Supernatural's Osric Chau

Osric Chau is a martial artist, cosplayer, and actor. He has acted in Kung Fu Killer, The Man with the Iron Fists, and, his most prominent role, as Kevin Tran in the CW show Supernatural.  Recently, I was able to interview Osric about his road to fame and the significance of success on a more personal level. Interview by Elijah Collins.

Lithium: When did you know you wanted to be an actor?
Osric: After my first big job. I'd been trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life [and] I tried so many different jobs. After 3 and a half months in China shooting Kung Fu Killer, I thought to myself, "I can do this. This is what I want to do." That was in 2007.

Lithium: What has your favorite role as an actor been?
Osric: I don't really have a favorite anything. My tastes and preferences change as much as I do, and that is constant. So I'd say that every role I've done has been a favorite of mine at some point. That would be the one I'm currently playing-- to have it any other way just wouldn't be as happy a way to live.

Lithium: Besides acting, what else do you enjoy doing?
Osric: I love trying new things, learning new skills, traveling, seeing new places, and meeting new people. Currently, [I'm] focusing on writing and developing scripts-- something for me to produce for myself when I find myself in a dry spell or if the projects I find myself in just don't exactly match up [with] my ambitions.

Lithium: If you had one superpower, what would it be and why?
Osric: The power of understanding and communication. I feel like most issues in our world stem from that. To be able to only understand where someone is coming from and [reciprocate]-- that would be the most magnificent thing ever. I would probably find myself leading the world to peace. Or war. I shouldn't be making any assumptions.

Lithium: What role from any book, movie, or television show would you love to play?
Osric: I'll pick one and say Amadeus Cho, who is the new Hulk in the Marvel universe! [It] hasn't happened yet for the Marvel cinematic universe but if and when it does, I would love to be up for that.

Lithium: Who do you look up to as a role model?
Osric: I had a few role models growing up, but they were mostly fictional characters from anime. That all changed when I started high school. One of the things we had to do was write a letter [to] ourselves to read once we graduated. My letter consisted of a series of questions about the type of person that I was, the values that I had, and certain views that I carried. It also had a brief reminder of the person I was back then and a cryptic note about the girl I had the biggest crush on. I was so painfully shy [that] I couldn't even write her name out in a letter to myself! By the time we got our letters back, most of my friends had forgotten what they wrote, but I still remembered with extreme clarity. I was having the same conversation with myself five years [later[. And so during my time in high school, my past self was my role model. I didn't want to let him down. Nowadays I'd say it's my future self. He's doing incredible things, and he's got way better habits than I do. I wouldn't want to let him down either, so I [have] a lot of work to do.

Lithium: Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Osric: A series regular on a show that means something to people. Acting and producing feature films during my hiatus. Traveling the world and getting more involved [in] politics, helping grassroots movements and aiding people who want to make a difference in their communities.

Lithium: What advice would you give to your younger self?
Osric: Do things now-- future you has enough to do! Take some of the load off.

Lithium: What is the one question you wish someone would ask you in an interview?
Osric: 'Are those real?'

Lithium: What is your favorite childhood memory?
Osric: My most vivid and earliest memory is from when I was 3 or 4 years old. I slipped while playing and hit my head on the corner of the coffee table. I remember my mom crying and putting my jacket (that she still wears to this day) on for me and then needing to bribe me with candy so that I'd hold still for the doctors. I don't remember it hurting at all, but I did feel angry that these people had strapped me down onto a gurney.

Lithium: What are you most proud of?
Osric: My martial arts training. It was over a decade ago and it was a different time. Cell phones weren't common back then and none of us had them so we had no distractions. I trained for 8 hours every single day and when I wasn't training, I was doing video reviews of other competitors around the world. It was one of the few times in my life when I was able to shut out the world and be focused on one task. That same year, I made the Canadian national team and booked my first big project as an actor because I could do my own fights.

Lithium: If you won the lottery, what would you do?
Osric: Give half of it to one of my best friends who once bought a lottery ticket for the both of us. Buy a house for my parents. Start a production company financing independent films that I would act in and/or produce.

Lithium: What is your favorite sport?
Osric: Hockey. [It's] probably a Canadian thing but I didn't start watching it till I moved to China.

Lithium: What is your best personality trait?
Osric: My favorite trait is my curiosity. But I also know that that is something that annoys some people like no other.

Lithium: Lastly, what advice would you give to anyone to help them to take a chance and follow their dreams?
Osric: If it is truly a dream of yours, it won't feel like a want; it will feel like a need. To do it is how you live and to 'live' any other way will feel like [a] prison. And it's not all right or left, up or down. There are so many things in between. If you find a way to make a living out of [your passion], great. If not and you're certain you need to do it, then make it a priority and a way. Find a people to talk to about it. Work at it before bed, or first thing in the morning. Any spare moment you have. If it's something you love to do, you'll enjoy doing it. If it's too painful to do and you find you've had an excuse not to do it for a couple of weeks, there's a good chance you just like the idea of it. And that's good too! Then you get to use that time to explore again [until] you come across something else you might love even more.

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