"Growing up as an Asian kid was kind of tough"
Pang is currently based in Los Angeles, but admitted that he misses home.
“I’m not a huge fan of the city, and so I am always very happy to leave for any excuse — and this was a good one,” Pang said.
“My hand was forced at that point. I actually love Australia and I would still be there if not for the lack of work.”
The Melbourne-born actor critisized his home country for the lack of work for minorities.
“[But] the industry in Australia, for me to be able to survive, especially at the time, there was very little work for ethnic actors,” he said.
“There was a certain amount of those decisions [about casting and creative roles] that weren’t coming from an authentic place.”
Reflecting on growing up in Australia, the 35-year-old recalled how he struggled as a child.
“Growing up as an Asian kid was kind of tough,” he said. “I never saw myself really represented in the media, and not being validated through pop-culture and seeing your image represented, it’s tough — especially as a teenager, in your formative years, it can be very damaging.”
In 2019, GQ Australia recognised Pang as a breakthrough star.
“It was very odd. I’d see lists of the upcoming top 10 hottest Australian actors at the time, and … they just very skewed Caucasian. There was very little mention of ethnic actors,” he recalled.
“It’s a conversation that I’ve had with other Australian actors who have ethnic minority backgrounds. We don’t seem to get that recognition back at home.”
“It’s quite a shame, because you have all this talent in Australia and we’re all leaving — and the Australian entertainment industry is suffering,” he added.
Nonetheless, Pang is optimistic about Australia and hopes to one day move back home.
|The landscape certainly is changing. [Though] I think Australia does have a lot of catching up to do,” he said.
“I would love to come back and film things, and I think the opportunities are presenting themselves, so it’s becoming very realistic.”
“I would urge anyone that has stories to tell to really, really go for it right now. I think it’s a perfect time,” he concluded.