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Downsizing's Hong Chau Gets Her Big Break in Miniature

Downsizing's Hong Chau Gets Her Big Break in Miniature
From TIME - November 16, 2017

Ask a scientist how to address climate change, and they might suggest phasing out fossil fuels. Filmmaker Alexander Payne (Election, Sideways) had a more creative, if implausible idea: shrink people down to five inches. Theyd require fewer resources, but get to live like royals. Thats the conceit of Downsizing, which stars Matt Damon as a man who decides to live large by getting small. But its his co-star Hong Chau who steals the show. She plays a Vietnamese activist whose altruism stands in stark opposition to the conspicuous consumption of the miniature world.

Chau was born in Thailand to Vietnamese parents and raised in New Orleans. She planned on a career behind the camera until, after acting in friends films at Boston University, she found a knack for being in front of it. She got her first recurring TV role on the Big Easyset Treme; her first film was Paul Thomas Andersons madcap 2014 neo-noir Inherent Vice.

To play Ngoc Lan Tran, Chau says she drew inspiration from my parents, the community I grew up in New Orleans, Flannery OConnor. As Ngoc Lans left leg has been partially amputated, she says, I basically was learning how to walk again. But what appealed most was not her limp or her accentacting skills she sees as a bit of a party trickbut the characters rich inner life. In this case: a God-fearing straight shooter whose difficulties never distract from helping those who suffer even more.

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