Katie Leung (Cho Chang) complains that she is being typecast because of her Chinese background and still suffers racial abuse for playing Harry Potter’s first love.
Katie Leung (Cho Chang) – starring in TV show Strangers – has just revealed she still suffers racial abuse for playing Harry Potter’s first love — and has told of her frustration at being pigeonholed as an Asian actress. The 31-year-old said she is always cast according to her race.
Leung plays Lau Chen in the eight-part ITV political thriller Strangers, which follows the death of the wife of Professor Jonah Mulray, played by John Simm, in a mysterious car crash.
Katie, who has performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre, studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow after making the Potter films. Complaining of being typecast because of her Chinese background, she said:
“There is just so much I want to do and play. My expectations are really low at the moment. It is really hard.
“I don’t want to deny my heritage, or culture, but at the same time I feel like we need to reach a place where people are not stereotyping me.”
Actress Katie Leung (Cho Chang) hopes the rise in Asian representation in film and TV “isn’t a blip”.
Katie Leung – who portrayed our beloved Cho Chang and now stars in ITV’s Strangers – has applauded the rise in Asian representation in film and TV, but cautioned that true equality is still a way off. There has been a positive reaction the world over to Asian-led movies and series, including the US box-office hit Crazy Rich Asians and Netflix’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.
But 31-year-old Leung told Digital Spy and other press that she’s “really yet to play a role that is not down to the colour of [her] skin”.
“I hope the increase in Asian representation in film and TV isn’t a blip,” she said. “I think that America is probably doing slightly better in terms of diversity, but I like to think that we are getting somewhere in terms of representation.”
The actress, who was born in Scotland and is of Hong Kong descent, added: “In the 15 years that I have been acting, I have really yet to play a role that is not down to the colour of my skin, so I can’t say that I have experienced anything like that yet, but I look forward to that day.