Hong Chau (born 1979) is an American actress best known for her appearance in the film Downsizing (2017) as Vietnamese amputee and political activist Ngoc Lan Tran. For her performance, she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture, the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, and several other awards for best supporting actress. Before Downsizing, she appeared in the US television series Treme (2010–2013) and the film Inherent Vice (2014).[1] In 2018, she appeared as a guest star in several TV series.

Chau, whose traditional Vietnamese name is Hồng Châu [2] was born to Vietnamese parents who lived in a refugee camp in Thailand after fleeing Vietnam in the late 1970s. A Vietnamese Catholic church in New Orleans, Louisiana arranged for a family to sponsor Chau and her family. [3] After growing up in New Orleans, Chau majored in film studies at Boston University and pursued an acting career.

Early lifeEdit

Chau's parents were among the Vietnamese boat people who fled Vietnam in 1979. Chau's mother was six months pregnant with her:[4] Chau was born in a refugee camp in Thailand later in the year.[5] She was one of three children, and her parents worked in menial labor to ensure that the children could attend college. She said that her family needed public assistance, that she went to public school, and needed lunch assistance. For college tuition, she depended on Pell Grants.[6] Chau said her parents, who speak in heavy Vietnamese accents, were shunned as Asian migrants. She said, "My whole life, I've always felt like I was the more acceptable of my parents, and they were always the people who had to stay in the background, or hide in the broom closet." Chau was raised in the eastern part of New Orleans, where she attended Eleanor McMain Secondary School and Ben Franklin Senior High School. She finished at Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Chau attended Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts,where she initially studied creative writing. She changed her major to film studies when her parents requested that she study something more practical. She explored acting to challenge her introvertedness[7] ; she acted in other students' short films and was encouraged to pursue acting.[8] After college, Chau got a job with PBS and anticipated a career in documentaries.She later moved to New York City, where she studied acting. After college, Chau got a job with PBS and anticipated a career in documentaries. She later moved to New York City, where she studied acting. She began acting in film and television in 2006.[9]


For a year after her role on Inherent Vice (2014), she was not able to get an audition for another film role. In 2015, she had a key role in the 2015 Off Broadway play John by Annie Baker, and Chau credited the experience for strengthening her acting. She also had a supporting role in the HBO TV series Big Little Lies alongside Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. [10]


Watchmen (TV series)Edit

Season 1Edit

References Edit

  1. Hollywood's Next Big Thing: 'Downsizing' Breakout Hong Chau on Asian Typecasting and Working With Matt Damon - The Hollywood Reporter
  2. Vietnamese: Hồng Châu - An ninh the gioi Online
  3. Five Things to Know About Downsizing Star and Golden Globe Nominee Hong Chau - People
  4. Awards breakout Hong Chau brings her personal history as a refugee to 'Downsizing' - USA Today
  6. Playing an Asian activist with a disability in ‘Downsizing,’ Hong Chau hopes to see more diversity in films - LA Times
  7. Downsizing’ Star Hong Chau Turned to Acting to ‘Burst Out of My Introvertedness’ - Variety
  8. 10 Actors to Watch: Hong Chau Steals Scenes in ‘Downsizing’ - Variety
  9. Downsizing’s Hong Chau Knows the Secret to Getting Through Awards Season - Vanity Fair
  10. ‘Downsizing’ Actress Breaks Through, for Better and Worse - NY Times
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