Vancouver Asian Film actors Chinese New Year Dinner
Asian actors are everywhere now on
television and in movies. Vancouver has long since become
“Hollywood North” for television shows such as X-Files, Battlestar
Gallactica, Smallville and many movies of the week.
But there once was a time when Asian actors were very few. My
grandmother's uncle Luke Chan was one of Hollywood's early Asian
actors. He was the son of Rev. Chan Yu Tan, who arrived in Canada
in 1896. Uncle Luke played many characters such as “assistant
manager”in the Shirley Temple Movie Now and Forever (1934),
“radio operator” in the Clark Gable / Rosalind Russell movie They Met
in Bombay (1941), “Chinese runner” in the Robert Mitchum/ Van Johnson
movie 30 Seconds Over Tokyo (1944), and “Chinese coolie Boatman” in the
Gary Cooper movie, The Story of Dr. Wassell (1944). But he also
had character roles such as Professor Chan Fu in the Bela Lugosi movie
The Mysterious Wu Sin (1934).
I met some of Vancouver's current Asian actors at a recent Chinese New
Year dinner for Vancouver's Asian film community organized by Greg
Chan. I was the guest of Ricepaper Magazine publisher Don
Montgomery. I was also very happy to see my friends Larry Wong, Jeff Chiba Stearns and Jen Kato at the table too!
Colin Foo has acted in many local Vancouver commercials and is currently seen on Robson Arms.
Kathy Leung and Grace Chin are the hosts/coordinators of Scripting
Aloud. Kathy is also a film maker and was the director of the
play Twisting Fortunes. Grace was the play's co-author and lead actor.
Russel Jung plays the “hockey father” in the Tim Horton's commercial. I wrote an article last year when the ad first appeared, Tim Horton's, Asian Canadians and hockey
and Russell wrote to me, explaining about his role in the
commercial. We followed it up with a phone call, so it was great
to finally meet in person.
CBC's television drama Dragon Boys
featured local actor Darryl Quon in the role of Sorrows. Quon has
appeared in major feature movies as The Chronicles of Riddick, Romeo
Must Die, I Robot, X Men 2 as well as television
shows such as Smallville, Andromeda, and Dark Angel
Charlie Cho and Tetsuro Shigematsu are alumni of the sketch comedy
troupe Hot Sauce Posse (on hiatus), as well as CBC radio
producer/writer/reporter/hosts… well sort of… Tetsuro briefly
hosted “The Roundup” before moving to Los Angeles in 2005.
Charlie is co-author of the recent play Twisting Fortunes, and was our
wonderful stage manager for Gung Haggis Fat Choy 2007 dinner.