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Brian Tee (born Jae-Beom Takata, March 15, 1977) is an American actor best known for his starring role as Dr. Ethan Choi in the NBC medical drama Chicago Med and its spin-offs and has appeared in numerous films and television series including The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, The Wolverine, Mortal Kombat: Legacy, Jurassic World and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.
- For the most part, the roles Asians can get aren't necessarily well-rounded, and more often than not, they're stereotypes. But that's all we have. And then we see each other all the time at auditions, because we're all going for the same role. I've made a lot of friends that way.
- No joke, it’s completely split down the middle. Half the people think I’m Japanese and the other half thinks that I’m Korean. The Koreans would want me to be Korean and the Japanese would want me to be Japanese. When I was in Korea, people just assumed I was Korean and when I was in Japan they assumed I was Japanese. And sometimes for the non-Koreans (or non-Japanese), I would get Chinese or general Asian.
- I’ve been fortunate to work with a lot of different people and we are all buddies from going to events and film festivals as you get to meet a lot of the same people. It’s kind of one big niche group that all knows one another. I’m just very fortunate to be a part of this industry and be a part of the Asian-American film family. Hopefully in the future we can all progress together and set a standard for Asian-Americans as well as how the mainstream looks upon us.
- I think I can say that I am more in touch with my Korean side because of my upbringing and strong Korean Mom. Also, for the past 10 years, I have been taking care of my Korean Grandmother more…so their Korean traits have influenced me in my life. However, that still doesn’t take anything away from my Japanese roots. I think both cultures have instilled in me the morals, values, customs and traditions I live by. I’m in touch with both sides…it’s not a sense of “meaning” but a sense of “being” that I am proud of.
- I think we need people to be bold and brave. We need people to be conscious of what they're writing and the stories that they're telling. I feel like so many people are afraid about whether people will watch it, but the bottom line is our industry has proven that if it's good, people will watch it. If you find a good, compelling story, whether it's AAPI, multicultural or not, be brave to tell it. As far as the AAPI community is concerned, we as a community need to stand up, speak up and speak out much more. We need to be in the room where the decisions are made. We need to be in front of and behind the cameras, but also sharing our stories for the next generation. If you put all of those things together, we’ll have the progress that we need in order to create change.
- If we’re talking about purely historical content, I think having an understanding of one another definitely bridges certain gaps. I think this hate stems from fear, and if we can have that connection and historical factual sense of belonging and being here, I feel it would bridge certain gaps of hate and fear that we all live with today. At least we're trying to create progress in a larger way.
- It's the transformation that drives me. I want to do it all and never want to be boxed into something as a particular type or style. I never want people to think they know me. I hope to build a repertoire that one can look at and say, from to role to role, 'Was that Brian Tee?'