By Benji Wilson for MailOnline. Updated: BST, 27 January Katie Leung made her debut in the biggest film franchise of all time — but then nearly walked away from acting altogether. She tells Benji Wilson why uncovering her past tempted her to return…. Before she had even left school, Katie Leung was famous as Cho Chang, the weepy girl with a bit of a temper in the Harry Potter films. She went on to appear in the remaining three Potter films, but once they were done, rather than rush off to Hollywood, Katie took a step back. Katie returned home to Motherwell in Scotland. It was there, at 16, that she had been plucked from obscurity, with no previous acting experience, to win the role of Cho — it was her father who had suggested she audition.
The Harry Potter film series, based on the best-selling books by British author J. K Rowling, catapulted many young actors from obscurity into fame in almost no time at all. The story of a young boy, who discovers that he is a wizard, was so creative and exceptional that it won over millions of fans from every age group. But these actors are just like us, they do get up to mischief and let their hair down, and sometimes like us they take it too far. She beat out more than other girls for the part, mainly because of her unique Scottish accent. While most fans were delighted when she and Daniel Radcliffe shared their first on-screen kiss in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix , there were some that were so jealous that they created "I Hate Kate" websites and posted racist messages on her fan sites.
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But for Daniel Radcliffe taking part in the teenage wizard's most romantic moment yet held no fears after his experience appearing naked on the West End stage. Radcliffe, who as Harry enjoys his first kiss in the new film Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, with newcomer Katie Lueng, said he was nowhere near as nervous as being naked in Equus, a play in which his character attacks horses. However, his partner in the film, who will be the envy of girls around the world, was not so comfortable. The kissing scene took 30 takes to get right. I had so much fun filming it. We were a bit nervous, but I think after the first few takes we started enjoying ourselves. He said that thanks to his parents and own mindset he kept his feet on the ground and avoided becoming too arrogant. The star, who made a dramatic departure from the Potter films earlier this year with the West End role in Equus involving nudity, swearing and smoking, was asked whether he felt being famous was dangerous. His co-star Emma Watson, 16, who plays Hermione Granger and fits studying for her A-levels in between acting, said the cast tried to avoid the limelight.
Please refresh the page and retry. That would be her mixed heritage: her father, Peter, runs a wholesale company in Glasgow, while her mother, Kar Wai Li, is a successful Hong Kong financier. The two divorced when Leung was three. It is something that needs to be addressed. Installing more English-speaking Asian actresses on our screens would be a good start, she suggests. Yet her parts are but drops in the ocean, with only near-reaching ripples. The casting landscape is improving, she believes, but she worries not enough young Asian girls are considering the acting profession for fear they will be typecast in peripheral, Chinese-centric roles. H er own career break was unusual.