American actor Ken Leung is best known for his parts in a number of science fiction movies that cover some of the biggest franchises in Hollywood. Leung, who was raised in New York City by Chinese parents, graduated from secondary school in Brooklyn and New Jersey before enrolling at New York University to study physical therapy. The actor claimed that an acting class at NYU initially piqued his interest in acting, which led him to decide to make acting his profession. Leung and director Brett Ratner have a well-known working rapport. The actor has received a lot of praise from the director, who has compared him to famous actors like Philip Seymour Hoffman. Over the course of a 20-year career, Leung has collaborated with notable figures from the film and television industries, including Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, and Robert Redford. He has contributed to three television series: CBS’ The Good Wife, HBO’s The Sopranos, and ABC’s science fiction serial thriller “Lost.” He has been featured in the wildly popular films “Saw,” “X-Men: The Last Stand,” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” On their superhero movie “Inhumans,” he is presently working with Marvel.
Early Youth & Life
Wang-Gang Leung, a Chinese investor, and his wife Kim-Chong Lui welcomed Kenneth Leung into the world on January 21, 1970, in New York City. When the family moved to the United States, his mother was allegedly carrying him.
He was reared in Manhattan’s Lower East Side’s “Two Bridges” neighborhood before moving with his family to Midwood, Brooklyn, where he attended Pierre English Boarding School. Since then, he has acknowledged how much he loves the movie theaters of his youth in New York.
However, he later changed schools and attended Old Bridge High School in Old Bridge, New Jersey, where he eventually finished before going to college. Leung was a University Fellow who went to NYU.
Leung found his love for performing after a friend advised him to enroll in an elective acting course during his third year. He graduated from NYU in 1995 after studying under British actors Catherine Russell and Nan Smithner.
After leaving NYU, he worked for HB Studio, where he first met Anne Jackson. He actively participated in the New York theater scene during this time, collaborating with both black box theaters and the Ma-Yi Theater Company. He also became a member of the actor collective “New Perspectives” and the actor-educator touring company “STAR” headquartered at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Career of Ken Leung
Leung made his acting debut in the year 1995, appearing in small parts in films like “Pictures of Baby Jane Doe,” “Red Corner,” and “Fly” (1998). Before receiving his big break as the villain Sang in Brett Ratner’s 1997 action comedy and Jackie Chan movie, “Rush Hour,” he also appeared in a number of minor musicals and plays. His long-lasting relationship with Ratner, who has praised him as a brilliant actor, began with this. Ratner has been referred to as “disarmingly easygoing and trusting” by Leung, who attributes Ratner with giving him more confidence in the entertainment industry.
In Terrence McNally’s play “Corpus Christi,” he made his stage comeback in 1998, portraying James the Less and God.
Through the late 1990s and the beginning of the 2000s, he continued to work in cinema and television, making appearances on the popular series “Law and Order” in 1995, 2002, and 2005, as well as “Deadline” in 2000. Additionally, he appeared in supporting parts in movies like “Man of the Century” (1999), “Maze” (2000), and “Spy Game” (2001).
He co-starred with Ben Stiller, Jenna Elfman, and actor Edward Norton in ‘Keeping the Faith,’ Norton’s 2000 directing debut.
In the 2000s, Leung continued his successful collaboration with Brett Ratner by starring in three additional full-length movies, including the Hannibal Lecter prequel “Red Dragon” (2002) and the final X-Men trilogy film, “The Last Stand” (2006).
In 2002, he also made his Broadway debut as the lead in the musical “Throughly Modern Millie,” in which he also made an appearance on the cast album.
In the cult horror movie “Saw,” which was once one of the top-grossing horror films of all time, Leung played Detective Stephen Sing, one of his most well-known roles. He returned to the part in “Saw V,” the follow-up, in 2008.
He earned acclaim for his performance as Hayden Panettiere’s love interest in the independent film “Shanghai Kiss” in 2007. He was also asked to appear as a guest star on HBO’s “The Sopranos” in the same year.
Leung took on a career-defining part in the supernatural drama “Lost” in 2008. He played Miles Straume. He entered the cast in 2008 during the fourth season of the program and stayed until its conclusion in 2010.
Prior to appearing in the sci-fi criminal drama “Person of Interest,” he made a guest appearance on the legal drama “The Good Wife” in 2011. (2012–2013).
He appeared in The Force Awakens, the eagerly awaited sequel to “Star Wars,” but only in a supporting capacity as Admiral Statura.
As of 2017, he plays Karnak, a royal member of a moon-dwelling human hybrid species, in Marvel/space ABC’s superhero series “The Inhumans.” He lacks abilities, unlike his fellow “Inhumans,” but he is a skilled martial artist who is endowed with the capacity to recognize “the fault in all things.”
Recognition & Accomplishments
Leung’s performance in the 2007 film ‘Shanghai Kiss’ earned a ‘Special Mention’ at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival.
Individual Existence of Ken Leung
Leung is a nonreligious person who chooses to honor all religions despite the fact that his parents are Buddhists.
The actor has not revealed any information about his personal relationships because he likes to keep it private. He is, however, married, according to a 2015 interview.
In contrast to life in New York City, he likes traveling with his wife and “exploring quiet, comforting little places.”
Leung has discussed the Asian-American experience in Hollywood frequently, exposing prejudices and unfair treatment wherever he has encountered them.
Ken Leung’s Net Worth
Leung claims to have always had a “performative disposition” and has related how, when he was three or four years old, he made a news program for his father. The two of them continued to make up skits for their grandmother after the birth of his younger sibling.
People believed that he was a martial artist from Hong Kong when “Rush Hour” first aired.
He has claimed that he lacks a promotional instinct and that he does not typically enjoy talking about himself.
Leung responded, “Aquaman and the Human Torch,” when asked which two superheroes he would most like to see square off.