SCOTS actor Katie Leung says she is frustrated at being pigeonholed by casting directors.
The 31-year-old says the only time she has used her own accent on screen was in her breakthrough roles as Cho Chang in the Harry Potter films.
She is currently playing Lau Chen in the eight-part ITV political thriller Strangers, starring John Simm as Professor Jonah Mulray, whose wife dies in a mysterious car cash. But Katie said she is continually typecast because of her Chinese background.
“I don’t want to deny my heritage or culture, but at the same time I feel like we need to reach a place where people are not stereotyping me,” she said.
“There is just so much I want to do and play.
“I want to play a part where I just speak in a Scottish accent.”
Katie said she had not been allowed to use her native accent on screen since the Potter movies.
In Strangers, Professor Mulray’s life is turned upside-down when his wife, Megan (Dervla Kirwan), is killed in a car crash in Hong Kong. Although she lived and worked there half her life, her husband has never been.
When he arrives to collect her body, the professor finds she was living a double life, with a Chinese husband and daughter – Lau Chen.
Katie said she had to fight for the part to have a British accent.
“The original intention was to have her speak in a Chinese accent, which I just refused to do,” said Katie. The actress, who has appeared with the RSC and the National Theatre, studied at the Royal Conservatoire, Glasgow, after making four Potter movies, in which she played the boy wizard’s first love.
Next month, Katie is running for charity to raise money for My Body Back Project clinics in Glasgow and London, supporting victims of sexual assault.
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