Diversity in Hollywood has always been a controversial topic, but things are slowly getting better. As we see more Asian stars starting to appear on-screen, we have to pay homage to those who blazed the trail for better Asian representation, as well as up-and-coming actors paving the way for the future generation of aspiring actors.

Bruce Lee

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Name: Lee Jun-fan, 1940-1973


Trivia:

  • A Hong Kong-American martial artist, actor, director, martial arts instructor, philosopher and pop culture icon of the 20th century, who bridged the gap between East and West
  • Before he was known for his martial arts skills, Bruce Lee was actually a cha-cha dancer
  • He charged US$275 an hour for private lessons in the ’60s, among his students were Hollywood stars Steve McQueen, James Coburn, James Garner, Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate
  • Starred in box office movies “The Big Boss”, “Fist of Fury”, “Way of the Dragon” and “Game of Death”
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The iconic Hollywood film, “Enter the Dragon” was his last film
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Married Linda Cadwell and they had two children, Brandon and Shannon
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Bruce Lee played Kato in the Batman 1960s TV series “The Green Hornet”

Jackie Chan

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Name: Chan Kong-sang, 67 years old

Trivia:

  • Jackie’s father was secretly a spy for the Chinese Nationalist Revolutionary Army and his mother was arrested for smuggling opium into China
  • He earned two Guinness World Records for “Most Credits in One Movie” (15) and Most Stunts Performed by a Living Actor” in “Chinese Zodiac”
  • Jackie walked down the 89th Oscar’s red carpet with two stuffed pandas, Chan La and Chan Zy, which represents the two pandas that he raised in China
  • Starred in Hollywood blockbuster films such as the “Rush Hour” franchise, DreamWorks Animation’s “Kung Fu Panda” and “The Karate Kid” remake
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Iconic duo! Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker are reported to reprise their role in “Rush Hour 4”
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His inclusion in “The Karate Kid” prompted the Chinese government to allow filming at some of China’s strictly forbidden areas, including the Great Wall!
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Jackie Chan began his film career as a stuntman in his idol Bruce Lee films “Fist of Fury” and “Enter the Dragon”

Henry Golding

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Name: Henry Ewan Golding, 34 years old

Trivia:

  • Born in Malaysia, Henry’s father is from England and his mother is from the Iban tribe in Sarawak
  • Before he became a movie star, Henry got his start as a hairstylist in London
  • Rose to fame from his roles in Hollywood hit films “Crazy Rich Asians”, “A Simple Favor”, “Monsoon”, “Last Christmas” and “The Gentlemen”
  • Henry admitted that he feels like an outsider in Hollywood when people said he wasn’t Asian enough for “Crazy Rich Asians” and not white enough for “Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins”
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Married Taiwanese TV presenter and yoga instructor, Liv Lo in 2011 and blessed with a daughter
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People loved his chemistry with “Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke in “Last Christmas”
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From rom-com heart-throb to “Snake Eyes” action hero

Simu Liu

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Name: Simu Liu, 32 years old

Trivia:

  • Simu was born in Harbin, China and when he was 5, he and his parents immigrated to Canada
  • He once worked as an accountant for less than a year and did photoshoots for stock photos
  • Auditioned for “Crazy Rich Asians” 4 times for the lead role Nick Young, which eventually went to Henry Golding
  • Besides acting, Simu is also good at singing, playing basketball, works behind camera as a writer and filmmaker, not to mention a stuntman
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He appeared in the landmark 100th episode of “Fresh Off the Boat”
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Simu played a main role in all five seasons of Canadian TV sitcom “Kim’s Convenience”
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Debut as Marvel’s first Asian superhero in the upcoming “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”

Irrfan Khan

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Name: Sahabzade Irfan Ali Khan, 1967-2020

Trivia:

  • Irrfan initially wanted to become a cricketer, however, his parents were not too keen about it
  • After having successfully taken over the Bollywood industry, he had supporting roles in Hollywood films “The Amazing Spider-Man”, “Life of Pi”, “Jurassic World” and “Inferno”
  • Irrfan had to turn down a crucial role in Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar”, “The Martian” and “Body of Lies” due to prior commitments to other projects
  • He also starred in Academy award-winning British film “Slumdog Millionaire”
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From wishing to watch the first “Jurassic Park” film during his struggling days in the 90’s, to finally starring in “Jurassic World” in the role of Simon Masrani
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Irrfan played villain Dr. Rajith Ratha in “The Amazing Spider-Man” alongside Andrew Garfield
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He considers his “Inferno” co-star, Tom Hanks, a dear friend