Wesley Wong comes from a famed Chinese acting family. His father is Melvin Wong, a comedic and martial arts actor who worked closely with Jackie Chan while his mother Angie Chiu was one of China’s biggest TV stars. As the son of actors, it seemed like Wong would want to pursue a similar career path — not so much. Wong stopped by the New Hollywood Podcast to talk about how before making the decision to become an actor and his debut in Pacific Rim: Uprising, he took a detour from his expected career route.

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At first, Wong wasn’t necessarily avoiding an acting career, but it wasn’t at the top of his list. He moved from China to the U.S. and spent some time in the San Francisco Bay Area and then went on to the University of Southern California to study finance and earned a degree in Business Administration.  He went into the workforce and realized that business wasn’t really his thing.

Looking for something more creatively satisfying, Wong, after encouragement from his parents, decided to follow his passion for acting and enrolled in the Beijing Film Academy He went on to star in many Chinese films and received many accolades before making his way stateside to star in the Universal blockbuster Pacific Rim: Uprising — which isn’t a bad way to start your U.S. acting career. Listen below to hear Wong talk about his journey to Hollywood, his career influences and how he won a very interesting “high-flying” reality competition in China.