Katie Leung is a Scottish actress who is known for her role as ‘Cho Chang’ (the first love interest of Harry Potter) in the Harry Potter film series.
Katie Liu Leung The Sun was born on Saturday, August 8, 1987 (age 33 years; as of 2020), in Dundee, Scotland, UK. Katie Leung grew up in Ayr, Campbeltown, Motherwell, Edinburgh, and Glasgow cities of Scotland.
She studied at Hamilton College, South Lanarkshire. After high school graduation, she wanted to attend an art school but decided to wait until her filming for the Harry Potter series was over. In 2011, she graduated from the Edinburgh College of Art, where she was enrolled in a photography course. The Telegraph She pursued BA in Acting from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow. The Telegraph
Eye Color: Black
Hair Color: Black (dyed blonde and brown)
Family, Ethnicity & Relationships
She is of Chinese origin. Variety
Parents & Siblings
Her father’s name is Peter Leung, a former Hong Kong businessman, owning and running an Asian-themed Restaurant in Glasgow, Scotland.
Her mother, Kar Wai Li, is a former Hong Kong banker. When she turned three, her parents got divorced.
She has two brothers named Jonathan and Darren Leung and a younger sister named Violet.
In 2008, she was rumored to be in a relationship with the actor Leo Ku.
She is dating Eric Caira (as of 2021), who is a recruitment consultant.
In 2005, she made her acting debut with the American-British film ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ as ‘Cho Chang,’ a Ravenclaw student and the first love interest of Harry Potter in the film. She never wished to be an actress, but when her father saw an advertisement for Harry Potter’s casting call, he asked her to audition for the film. Two weeks after she went for auditions, she received a call for a workshop and was cast as Cho, beating over 3,000 other girls for the role.
Katie then appeared as ‘Cho’ in other Harry Potter films, such as Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011). In 2017, she appeared as ‘Fan Quan’ (daughter of Ngoc Mihn Quan, played by Jackie Chan) in the British-American-Chinese co-production film ‘The Foreigner’ (2017).
She then acted in the British films T2 Trainspotting (2017) and Locked Down (2021), and British short films Leading Lady Parts (2018), The Feast (2018), and The Promise (2020).
In 2008, she made her television debut as ‘Hsui Tai’ in the British TV series ‘Agatha Christie’s Poirot.’
In 2013, she was seen in the lead role of ‘Ying’ in the British TV mini-series ‘Run.’
In 2019, Katie lent her voice to ‘Too-Ticky,’ a character in the Finnish-British animated family drama musical series ‘Moominvalley.’
Katie has also appeared in the British television series Father Brown (2013), One Child (2016), Chimerica (2019), The Nest (2020), and Roadkill (2020).
In 2012, she made her theater debut as ‘Jung Chang’ in the play ‘Wild Swans,’ which saw its world premiere at American Repertory Theater, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
She went on to star in plays like The World of Extreme Happiness (2013), You For Me For You (2015), The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures (iHo) (2016), Snow in Midsummer (2017), and White Pearl (2019). She has performed in theaters like National Theatre, Royal Court Theatre, Hampstead Theatre, and Swan Theatre.
Awards & Achievements
- Top 4 Outstanding Newcomer Award at Asian Excellence Award in 2006
- Scotland’s Most Stylish Female in 2007
- No. 80 on the Cosmogirl’s Hot 100 List in 2007
- BAFTA Breakthrough Brits 21 in 2014
In March 2021, Katie Leung revealed that she experienced a lot of racist abuse after she appeared in the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. In the film, Katie and Daniel Radcliffe (played Harry Potter) shared an on-screen kiss, which received huge media coverage. Katie, who received praise from many Harry Potter fans, also received racist remarks. A fansite called ‘I Hate Katie’ was created that only posted racist remarks on Katie. When her publicist came to know about it, the publicist told Katie to disagree if she was asked about it. Variety In an interview, she said,
I remember them saying to me, ‘Oh, look Katie, we haven’t seen these, these websites that people are talking about. And you know, if you get asked that, just say it’s not true. Say it’s not happening, And I just nodded my head. I was like, ‘Okay, okay,’ even though I had seen it myself with my own eyes. I was like, ‘Okay, yeah, I’ll just say everything’s great.”
- Film Director(s): Edgar Wright, Sofia Coppola, Lars von Trier
- Comedian(s): Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Sacha Baron Cohen
- Actor(s): Aaron Kwok, Stephen Chow, Joaquin Phoenix
- Film(s): Hot Fuzz (2007), Shaun of the Dead (2004), Crash (2004)
- Film/TV Genre: Horror
- Game: Mattel Scrabble
- In her spare time, she likes to shop, play guitar and piano, listen to music, and spend time with her family and friends.
- She is fond of animals and owns a pet dog named Bao the Cloud.
- A self-confessed introvert, Katie is soft-spoken and spends most of her time watching films and playing video games while sipping wine. The Telegraph
- Katie is interested in painting and photography since childhood and often posts pictures of her painting on her social media accounts.
- According to Katie, her Scottish accent became an advantage for her to bag the role of ‘Cho’ in the Harry Potter series, as, during the auditions of the film, the casting director demanded to know if there was someone from Scotland; Katie was the only girl from Scotland.
- In the second week of the release of ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,’ the makers of the film sent Katie to China in an attempt to promote Harry Potter.
- Katie Leung gave her voice to ‘Cho Chang’s’ character in the video games Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009).
- After the end of the Harry Potter series, Katie decided that she did not want to take her acting career any further, wishing to attend an art school. However, after she acted in the theatre play ‘Wild Swans,’ her views on acting changed and she enrolled for a drama course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
- In 2007, she raised over $137,000 by launching a children’s art competition and donating her painting (auctioned at almost $1300) to help The Prince’s Trust charity in Scotland.
- In 2009, she submitted a picture called ‘Untitled,’ which was captured by her, to the i:click 2009 competition by Sightsavers International, a charitable organization that works to tackle blindness in poor countries.
- Along with her other charitable works, she promotes and helps raise funds for the London-based Chinese community center Just Giving, which is working to improve the quality of life and well-being of the Chinese community in the UK, especially disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The organization also focuses on preserving the Chinese culture, arts, and identity.
- She is a polyglot and can speak English, Cantonese, and Mandarin, fluently.
- According to Katie, playing a part in the American comedy series Modern Family or a film directed by Sofia Coppola and Lars Von Trier is her dream role.