This Scot plays Potter’s girlfriend all while playing off the pressure of her new found fame.

By AMY E. IKEDA, Pacific Citizen


Katie Leung’s presence in the forthcoming film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire has already set off a feedback firestorm from Asian Pacific American community members who scrutinize the popular book series’ ethnic portrayal. But the Scottish native also has devoted fans, an impressive list of fan Web sites and a legion of girls who are jealous that she plays Harry Potter’s love interest.

Amidst the attention and her studies, she chats with the Pacific Citizen by e-mail about her fateful audition and making magic with the film’s cast.

Pacific Citizen: How did you land the role of playing Cho Chang?

Katie Leung: My dad wanted me to try out for the part of Cho after he saw an advertisement on telly because it seemed such a coincidence for me to fit the description and also for the auditions to be held on a Saturday — my dad’s only day off work!

I didn’t want to miss the opportunity of being in London and I only expected to gain experience from it, so it came as such a surprise when I won the part. The auditions took place within a period of around two months and it involved drama workshops and a screen test, which was incredibly terrifying but such an amazing experience!

PC: Were you a fan of Harry Potter before you were cast?

KL: I’m a fan of both the movies and the books. I’d watched all the films and read the first three books before I won the part and then I read the fourth and fifth ones afterwards. I’ve just finished reading the sixth book, which was brilliant once again!

PC: What was it like growing up as a child of Chinese immigrants in Scotland?

KL: Although we are a minority in Scotland, we are all treated equally here and I haven’t experienced any racial problems.

PC: What are some things you enjoy doing in during your free time?

KL: I’m 18 years old and during my free time, I enjoy shopping, playing my guitar and piano, listening to music, spending quality time with my family and friends and just doing what a normal teenager likes to do!

PC: How do you think that you are similar or different from your character Cho Chang?

KL: Cho is a very emotional character in the fifth book but anybody would be if they lost someone close to them! She’s also very active as she plays Quidditch and she seems to be popular amongst her peers. I can be an emotional person at times but I wouldn’t consider myself as being active or popular!

PC: How did you feel about being new to the Harry Potter cast?

KL: It was incredibly daunting meeting the cast at first but we became friends in an instant because everyone was so welcoming and friendly.

PC: What are some of the things you and the cast did together off set?

KL: We didn’t really get to spend that much time together off set because of our studies but when we did, we had great fun just chatting and playing daft games, which kept us entertained!!

PC: What was it like to kiss Daniel Radcliffe?

KL: I haven’t kissed Daniel in this film. He does have a vast number of female fans so the jealousy which has arisen would have been inevitable for anyone who was cast as Cho and therefore I was prepared for it. I’m not affected by the issue in any way.

PC: Would you do another Harry Potter film?

KL: I would love to do another film if Cho Chang [were] in another Harry Potter book series after the fifth one, although I don’t think she is. I would be foolish not to after having such a wonderful time on the fourth film.

PC: What are some of your future plans?

KL: I don’t have any set plans at the moment but I would definitely like to continue with my studies and attend university. Acting is a job I haven’t really considered up until now but I think it could be a possible career in the future.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire opened nationwide Nov. 18.


This article originally appeared in Pacific Citizen (PC), the national newspaper published by the Japanese American Citizens League, and appears here by special permission.  Please do not reproduce with seeking permission from the copyright holder.

Established in 1929, the PC covers news and events in the Japanese American and larger Asian Pacific American communities. For more information about PC‘s history, features, new web site, or subscriptions, see the IMDiversity Pacific Citizen Profile, or visit is committed to presenting diverse points of view. However, the viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at IMD.