Regina Ting Chen may not have been encouraged to go to leisure, but that didn’t stop her from doing so.
Growing up in a Chinese family, Chen says his parents wanted him to move into a field like business or cardiology. But that didn’t stop him from arranging performances for his family, often forcing his siblings to play with him or to tell his grandmother too many stories.
“My grandmother was an immigrant and raised me most of my childhood. He was afraid to leave the house, he was afraid of the outside world, especially because he didn’t really know English, ”Chen recalled. “I was really going to tell him what was going to happen in my day, sometimes embellishing my story so that I could live in a different way through it. I wanted to laugh, I wanted to feel whether all the things I felt in my day were real.”
Chen graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Spanish and business with a minor. He approached a local model in Texas for an opportunity and it was his agent who suggested he take acting classes.
“I was really excited, the idea that I could do it didn’t cross my mind until that moment,” Chen said.
However, Chen thought he needed to take a break from acting and set up a career where he could save and then return to acting. She has now moved to Houston with her husband, hoping to work for ten years (she got an assistant director job with a starting salary of $ 60,000), save money and then start working again.
“I hated it so much. I thought, how can I do this for ten years and then return to what I like? So I realized that the play was going to be forever, and I had to leave, ”Chen said. “It took me three months, it’s not that long but it was enough to make me realize how much money they throw at me, or how much work I have to do elsewhere. I needed that to realize that this is what I want to do forever. ”
Since then, Chen has garnered numerous acting credits, including “Queen of the South,” Marvel’s “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” HBO’s Emmy-winning limited series “Watchmen,” and CW’s “Black Lightning.” and “Dynasty.” However, these days you can see her as Miss Kelly, the mentor who appears in the new season of Netflix’s “Stranger Things.”
Chen was a big fan of the show before and as a self-proclaimed science fiction nerd, he was very excited to be a part of the show.
“I felt a lot of pressure. “Stranger Things” is probably the biggest show in the world as far as everyone can see, “Chen said.
For Chen, he really enjoys being on the set with how immersive he can be when working on “Stranger Things.”
“One of my favorite things was how committed they are to creating the world of the’ 80s, down to the details of the pencil, ”Chen said. “I love that the notebook I would touch is also old school. It was very easy for me to fall into this world and think that I was living in that time. ”
Chen was glad his character was well received. He listened to both adults and children as he reacted to how close his characters were to the house.
“It’s been even better than I thought it was because I know my character and I’m very excited to be approached by people I don’t know and‘ Stranger Things ’fans and tell me that you remember my former advisor,” he said. Chen. “Adults and children, I hear them all. I’m shocked by people like Miss Kelly. “
Even Chen was happy to bring some Asian delegations.
“I felt pressured because I was the first person to act as an Asian representative there. I’m not going to say that the first Asians weren’t there, but one who has a name and is involved in the story, ”Chen said. “I don’t think it was intentional, like ‘We need to introduce an Asian person here and it will be Regina’, but even though it did happen in the end, I feel very honored and will work very hard to stay the best. Representation I can be.”
In any case, Chen is happy to be able to bring this representation to the screen.
“I feel like I’m where I need to be,” Chen said. “I don’t always like being that kind of nonsense, but thinking about all the work I’ve done has set me up to represent this kind of role as best I can so that I can get to know others who are as interested as I am. being an actor and saying there is hope. ”
Stay tuned for Chen’s latest news on Instagram @reginatingchen.