Hong Chau’s time has come. She was just in London over the weekend celebrating her supporting actress nomination for The Whale at the BAFTA Film Awards. And in about two and a half weeks she will be sitting in a prime seat at the 95th Academy Awards where she is also a supporting actress nominee for that film.
In addition to all this she has won raves for her role as the duplicitous restaurant manager in Searchlight’s fall hit The Menu, and was prominent at the Cannes Film Festival last May when another of her upcoming films, Showing Up, premiered in the official competition. Add to all that her current TV work in Rian Johnson’s new Peacock series Poker Face.
Actually I thought Chau’s time had really come in 2017, when she made a dazzling breakthrough in Alexander Payne’s Downsizing for which she won Golden Globe, Critics Choice and SAG nominations. The film however was a box office disappointment, and though everyone thought she would be Oscar nominated, she wasn’t. Now they have made up for it in recognizing her stunning work as the caretaker to Brendan Fraser’s 600-pound Charlie in The Whale, and as she tells me in this week’s edition of my Deadline video series The Actor’s Side there is much more to come as she has completed production on major new 2023 movies such as Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City and Yorgas Lathimos’ And…. She will also be seen in another anticipated role as the President’s Chief of Staff in the upcoming limited series The Night Agent.
For someone born in Thailand after her parents fled Vietnam on boat and then immigrated to the U.S. — where she eventually attended Boston University and focused on creative writing before discovering she had a knack for acting — this is all pretty impressive. We talk about all of it and more.
To watch our conversation, click on the video above.
Join me every Wednesday during Oscar season for another edition of The Actor’s Side.
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