"Well, I wouldn't want to be in a film because I'm Asian. I want to get respect as an actress." Katie Leung.
First-time actress Katie Leung shot to stardom when she won the coveted role of Harry Potter's first crush, Cho Chang, in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The Scottish actress of Chinese descent will reprise her role in its next installment, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, set for a 2007 release. 5' 6½ tall, dark brown-eyed and black-haired Katie reportedly will play Mulan, beating out Zhang Ziyi and Li Yuchun, in a live-action film directed by Stanley Tong.
"One of the publicists introduced me to the photographers, and the next thing you know, they're all flashing their cameras--that was really exciting! It was such a buzz. Just smiling for hours and hours, it was sore cheeks at the end of the night! It was such a great experience!" Katie Leung (on her first red carpet moment).
Childhood and Family:
"I always had a problem with shyness at school and would never stick my hand up in class if I was stuck at something. I didn't want to be the centre of attention, all those eyes looking at me would have made me really nervous. I guess actresses use that adrenalin and it makes them do it better. Does that sound really stupid?" Katie Leung.
In Motherwell, Scotland, Katie Liu Leung was born on August 8, 1987, to Chinese immigrant parents, Peter Leung and Kar Wai Li, who are now divorced. She currently resides in a £400,000 (around $760,000) house in an exclusive district of Motherwell with her father, two brothers (one named Jonathan) and a younger sister, Violet. Her father runs a successful restaurant in Glasgow & a thriving Chinese food wholesale business.
Katie, nicknamed Katt, attended Hamilton College, a prestigious £5000-a-year (around $9,500) private school in located in Hamilton, Scotland. She is learning Cantonese and Mandarin. Since finishing school in May 2005, she wants to either study art at university or embark on an acting career. In her free time, Katie enjoys playing the piano and the guitar. She also loves shopping, listening to music, spending time with family and friends and going to the movies.
"When I was in my early teens, I wasn’t very confident. In fact, before getting the part in the film, I’d say I was shy, especially at school. I’d never acted before, but being in front of the camera has really brought me out of myself." Katie Leung.
After watching an advertisement on television about a casting call for oriental-looking girls to join an audition for a role in a Harry Potter film, Katie Leung’s father then suggested her to try out, which she agreed. And without any prior acting experiences (she even had never been in a school play!), Katie went for the casting call and had to wait at the line for a total of four hours while her own audition only took five minutes. Two weeks later, she was thrilled when she called that she got the part of Cho Chang, beating 3972 other girls (including actress Courtney Webb).
On winning the Harry Potter role, Katie recalled: "I feel really lucky! I'm very appreciative getting this part because there are so many girls that would love to be in my position! It's like an honor!"
Soon, Katie was seen playing the coveted role of Harry Potter's first crush and romantic interest in the fourth installment of Harry Potter movies based on J.K Rowling’s bestselling book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), in which Harry finds himself selected as an under aged competitor in a dangerous multi-wizardry school competition. In the Mike Newell-directed film, she joined the Harry Potter stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Art Direction, but lost to Memoirs of a Geisha.
"The first time I met Daniel Radcliffe, I had to do a drama workshop with him, so not only did I meet him and feel really star struck, but I also had to act with him! I was really nervous, but he came up to me, shook my hand, and introduced himself. He's just a normal guy and he's so down to earth!" Katie Leung.
Katie also compared Cho Chang character and hers, saying: "Cho Chang is a girly girl. She likes skirts and I am much more of a tomboy. I like trousers and jeans, whatever is comfortable."
In the near future, Katie will reprise her role in the next sequel to Harry Potter movies: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which finds Harry's warnings of Voldemort's return scoffed at, and a shift of power at Hogwarts. The film, set to be released in July 2007, is currently in production and being directed by David Yates.
"If this turns out to be my only film then I think it would be pretty cool to be known as Harry Potter's first crush." Katie Leung.
More recently, Katie reportedly has also been tipped to play heroine Mulan, beating out senior Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi and young, popular Chinese singer Li Yuchun, in a live-action film directed by Stanley Tong.
"I definitely want to carry on with acting, but I don't want to rely on it. So maybe after school I am going to apply to university or art school because I like art."