The Most Talented Asian Actors

by eamacallister | created - 23 May 2016 | updated - 03 Jul 2017 | Public

Often Asian characters are underrepresented in the movie industry. We do see some great Asian talent like Emma Stone, Tilda Swinton and Scarlett Johansson (see what I did there?) but it's not enough. We need actors like these in the spotlight! There is such a long way to go, but we'll get there. In the mean time, check out these amazing actors of Asian ancestry!

1. Steven Yeun

Actor | Okja

Steven Yeun was born in Seoul, South Korea, to June and Je Yeun. His family first immigrated to Canada and stayed there for one year, and then moved to the U.S. He has a brother named Brian. He began acting while at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, MI, where he studied Psychology as a major (BS in ...

2. Priyanka Chopra

Actress | Baywatch

Priyanka Chopra was born 18 July, 1982 in Jamshedpur, India, to the family of Capt. Dr. Ashok Chopra and Dr. Madhu Chopra, both Indian Army physicians. She had a very varied upbringing. She started her education at La Martinière Girls College in Lucknow as a resident student; a short stay at Maria ...

3. Yun-Fat Chow

Actor | Wo hu cang long

Chow Yun Fat is a charismatic, athletically built and energetic Asian-born film star who first came to the attention of western audiences via his roles in the high-octane/blazing guns action films of maverick HK director John Woo.

Chow was born in 1955 on the quiet island of Lamma, part of the ...

4. Freida Pinto

Actress | Slumdog Millionaire

Freida Selena Pinto was born in Bombay (now Mumbai), Maharashtra, India, to Sylvia, a school principal, and Frederick Pinto, a senior bank branch manager. She is from a Mangalorean family.

Pinto traversed the modeling circuit in Mumbai (represented by Elite Model Management India) for two years ...

5. Constance Wu

Actress | Crazy Rich Asians

Constance Wu was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. Her mother is a computer programmer and her father is a college professor. Both are Taiwanese immigrants. Constance grew up in Richmond performing in the local community theatre scene. At sixteen, she moved to New York to study at the famed ...

6. Donnie Yen

Actor | Yip Man

Donnie Yen was born in Guangzhou, China. His mother, Bow-sim Mark, was a kung fu master and his father, Kylster Yen, a newspaper editor and amateur musician. When Donnie was just two years old, the family moved to Hong Kong and then, when he was 11, to Boston, Massachusetts.

There, Master Bow-sim ...

7. Daniel Henney

Actor | X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Daniel Henney was born on November 28, 1979 in Carson City, Michigan, USA as Daniel Phillip Henney. He is an actor, known for X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), Big Hero 6 (2014) and The Last Stand (2013).

8. Sendhil Ramamurthy

Actor | Heroes

Sendhil Ramamurthy (born May 17, 1974) is an American actor. He is best known for his roles as geneticist Mohinder Suresh in the NBC sci-fi drama Heroes and Jai Wilcox in the action spy series Covert Affairs. He appeared as Abhay in the Indian film Shor in the City. He played Gabriel Lowen in The ...

9. Harry Shum Jr.

Actor | Crazy Rich Asians

Harry Shum Jr. was born on April 28, 1982 in Puerto Limón, Costa Rica. He is an actor, known for Crazy Rich Asians (2018) and Step Up 2: The Streets (2008). He has been married to Shelby Rabara since November 22, 2015.

10. Lucy Liu

Actress | Kill Bill: Vol. 1

Born to immigrants in Queens, New York, Lucy Liu has always tried to balance an interest in her cultural heritage with a desire to move beyond a strictly Asian-American experience. Lucy's mother, Cecilia, a biochemist, is from Beijing, and her father, Tom Liu, a civil engineer, is from Shanghai. ...

11. Godfrey Gao

Actor | The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Godfrey Gao was born on September 22, 1984 in Taiwan as Tsao Chih-Hsiang. He is an actor, known for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013), The Jade Pendant (2017) and The Wedding Bible.

12. Eugene Lee Yang

Producer | I Am Not a Princess

Eugene Lee Yang was a Development Partner at BuzzFeed Motion Pictures until February 2018. His work as a producer, writer, director, and actor there has reached millions of viewers worldwide, making him one of today's most recognizable young Asian American faces online and in social media. Behind ...

13. Daniel Wu

Actor | San ging chaat goo si

Daniel Wu was born on September 30, 1974 in Berkeley, California, USA as Daniel N. Wu. He is an actor and producer, known for San ging chaat goo si (2004), Wang jiao hei ye (2004) and Warcraft (2016). He has been married to Lisa S. since April 6, 2010. They have one child.

14. Olivia Munn

Actress | X-Men: Apocalypse

Lisa Olivia Munn was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Her mother, Kimberly Schmid, lived in Vietnam, and is of Chinese ancestry, while her father, Winston Barrett Munn, is from a family with deep roots in the American South. Olivia's parents divorced when she was two years old, and she was raised ...

15. Ziyi Zhang

Actress | Yi dai zong shi

Ziyi Zhang is a Chinese actress and model. She is best known for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), Rush Hour 2 (2001), Hero (2002), House of Flying Daggers (2004), and Memoirs of a Geisha (2005).

She made her feature film debut in The Road Home (1999).

For her work in Memoirs of a Geisha she was...

16. Tony Chiu-Wai Leung

Actor | Faa yeung nin wa

Tony Leung Chiu Wai was born in Hong Kong on 27 June 1962. He and his younger sister were raised by their mother after his father left them. In 1982, after passing the training courses of TVB, Tony became a TV actor and became famous for his comedy style in such TV shows as Lu ding ji (1983) or Jue...

17. Jet Li

Actor | The One

Jet Li born Li Lian Jie in Beijing, China. He started training at the Beijing wushu academy (wushu is China's national sport, largely a performance version of various martial art styles) at age eight. He won five gold medals in the Chinese championships, his first when he was only 11. In his teens,...

18. Daniel Dae Kim

Actor | Lost

Daniel Dae Kim has made a career of creating multifaceted and stereotype-breaking roles as an actor, director and now, producer. Prior to his seven-season portrayal of Chin Ho Kelly on "Hawaii Five-0," Kim was best known for his role as Jin Soo Kwon on the hit TV series "Lost," for which he shared ...

19. Rick Yune

Actor | Die Another Day

Rick Yune was born on August 22, 1971 in Washington, District of Columbia, USA as Richard Yun. He is an actor and producer, known for Die Another Day (2002), Olympus Has Fallen (2013) and The Fast and the Furious (2001).

20. Masi Oka

Actor | Get Smart

Masayori "Masi" Oka is a Japanese American actor, producer and digital effects artist. He became widely known for his role on NBC's Heroes as Hiro Nakamura and in CBS' Hawaii Five-0 as Doctor Max Bergman. Oka was born in Tokyo, Japan, to Setsuko Oka. His parents divorced when he was one month old; ...

21. Dennis Oh

Actor | Verdict

Dennis Oh is an actor, known for Verdict (2015).

22. Joan Chen

Actress | Se, jie

Born into a family of doctors and educated in China at the Shanghai Film Academy and the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Languages, Joan Chen was discovered by veteran Chinese director Jin Xie while observing a filming with a school group. Her performance in Xiao hua (1979) (A.K.A. "The Little Flower...

23. Jackie Chan

Actor | Ngo si seoi

Hong Kong's cheeky, lovable and best known film star, Jackie Chan endured many years of long, hard work and multiple injuries to establish international success after his start in Hong Kong's manic martial arts cinema industry.

Jackie was born Kong-sang Chan on April 7, 1954, on Hong Kong's famous ...

24. Bingbing Fan

Actress | X-Men: Days of Future Past

Bingbing Fan was born 16 September 1981. She is a Chinese actress, television producer and pop singer.

Fan rose to fame in Asia in 1998-1999 with the mega-hit TV series My Fair Princess. In 2003, she starred in Cell Phone, which became the highest-grossing Chinese film of the year, winning a Hundred...

25. Ah-In Yoo

Actor | Yungnyong-i Nareusya

Yoo Ah-in is a South Korean actor and creative director. He has built a unique filmography that distinguishes him from other actors of the same age, playing a series of impressive characters in films and TV series. Not only is he known as an icon of youth in Korea, but also he has made remarkable ...

26. Li Gong

Actress | Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia

Born in Shenyang, grew up in Jinan, the daughter of an economics professor. Loved music from childhood, and dreamed of a singing career. After failing to gain entrance to China's top music school in 1985, applied for and was admitted to the Central Drama Academy in Beijing, from which she graduated...

27. Ken Watanabe

Actor | The Last Samurai

Ken Watanabe was born on October 21, 1959 in Uonuma, Niigata Prefecture, Japan. Both of his parents were teachers: his mother taught general education and his dad taught calligraphy. He became interested in acting at the age of 24, when a director of England's National Theatre Company, where he was...

28. Suzy Bae

Actress | Geon-chook-hak-gae-ron

Suzy was born in Gwangju, South Korea on October 10, 1994. She attended Seoul Performing Arts High School. Before debuting, she was an online shopping model. In 2009, she auditioned for Mnet Superstar K and made it through the preliminary round but she was ultimately eliminated. However, she caught...

29. Ge Hu

Actor | Lang ya bang

Ge Hu (a.k.a. Hu Ge) is a native of Shanghai, China. He became a part-time TV host at age fourteen and appeared in dozens of TV commercials between primary and high school years. From 2001 to 2005, he majored in acting at the prestigious Shanghai Theatre Academy.

While attending college, Hu attained...

30. Wen Jiang

Actor | Rogue One

Wen Jiang was born on January 5, 1963 in Tangshan, China. He is an actor and director, known for Rogue One (2016), Guizi lai le (2000) and Tian di ying xiong (2003). He has been married to Yun Zhou since 2005. They have one child. He was previously married to Sandrine Chenivisse.

31. Keanu Reeves

Actor | The Matrix

Keanu Charles Reeves, whose first name means "cool breeze over the mountains" in Hawaiian, was born September 2, 1964 in Beirut, Lebanon. He is the son of Patricia Taylor, a showgirl and costume designer, and Samuel Nowlin Reeves, a geologist. Keanu's father was born in Hawaii, of British, ...

32. Bruce Lee

Actor | Meng long guo jiang

Bruce Lee remains the greatest icon of martial arts cinema and a key figure of modern popular media. Had it not been for Bruce Lee and his movies in the early 1970s, it's arguable whether or not the martial arts film genre would have ever penetrated and influenced mainstream North American and ...

33. Ming-Na Wen

Actress | Mulan

Ming-Na ("enlightenment") was born on the island of Macau, forty miles from Hong Kong. Her mother, Lin Chan Wen, divorced her father when Ming-Na was only a toddler. She has an older brother named Jonathan. After the divorce, they moved to Hong Kong where her mother became a nurse. There her mother...



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