Ian Alexander (actor)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ian Alexander
Born (2001-04-20) April 20, 2001 (age 21)
Years active2016–present

Ian Alexander (born April 20, 2001) is an American actor, known for their[a] roles as Buck Vu on The OA, as Lev in The Last of Us Part II, and as Gray Tal on Star Trek: Discovery.

Early and personal life[edit]

Alexander was born in Salt Lake City, Utah,[10] to an American father and a Vietnamese mother.[11] Due to their father's work with the Department of Defense, their family often moved and has lived in places such as Hawaii, Japan and Washington, DC.[12] During elementary school, they would participate in community theater and chorus.[12] They received viral attention online through their photo response to a transphobic incident perpetrated by four UCLA college students.[13]

Though they were raised in a Mormon family, they are not a participating member,[14] and "consider [themself] to be agnostic".[15] They came out as transgender in 2014;[16] their pronouns are preferably they/them while accepting the alternative he/him, and they are non-binary and pansexual.[5][6][7][8][9]


Alexander's debut acting role was on Netflix's The OA, where they played Buck Vu. Buck, like Alexander, is also a Vietnamese-American transgender youth and was partially based on Alexander's real experiences.[16] They were cast from an open casting call online that spread through Tumblr.[1][17][18] Later they were cast in the 2018 feature film Every Day, based on the book by David Levithan, playing Vic, a trans teen whom the spirit "A" inhabits for a day.[19] In October 2017, Naughty Dog announced Alexander had joined the cast for The Last of Us Part II, the sequel to their popular video game.[20] They played Lev, a transgender character in the game.[21]

In June 2019, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, sparking the start of the modern LGBTQ rights movement, Queerty named them one of their Pride50: "trailblazing individuals who actively ensure society remains moving towards equality, acceptance and dignity for all queer people".[22] Similarly, Alexander was one of the cover stars for the 2019 Pride issue of them., "spotlighting three rising queer artists whose work and lives are breaking new ground for LGBTQ+ visibility".[23] In March 2020, it was announced Alexander will star in the independent film Daughter.[24]

In September 2020, it was announced Alexander had joined the cast of Star Trek: Discovery; they play the first transgender character played by a transgender actor in the Star Trek canon.[5][4]


Year Title Role Notes Refs
2016–2019 The OA Buck Vu and Michelle Vu TV series; main cast [11]
2017 Déjà Vu Lance Short film; co-writer [25]
2018 Every Day Vic Film
2020 The Last of Us Part II Lev Video game; featured voice and motion capture role
2020–present Star Trek: Discovery Gray Tal TV series; recurring role [26]
TBA Daughter Brother Film [24]


  1. ^ Alexander came out as a trans male, and through the course of their transition identified as trans masculine while using he/him pronouns exclusively.[1][2][3] As of late 2020, Alexander adopted the use of they/them,[4] shortly thereafter identifying as non-binary and preferring the use of they/them while accepting the alternative use of he/him.[5][6][7][8][9] This article uses they/them pronouns throughout for consistency.


  1. ^ a b Alexander, Ian (December 22, 2016). "The OA's Ian Alexander on His Big Acting Debut and Trans Representation". Vulture (Interview). Interviewed by Harron Walker. New York Media. Archived from the original on December 23, 2016. Retrieved February 27, 2022.
  2. ^ Alexander, Ian (February 20, 2018). "Everything In My Life Changed When A Hit TV Show Cast Me As A Transgender Teen". HuffPost. Verizon Media. Archived from the original on June 12, 2019. Retrieved February 27, 2022.
  3. ^ "The OA Part II | Ian Alexander on Becoming Buck Vu". Netflix. March 22, 2019. Retrieved February 27, 2022 – via YouTube.
  4. ^ a b Ramos, Dino-Ray (September 2, 2020). "'Star Trek: Discovery' Introduces First-Ever Non-Binary And Trans Characters With Blu Del Barrio And Ian Alexander". Deadline. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on September 3, 2020. Retrieved February 27, 2022.
  5. ^ a b c Ennis, Dawn (November 5, 2020). "Transgender Actor Ian Alexander, The Newest 'Star Trek' Star, Didn't Get The Part He Auditioned For". Forbes. Archived from the original on November 5, 2020. Retrieved February 27, 2022.
  6. ^ a b Alexander, Ian (December 7, 2020). "Star Trek Discovery | Interview with Gray, Ian Alexander | Transgender Rep & More". Jessie Gender (Interview). Interviewed by Jessie Earl. Retrieved February 27, 2022 – via YouTube.
  7. ^ a b Patton, Elaina (June 1, 2021). "Actor Ian Alexander blazes a cosmic trail as 1st transgender 'Star Trek' character". NBC News. Archived from the original on June 2, 2021. Retrieved February 27, 2022.
  8. ^ a b Alexander, Ian (June 2, 2021). "Logo Live interview with Star Trek Discovery's Ian Alexander | Logo". Logo TV (Interview). Interviewed by Johnny Sibilly. Paramount Media Networks. Retrieved February 27, 2022 – via YouTube.
  9. ^ a b Ennis, Dawn (February 7, 2022). "Star Trek's Blu del Barrio & Ian Alexander Transgalactic Heroes". Out. Archived from the original on February 7, 2022. Retrieved February 27, 2022.
  10. ^ Azzopardi, Chris (February 15, 2018). "16-Year-Old Trans Actor Ian Alexander Is Bringing Queer Power to the Big Screen". Into. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  11. ^ a b Ramos, Dino-Ray (April 2, 2019). "The OA's Ian Alexander Is The Future Of Trans Visibility In Hollywood". Deadline. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  12. ^ a b "Q & A with The OA's Ian Alexander". Angry Asian Man. December 21, 2016. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  13. ^ Karlan, Sarah (May 19, 2016). "People Can't Handle This Trans Teen's Response To This Viral Anti-Trans Photo". BuzzFeed. Archived from the original on June 2, 2016. Retrieved January 25, 2022.
  14. ^ Alexander, Ian (January 27, 2017). "I'm Ian Alexander/Buck! AMA : TheOA". Reddit. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  15. ^ Cahill, Ryan (April 15, 2019). "Selected by Ian Alexander". Notion. Retrieved February 17, 2022.
  16. ^ a b Weik, Taylor (February 2, 2017). "Meet The OA actor who wants to help pave the way for trans representation". NBC News. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  17. ^ "Casting Call: Netflix series seeks Asian Transgender Teen". Angry Asian Man. August 25, 2015. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  18. ^ Houlihan, Ryan (December 28, 2016). "How Netflix's Newest Teen Actor Landed His Job on Tumblr". Teen Vogue. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  19. ^ Dresden, Hilton (February 15, 2018). "Watch This Exclusive Clip From Every Day Featuring Trans Actor Ian Alexander". Out. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  20. ^ Naughty Dog [@Naughty_Dog] (October 30, 2017). "Ian Alexander is Lev. #TheLastofUsPartII" (Tweet). Retrieved October 31, 2018 – via Twitter.
  21. ^ Rosenblatt, Kalhan (July 8, 2020). "The Last of Us Part II brings queer stories to a pandemic-ravaged dystopia". NBC News. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  22. ^ Reddish, David (May 24, 2019). "The OA's Ian Alexander is making it safer for trans teens to come out & parents to accept them". Queerty. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  23. ^ "Welcome to Our Pride Issue, Featuring Ian Alexander, King Princess, and Chika". them. June 21, 2019. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  24. ^ a b Ramos, Dino-Ray (March 10, 2020). "Casper Van Dien, Ian Alexander, Vivien Ngô, Elyse Dinh And Megan Le Join Corey Deshon's Thriller Daughter". Deadline. Retrieved February 17, 2022.
  25. ^ "Déjà Vu (2017)". RadioTimes. Immediate Media Company. Retrieved February 17, 2022.
  26. ^ Vary, Adam B. (September 2, 2020). "Star Trek: Discovery Makes Franchise History With First Trans, Non-Binary Characters". Variety. Retrieved September 6, 2020.

External links[edit]