Katie Leung

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Katie Leung
File:Katie Leungpremiere2008.jpg
Katie Leung at the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Tokyo premiere, 2005
Born Katie Liu Leung
(1987-08-08) 8 August 1987 (age 31)
Motherwell, Scotland, United Kingdom
Residence Motherwell, Scotland, United Kingdom
Occupation Actress
Years active 2005–present
Katie Leung
Traditional Chinese 梁佩詩
Simplified Chinese 梁佩诗

Katie Liu Leung (born 8 August 1987) is a Chinese-Scottish actress, television and stage actress. She is best known for playing Cho Chang, first love interest for lead character Harry Potter, in the Harry Potter film series. In 2012, Leung made her stage debut in the play Wild Swans. Leung has an interest in painting and photography and studied art and design at the University of the Arts, London.

Early life

Leung was born in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire to Peter, a businessman, and Kar Wai Li Leung, who works in a law firm. Her parents divorced. An immigrant from Hong Kong, her father owns a restaurant and a Chinese food wholesale firm.[1] She attended secondary school at Hamilton College, South Lanarkshire.[2][3][4][5]


2005–2007: Harry Potter

Leung's father saw an advertisement for a Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire casting call, and suggested she should try out. She waited four hours in line for a five-minute audition, despite feeling she had little likelihood of obtaining the role,[2] Two weeks later, she was called back for a workshop and was cast as Cho Chang, beating out over 3,000 other girls for the part.[6] In retrospect, she stated in an interview with the Daily Record that her Scottish accent probably gave her an advantage in the casting,[7] as the casting director asked the girls who attended the audition, "Is there anyone here from Scotland?", to which only Leung raised her hand.[8] In a 2011 interview, Leung said her fondest memory of the Harry Potter experience was the first audition, because both her parents, who were separated at the time, went with her. "It was a really nice moment because my parents hadn't seen each other for a long, long time," Leung said.[9] In an effort to heavily promote Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Warner Bros. sent Leung to China in the film's second week of release, which was unusual for a market not used to frequent celebrity visits.[10]

She appeared in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in which she and Daniel Radcliffe (Harry) shared an on-screen kiss that received much media coverage.[11] Her role was significant in the series at this point as Harry Potter's first romance. While Leung was greeted warmly by most fans of the series, some Potter fans, jealous of Leung's relationship with Harry in the film, created a "I Hate Katie" website and racist messages posted on fan websites were upsetting to Leung at the time.[12][13]

Leung's voice was used in the video games Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.


In July 2007, Leung was cast by Gold Label Records, a subsidiary of EMI in Hong Kong, to be the female lead in the music video Love Coming Home (愛回家) by Leo Ku. Leung filmed the video in London while promoting the new Harry Potter film. Ku described Leung's acting as "professional" and "mature."[14]

Leung played Hsui Tai in the episode "Cat Among the Pigeons" of ITV1's Agatha Christie's Poirot,[3][15] which premiered on ITV on 21 September 2008.

Leung has been named as Scotland's most stylish female and as the hottest Scotswoman by The Scotsman.[16] She has also been featured in Teen Vogue and in Evening Standard.[17][18]

Following the end of the Harry Potter films, Leung said she was uncertain if she wanted to continue a career in acting. However, after attending a drama course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, she was inspired.[19] In December 2011, she was awarded the role of Jung Chang as her debut stage role in Jung Chang's autobiographical play Wild Swans.[20] In comparing film to live performances, Leung said, "The obvious challenge is of course getting it right the first time, which is weirdly exciting for me."[21] The play made its world premiere in Cambridge, Massachusetts in February 2012, before returning to Motherwell.[22]

In June 2012, it was confirmed that Leung would be starring in Channel 4 four-part drama series called Run as leading character called Nu-Ying. Leung's character Nu-Ying is an illegal Chinese immigrant who sells pirate DVDs and stolen phones on the streets of Brixton in hope of making a life for herself in the UK. But first she must pay her debts to the Snakehead gang who smuggled her into Britain.[23]

She starred in The World of Extreme Happiness (The Shed at the National Theatre, 2013), in which she played Sunny, along with Vera Chok as Xiao Li, a female migrant worker, in a production about the world of migrant workers in rapidly emerging modern China.[24] Leung has also appeared in the BBC's production Father Brown crime drama series.[25]

In April 2014, it was announced that Leung is to play the role of Mei. Mei, a first-born Chinese girl adopted by an American mother and British father, is asked to return to her birthplace, Guangzhou, when her birth mother desperately seeks her assistance in saving her son. It is made by BBC Drama production for BBC Two and is co-produced with Sundance TV. One Child was scheduled to begin production in May 2014 in London and Hong Kong and air in late 2014.[26][better source needed]

Personal life

Leung delayed plans to go to art college and university to film Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. During this period, Leung had said she was undecided about pursuing an acting career after Harry Potter and wished to attend university to study art and design.[27] In 2007, she helped The Prince's Trust charity of Scotland raise £100,000 by launching a children's art competition and also donated one of her own paintings which was auctioned for £960.[28] In 2008, she attended University of the Arts London.[3] Leung has expressed a passion for photography.[29] In 2009, she was one of two celebrities who donated a photo to Sightsavers International's i:click 2009 competition. Sightsavers International is a charitable organisation to combat blindness in poor countries.[30][31] While appearing in Wild Swans, Leung worked to complete her photography degree.[32] On the completion of the play Leung has said she will attend the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, where as of 2012, she was studying on the BA Acting course.[32]

To this day Leung still lives in Motherwell, where she was born.[9] She speaks fluent Cantonese and some Mandarin.[33]


Year Title Role Notes
2005 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Cho Chang Film
2007 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Cho Chang Film
2008 Agatha Christie's Poirot Hsui Tai Film
2013 Run Nu-Ying
2014 Father Brown Jia-Li Gerard TV production (Series 2, Episode 8:"The Prize of Colonel Gerard")
2014 One Child Mei Ashley TV mini-series (4 Episodes)

Stage Plays

Year Title Role Notes
2012 Wild Swans Jung Chang Stage production
2013 The World of Extreme Happiness Sunny Stage production
2013 The Merchant of Venice Portia Stage production



  • BAFTA Breakthrough Brits 2014[34]



  • Scotland's Most Stylish Female[36]
  • No. 80 on the Cosmogirl's Hot 100 List[37]


  • Outstanding Newcomer Award, Asian Excellence Awards (Top 4)
  • Young Scots Award (nominee)


  1. LORRAINE FISHER (29 June 2007). "Move over Hermione – there are three new girls vying for Harry Potter's attention". Daily Mail. UK. Retrieved 29 March 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Synnot, Siobhan (21 June 2007). "KISS ME KATIE". Daily Record. Retrieved 29 November 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Williams, Amy (19 September 2008). "Small-screen gems: The young British actresses to watch". MailOnline. Retrieved 12 August 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. LAU KIT WAI. Katie casts a spell. South China Morning Post. YOUNGPOST; Pg. 1. 11 December 2005.
  5. Dougan, Andy (4 November 2005). "'Motherwell girl Katie steals Harry Potter 's heart; MOVIE SPECIAL Katie Leung on her dream role . . . and the big secret she had to keep for two months". Evening Times (Glasgow). NEWS. p. 14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Katie Leung 5/2007 Interview BBC.com". BBC. Retrieved 5 November 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Exclusive: My Broad Accent Scot Me A Job As Harry Girl". The Daily Record. 14 November 2005. Retrieved 19 March 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. The Scotsman (26 June 2007). "What Katie did next". Netflix. Retrieved 26 March 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 Herald Scotland. "Lights, camera ... magic". Herald and Times Group. Retrieved 3 April 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Pride, William M.; Hughes, Robert J.; Kapoor, Jack R. (2008). Business. Houghton Miffin. p. 540. ISBN 0-618-75314-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Daniel Radcliffe: Harry Potter's First Kiss Took Several Takes to Get Right". Fox News AP. 29 June 2009. Retrieved 12 December 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "KATIE: I CRIED FOR HARRY'S ILL FANS". Scotland: Daily Record. 16 November 2005. Retrieved 28 March 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. United Press International (11 April 2005). "Racists slam 'Harry Potter' actress". UPI. Retrieved 4 September 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. 基仔張秋親熱大汗疊細汗 (in 中文). Sina.com. 31 July 2007. Retrieved 1 August 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  15. Hendry, Steve (2 December 2007). "What Katie Leung Did Again". Sunday Mail. Retrieved 2 December 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  16. Watson, Jeremy (18 November 2007). "Harry Potter actress flies from Hogwarts to top of eligibles list". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2 December 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Teen Vogue". All Stars Online. Retrieved 31 March 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "Katie Leung Evening Standard photoshoot, June 2007". SnitchSeeker.com. Retrieved 31 March 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "LEUNG NEARLY QUIT ACTING AFTER POTTER". Scotland: The Express. 6 December 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Harry Potter actress Katie Leung lands debut stage role". BBC News. 7 December 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Amy Adler (8 February 2012). "Katie Leung Goes Wild". TheaterMania.com, Inc. Retrieved 8 February 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. Wei-Huan Chen. "'Wild Swans' tries to fit China on stage". Dedham, Massachusetts: Dedham Transcript. Retrieved 12 February 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. Channel 4 Run Cast Announcement
  24. "The World of Extreme Happiness: A Story of China's Urban Migrants". The Culture Trip - China. 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. Kane, Patricia (20 July 2013). "After Harry Potter I had to go to acting class: In the week JK Rowling was revealed as a secret crime writer, a star from the hit films tells how she nearly quit showbusiness". Daily Mail, Retrieved 21 July 2013
  26. Harry Potter's Katie Leung To Star In BBC Two Mini-Series one Child SnitchSeeker, Retrieved 1 April 2014
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  28. Edinburgh Evening News (4 December 2007). "Potter star Katie helps raise £100,000". The Scotsman. Retrieved 12 December 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. Cheesman, Chris (26 November 2009). "HARRY POTTER STAR REVEALS PHOTOGRAPHY 'PASSION'". Amateur Photographer. Archived from the original on 30 December 2009. Retrieved 12 December 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  31. Carswell, Andy (3 December 2009). "Amersham teen's photo to appear alongside work of Harry Potter actress". Bucks Free Press & Times Group. Retrieved 12 December 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  32. 32.0 32.1 Louise Jury (20 April 2012). "Harry Potter star Katie Leung makes stage debut... before a spell at drama school". London Evening Standard. UK. Retrieved 20 April 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  33. "Katie Leung: I almost quit acting after Harry Potter". UK: Metro. Retrieved 21 April 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. [1] Katie Leung, BAFTA Breakthrough Brits 2014 Archived 1 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  35. "2008 Movie Awards Winners". MTV Networks. Retrieved 5 November 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  36. "Awards ceremony celebrates Glasgow's style". Glasgow City Marketing Bureau. Archived from the original on 20 December 2009. Retrieved Nov 5, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  37. "Katie Leung in Cosmo Girl magazine". snitch seeker.com. 22 May 2007. Retrieved 1 April 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links