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Why David From M3GAN Looks So Familiar

After the first trailer for evil A.I. doll horror movie "M3GAN" premiered online, interest in the project seemed to skyrocket from zero to one hundred almost instantly. While its premise is intriguing enough, viewers loved a dance scene in the "M3GAN" trailer in particular — near this first trailer's end, the titular M3GAN doll (voiced by Jenna Davis) breaks out some impressive dance moves before attacking a man in a hallway. Soon after this footage began circulating online, M3GAN's dance inspired both memes and genuine interest in the film in equal measure.

From the looks of it, "M3GAN" could be the start of a larger franchise. Producer James Wan even spoke of a "M3GAN" sequel prior to the first film's premiere, sharing that he and the rest of the minds behind "M3GAN" already have some conception of an idea for a second entry. With the possibility of a franchise in mind, some even want M3GAN to meet Chucky, the classic horror movie doll voiced by Brad Dourif in seven films, two seasons of a TV show, and numerous promotional appearances since 1988.

Behind every evil doll, of course, is its maker, and in "M3GAN," that's a corporate CEO named David, portrayed by actor Ronny Chieng. If David looks familiar in "M3GAN," it's likely from one of the following roles.

Ronny Chieng is a comic and a correspondent on The Daily Show

Ronny Chieng's acting career kicked off in 2010, at which point he began appearing on a few different, predominately Australian TV series. According to a 2016 profile of Chieng that Variety published as part of a list honoring up-and-coming comics that year, Chieng was also actively performing stand-up around that time, starting in 2009. Chieng's comedy ultimately earned him an audition for "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" that he passed, landing him a spot on the late night show's cast as a correspondent.

Chieng first appeared on "The Daily Show" in 2015 and has remained a correspondent since, though his most recent credited appearance was in 2021. Subsequently with his "Daily Show" gig, Chieng continued to perform stand-up, including in an underrated stand-up special streaming on Netflix titled "Ronny Chieng: Asian Comedian Destroys America!" So, while Chieng is now a bona fide Hollywood star in his own right, his work as a comic is what laid the groundwork for his present day acting career.

Chieng led his own Australian sitcom titled Ronny Chieng: International Student

As is becoming increasingly commonplace for younger stand-up comics, Ronny Chieng starred in a project fictionalizing his own life story, titled "Ronny Chieng: International Student." Naturally, he plays Ronny Chieng, a Malaysian student at a law school in Melbourne, Australia. The real-life Chieng, in fact, first started performing comedy while enrolled in the University of Melbourne's law program (via Variety), so the fictional Chieng is based directly on the broad strokes of his namesake's life during his college years. Of course, some of the fictional Chieng's particular misadventures are likely at least somewhat within the realm of fiction, and not entirely autobiographical.

"Ronny Chieng: International Student" lasted for a single, seven episode season, the entirety of which first aired over the course of 2017. While the show is an Australian production, it became available to US viewers through the Comedy Central YouTube channel for free.

He's part of the ensemble cast of Crazy Rich Asians

For the first few years of his acting career, virtually all of Chieng's acting roles were on TV shows, befitting of his simultaneous work as a stand-up comic. Chieng's first big feature appearance was in "Crazy Rich Asians," the romantic comedy that made waves in 2018.

In "Crazy Rich Asians," Chieng portrays Eddie, cousin to protagonist Nick (Henry Golding), whose ultra-wealthy family in Singapore is at the heart of its story. While some members of Nick's family are plenty warm and welcoming, Eddie is an archetypally unpleasant rich guy. Chieng told GQ that he was excited to be a part of "Crazy Rich Asians" because he grew up in Singapore where he had friends whose lives resembled Nick's.

"I was around these people for a long time. Accent-wise, I know how to do it, and character-wise, I know how to play the aggressive dude," Chieng said, detailing just why he was such a good fit for his "Crazy Rich Asians" character.

He plays Greg Yao in Young Rock Season 1

Following what could be considered his breakout acting role in "Crazy Rich Asians," Chieng's film career kicked into high gear in 2021. In that year alone, Chieng is credited with 12 roles in total, including appearances in the kaiju blockbuster "Godzilla vs. Kong" and on Disney+ child doctor comedy "Doogie Kameāloha, M.D."

Chieng's longest-lasting live action role during this time was on Dwayne Johnson's autobiographical TV series "Young Rock." In "Young Rock," Chieng plays Greg Yao, a wrestling promoter in Hawaii whose promotion poaches talent from young Dwayne (Adrian Groulx)'s grandmother Ata (Ana Tuisila). As is the case with many of the biggest successes in the pro wrestling business, Yao is a larger-than-life character, sporting a pair of yellow aviator shades, a full cowboy getup, and a mustache to match. Since "Young Rock" jumps through different eras of Dwayne Johnson's life, Chieng's role becomes limited after Season 1, as The Rock grows out of the orbit of guys like Yao.

He's Jon Jon in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Simu Liu's titular Shang-Chi in "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" is the son of Xu Wenwu (Tony Leung), leader of the powerful Ten Rings organization. Wenwu is also father to Xialing (Meng'er Zhang), but he raised her outside the Ten Rings organization, leading her to learn to fend for herself.

In the film's present, Xialing is the proprietor of the Golden Daggers Club, which hosts underground fights for patrons in Macau, China. Ronny Chieng portrays Jon Jon, who runs the day-to-day operations of the Golden Daggers Club and serves as its fight announcer. Jon Jon is also behind a line in "Shang-Chi" that means more than some viewers may realize, when he tells Katy (Awkwafina) that he speaks ABC. In this moment, he's relating to Katy as American-born Chinese, which members of the film's cast praised as a meaningful acknowledgement of this distinct identity. While Chieng himself wasn't born in America, his experience growing up around the world nevertheless lends its own sort of authenticity to this moment, reflecting his multifaceted background in a broader sense.