J.K. Rowling’s beloved Harry Potter series gained worldwide popularity since the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, was released in 1997. Kids and adults of all ages immersed themselves in these books for hours, delving into the magical wizarding world full of “muggles” and “mudbloods.” Naturally, when the book series was adapted into films, avid fans had high expectations for the actors portraying their favorite characters.
Scotland-born actress Katie Leung is well known for her role as Cho Chang, Harry Potter’s love interest in the film adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. She beat thousands of girls for the role that eventually meant kissing Harry Potter himself, portrayed by Daniel Radcliffe. Leung, however, initially had no interest in the movies, or becoming an actor. She simply auditioned because her father suggested her to do so. To her surprise, she got the part.
Portraying Cho Chang was no easy task for Leung. Aside from being a quiet Chinese schoolgirl from Scotland that needed to break out of her shell, she had to deal with fan expectations, critiques and jealousy. Some fans even sunk to the level of criticizing her appearance. Regardless, she successfully carried on with the Harry Potter films.
Once the reign of Harry Potter was over, Leung returned to school and earned a degree at the Edinburgh College of Art. However, her experience in Harry Potter remained with her. Leung was drawn to the entertainment business and decided to pursue acting. Since then, she found success both on stage and in film.
She recently starred in a television mini series drama by Guy Hibbert called One Child. Leung plays Mei, who was born in China, but was adopted and grew up in Britain. Mei’s biological mother contacts her and pleads with her to return to China to help save a brother she never even knew she had.
So while Leung is still popularly known as Cho Chang, her presence in entertainment is clearly rising. She was recently awarded with Bafta’s Breakthrough Brit honor. In the Bafta interview below, she reveals she couldn’t imagine being anything else but an actor.