|Home from Hollywood: James Hong's nostalgic return to Minnesota|
|Tuesday, 24 November 2009 12:27|
By Albert Leung, Staff Writer
The author and friend Stephanie Lau spent time with legendary actor James Hong when he returned to Minnesota for his 62nd high school reunion. This is the final installment of a three-part series on James Hong.
After a day full of driving around town, I was looking forward to an easier schedule during James's second day in Minnesota. There were no old haunts to tour but only a visit to local private school Breck, located in Golden Valley, Minn., to speak to some of their students.
The invitation came from the school's Chinese language teacher Margaret Wong who invited the actor to share some insights and tell tales of his Hollywood experience. Although expecting to address a large student body or drama class, James found out upon arriving his audience would actually consist of a few Chinese language classes that Margaret taught.
Despite not receiving the details of his presentation until he arrived, James was very accommodating to Margaret's schedule which asked him to speak to a handful of Chinese languages classes separately.
James takes a seat in the lobby of Breck School while waiting to meet Margaret Wong and her Chinese language students
While keeping his discussion mostly serious, James found opportunities to break the tension and maintained a loose environment with cleverly added jokes and impressions to incite some life into his audience. He performed celebrity impressions such as Elvis Presley and broke out his famous voice over roles in the movies Mu Lan and in Kung Fu Panda. While running his film credit, he unexpectedly jumped on stage and re-enacted the brief clip of him as Lo Pan, which amazed and surprised the students. Staying hip with the times, James even displayed his hip-hop dancing skills which he said he picked up from street performers he met in Toronto.
Standing outside of the Civil Engineer building, James looks in amazement of how the University of Minnesota campus has changed since he attended the college