‘Tommy’: Rich Ting says it’s great time to be Asian in Hollywood, says industry is becoming more open-minded
An Asian American, Ting, who will soon be seen on CBS crime drama, 'Tommy', discusses diversity and what it is to be from his kind of ethnic background in Hollywood
You have probably seen him as Captain Iijima in Amazon’s ‘The Man in The High Castle’ or Bolo in Cinemax’s ‘Warrior’. Rich Ting has been the face of many network shows and popular movies. He will soon be seen on CBS’s latest crime procedural, ‘Tommy’, led by Emmy and Golden Globes winner, Edie Falco, along with Russell G Jones, Thomas Sadoski, among others.
In an exclusive interview with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW), we learned about the actor’s experience and journey as an Asian American and how it impacted his career.
Ting has been in this industry for more than 13 years and worked as a fulltime actor. For someone who comes from an Asian American background, he thinks that “this is a great time to be Asian in Hollywood.” In fact, he walks us down the memory lane when he started his journey in this industry.
“You know, when I first started, 13 years ago, everyone told me that being an Asian was good for him. And yet, it was hard for me to get jobs back in the days. Throughout all these years, I have seen how different films and television shows have introduced the Asian culture to the world, through their artistic side. But I definitely think that it has increased over the years.”
But he also says that it’s not just with Asians. The theory pretty much applies to other cultures that are not “dominant Hollywood culture”, according to him, and everyone has art to contribute.
He feels proud that as a representation of his ethnicity culture, he can "sprinkle the culture throughout these different pieces of art and to put it on a platform, which I think is the ultimate goal so that the world can view.”
Talking about how the culture of diversity is going forward within Hollywood, Ting says that businesses within the industry are becoming more open-minded. But it is not just because of his background but more because of what he brings to the table.
This carries more relevance in his upcoming appearance on CBS’s crime drama, ‘Tommy’, where he guest stars as a Chinese American, whose daughter gets kidnapped. But that’s not all. Like he mentioned before, over the years, with more acceptance to diversity, characters also have undergone changes.
For instance, Rich Ting plays the roles of Li Chang, a gay Asian American, married to his Caucasian partner, who have an adopted Asian girl child. Ting feels that his character is layered and is quintessentially American.
“I can’t recall seeing another Asian American unaccented on primetime network", he says.
While we bring you updates on upcoming projects of this incredibly talented and multifaceted actor and martial art specialist, you can catch him on ‘Tommy’ Episode 6, on March 12, 10pm/9c, only on CBS.