Christina Chong

If we’ve ever felt spurred to revisit any one of the rising talents that Glass has interviewed over the past few months, Christina Chong is certainly going to be one of them. Great things are on the horizon for the 31-year-old  Londoner, namely a major role in the upcoming seventh film in the Star Wars saga, The Force Awakens, to be released next year. Like many up-and-coming actors, Chong established a name for herself through many television appearances in series such as Line of Duty, 24: Live Another Day and Monroe.

However now for this ambitious actor, cinema has now come calling with  Chong has appeared in a handful of supporting roles in films, from Madonna’s W.E to the comedy spy caper Johnny English Reborn.

Prior to the anticipated premiere of Star Wars this time next year, Christina has already made sure to line up a few major recurring roles in vehicles such as Halo: Nightfall in the meantime as well. As for us, we eagerly anticipate hearing more from this rising UK talent.

If you could describe yourself as any kind of actress what would it be?

That’s a really hard question! I would like to say that I’m quite versatile because I never want to typecast myself.

How does it feel to become a part of a cinematic legacy [Star Wars] that dates back to 1977 and comes after six equally highly-anticipated films?
Considering it’s probably one of, if not the most successful movie franchises in cinematic history, when I realised that I was going to be a part of it, it was just all too incredible.

The latest addition episode VII isn’t set to hit theatres until this time next year, so how does it feel to know the world will be waiting with bated breath until they can see it?
Quite scary actually, but it’s nice to have that year to build all the excitement and anticipation.

We realise that you will have to remain strictly tight-lipped about anything related to the film, however, could you possibly give us some kind of clue as to what will be in store for us!?
I’d love to, believe me, but I am just not allowed yet.

Could you at least give us a few hints about some of the processes you went through / are going through for the production?
My experience, in one word … astounding.

Getting to the point, would you say this your highest career high so far?
Most definitely!


What about your lows?
For me, all of my work, even the small projects, have shown me a new productive perspective. If I had to address any one low, it would probably be when I wasn’t able to earn a living from acting. That was at the very beginning of my career though and now when it comes to every role, I don’t do something unless I absolutely love it. Even if I still don’t have the most amazing experience during the any one project, I still always bring away something from it, there is always something you can enjoy when you are on the job.

You are most well-known you for your recurring and widely celebrated appearances in TV series such as Doctor Who, 24, Line of Duty and much more. What did your successful tenure on the small screen teach you?
Working on TV is a completely different vehicle to film. There’s a very quick turnover in the way you don’t have very long to film, 60 minutes worth of footage, if that, takes a matter of days to film. You really have to take it all as it comes, so the main thing that TV has taught me is the ability to jump into a character after quickly breaking down a script to pick up the lines and get performance ready.

What would you say has been your favourite role so far?
They are all enjoyable for a number of different reasons. The one role I’d say probably stands out, because it was my first regular role, would be Dr Sarah Witney in Monroe, where I played a cardio-thoracic surgeon. It was my first breakthrough recurring TV role and so it was all really new and special because the people I worked with became friends that I still count as good friends now. It was a real epiphany TV experience so I’d definitely say that has been my favourite role so far.

What type of roles are the best for you to well and truly sink your teeth into?
Ultimately, I will always be drawn to really dramatic, solemn, emotional characters, but then I like the contrast that hard-core, kick-ass action packed roles offer. At the same time, I sometimes like to also pick up roles which offer comedic aspects.


You got the showbiz bug early, rerouting yourself towards the stage and screen via your original passion for ballet. How instrumental was stage school in your career?
When I was on location in Germany for my first job post stage school, Tim Rice’s musical Aida, I realised that the transition was almost seamless. I felt so well prepared that nothing really fazed me; professionally I was so ready when it came to all of the technicalities. Also, when dealing with rejection and other miserable stuff like that stage school was imperative.

You’re not guaranteed to get a role, be it leading, supporting or even ensemble, in the end of the year production for instance.  Early on you are used to not necessarily getting what you want and dealing with it, then comes dealing with competition or jealousy and that whole thing too. It definitely prepared me, positively and negatively, but mainly positively.

What does dance mean to you in correlation with acting?
For me dance is an expression of how I feel, so I guess I was already acting from a young age when I was dancing because it was a way to release an artistic build-up. I guess it’s made my physicality in acting more natural and speaking of natural, I’d say it’s almost natural progression to go from dance to acting. I would still like to use my dance skills in my future if they are ever called upon career-wise.

You have a very well-travelled background when it comes to education, etc. but what is it that brings you back to London as your hometown?
Apart from family and friends, London to me just has everything you could want. It’s cosmopolitan, it’s just so me, it’s where I am originally from and it will always be home. It’s amazing to see all the countries I see when I travel all over the world, but when the plane lands back in London and you see all the lush greenery, it feels like I’m back in my natural habitat. I always have to come home – I don’t know anywhere else in the world where I would want to live.

by Liam Feltham

Photographs by Justin van Vliet