Desmond Chiam

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Desmond Chiam
Years active2007–present

Desmond Chiam is an Australian actor best known for his role as Wyatt Cole on Reef Break, General Riga on The Shannara Chronicles and Dovich on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

Early life and education[edit]

Chiam was born to parents of Chinese Singaporean descent.[1] As a child he spent a third of the year in Singapore as his father often worked there.[2] He holds a law degree from the University of Melbourne and also a master's degree in screenwriting from University of Southern California.[3][2]


Chiam first pursued a career as a lawyer after he graduated from the University of Melbourne. Unsatisfied with a law career after three months, he decided to pursue more creative fields in breakdancing and acting.[3][4][5]

He first started in short films in Australia before eventually appearing in Australian television in series such as Neighbours and Better Man. He eventually moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting.[6][7] Chiam has had roles in multiple American television series including NCIS: Los Angeles and Bones, and was also in Con Man, a webseries by Alan Tudyk.[8]

In February 2017, he joined the main cast of Spike TV's The Shannara Chronicles (the series was formerly on MTV) in the show's second season where he played the villain, General Riga.[9] Following the Shannara Chronicles, he was cast as Jethro, boyfriend to Carly played by Kelli Berglund, in the Starz series Now Apocalypse starring Avan Jogia by Gregg Araki.[10] Following the series, he joined the cast of the Manila-set film Empty by Design working alongside friends Chris Pang, Osric Chau, Yoshi Sudarso, and Andrea Walter.[11]

In December 2018, he was cast as the male lead Wyatt Cole in ABC and M6's 2019 summer crime series Reef Break opposite Poppy Montgomery.[12][13][14][15][16] Following Reef Break's cancellation, Chiam joined the cast of the Marvel series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier as Dovich.[17]

Following The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Chiam was cast as Nick Zhao in With Love, Amazon’s one-hour romantic comedy series from Gloria Calderón Kellett and her GloNation Studios and Amazon Studios.[18] Chiam has also made a foray into the world of voice acting and can be heard as the English voice of Werewolf Cookie in popular game Cookie Run Kingdom.[19]

Desmond will be seen alongside Chris Pang, Alexander Hodge, Sherry Austria, Stephanie Hsu, Ashley Park and Sabrina Wu in Adele Lim's upcoming directorial debut.[20] He is also slated to be seen in Netflix's adaptation of Partner Track featuring Arden Cho.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Chiam was CLEO Singapore's Bachelor of the Year in 2011.[22]

He resides in Los Angeles with his wife.[6]


Year Title Role Notes Refs
2012 Neighbours Jack Dutton 1 episode
2013 Better Man Hong Film
2016 Bones 1 episode [8]
2016 NCIS: Los Angeles Edward Lee 1 episode
2016 Con Man 1 episode [8]
2017 The Shannara Chronicles General Riga Main cast (season 2)
2018 Hawaii Five-0 Kazuya Nemoto 1 episode
2018 Asian Bachelorette 2 Aden YouTube film from Wong Fu Productions [8]
2018 We Were Tomorrow Kuo 4 episodes
2019 Empty by Design Chance [8]
2019 Now Apocalypse Jethro Main cast
2019 Reef Break Wyatt Cole Main cast; lead role
2020 Magic Camp Xerxes Film [8]
2021 The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Dovich Recurring; 6 episodes [23]
2021 Cookie Run: Kingdom Werewolf Cookie Video game [24]
2021 With Love Nick Zhao Main cast [18]
2022 Partner Track Z Min [21]
TBD Untitled Clarence [20]


  1. ^ "How 'bad guy' roles have evolved for people of color". Public Radio International. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Desmond Chiam on Landing His Childhood Fantasy Role in 'Shannara Chronicles'". Kore Asian Media. 10 November 2017. Archived from the original on 23 November 2018. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Exclusive Interview: Talking Nerdy with Shannara Chronicles' Desmond Chiam". TalkNerdyWithUs. 3 November 2017. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  4. ^ "From Weekday Lawyer to War Lord: "The Shannara Chronicles'" Desmond Chiam Makes a Case for the Magic of Asian Elves". Hyphen Magazine. 16 November 2017. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Pop-Culturalist Chats with Desmond Chiam -". 22 November 2017. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Desmond Chiam: The Asian-Australian Actor You Need to Follow Right Now". Cold Tea Collective. 20 June 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  7. ^ "From Real-Life Lawyer To TV Detective: Here's Why Desmond Chiam Left The Law Behind". Character Media. 15 August 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d e f "Desmond Chiam". IMDb. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  9. ^ Petski, Denise (1 February 2017). "'The Shannara Chronicles' Rounds Out Season 2 Cast As Production Begins In New Zealand". Deadline. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  10. ^ Petski, Denise (20 June 2018). "'Now Apocalypse': Desmond Chiam & Taylor Hart Set To Recur On Starz Comedy Series". Deadline. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  11. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (20 August 2018). "Danny Pudi Set For 'Babysplitters'; 'Crazy Rich Asians' Star Chris Pang Joins Osric Chau In 'Empty By Design'". Deadline. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  12. ^ Petski, Denise; Andreeva, Nellie (7 December 2018). "'Reef Break': Desmond Chiam To Star In ABC/M6 Crime Drama Series". Deadline. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  13. ^ Anop, Nirat. "Reef Break - Desmond Chiam to Star in ABC Summer Series". SpoilerTV. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  14. ^ Nguyen, Hanh (20 June 2019). "'Reef Break' Review: ABC's Goofy Drama Rides the Crime Wave for Escapist Summer Fare". IndieWire. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  15. ^ "After 'Crazy Rich' smash, Hollywood embraces Asian faces". Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  16. ^ "Want More Wyatt On 'Reef Break'? Me Too". Romper. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  17. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (13 December 2019). "'The Falcon And The Winter Soldier' Adds 'Reef Break' Star Desmond Chiam And 'The Terror's Miki Ishikawa". Deadline. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  18. ^ a b Petski, Denise (9 June 2021). "'With Love': Rome Flynn, Isis King, Todd Grinnell, Desmond Chiam Join Gloria Calderón Kellett's Amazon Series". Deadline. Retrieved 27 September 2021.
  19. ^ "Werewolf Cookie". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved 27 September 2021.
  20. ^ a b Grobar, Matt (5 October 2021). "Desmond Chiam, Alexander Hodge & Chris Pang Board Adele Lim Comedy From Lionsgate & Point Grey". Deadline. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  21. ^ a b Grobar, Matt (29 October 2021). "'Partner Track': Desmond Chiam And Tehmina Sunny Join Netflix Series As Recurring". Deadline. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  22. ^ SPH Razor (25 July 2013), The most eligible bachelor in Singapore (Cleo 50 Most Eligible Bachelor 2011 Pt 1), retrieved 19 November 2018
  23. ^ "Desmond Chiam talks 'Falcon and the Winter Soldier,' love of Marvel Universe". Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  24. ^ "Desmond Chiam (visual voices guide)". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved 2 August 2022.

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