Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Tony award-winning actor BD Wong stars in NBC’s Awake; video preview and interview

BD Wong Photo by Lia  Chang

BD Wong Photo by Lia Chang

Tony award-winning actor BD Wong plays Dr. John Lee in NBC’s new drama “Awake,” which also stars Jason Isaacs, Laura Allen, Steve Harris, Dylan Minnette, Michaela McManus, Wilmer Valderrama and Cherry Jones. The series premiere airs on March 1, 2012 at 10pm.

According to the official “Awake” website:

“Awake” is an intriguing drama about a detective Jason Isaacs, (“Harry Potter,” “Brotherhood”) who finds he is leading an arduous double life that defies reality.
Following a tragic car accident, detective Michael Britten finds himself awake in two separate realities: one where his teen son, Rex (Dylan Minnette, “Saving Grace”), died in the crash and his wife, Hannah (Laura Allen, “Terriers”), survived and another where Hannah has perished, leaving Michael and Rex to pick up the pieces. In order to keep both of his loved ones alive, Michael begins living in two dueling realities, churning up confusion. In one reality, Michael and his wife debate having another child, while in the other, his son Rex is turning to his tennis coach, Tara (Michaela McManus, “The Vampire Diaries”), to fill the void from the loss of his mother.

Trying to regain some normalcy, Michael returns to solving crimes in both worlds with the help of two different partners, Detective Isaiah “Bird” Freeman (Steve Harris, “The Practice”) and Detective Efrem Vega (Wilmer Valderrama, “That ’70s Show”). Michael is assigned a different case in each reality and quickly discovers that his dual existence is actually a powerful tool. He begins to solve impossible cases by using his two realties to gain unique perspectives and link clues that cross over from world to world.

Helping Michael to navigate his two realities are his bureau-assigned therapists Dr. Evans (Emmy Award-winner Cherry Jones, “24”) and Dr. Lee (BD Wong, NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”). While both therapists work to untangle his two worlds, Michael has no interest in proving either one is false. But when memories of the accident begin to haunt him, he is forced to confront the truth about what really happened the night of the crash.
Click below for NBC’s preview of the first 7 minutes of “Awake”.

Born and raised in San Francisco, California, Tony Award winner BD Wong is the only actor ever to have received all five major New York Theater awards for his Broadway debut in David Henry Hwang’s M. Butterfly (Outer Critics’ Circle Award, Drama Desk Award, Theatre World Award, Clarence Derwent Award, Tony Award).

Wong appeared on the top-rated series “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” for 11 seasons where he played Dr. George Huang, a forensic psychiatrist and expert on the criminal mind.

Additionally, Wong gained notice as a cast regular on HBO’s critically acclaimed series “Oz,” playing the resilient prison priest, Father Ray, for the show’s five-season run. His other television credits include a starring role in “All-American Girl” and HBO’s telefilm “And the Band Played On,” as well as guest-starring roles in “Welcome to New York,” “Chicago Hope,” “The X-Files,” “Bless This House,” “Shannon’s Deal” and the Hallmark miniseries, “Marco Polo.”

Wong has also appeared in more than 20 feature films, including Jurassic Park, The Freshman, Father of the Bride (1 & 2), Seven Years in Tibet, Executive Decision, The Salton Sea and Stay. Wong can also be heard as the voice of Shang in the Disney animated films Mulan and Mulan II.

Wong’s additional New York theater credits include The Tempest, A Language of Their Own, and As Thousands Cheer. He gained accolades in the Broadway musical revival of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown in a critically acclaimed performance as Linus, and in the Roundabout Theatre’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures, for which he received a Drama League nomination for distinguished performance. Wong made his New York directorial debut and produced the New York Musical Theatre Festival production of The YELLOW WOOD, and recently helmed Cindy Cheung’s solo show, SPEAK UP CONNIE at Stage Left Studio. He appeared in Herringbone at The McCarter Theatre and the La Jolla Playhouse.
Click below for the NBC interview with BD Wong.

Related Articles
Cindy Cheung’s solo show SPEAK UP CONNIE, directed by BD Wong at Stage Left Studio has been extended, February 4-15, 2012
Extended through 8/23- “In Rehearsal” Lia Chang Theater Portfolio at Library of Congress Featuring Robert Lee and Leon Ko’s Heading East Starring BD Wong, Thom Sesma as Scar in The Lion King Las Vegas
OCA Awards Gala Photos: David Henry Hwang, Tamlyn Tomita, BD Wong, Dr. Bobby Fong & Tammy Duckworth
Photo Preview of BD Wong and the Cast of Heading East at the Asia Society, 5/24-26
Broadwayworld.com Photo Flash: Library of Congress’ IN REHEARSAL Exhibit
Click here for other articles on BD Wong

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Photos: Laila Robins, Sean Dugan, C.J. Wilson, Peter Francis James, Bill Irwin and Tricia Paoluccio at Signature Theatre Company’s revival of Edward Albee’s The Lady From Dubuque
NY Knicks’ Jeremy Lin on 2nd Sports Illustrated Cover and Time Magazine (Asia)
Photos: Working Theater’s Production of Rob Ackerman’s CALL ME WALDO at Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex through March 11, 2012
Photos: Larry Bryggman, Denise Burse, Peter Jay Fernandez, Tim Hopper, Arliss Howard, Kobi Libii, Mary McCann, Neil Pepe, David Pittu, Steve Rosen, Sheila Tapia, Debra Winger at Atlantic Theatre’s Opening Night of Gabe McKinley’s CQ/CX
Athol Fugard’s Blood Knot, starring Colman Domingo & Scott Shepherd in The Alice Griffith Jewel Box at The Pershing Square Signature Center through March 11, 2012
broadwayworld.com: Photo Flash: SPEAK UP CONNIE In Rehearsal
Photos: Yellow Fever Playwright Rick Shiomi Explores New Territory with An All-Female Cast
Photos & Video: Celebrate Chinese New Year with David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish
Fred Korematsu Becomes First Asian American in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery Civil Rights Exhibition
Remembering Civil Rights Leader Gordon Hirabayashi,1918- 2012
Photos: “How To Succeed” stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rose Hemingway and John Larroquette at Lord & Taylor for Windows Unveiling
Multimedia: Promises, Promises’ Stars Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes at Lord & Taylor Fifth Ave
Broadwayworld.com Photo Flash: Library of Congress’ IN REHEARSAL Exhibit
Photos: David Duchovny, John Earl Jelks, Amanda Peet, Tracee Chimo at Opening Night Party of Neil LaBute’s Break of Noon
Celebrating my mom – AN ACTIVE VISION: BEVERLY UMEHARA…LABOR ACTIVIST…1945-1999
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang. Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang. Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography


Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist.

In 2010, the Library of Congress established The Lia Chang APA Theater Portfolio in the Asian Pacific American Performing Arts Collection housed in the Library of Congress Asian Division’s Asian Pacific American Islander Collection.

Lia’s portraits and performance photos have appeared in Vanity Fair, German Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, The Paris Review, TV Guide, Daily Variety, Interior Design, American Theatre, Broadwayworld.com, New York Magazine, InStyle, Timeout.com, Villagevoice.com, Playbill.com, Theatermania.com, Smartmoney.com The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Boston Globe, New York Times and Washington Post. A former syndicated arts and entertainment columnist for KYODO News, Lia is the New York Bureau Chief for AsianConnections.com. She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and this Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog.

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All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2012 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at lia@backstagepasswithliachang.com.

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