A Halifax actor looking to make it in Hollywood may have just got his big break after landing a role on an upcoming Netflix show.
Chase Tang was born in Taiwan, and his family moved to Bedford, N.S., when he was a young child. Growing up, he says he was always obsessed with movies — a curiosity that stuck with him through university and when he entered the corporate world. But in 2016, he decided he needed a change.
“I wasn’t really happy with where I was at and I was just thinking: ‘You know, this is just something I’m so curious about so if I don’t try it now, then when?’” Tang explained.
So on a whim, Tang says he “took a leap of faith.”
“I decided to take my first acting class, and then from there, it led to a whole bunch of other things,” he said.
Ever since Tang swapped suits for scripts, he’s appeared in a handful of student and short films, but in August, he landed his biggest gig yet — a spot on Netflix’s latest superhero drama, Jupiter’s Legacy. He’s cast alongside actors Josh Duhamel, Ben Daniels and Leslie Bibb.
“It’s definitely a little bit surreal, and I think for a lot of friends and family, it definitely feels like that because it wasn’t that long ago that I told people that I wanted to make the leap into acting,” said Tang.
The show is based on a comic series, written by Mark Millar and illustrated by Frank Quitely, about children with superpowers struggling to live up to their parents’ legacies. On the show, Tang will tap into his dark side as a supervillain.
“When he is angry, he is very angry so he can have a very angry expression,” Tang’s mom, Shu Wei Chen, said of her son.
“I think he will do the best job. I’m looking forward to watching. We support him 100 per cent. We are very, very happy and proud of him.”
The Taiwanese-Canadian actor credits those who came before him for creating “sufficient opportunities” in the industry.
“A lot of people who came before me, like in 2014, 2015, I think they already maybe not knocked down the walls completely, but they already opened up that door so the acceptance was already there. There was already a lot more roles written for Asians,” said Tang.
That said, he hopes playing a supervillain will continue to challenge stereotypes at the box office and inspire writers to create out-of-the-box roles for minorities.
“I hope it will give people in the decision-making authority some different ideas and a different perspective and say: ‘Interesting. He played a role like this, and it completely went against what we thought Asian people were.’ From that, I hope that it opens up opportunities for people of every colour, not just Asians,” Tang said.
Filming for Jupiter’s Legacy is currently underway in Toronto, with the series set to stream on Netflix sometime next year.