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Why Eric From Industry Looks So Familiar

In 2020, "Industry" debuted, offering audiences a glimpse into the complicated and competitive world of investment banking in London. The series follows a young group of recent college graduates as they fight for a limited number of positions at a prominent firm known as Pierpoint & Co. The series has introduced fans to numerous favorite characters throughout its two seasons on the air, and one who particularly stands out among the bunch is Eric. He's a major player at the firm and the character who takes the series' protagonist, Harper Stern (Myha'la Herrold), on as his protégé.

Eric from "Industry" may look familiar to eagle-eyed fans. This is because he is portrayed by none other than Ken Leung, a seasoned character actor who has appeared in some of the most notable properties and franchises to grace the big and small screens over the course of the last two decades. In the process, he has amassed a lengthy IMDb list of credits with some instantly recognizable projects and roles. With all of that in mind, it is worth diving in to take a closer look at some of the characters and performances that audiences may know him best from throughout his career.

Leung played Sang in Rush Hour

One of Ken Leung's earliest notable roles in Hollywood came with a villainous turn in Brett Ratner's "Rush Hour," a classic buddy cop action caper that debuted in 1998. In the film, Leung portrays Sang, a lieutenant for the criminal mastermind known as Juntao. The film follows a cop from Hong Kong (Jackie Chan) as he comes to Los Angeles and partners with an LAPD detective {Chris Tucker) to search for the daughter of a diplomat who has been kidnapped by the aforementioned criminals. "Rush Hour" proved successful enough that two sequels were eventually made, with a "Rush Hour 4" long-rumored to be in development.

"Rush Hour" proved to be a major milestone for Leung's career as an actor. In fact, in an interview conducted in 2015 with Asia Society, Leung said of this early standout role, "I would say the most significant impact it had on my career was orienting me to the industry in terms of confidence. Brett Ratner was disarmingly relaxed and trusting, which gave me confidence that I'm sure impacted future relationships and situations."

He befriended Junior Soprano on The Sopranos

Ken Leung has appeared in some of the biggest film franchises in Hollywood, but he has also made his way onto some of the most notable TV projects throughout his career as well. In fact, one of the earliest and most significant was his one-episode arc as Carter Chong on HBO's "The Sopranos." Appearing in the final season of the series, Carter is a fellow institutionalized patient alongside Uncle Junior (Dominic Chianese). Carter views Junior as a father figure in their hospital, but Junior eventually distances himself from the young man.

By his own admission, Leung did not immediately have a correct grasp on the Carter Chong character when he came in to audition for the role. In fact, he admitted during an interview with UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies that his initial take on Carter was a bit too stereotypical. 

"I auditioned for it. I remember I was totally off the mark in my interpretation. 'Cause I was like: 'Oh, he's in a mental institution, he's crazy.' I went in kind of in a state," Leung recalled."And they were like, 'okay that's not it.' ... 'But we like your chutzpah in taking it there.' So that made them interested." Despite his initial misunderstanding of the nature of the character, Leung still landed the role of Carter, and the rest is television history.

He played Lloyd Bowman in Red Dragon

In 2002, Ken Leung appeared in Brett Ratner's "Red Dragon." An adaptation of Thomas Harris' famous novel of the same name, "Red Dragon" follows Will Graham (Edward Norton) as he turns to the infamous cannibal Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) for guidance in his mission to track down a brutal serial killer known as The Tooth Fairy (Ralph Fiennes). In "Red Dragon," Leung portrays Lloyd Bowman, an FBI colleague of Graham's who helps decipher mysterious codes shared back and forth between Lecter and The Tooth Fairy. The film serves as a prequel to Jonathan Demme's iconic crime thriller "Silence of the Lambs," leading almost directly to the moment in which Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is introduced to Dr. Lecter.

Leung is not the only actor to portray the character Lloyd Bowman. As "Red Dragon" had previously been adapted into a film in 1986 with Michael Mann's "Manhunter," the character had already appeared on the big screen prior to Leung's take. In the 1986 version of the story, Lloyd Bowman is portrayed by actor Bill Smitrovich. However, Leung arguably has a more substantial role in his movie than his predecessor, and his version of Bowman ultimately has a significant impact on the direction of the story.

He was one of Jigsaw's earliest victims in the Saw franchise

Hannibal Lecter and The Tooth Fair are not the only iconic serial killers that Ken Leung has faced in the course of his career as an actor. In fact, he squared off against one of the most infamous horror creations of the 2000s when he took on Jigsaw in James Wan's original "Saw" film in 2004. In "Saw," Leung portrays Detective Sing, the partner of Detective Tapp (Danny Glover). Unfortunately for Sing, he is killed early in Jigsaw's cinematic career when he is lured into a hallway rigged with multiple shotguns connected to tripwires. As Sing is about to close in on Jigsaw, he trips the wires and is brutally gunned down by the rudimentary trap.

Sing's death weighs heavy over the plot of the original "Saw" film. This is because it is ultimately what compels Detective Tapp to obsessively chase Jigsaw in an (ill-fated) attempt to bring him to justice. One notable element of Leung's casting in "Saw" was Wan's aim to give Asian actors more dynamic roles on screen. In fact, Wan spoke out about this during an interview with ComingSoon.net, and said, "I mean, as far back as my first movie, working with Ken Leung, I'm always trying to find places to include sort of Asian actors in my work, given that I'm Asian, and I'm always trying to keep that door open for my people, if you will."

He has appeared in multiple Marvel projects

In 2006, Ken Leung reunited with director Brett Ratner yet again for another major film outing: "X-Men: The Last Stand." In the movie, Leung appears as a mutant named Maxwell Jordan who works for Magneto (Ian McKellen) after the latter raises an army to do battle against the human military. Known by the mutant alias Quill, the powers he displays in the film involve jettisoning sharp, porcupine-like quills out of his skin. The character plays a significant role in Magneto's scheme but is ultimately killed by Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) during the climax of the movie.

"X-Men" isn't the last time Leung would show up in a Marvel property. In 2017, he played the role of Karnak in the ill-fated ABC "Inhumans" series, which only ran for a single season. Like his comic book counterpart, Karnak has the power to see flaws and faults in everything he perceives, which allows him to work as a strategist and play out various scenarios in his head in order to achieve victory. In the context of the action scenes depicted in "Inhumans," this allows him to play out various versions of the same situation until he has reached a suitable outcome.

He appeared across multiple seasons of Lost

One of Ken Leung's biggest TV gigs was co-starring on the hit ABC series "Lost." Showing up as a mysterious figure known as Miles, Leung's character is shown to have the ability to interact with the dead and learn about their final thoughts before their death. His character is introduced in the series as an enigmatic persona but ultimately grows more sympathetic as his story progresses and audiences learn more about his backstory and how he eventually found himself on the island.

The process of working on "Lost" was clearly something that Leung enjoyed quite a bit. In fact, speaking out about his time on the series with Awards Radar, the actor noted that one of the most enjoyable elements of his time on "Lost" was the ability to live and work in Hawaii for a number of years. In his remarks about "Lost" and his time in Hawaii, Leung said, "Lost changed my life, not only career-wise, but it gave me Hawaii. Hawaii is in me now. I'm honored that is the case. It's a very magical place. It sounds cliché but it is."

He played Admiral Statura in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

In 2015, Ken Leung appeared in J.J. Abrams' "Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens," officially making him part of the "Star Wars" canon. He portrays a character named Admiral Statura, a leader in the Resistance who helps bring down Starkiller base. 

While many actors would likely love to join "Star Wars" simply for the potential career boost, Leung had a deeper personal connection to the franchise. Specifically, after his casting, he revealed that "Star Wars" was a personal favorite of his brother, who died before Leung appeared in the movie. Discussing his connection to the series during an interview with Sinembargo (translated from Spanish), Leung said, "The first 'Star Wars' was released the year when my brother was born and he died two years ago but he is always with me. I remember ... [I] told my agent I need an audition, but nothing happened. Then, when he got a call that they wanted me to 'Star Wars' I thought it was my brother who was answering my request ... because I think a lot about it and this is something very special." Leung even went on to add, "Princess 'Leia' was the first love of my brother and I stayed and talked with her, so everything is very special because I never imagined also be part of that."

Although Admiral Statura didn't return for future installments, Leung's place in "Star Wars" history has been firmly cemented. 

He went to the beach that makes you old in Old

It's clear that Ken Leung has worked with numerous auteurs throughout his career. In 2021, he made one of his biggest auteur collaborations when he appeared in M. Night Shyamalan's sci-fi horror thriller "Old." The film follows a group of tourists on vacation at a resort who decide to make their way to a secluded beach. Upon their arrival, however, they find their means of escape has disappeared and the beach has mysterious properties causing them to age at an accelerated rate.

Leung is one of several actors who fill out the movie's ensemble once all of the tourists have appeared on the beach. In the film, he portrays a nurse named Jarin who plays a critical role in the group's early assessment of their dire situation. Unfortunately for Jarin, he is killed when he downs while trying to escape the beach. Jarin is one of several people to die on the beach, leaving only two of the children alive by the film's conclusion.

Whether it was popping up on iconoclast TV shows or lending his talents to blockbuster movies, Ken Leung had a long and illustrious career before he played Eric on "Industry."