Olivia Cheng (Canadian actress)

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Olivia Sonya Cheng, credited as Olivia Cheng, is a Canadian actress, broadcast journalist, and former correspondent for Entertainment Tonight Canada.

Early life[edit]

Cheng was born on August 20, 1979 in Edmonton, Alberta to Cantonese-speaking immigrant parents,[1] who were part of a co-founding group of Chinese parents that created the Edmonton Mandarin Bilingual program within the city’s public school system. Her father worked in software and her mother was a health aide.[1] She is the co-founder of One Asian, a group that supports the education and empowerment of women of Asian heritage.

Career[edit]

Cheng enrolled in her first acting class at age six, and at age 19 she booked her first commercial. She attended the University of Alberta on a scholarship and in early admittance to its commerce program.[1] She enrolled at NAIT’s Radio and Television Arts program the following year. After finishing school, she became a videographer for Global TV Lethbridge, before moving back to Edmonton to work as a broadcast and print journalist. She went on to freelance as a correspondent for ET Canada.

AMC was launching its original content division and came to Alberta with a Walter Hill-helmed mini-series executive produced by Robert Duvall. They were looking for five Chinese actresses, but were willing to look at non-professionals as well. Duvall saw Cheng’s audition and asked to bring her back. She was then cast in Broken Trail, which was nominated for 16 Primetime Emmy Awards and would go on to win four, including the Emmy for Outstanding Mini Series.[citation needed] Since then, Cheng has appeared on Supernatural and Eureka, and the episode "The New World" on the television show The 4400. Cheng appears as Linda Park in the TV series Arrow. However, the character was recast with Malese Jow taking the role in 2015. In 2007, Cheng played Iris Chang in Iris Chang: The Rape of Nanking, based on Chang's best-selling 1997 book The Rape of Nanking and produced by Chang's parents.[2] In a 2007 interview, Cheng stated that as someone had also suffered from depression, she felt a strong affinity for Chang and remarked: "I was born to play Iris Chang".[2]

Marco Polo (TV Series)[edit]

In 2014, Cheng landed a role in Netflix’s series Marco Polo, produced by The Weinstein Company. It is a lavish television drama, one of the most expensive ever produced, about Marco Polo’s journey as he travels from his home in Venice to the court of Kublai Khan, where he finds himself in the middle of a war in 13th-century China.[3] Cheng portrays Lin Mei, a concubine and assassin, the sister of Jia Sidao. Cheng joked in an December 2014 interview that owing to her frequent nude scenes in Marco Polo that she would not be watching the series with her parents, saying: "That would be so uncomfortable. I think if I did, the only benefit would be that I would fast-forward through my scenes and just give them the Cliffs Notes… I would just be like, ‘Here’s what happens. Next scene".[4]

Filmography[edit]

Year Film/TV Series Role Note
2016 Mission NinetyTwo: Dragonfly Jasmine Chang
2015 Marco Polo: One Hundred Eyes Mei Lin TV Short
2014 Deeper Susan
Marco Polo Mei Lin 12 Episodes
The Flash Linda Park Episode - "Pilot"
Shamed Michelle Kim
Stolen from the Womb Nicole TV film
Skye and Chang Emily Chang TV movie
2013 Arrow Linda Park Episodes - "Three Ghosts"
Guess Who's Coming to Christmas Chealsea TV Movie
Embrace of the Vampire Kelly
Signed Sealed Delivered Newsperson
Assault on Wall Street TV Host
Blink Hannah Duncan TV Movie
2012 It's Christmas, Carol! Kendra
Libelle Jasmin Lu
A Killer Among Us Miss Hetherington
2012 Broken Trust Grace TV Movie
2011-2012 Supernatural Susan / Leviathan 3 Episodes
2012 Fairly Legal Sullivan Episode - "Ripple of Hope"
2011 Arctic Air Eva Lam Episode - "Vancouver Is Such a Screwed Up City"
The House Katie
Flashpoint Ruby Mai Episode - "A Call to Arms"
Hunt for the I-5 Killer Young Woman TV Movie
Fringe Victoria DiMiri Episode - "The Firefly"
2010 On Strike for Christmas Television Reporter TV Movie
Shattered Grace Rossi Episode - "Everyone's a Hostage to Someone"
Messages Deleted Myrna
Eureka Dr. Lisa Wheeler Episode - "Crossing Over"
The Staff Room Ms. Vu
2009 Something Evil Comes Tara TV Movie
High Noon Det. LIz Alberta TV Movie
2008 The Art of War II:Betrayal Geena Video
2007 Iris Chang: The Rape of Nanking Iris Chang Documentary
Blood Ties Wynter Episode - "Bugged"
Psych Bad Nanny Episode - "Rob-a-Bye Baby"
2006 Broken Trail Ye Fung aka #4 TV Mini series
The 4400 Wheat Field Reporter Episode - "The New World"
Goose on the Loose Terry MacNeil TV Movie
2005 The Christmas Blessing Anaesthetist TV Movie
2004 The Twelve Days of Christmas Eve Jenna Lee TV Movie
2003 Word of honor Reporter TV Movie
Hollywood Wives:The New Generation Girlfriend #1 TV Movie
2002 Mentors Beautiful Girl Episode - "Enter the Monolith"
2000 Shanghai Noon Dim Sum Girl #1 uncredited

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c TV.com. "Olivia Cheng". TV.com. Retrieved 2016-05-03. 
  2. ^ a b Erik, Nilsson (12 November 2007). "A woman who cried for justice". China Daily News. Retrieved 2015-05-29. 
  3. ^ http://www.torontosun.com/2014/08/28/first-look-at-netflixs-marco-polo-series
  4. ^ Kane, Laura (10 December 2014). "'Marco Polo': Olivia Cheng pushes boundaries". Metro News. Retrieved 2015-05-29. 

External links[edit]