Garrett Wang

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Garrett Wang
Garrett Wang at FedCon 2013.jpg
Wang in 2013 at FedCon in Germany
Born
Garrett Richard Wang

(1968-12-15) December 15, 1968 (age 51)
Other namesWang Yi Jahn[1] (王以瞻)[2]
Years active1994–present

Garrett Richard Wang (Chinese: ; pinyin: Wáng Yǐzhān) (born December 15, 1968) is an American actor. Wang is known for his role in Star Trek: Voyager as Ensign Harry Kim.

Early life[edit]

Wang was born in Riverside, California to Taiwanese immigrant parents. He has one sister.[3] Growing up, Wang moved often. He attended kindergarten in Indiana before moving to Bermuda,[3] then Nashville, Tennessee,[4] and then back to California.[3]

In the summer of 1990, he attended a Taiwanese-state sponsored cultural exchange program, which was the first time in his life where he wasn't the only Asian around.[3] He cites this as a reason why he went into acting; to provide a role model in entertainment for other Asian Americans in otherwise predominantly non-Asian environments in the United States.[3] Wang graduated from Harding Academy High School in Memphis.[5]

Wang's parents were not supportive of his acting ambitions. His father emigrated from Taiwan to attend graduate school in the States and did not view acting as a stable career choice.[3] His mother had been accepted to Taiwan School of Drama in her youth but did not go due to her father's objections.[3] When his parents met actress Bonnie Franklin at an airport in Hawaii, she told them that Wang would never make in the business.[3] His mother eventually even suggested that he join the military to learn some discipline.[3]

Wang attended UCLA. He switched majors multiple times, going from biology to political science to history to economics and finally Asian studies with all his upper-division electives in theater.[6]

Career[edit]

When Wang decided to become a full time actor, he made a deal with his parents that he would quit after two years on the condition that they helped finance his expenses.[3] After months of not landing anything, he managed to book a few roles in commercials.[3] This subsequent exposure got him a guest star role in 1994 on the episode "Submission:Impossible" of Margaret Cho's All-American Girl as Raymond Han, who is, ironically enough, a financially stable bachelor who is also a doctor.[3][7]

Wang starred in Eric Koyanagi's MFA thesis film at USC film school, Angry Cafe (1995).[8][9] He subsequently came back to star in Koyanagi's feature directorial debut, hundred percent (1998), which also was Wang's feature debut.[10][8] Both films were written, directed, and starred Asian Americans.[8]

A year and a half after his wager with his parents, Wang landed his most recognizable role as series regular, Ensign Harry Kim, on Star Trek: Voyager, which ran from 1995 to 2001.[3]

In 2005, Wang played the role of Chow Ping in the TV miniseries Into The West, which was executive produced by Steven Spielberg.

He played the part of Garan in the 2007 fan production Star Trek: Of Gods and Men, saying, "it’s always more challenging for an actor to play the bad guy."[11]

Theatre[edit]

In 1993, Wang portrayed John Lee, a gay British Chinese teenager who kills his Irish lover, in Chay Yew's play, Porcelain, at the now defunct Burbage Theater in Sawtelle, Los Angeles,[12] while still a student at UCLA.[8][13]

Star Trek[edit]

From early childhood on, actor Garrett Wang was a science-fiction fan, in particular Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica.[14]

He watched all the Star Trek films that came out in the theaters, but never really got into Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) prior to working on Voyager. The first season-one TNG episode he watched was "Code of Honor", which Garrett says is widely considered by all Trek writers to be the worst episode of Star Trek ever produced. On three separate occasions (in a span of a year and a half), he tried to watch TNG again, and it was always a repeat of "Code of Honor". Wang considers this a good thing, as he believes if he had been a huge fan of TNG, he might have been so nervous during his auditions for Voyager that he might have ended up losing the role altogether.[citation needed]

At Star Trek Las Vegas in 2014, Wang was announced to be reprising his role as Harry Kim in "Delta Rising", the second expansion of the massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Star Trek Online.

Conventions[edit]

He has been a celebrity moderator interviewing other celebrities at various conventions around the world since 2008.[citation needed]

In 2010, Wang was named the director of the Trek Track for Dragon Con, becoming the first actor to work behind the scenes at a convention.[15]

Wang has participated in the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo, in 2012 interviewing Stan Lee and being present at a booth among other exhibitors, as well as being a surprise speaker at TNG Exposed.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Through November 2017, Wang hosted a weekly podcast on Twitch. He discussed his post-Star Trek work as being a convention moderator, and other anecdotes of his life.[16]

He is a Baptist.[3]

Filmography[edit]

Garrett Wang interacts with the audience at his panel at the Calgary Expo 2015.

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1995 Flesh Suitcase
1995 Angry Cafe Short film
1998 Hundred Percent Troy Tashima
1998 Ivory Tower Mark
1999 The Auteur Theory Mike Wong/God
2002 Demon Island Paul
2005 Deja Vu Short video film
2009 Why Am I Doing This? Vic Vu
2009 The Ride Henry Short film
2014 Alongside Night Major Chin Based on the book of the same name
2020 "Unbelievable!!!!!" Dr. Charles Hunter

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1994 All-American Girl Raymond Han Episode: "Submission Impossible"
1995–2001 Star Trek: Voyager Harry Kim TV series; main role
176 episodes
2002 Into the West Chow-Ping Yen TV miniseries
Episode: "Hell on Wheels"
2007 Star Trek: Of Gods and Men Commander Garan Miniseries
3 episodes

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2002 Star Trek: Voyager Elite Force Ensign Harry Kim Voice role
2014 Star Trek Online Captain Harry Kim Voice role

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chat Transcript, 1998-05-07
  2. ^ "特写:美国华人龙年迎春巡礼". 中新社. 2002-02-02.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Ling, Amy (1999). Yellow Light: The Flowering of Asian American Arts. Temple University Press. pp. 302–303. ISBN 978-1-56639-817-6.
  4. ^ "Chay Yew Mines Dark Side of Asian Life in 'Porcelain'". Los Angeles Times. 1993-01-10. Retrieved 2019-12-21.
  5. ^ Murff, Richard, ed. (2011). "Movies, Television & Stage". Memphians. Memphis, TN: The Nautilus Publishing Company. p. 70. ISBN 978-193694603-7.
  6. ^ Murff, Richard, ed. (2011). Memphians (Limited ed.). Memphis, TN: The Nautilus Publishing Company. p. 70. ISBN 978-193694603-7.
  7. ^ All-American Girl, retrieved 2019-12-21
  8. ^ a b c d Ling, Amy (1999). Yellow Light: The Flowering of Asian American Arts. Temple University Press. p. 308. ISBN 978-1-56639-817-6.
  9. ^ Angry Cafe, retrieved 2019-12-21
  10. ^ Hundred Percent, retrieved 2019-12-21
  11. ^ "Let There Be Lights: "Of Gods and Men" Shoots". startrek.com. July 12, 2006.
  12. ^ "THEATER : New Home, New Spirit for Zeitgeist Theatre". Los Angeles Times. 1995-03-16. Retrieved 2019-12-21.
  13. ^ "Chay Yew Mines Dark Side of Asian Life in 'Porcelain'". Los Angeles Times. 1993-01-10. Retrieved 2019-12-21.
  14. ^ Garrett Wang Reflects on Voyager Archived 2010-12-02 at the Wayback Machine, trekweb.com, February 22, 2004.
  15. ^ Trek Track on PBWorks
  16. ^ Wang, G 'GW' retrieved from https://www.twitch.tv/garrettwang, retrieved on September 13, 2017

External links[edit]