official website".
  5. ^ a b c "The Commitment official website".
  6. ^ a b "Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future official website".
  7. ^ "Duo Multicultural Arts Center - FILM". Retrieved 2017-10-27.
  8. ^ a b "Local director/actor Albert M. Chan to present East Coast premiere of 'Welcome to the World' in Boston". Sampan. Retrieved 2017-10-27.
  9. ^ "The Independent Critic - "Welcome to the World" a Deeply Moving New Short Film". Retrieved 2017-10-27.
  10. ^ "Short Film Review "Welcome To The World ← One Film Fan". Retrieved 2017-10-27.
  11. ^ "Welcome to the World official website".
  12. ^ Lee, Inkyu; Chan, Albert M.; Sundberg, Carl-Erik (2004). "Space-time bit-interleaved coded modulation for OFDM systems". IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing. 52 (3): 820–25. doi:10.1109/TSP.2003.822350.
  13. ^ Duren, Peter; Khavinson, Dmitry; Shapiro, Harold S.; Sundberg, Carl-Erik (1994). "Invariant subspaces in Bergman spaces and the biharmonic equation". Michigan Mathematical Journal. 41 (2): 247–59. doi:10.1307/mmj/1029004992.
  14. ^ Erdős, Paul; Shapiro, Harold S. (1965). "Large and small subspaces of Hilbert space". Michigan Mathematical Journal. 12 (2): 169–78. doi:10.1307/mmj/1028999306.
  15. ^ Patriots Day at IMDb as "Computer Forensic Tech"
  16. ^ Want to Help Gay Asian Film Become First To Win Social Work Award?, a March 9, 2013 article from The Advocate
  17. ^ "Asian American Risings A-Profiler Feature". Archived from the original on 2009-11-25. Retrieved 2009-11-27.
  18. ^ Sampan Newspaper interview[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ Local Asian-American Director’s Gay Adoption Film Nominated for National Media Award, a March 1, 2013 article from Sampan
  20. ^ Golden Globe, Emmy, and Drama Desk Nominee Joins Cast of Asian Family Drama, an August 15, 2013 article from Sampan
  21. ^ Big Score, an April 30, 2009 article from Bay Windows
  22. ^ The Commitment at Boston's Asian American Film Festival, an October 10, 2012 article from Bay Windows
  23. ^ "MIT Alumni Association profile". Archived from the original on 2009-04-27. Retrieved 2009-11-27.
  24. ^ Slice of MIT article

External links[edit]