Katie Liu Leung, a Scot from Motherwell, Lanarkshire, was born on August 8, 1987. Her initial claim to fame saw her portray the role of Cho Chang in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, a skilled Quidditch player, who was arguably the first serious romantic interest of Harry Potter. She beat out 3,000 other hopeful girls for this very role which went on to receive extensive press coverage thanks in part to her on-screen kiss with Harry in Order of the Phoenix.
Since her début in the Potter franchise, she has completed her studies at the University of the Arts London and starred in such television series as Agatha Christie: Poirot, Run, and Father Brown. Katie also pursues the theatrical arts and has starred in such plays as The World of Extreme Happiness and Wild Swans. She attended the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow where she pursued a BA in Acting.
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Katie first learned of the auditions for a role in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire after her father saw an advertisement. Two weeks after attending an initial five minute audition, of which Katie was not optimistic, she received a call back to participate in a workshop which would end up casting the role for Harry Potter’s first romantic flame, Cho Chang. She recalled that one of the casting agents walked into the waiting room and asked “Is there anyone from Scotland?”, to which she immediately shot her hand into the air. She believes that this crucial factor of having a Scottish accent is what inevitably sealed the deal and landed her the role. She kept her recurring role of Cho Chang through Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince, Deathly Hallows – Part 1, and Deathly Hallows – Part 2. In addition, she voiced her character for the Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince video games.
In 2007, Katie was involved with the fundraising of an estimated £100,000 for The Prince’s Trust charity of Scotland, which aims to assist disadvantaged youth in the UK, through a children’s art competition. She donated a personal painting that was eventually auctioned for £960. Katie said the following about the painting in question:
The meaning behind my drawing shows the two birds encouraging and supporting each other even though life may seem hard, boring or monotonous; hence the plain background. But as long as we help each other out and become motivated and hopeful, despite the negativity surrounding us, we will find happiness within ourselves – and this is conveyed through the birds’ vibrant colours.
In 2009, she assisted Sightsavers International in combating blindness in poverty stricken countries by donating a signed photo in lieu with the theme of body language. With regards to her love of photography she said this:
Photography allows me to communicate in a certain way which words and other forms of art simply cannot, and it has ultimately changed the way in which I see the world. Through my passion for this powerful medium I am deeply grateful to be blessed with the wonderful gift of sight.
- She believes her Scottish background helped secure her the role of Cho Chang as while waiting to audition a casting director appeared and asked “Is anyone here from Scotland?” to which Katie readily shot her hand up in the air.
- She starred in a music video for “Love Coming Home” by Leo Ku, a Hong Kong Cantopop and Mandopop singer.
- She considered indefinitely stepping away from acting following the Harry Potter films due to “lack of confidence” she faced having been cast initially with very little prior experience in film and theater.
- She admitted to having a crush on both Ryan Gosling and Javier Bardem.
- Claims the best photo she’s ever taken is one of a “a window, and below it is an empty desk with a chair in front of it, which my jacket is hanging from. It looks like a person is there without a head. It’s very abstract and very arty.”
- She owns a Contax G2 camera.
- Is fluent in Cantonese and able to converse using colloquial terms.