Chris Pang on Young Love, Family, and Breakthrough in Theater

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i had my first kiss on a cruise ship while on a family vacation. I was 19 and started talking to a girl at the reception. On the last night of the cruise, I asked what time she had finished work and she told me to meet her. She ended up taking me to the staff area. We kissed under a clear sky filled with stars. It was beautiful.

My first serious relationship with a girl, that was when I was 19. We were drunk in a club and I kissed her. Then we would go out together. I thought it was the rule back then: once you kiss a girl, you date her.

I just have to chase someone in my second relationship, when I was 21. I loved this experience. You get ideas from watching movies and you have all these fantasies about what it is and then you act them out in your own life. We dated for a year.

I moved to LA in 2013 to focus on my film career. I’m trying to figure things out with a girl now, but doing it at long distance is difficult. If my relationship was Facebook status, he’d say, “It’s complicated.

When i said to mom I wanted to be an actor, she said it was the hardest thing I could choose. Many traditional Asian families would not have supported her, but she did. Mom pushed me to make my dream come true.

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I spent time with actress Kiwi Rachel House during filming The portable door in Brisbane this year. She calls me her little brother. We became close and she helps me with my auto cassettes [pre-recorded auditions].

I first worked with Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh in 2014 on Crouching tiger, hidden dragon: sword of fate. We were in New Zealand on the plateau and talked about fresh oysters. She asked me if we should have any. I didn’t call her, but the next time I saw her she asked me why I hadn’t called. I told him I didn’t have his number. I was so intimidated. What do you call an amazing actress and ask her for oysters?

We reconnected in 2015 for Marco polo and in 2017 for Crazy Rich Asians. It was then that I got to see her as a peer, despite having more experience in the industry. I have always admired her.

Chris is a David Jones Spring / Summer 2021 campaign model.

This article appears in Sunday life magazine within the Sun-Herald and the Sunday age on sale November 7. To learn more about Sunday Life, visit The Sydney Morning Herald and Age.

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