NOV 16, 2017

After He Quit Acting, Chin Han Became the Most Successful Singaporean Actor in Hollywood

privy profile   |   By Bonnie He

Occupation: Actor

Based in: Los Angeles

Hometown: Singapore

Some actors are too talented to be kept off-screen.

Singapore native Chin Han has had a love affair with films since he was a child. As early as the age of 6, his only birthday wish was to be taken to the movies.

Throughout university, he’d spend every free moment - and would sometimes even skip classes - getting involved in theatrical plays. He still graduated with degrees in both economics and linguistics to oblige his parents.

Chin Han still remembers the first check he ever received for acting: playing a role in the Molière play, “The School for Wives.” It was a thrill for him to bring that first paycheck to the bank. Shortly after he graduated, he booked his first TV role, and continued to work steadily in TV for years - until he suddenly didn’t love it anymore. Wanting to leave roles open for actors who were still passionate about acting, he quit. For 8 years.


APR 3, 2017

Jason Y. Lee is Changing the World, One Video at a Time at Jubilee Project

privy profile   |   By Bonnie He

Occupation: Philanthropist, Entrepreneur, Filmmaker

Based in: Los Angeles

Last Education: The University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Jason Y. Lee could have had a lucrative career in finance. He started as a summer intern for the U.S. Department of Treasury while attending the University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School, and after graduation, he worked as a financial consultant at Bain & Company.

Instead, he chose the road less traveled: helping others in need. When the 2010 Haitian earthquake devastated an estimated 3 million people, Lee wanted to contribute to the relief effort.


NOV 23, 2016

Chinese-Born YuanYuan Tan Became the Most Recognized Asian Ballerina in the World Because of Five Cents

privy profile   |   By Bonnie He


Occupation: Prima Ballerina

Based in: San Francisco

Last Education: Saint Mary's College


A game of heads or tails changed YuanYuan Tan’s life forever.

At the age of 11, YuanYuan was scouted and invited to audition for Shanghai Dance School. Her father, an engineer, wanted YuanYuan to either follow in his footsteps or become a doctor, so he didn’t think she should go. Her mother, however, had dreamed of becoming a dancer herself when she was younger, so she secretly took her daughter to the audition.


JUL 21, 2016

From 'L Word' to 'X-Men': Mei Melançon's Journey from Asia to Hollywood

privy profile   |   By Bonnie He

Occupation: Actress, Writer, Former Model

Based in: Los Angeles

Last Education: Larry Moss and Nancy Banks


It’s any wonder that Mei Melançon is so eclectic. She’s of Chinese, Japanese and French descent, was born in the Philippines, grew up in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and moved to the United States in her early teens.

During Melançon’s cross-border upbringing, her mother taught her how to play guitar, and she started touring around Asia in a children’s band called Blossoms at the young age of 5.


JUN 22, 2016

How Lawrence Ng Built a $200M Company Before He Turned 30

how lawrence ng built a $200m company before he turned 30   |   By Stephen Liu

Lawrence Ng Privy Profile Interview Cover Photo

Occupation: Serial Entrepreneur, Investor

Based in: Taipei, Los Angeles

Last Education: University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business


When others retreat, Lawrence Ng fearlessly advances - and gets results.

When the dot-com bubble collapsed in 2000, investors quickly fled the wreckage. At that time, building an internet-based company wasn’t an attractive prospect.

Lawrence Ng, however, wasn't deterred. He understood how to convert internet traffic into profit, using the search engine optimization and marketing strategies he learned at his previous job at Smartpath (one of the victims in the dot-com collapse).


JUN 1, 2016

Jason Wang Rules a Xi'an Empire

jason wang rules a xi'an empire   |   By Stephen Liu

Occupation: Restaurateur

Based in: New York

Last Education: International Culinary Center (Formerly French Culinary Institute)


It takes hard work to run an empire. And Jason Wang has a large one, at that. He’s the CEO and President of Xi’an Famous Foods, a New York City Chinese fast-food chain that currently has 11 locations - and expanding - in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. Xi’an Famous Foods has quickly become iconic for its fast, hip, and inexpensive Xi’an fare, with its famed lamb burger starting at just $3.50!

One of those locations is Biang!, an upscale version of the Xi’an brand, named after the sound the noodles make when the dough is slapped against the counter. Just this year, Biang! became a no-tipping establishment, instead giving its employees a wage increase and 15% of the revenue share.

In 2017, Xi’an Famous Foods will have a coveted spot in the upcoming Bourdain Market, a mega food hall by Anthony Bourdain, opening on Pier 57 in Manhattan, fashioned after Singapore’s famed hawker centres.


MAY 18, 2016

For Toni Ko, Perversion Lies in the Eye of the Beholder

privy profile   |   By Bonnie He


Occupation: Serial Entrepreneur

Based in: Los Angeles

Languages Spoken: English, Korean


L'Oreal thought Toni Ko was worth it.

In 2014, the internationally renowned cosmetics company acquired Ko's beauty powerhouse NYX for a rumored $500 million dollars, enough for a lifetime of sipping margaritas at the beach, if Ko had chosen to coast into an early retirement.

But ambitious Ko, who founded NYX at age 25 and established her makeup line as one of the most highly regarded beauty brands in the industry, craved a new reason to drive herself up every morning. Her unique skill set is undoubtedly bridging the gap between high quality products and low price points. So the innovator immediately dove into Round 2.

And PERVERSE was born.


NOV 13, 2015

The Homecoming of Transpacific Star Daniel Wu

privy interview   |   By Bonnie He

Occupation: Actor, Producer, Director

Based in: Hong Kong, California

Last Education: University of Oregon


Daniel Wu chanced upon the Hollywood Dream overseas.

Born and raised in Northern California, Chinese American Wu originally went to Hong Kong in 1997 to witness the British handover back to China - and ended up having a successful film career in Asia for two decades. His foray into the industry was completely accidental. Wu was literally discovered, with no prior acting or Cantonese-language experience (he graduated with an architecture degree and grew up speaking Mandarin and Shanghainese), and thrust headlong into his first movie, “Bishonen,” as the lead.


OCT 22, 2015

Host of Asia’s Amazing Race Allan Wu is Jetsetting Around the World

privy interview   |   By Privy Editor

Occupation: TV Personality, Actor, Model

Based in: Singapore

Last Education: University of California, Berkeley


Allan Wu is the globetrotting fitness guru that you see hosting Asia’s Amazing Race. He has said on multiple occasions that he’s never not had abs, although he professes only 7 are visible.

And although traversing around the world is hard work, he manages to keep grounded whenever he’s back home in Singapore, where he’s absolutely devoted to his two children.

Though he’s a natural at hosting, Wu’s first career wasn’t in the entertainment industry. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley as a pre-med major, and worked for several years in the biotechnology industry. An accident - he’ll elaborate in the interview - made him reassess his life and career path.


SEP 2, 2015

Model Hannah Jun Shares Inspiring Words

privy interview   |   By Privy Concierge

Occupation: Model, Actress

Based in: Los Angeles

Last Education: University of California, Los Angeles


Hannah Jun is a Hawaiian native who has been modeling since graduating from UCLA, where she holds degrees in sociology and theater. She has been in numerous commercial and print campaigns, for both the national and international markets.

In 2012 and 2013, she hosted the English broadcasts of the Mnet Asian Music Awards. She was also the host of Mnet America's original series "Pop This Way."

She was featured in 2015’s viral BuzzFeed video, “Women’s Ideal Body Types Throughout History,” representing the ideal body type during the Han Dynasty.