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[TV] Brenda Song - Star of "Wendy Wu" - "It's All About Heritage"

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  • madchinaman
    Brenda Song Turns Warrior in Disney s Wendy Wu By JACQUES STEINBERG http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/15/arts/television/15song.html The more than a million
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 17, 2006
      Brenda Song Turns Warrior in Disney's 'Wendy Wu'

      The more than a million Disney Channel viewers who watch "The Suite
      Life of Zack & Cody" each week know the actress Brenda Song as the
      character London, the spoiled, dim, yet somehow lovable brat whose
      absent father owns a fancy Manhattan hotel.

      So those young viewers may have to suspend some disbelief, at least
      initially, to accept Ms. Song in her latest Disney role, that of
      Wendy Wu, a sharp, down-to-earth California teenager whose pursuit
      of her school's homecoming crown is upended by a mysterious visit
      from a Chinese monk. The monk implores Wendy to assume an identity
      from a long-past life, that of a warrior who was expert in the
      martial arts and whose services are needed again, to save the world.

      The made-for-television movie "Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior," in
      which Ms. Song has her first starring role, has its premiere on the
      Disney Channel tomorrow night at 8.

      Over a recent breakfast of blueberry pancakes at the Red Flame diner
      in Midtown Manhattan, Ms. Song seemed, at first meeting, to have
      much in common with London. A professional model and actress since
      kindergarten, she recently celebrated her 18th birthday by buying
      herself a black-opal Mercedes-Benz CLK 500 coupe (list price,
      typically, more than $50,000).

      "London is my fantasy person," said Ms. Song, who was wearing her
      long brown hair slightly pouffy and streaked, and whose cadences
      were bubbly and brisk. "I wish I could be her. I wish I had her

      But before long Ms. Song began to make a convincing case that she
      was much more like Wendy than her "Suite Life" alter ego (whose name
      in an early script, incidentally, was Paris, an apparent allusion to
      another hotel heiress). Unlike London, Wendy is the daughter of two
      obviously loving, involved parents, as is Ms. Song, whose father
      teaches second grade and whose mother is a homemaker, and whose
      family (including two brothers) relocated from Sacramento to Los
      Angeles when she was 6 to support her nascent acting career.

      "I think sometimes it's hard for London," Ms. Song said. "She
      doesn't really have parents. No one can say no to her. No one can
      tell her something is wrong. Imagine if you never saw your dad?"

      Ms. Song and her latest character also share an expertise in the
      martial arts, another distinction from London, whose idea of a
      workout in one episode was to go to the gym to raise and lower heavy
      shopping bags. While Wendy becomes skilled in kung fu, Ms. Song
      earned a black belt in tae kwan do at 14, having practiced, at
      times, an hour or more a day, six days a week.

      "I love to spar and to fight," she said, though learning kung fu,
      which can be as fluid as tae kwan do is jarring, required some
      adjustments. "They're as different as ballet and hip-hop," she
      said. "I had to learn how to work more with my hands. On top of
      that, we had to learn how to stunt-fight."

      In a bit of corporate synergy that only Disney could imagine, Ms.
      Song trained for "Wendy Wu" under Koichi Sakamoto, executive
      producer of the channel's "Power Rangers" series, which marries
      martial arts to science fiction. To accommodate Mr. Sakamoto, who
      also directed the action sequences of "Wendy," the movie was filmed
      in New Zealand, as is "Power Rangers."

      But "Wendy Wu" wouldn't be a Disney production if it didn't also
      have an underlying message for young people, and there too Ms. Song
      says she can relate. Wendy is a second-generation Chinese-American,
      and in the movie she and her family are seen struggling with the
      tension between embracing and renouncing their cultural heritage.

      For example Wendy's father ends one dinner by angrily pushing away a
      moon cake, a pastry associated with the Chinese mid-autumn festival
      that, in this instance, triggers memories much as Proust's madeleine
      might. So that this scene, and others, would have some authenticity,
      it was reviewed closely before filming by Yunxiang Yan, a professor
      of anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and co-
      director of the university's center for Chinese studies.

      "I always feel a movie can do a lot in terms of influence,"
      Professor Yan said in a telephone interview. "In the movie you get
      the impression that cultural heritage is something in your genes. It
      just needs to be awakened and you get it back. Hopefully it will
      also deliver another side of this message: the importance of
      cultural heritage, and that it takes effort from all generations."

      Ms. Song's parents were both born in Asia. Her father is Hmong and
      was raised in a tribe that traversed the mountains of Thailand and
      Laos. Her mother was born Thai but adopted into a Hmong family. They
      met, Ms. Song said, as adults in Sacramento.

      Ms. Song said she realized, while making the movie, that she knew
      little about the nomadic Hmong people, and as a result began
      peppering her parents with questions about their food and ceremonial
      dress. "Here I am telling kids, 'Don't lose your heritage,' " she
      said, "and I'm losing mine."

      Ms. Song said that when Disney first approached her several years
      ago about "Wendy Wu," it was pitched as a situation comedy in which
      she would play a Chinese princess who sought to reawaken the warrior
      within an unsuspecting boy. But soon the project evolved into a star
      vehicle for Ms. Song, who, before "The Suite Life," was introduced
      to Disney Channel audiences through roles on the series "Phil of the
      Future" and in the movies "Get a Clue" (with Lindsay Lohan)
      and "Stuck in the Suburbs."

      Ms. Song, whose father used to show her classic kung fu movies
      like "Five Deadly Venoms" and "The Leg Fighters," said "Wendy Wu"
      had appealed to her not only as a martial arts movie for her own
      generation, but also because it featured an Asian-American woman in
      a strong lead role.

      "Growing up," she said, "I never saw Asian-Americans on TV at all."

      Ms. Song's path to children's television stardom began on a stroll
      through a Sacramento mall when she was 3. Her family was approached
      by the owner of a modeling school. Already aware at that young age
      what a commercial was — she said she was fascinated by images of
      Cindy Crawford pitching Pepsi in a Lamborghini — the young Ms. Song
      persuaded her parents to scrape together $500 from relatives to
      enroll her. A commercial for Little Caesars Pizza when she was 5,
      she said, led to a number of other commercials, many of them for
      Mattel products like Barbie.

      "I did a lot of food chains," she said. "Me, I love to eat. I was
      the only girl where, when they would say, 'Do you want to spit it
      out?' I'd say, 'No, I'll eat it.' "

      Through home schooling, Ms. Song earned a high school diploma at 16,
      and she has since taken college courses online. Eventually, she
      said, she hopes to become a full-time student of business and
      psychology. But for now, she said, she intends to ride the wave of
      her acting career as far as it takes her, including what she
      presumes will be at least another season on "The Suite Life."

      After watching Ms. Song survive the rigors of her "Wendy Wu"
      training — which included being suspended for hours in a stunt
      harness tethered to wires, even after damaging ligaments in one of
      her ankles — Mr. Sakamoto said he would happily hire her not just as
      an actress but as a stunt double.

      "Brenda would make an excellent Power Ranger," he said.


      It's All About Heritage

      Starring: Brenda Song (The Suite Life of Zack and Cody), Shin
      Koyamada (The Last Samurai), Tsai Chin (Memoirs of a Geisha), Justin
      Chon, Michael David Cheng, Susan Chuang, Sally Martin and Anna

      Writers: Vince Cheung, Ben Montanio, Lydia Look, and Marc Seabrook

      Director: John Laing
      \Producers: Ralph Farquhar and Janine Dickens

      Wendy Wu - Brenda Song (The Suite Life of Zack & Cody)
      Shin - Shin Koyamada ('The Last Samurai) /
      Peter - Justin Chon
      Austin - Andy Fischer-Price
      Lisa - Anna Hutchinson
      Mr. Garibay - Michael Saccente
      Coach Gibbs - Sally Stockwell
      Jessica Dawson - Ellen Woglom
      Tori - Sally Martin
      Tsai Chin

      Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior tells the story of a popular Chinese-
      American teenager who gets the startling news that she is the
      reincarnation of a powerful female warrior and the only person who
      can prevent an ancient evil spirit from destroying the world. But
      Wendy's already locked in a battle - for Homecoming Queen with her
      high school archrival.

      According to the Disney Channel, Brenda Song and Shin Koyamada
      worked with veteran stunt coordinator and visual effects unit
      director Koichi Sakamoto who choreographed the movie using what he
      calls a "modern traditional" style of kung fu based on five
      different animals: snake, dragon, tiger, crane and leopard. "It's a
      very traditional style that was popular in 1970s kung fu movies," he
      says. "It made me happy to do it, because I was a big fan of this
      style and it's the first time I got to show those moves in a film."

      As the movie unfolds, Wendy Wu's life is turned upside down by a
      visit from a young Chinese monk named Shen who claims she is the
      reincarnation of a powerful female warrior and the only person who
      can prevent an ancient evil spirit, Yan-Lo, from destroying the
      world. But Wendy is too busy campaigning for Homecoming Queen to be
      bothered with rescuing civilization. And faced with the choice
      between fighting evil and going shopping, Wendy is off to the mall
      in a heartbeat with her best friends Tory and Lisa. So Shen enlists
      the help of Wendy's grandmother to convince her to embrace her
      ancient birthright and embark on the martial arts training that she
      must have in order to defeat the evil spirit. Once Wendy accepts her
      warrior destiny, she learns the true value of her heritage.

      The movie puts forth strong themes about the importance of heritage,
      finding one's true self, and the value of physical fitness (through
      Wendy's example and discipline).



      Brenda Song stars as London Tipton, the hotel owner's spoiled
      daughter, in Disney Channel's new hit sitcom, "The Suite Life of
      Zack & Cody."

      Having acted since age six, Brenda is already a familiar face to
      Disney Channel viewers. Before beginning production on the new
      series, she had a recurring role as the hip and trendy Tia on "Phil
      of the Future." She also starred in the top-rated Disney Channel
      Original Movies "Stuck in the Suburbs," the mystery "Get A Clue"
      with Lindsay Lohan, and "The Ultimate Christmas Present" with Hallee
      Hirsh and Spencer Breslin.

      Her other television credits include guest starring roles on "That's
      So Raven," "George Lopez," "The Bernie Mac Show," "7th Heaven," "One
      On One," "The Nightmare Room," "Judging Amy," "Popular," "Once and
      Again," and as a panelist on "Small Talk." Brenda also had a
      starring role on the series "100 Deeds For Eddie McDowd."

      On the big screen, she starred in "Like Mike" opposite Lil' Bow Wow
      and Jonathan Lipnicki, and appeared in "Leave It To Beaver"
      and "Santa With Muscles" starring Hulk Hogan.

      Brenda was named an All-American Scholar in ninth grade and holds a
      black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

      A self-proclaimed "total dork," she loves sampling international
      cuisine, shopping and studying. She is an avid Los Angeles Lakers

      Brenda was born in Carmichael, California on March 27, 1988. Her
      mother is Thai-American and her father is Hmong. Brenda, her
      parents, and her younger brothers, Timmy and Nathan, now live in a
      suburb of Los Angeles.



      Brenda stars in the Disney Channel's original action/adventure movie
      Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior.

      The movie features a Chinese-American teen whose goal is to be
      homecoming queen. But her life takes a turn when a monk, Shen, shows
      up and informs her that she's a reincarnated Chinese warrior and
      needs to save the world.


      Brenda Song talks about kids' health
      Union Sentinel

      Star of television and movies, black belt in tae kwon do - it would
      seem that Brenda Song has everything she wants. But what she wants
      most is to encourage kids to be healthy. So when she finished
      filming her new TV movie, "Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior" (due out
      this month on Disney Channel), she traveled to Chicago to kick off
      the national YMCA Healthy Kids Day this spring.
      TFK: Why did you want to get involved with the YMCA Healthy Kids

      SONG: My movie, "Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior," is coming out this
      summer, and I had to train a lot for the martial arts aspect of it.
      I had so much fun getting fit and healthy, that I wanted to pass
      that message on to kids.

      TFK: Tell us about your character in your new TV movie. Are you at
      all like her?

      SONG: "Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior" is about a 16-year-old girl
      whose objective in her life is becoming homecoming queen at her
      school. The movie is really about Wendy exploring herself and her
      heritage. This made me want to explore myself and my heritage a
      little bit more (my mother is Thai and my father is Hmong). You
      could say that Wendy and I took a little bit from each other.

      TFK: What do you think will happen if kids don't develop a healthy

      SONG: Your body is like a machine and if you don't keep it in shape,
      it holds you back, and you don't want that! You don't want anything
      holding you back, especially yourself. The bottom line is if your
      body can't do something, you can't do it.

      TFK: You have had a great career so far and you have won an award.
      Tell us about some of the highlights.

      SONG: It sounds funny to be talking about "my career." I've loved
      working with the Disney Channel, and all the people I've met and I
      just try to take something with me from each experience.

      TFK: What are your plans for the future?

      SONG: I think that I have the best job in the world and I would like
      to continue acting, but I do plan to go to college. I think that
      this is really important. You can never learn enough.
      - Natalie Rosseau, 11



      What don't you know her from? Brenda Song has been seen in Get a
      Clue with Lindsay Lohan, as well as Stuck in the Suburbs, Phil of
      the Future and 7th Heaven. This total sweetheart gives us all the
      scoop as she talks here about, well...everything!

      How did you get your start in acting?
      I actually started out modeling in San Francisco. All I remember is
      like Cindy Crawford, I wanted to be on TV. So I got an agent and I
      started doing modeling and as that went on I wanted to do other
      things, like when you do modeling you're standing, you took
      pictures, look pretty, all that. I really wanted to explore a little
      bit more. So I started moving on to commercials and then shows and
      then films and so on and so forth.

      What was the first job that you did?
      A little Caesars pizza commercial. When I was like five.

      You have a huge range of credits. Which do you like better, doing TV
      or doing movies?
      It really doesn't matter because they're both very different and
      each and every job is just like a different experience, it's a new
      experience. And like every character is different. So I don't really
      have a preference, 'cause I just want to keep working (laughs) so if
      I get a movie or a TV show or a commercial, it doesn't really matter
      to me. And it's just the fact that I just like doing this and so it
      hasn't made any difference whether it's on film, on TV or you know,
      I don't have a preference at all.

      Of all the different characters you've played, do you have a
      It's actually hard to say. Projects are different. With Like Mike I
      was on set with five boys for three months and I did Get a Clue with
      Lindsay Lohan where we were in makeup trailer for two hours in the
      morning getting hair extensions and makeup and then in Like Mike I
      pulled my hair into a ponytail and they're like okay, go get dirty,
      the dirtier you get, the better. And I did these projects back to
      back and so from going from like having girls night out, shopping
      like all the time to going on set - we played basketball all day
      long and they're so different and I had so much fun on both, like
      Lindsay's one of my good friends now and Bow and Jonathan, I still
      keep in touch with all of them. So we have all these memories that
      kind of keep us together. And so I can't really have a favorite
      character because each one is different from all these experiences
      that I love and hold onto.

      You did Stuck in the Suburbs.
      Yeah. Well doing Stuck in the Suburbs is awesome because I made like
      life-long friends because Danielle Panabaker and I like, we call
      each other and I talked to her this morning. And we just got
      together, the director, his little daughter just had her like 4th
      birthday and we were there and Ryan's from Canada and we all got
      there and we just sat down and it was just like we were back in New
      Orleans. We just sat there, we just kept talking and just like
      picked up right where we left off. And the experiences are wonderful
      but the character that I played in Stuck in the Suburbs was so much
      fun - she's just like kinda the crazier side of me. She's the one
      who fabricates her life to make herself fit in, to make herself
      stand out. I love the story. When I read the script for Stuck I
      loved it because it's really what girls go through nowadays. Like
      Danielle, her character Brittany wants to have the high life, wants
      to be able to travel all around the world but all the while she
      didn't realize that she has a great life, she has a very steady
      foundation and while Natasha, she wants this this steady foundation
      but she doesn't really have it because she fabricates the lies, like
      oh I did this I did that I did this. And the reality of it is a lot
      of girls do that now. You know, make themselves stand out. And it's
      really sad they have to do that but you know, it's where the world
      is now. And so that was a lot of fun shooting. You know, what people
      always say, the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Like I
      have straight hair and I want curly hair. People who have curly hair
      want straight hair.

      Which actors and actresses do you look up to?
      Actor wise, my favorite is Russell Crowe and Matt Damon. Just
      because they're so diverse. They can do anything. And for women, I
      love Nicole Kidman and Angelina Jolie because they don't follow
      trends, they set them. I love watching them because they're never
      the same and I just learn so much from watching them.

      Are you recognized a lot by people?
      When Stuck came out it was crazy 'cause we went to six flags and we
      were there and so many kids recognized us from Stuck in the Suburbs,
      I'm like wow that movie must have done really well. And it was
      really crazy 'cause it was my first really big crazy thing where the
      guards at six flags had to come and give me a security guard. Like I
      didn't expect, like I'm no one. I'm just here like having fun.

      What would you tell girls your age who want to break into acting?
      The sky's the limit. Reach for the stars. Anything that you want to
      do, you never know. Like anything's possible. Like, If I can get
      here, anyone can. I was just a little two year old saying I want to
      be on TV and you know, I going to be doing my own show next month.
      And so I really think you should just try, 'cause you never know,
      and if you really, truly want to do this and you really have passion
      for it, go for it. Because no one should tell you that you can't do

      Tell us about this new show you have.
      Oh, it's called The Suite Life. This is Dylan and Cole Sprouse from
      Big Daddy. It's this show based in a hotel and these two boys, they
      live in the hotel - they move in there 'cause their mom is a lounge
      singer and they sing in the lounge. And my character, she plays like
      the Disney Paris Hilton, and her dad owns the hotel and we're gonna
      start shooting - September.

      Are you excited about that?
      I'm so excited. We have the greatest cast in the world and we've all
      gotten so close. And I'm really, really excited to be starting this
      and we have wardrobe and hair next week.

      What do when you have time for yourself?
      I love staying home and watch movies, and like hang out with my
      brothers. I just love to do nothing. I think it's like, when you're
      working so much and I come home I just wanna sit and just spend time
      with my family 'cause it's hard - you don't see them when you're
      working ten hours a day. I usually come home and my brothers and I
      watch a movie or we'll go outside and shoot a basketball so I can
      talk to my brothers. Just normal boring stuff like that.

      Who is your favorite cartoon character?
      Definitely Bell from Beauty and the Beast.

      Do you watch the Disney Channel Original Movies?
      Oh, of course I do.

      Do you have a favorite?
      My favorite? I like Brink. Brink was awesome. I loved Brink. 'Cause
      I had this huge crush on Eric Von Detton.

      What are the qualities of your ideal boyfriend?
      Um, I think at this point it would just be someone that I could
      relate to, that I could just talk with and not have to worry.
      Someone who isn't insecure, someone just totally cool that could be
      my best friend. Right now I'm 16 and I just feel like so many kids
      that are so young are dating and stuff like that and I don't think
      there's anything wrong with it. I feel like, I'm doing school, I'm
      working, I have so much on my plate, I don't have time to worry
      about a whole other person. And it wouldn't be fair for me to date
      someone and not be able to give them 100%. At this point, like my
      brother, he's like you know, girls are calling him and I'm like he's
      at the age of 14 what can you really do but be like hey can I hold
      your hand will you be my boyfriend? It's really cute ad fun and it's
      great but some kids are getting so serious at such a young age and
      have their whole life ahead of them.

      Do you think it's hard for you to find time to be just like a
      regular old teenager?
      Seriously, like my work, I leave it in LA, - I live in a suburb of
      LA so I'm Stuck in the Suburbs (laughs) when I come home and on the
      weekends and stuff, we go out to the movies, I love when Lord of the
      Rings come out or some big movie I loved waiting in line. You go
      like an hour early and you wait in line for really good seats. Like
      I love doing that. It's like; you know you worked hard for those
      seats that you're sitting in.

      How would you describe the style you wear?
      I change a lot. I went through this really Goth stage and I went
      through this really colorful 80's – 80's rock and then I went
      through the Abercrombie where the torn jeans with wife beater with
      the flip flops. You know, but myself, I'm really laid back; it's
      really just however I feel in that moment. Like if I wanna dress up
      for something – I just got these really cute red Marc Jacob rain
      boots and so sometimes I'll feel like wearing that with like a
      leather mini skirt and like a wife beater or I wanna go out and I
      wanna wear my little Abercrombie shorts and a little halter or
      something. Just very laid back and just very relaxed.

      Ten years from now, where do you see yourself?
      Ten years – hopefully I'll still be working on some sort of
      something in ten years. Hopefully I'll be able to drive. I'll have a
      place of my own, and hopefully I'll have my college degree. It's not
      anything really in depth. I'm a person who likes to take everything
      one day at a time. I don't know what's going to happen like from now
      and like next month, I really don't know what's gonna happen. So I'm
      at the mood to just live it day by day and just really enjoy
      life `cause life is way too short and like you never know what's
      gonna happen.



      This spunky sweetheart has a new show and lots to say about it! We
      caught up with The Suite Life of Zack and Cody star Brenda Song for
      an all new interview about her latest endeavors!

      How would you describe The Suite Life of Zack and Cody?
      It's just something really fun. The show's based in a hotel with
      the two twins from Big Daddy, Dylan and Cole Sprouse, and it's these
      two boys and the mom's a lounge singer so they move into the hotel
      and part of her deal is she gets a suite in the hotel. I think
      everyone's always kind of wondered what it's like to live in a
      hotel, you know? So they kind of give you like an inside look and
      the inside scoop on what it's like. I mean, it's way exaggerated,
      but it's fun. And when it comes to the hotel they get this whole
      cast and array of characters. They're all just kind of thrown in
      this big circus and we just kind of see what happens (laughs).

      How did you get the role of London in the show?
      I actually didn't audition for London. It was really weird because
      I did all my auditions for all the previous projects I worked for
      Disney, I guess. I read the script, and I just thought it was so
      much fun. The whole concept just kind of grabbed me. And so when
      the opportunity came around, I was like, 'Oh I have to do it; it's
      just so much fun.'

      Last time we talked you had just gotten the role and you were
      supposed to start shooting. Has your life changed any since then?
      Well, just in the last six months, I mean, I talked to you last time
      I was excited about getting started and now that we've done it I
      have a whole other family, I mean the cast and the crew – it's not
      even the cast and crew any more it's just like a big family. I have
      two extra brothers, I have an older sister, I have another mom and
      another dad, it's just crazy. Lifestyle wise, working every day,
      work ethic, it's just going crazy. Life's gotten really hectic.
      These last six months have gone by in like, it feels like it was
      last week.

      Do you think playing a character like London teaches you anything?
      With London, she lives in her own reality. She lives inside this
      little bubble and everything outside that bubble doesn't exist to
      her. In her lifestyle, she's so rich and wealthy, everyone works
      for her and she just bosses everyone around. Her parents are never
      there to tell her, 'okay, you can't say that, that's rude, that's
      wrong, that's mean,' no one's there to say that to her. As the show
      progresses she starts to learn that money doesn't buy you
      happiness. It buys you a moment of joy, but in the long run it
      doesn't make you happy. It's friends and family. That's the
      relationship she has with Maddie. They kind of have this love-hate
      relationship because they're both envious of her. Maddie's very
      envious of London's wealth and London is secretly envious of Maddie
      and her family and her friends and the security she has. It's
      always like the grass is greener on the other side. And that's a
      lesson I hope kids can watch and learn that not everyone is perfect,
      everyone has flaws.

      What are Dylan and Cole Sprouse like?
      They're the two most intelligent 12 year-old boys I've ever met.
      They're so curious. These boys are 12 years old and they're
      carrying a show on their shoulders and yet they're still able to be
      12-year-old boys who play video games and like to go to the movies
      on weekends and do paint ball guns – they love that stuff. And it's
      really refreshing to see that even through all this craziness and
      mayhem, they still can be regular boys.

      When you were filming, what is a regular day like?
      We rehearse Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and shoot on Monday and
      Tuesday, instead of going Monday-Friday it's like a Wednesday-
      Tuesday week. It was really weird. It was the first time I'd ever
      done that. It was really fun. I would go in and we'd rehearse all
      day and we'd do school in between, and we'd have a run through and
      then a tape day, we'll be in there at the crack of dawn getting hair
      and makeup and we'll preshoot, preshoot preshoot and then on Friday
      is when we have a live audience. It's a really interesting

      Do you have an official website?
      SONG: My official site is BrendaSongSite.com.

      Do you have any plans to expand outside of Disney?
      Oh, of course. They've been so good to me and at this point of my
      life and in my career I think it's good because my cousins can
      watch, my brothers can watch and I don't have to worry about
      anything or them watching anything inappropriate. I go to work
      everyday and I don't have to worry about doing something that I
      don't feel comfortable doing yet. There's still some things that
      I'm kind of afraid to do (laughs). With Disney, I can go work
      everyday and feel very safe. There will be a time when I have to
      leave, but I'm just taking it one day a time. They're hiring me
      now, so I'm going to keep working for them, until they get sick of
      me (laughs).

      As your career progresses forward, is there someone who you're
      really looking forward to working with one day in the future?
      That's crazy. Of course everyone has their favorite actors. I love
      Russell Crowe and Matt Damon and I love Nicole Kidman and Angelina
      Jolie, they're like my four favorite actors. So if any chance
      comes, that would be awesome.

      How would you describe working on a show again and being one of the
      main players?
      Having another family, you get to know everyone personally as well
      as professionally. It's those ties that we have together, that bond
      that we will forever have.

      Before we let you go, is there a topic you've always wanted to talk
      about in an interview?
      We never talk about school, or sports. That's something we never
      talk about that I love a lot and people don't know about. I'm a
      total dork, I'm a total bookworm, and I'm a basketball fanatic.



      The Suite Life of Zack and Cody (2005 TV series)
      The Disney Channel
      Brenda Song stars as the hotel owner's spoiled daughter, London

      Phil of the Future (2004 TV series)
      Brookwell-McNamara Entertainment
      A family from 2121 is stuck in 2004, trying desperately to fit in.
      Brenda plays Tia.

      Costume Party Capers: The Incredibles (2004 TV movie)
      Walt Disney Studios
      The whole Disney Channel gang team up with "The Incredibles" for an
      all-day super-hero costume party!

      Stuck in the Suburbs (2004 TV movie)
      The Disney Channel
      Brenda plays Natasha Kwon-Shwartz

      One on One (2001 TV series)
      Daddy's Girl Productions
      In episode "Keeping It " Brenda plays Asanti/Asoniti

      Absolutely Psychic (2002 TV series)
      American Broadcasting Company (ABC)
      A teenage girl periodically receives brief psychic visions of the
      near future. Trying to make these visions come true results in
      trouble, and hilarious situations, for the girl and her friends. In
      episode "A Dog by Any Other Name " Brenda plays Amber.

      George Lopez (2002 TV series)
      Fortis Films
      In episode"Token of Unappreciation" Brenda plays Popular girl #2

      Get a Clue (2002 TV movie)
      Flagstaff Pictures
      A wealthy student with too much fashion sense, her equally rich
      friends, and her rival/superior from the school paper work together
      to solve the case when their teacher goes missing.

      The Nightmare Room (2001 TV series)
      Tollin/Robbins Productions
      Brenda appears in episode"Dear Diary, I'm Dead "

      The Bernie Mac Show (2001 TV series)
      20th Century Fox Television
      Brenda appears in episode"The King and I" as Shannon

      Judging Amy (1999 TV series)
      20th Century Fox Television
      Brenda appears in episode"Darkness for Light" as Vanessa Pran

      ER (1994 TV series)
      The WB Television Network
      Brenda appears in episode"Fear of Commitment " as Lynda An

      Bette (2000 TV series)
      CBS Productions
      Brenda appears in episode"The Invisible Mom" along side her Suite
      Life buddy Ashley Tisdale

      The Ultimate Christmas Present (2000 TV movie)
      The Disney Channel
      A girl steals a weather machine from Santa Claus, to make a snow
      day. The machine breaks, and causes an out of control snowstorm.

      7th Heaven (1996 TV series)
      Spelling Television
      Brenda appears in episode"Love Stinks: Part 1 & 2" as Cynthia

      Popular (1999 TV series)
      Touchstone Television
      Brenda appears in episode"Fall on Your Knees" as Mandy Shepherd

      Once and Again (1999 TV series)
      Bedford Falls Productions
      Brenda appears in episode"There Be Dragons" as Chrissy

      100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd (1999 TV series)
      Nickelodeon Network
      A bully is transformed into a dog that must perform 100 good deeds
      with the help of a shy classmate.

      Thunder Alley (1994 TV series)
      Touchstone Television
      Brenda appears in episodes"Buzz Off, Buzzard Boy" and "Speak No
      Evil"as Kathy.

      Like Mike (2002)
      Twentieth Century Fox
      A 14-year-old orphan becomes an NBA superstar after trying on a pair
      of sneakers with the faded initials "M.J." inside.

      Leave It to Beaver (1997)
      Robert Simonds Productions
      Cleavers are an all-American family living in Ohio - wise father
      Ward, loving mother June, teen-age son Wally and 8-year-old "Beaver"

      Santa with Muscles (1996)
      Cabin Fever Entertainment Inc
      An evil millionaire (Hulk Hogan) gets amnesia and then believes that
      he is Santa Claus.



      why we like her?
      Brenda Song is just cute and perky enough to make us wish we were
      back in high school, minus the schoolwork.

      why is she famous?
      Song has appeared in the feature film Like Mike (2002) and A
      Cinderella Story (2004), the made-for-TV movies Get a Clue (2002)
      and Stuck in the Suburbs (2004), and has had co-starring roles on
      such television series as Phil of the Future and The Suite Life.

      overall rating - 71
      Brenda Song isn't well known to the vast majority of TV viewers and
      moviegoers, but for the all-important army of teenagers under 16,
      the young actress is an up-and-coming teen sensation. She's not yet
      reached legal drinking age, but she's already a seasoned veteran,
      having started in on the acting game around the time she was
      learning to stitch sentences together.

      "Brenda is as pretty as a ballad." -AskMen.com panel member

      Brenda Song was born in Carmichael, California, to parents of Hmong
      origin, on September 24, 1987. She began her professional performing
      career almost from infancy, and was appearing on television in
      commercials, series guest roles, and minor movie parts from the age
      of 6.

      overall rating - 71
      Brenda Song isn't well known to the vast majority of TV viewers and
      moviegoers, but for the all-important army of teenagers under 16,
      the young actress is an up-and-coming teen sensation. She's not yet
      reached legal drinking age, but she's already a seasoned veteran,
      having started in on the acting game around the time she was
      learning to put sentences together.

      A regular in the Disney Channel's Movies of the Month and TV series,
      she is a featured co-star on Phil of the Future, Disney's hit kid's
      show that brings in some of the highest audience ratings from the 2-
      to 11-year-old age group. With time and a desire to branch out of
      family viewing entertainment, Song has as much of a chance as any
      young actress to eventually become known to a much wider audience.

      personality & talent - 70
      We haven't picked up a teen magazine, well, ever, and there's little
      info available on her on the Net, so we don't have much on Brenda's
      personality, though she strikes us as being somewhere in the midst
      of her bubbly stage. She's close to her family, who has supported
      her throughout her busy career, and we don't foresee any classic
      child star tales of manipulation or estrangement in Song's sunny

      Brenda hasn't really entered the milieu of serious actors who get to
      explore the true craft of drama, though she has been given the
      opportunity to expand beyond the teen and preteen stuff on shows
      like ER and Judging Amy. We're not faulting her for appearing in the
      lightweight fare, and we don't doubt that there's a true actress in
      her screaming to be heard. The sooner she moves away from the family
      fluff and takes on edgier roles more suited to her current age, the
      quicker she'll make a name for herself as a young Asian actress to
      be reckoned with.

      sexiness - 0
      Brenda's still quite young and has a few years ahead of her to
      develop into a full-fledged woman. Her refined femininity is already
      apparent, and with a little more time and perhaps a bit more
      notoriety, we're positive that she'll eventually have a plethora of
      webpages devoted to her as a sex symbol.

      accomplishments & fame - 60
      Brenda's not yet reached her 20s, so she has plenty of time to
      develop her career. She did, however, win one of the top acting
      prizes for someone in her age group. In 2001, Song won the Young
      Artist Award for Best Supporting Young Actress in a TV Movie
      (Comedy) for her work in The Ultimate Christmas Present.

      A couple of years later, in 2003, Brenda was once again up for a
      Young Artist Award for Best Performance by a Guest Starring Young
      Actress in a TV Comedy Series, for her appearance on an episode of
      The Bernie Mac Show. Will Emmys, Oscars or Golden Globes be a part
      of Brenda's future too?

      natural beauty - 77
      Considering her age, Brenda's still in the cute and fresh-faced
      phase of her life. So long as she doesn't develop any chronic,
      unhealthy habits over the next few years, we predict her maturing
      into a gorgeous young woman indeed, and anticipate the results.

      personal style - 77
      Song's style is young and trendy. She can obviously afford to gobble
      up all the latest fashion items geared to her age group, and like
      any girl in that position, buys what's currently hot and in, no
      matter the price tag.

      Brenda Song was born in Carmichael, California, to parents of Hmong
      origin, on September 24, 1987. She began her professional performing
      career almost from infancy, and was appearing on television in
      commercials, series guest roles, and minor movie parts from the age
      of 6.

      Some of her earliest appearances include a commercial for Reese's
      Puffs cereal, the recurring role of Kathy on ABC's Thunder Alley
      (1994-95), the movies Requiem (1995) and Santa with Muscles (1996),
      and the revival of the 1950s sitcom Leave it to Beaver (1997).

      In 1999, Song landed the co-starring role of Sariffa Chung in the
      Nickelodeon series 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd, a show in which she
      interacted with talking dogs. During the same year, the then 12-year-
      old appeared on ABC's Once and Again in an episode which aired in
      October, and The WB's Popular in December.

      brenda wins her first award
      For her role as Samantha Kwan in 2000's The Ultimate Christmas
      Present, Song was presented with that year's Young Artist Award for
      Best Supporting Young Actress in a Comedy TV Movie. In May 2000, she
      appeared in a two-parter entitled Love Stinks on The WB's 7th
      Heaven. In 2001, the young actress padded her resume with guest
      spots on CBS' Bette in February, on NBC's ER in May, and on Judging
      Amy on CBS in October.

      2002 added more guest-starring roles to Song's credit, including the
      series The Nightmare Room and George Lopez on ABC. For her January
      2002 appearance in "The King and I" episode of The Bernie Mac Show,
      Song received her second Young Artist Award nomination, though she
      failed to take the prize home this time around.

      brenda hits the big screen
      Song appeared on the big screen in 2002's Like Mike, a family comedy
      which starred rapper Bow Wow. In the Disney Channel Movie of the
      Month Get A Clue (2002), Song appeared as Jennifer, alongside
      actresses Amanda Plummer and Lindsay Lohan.

      More television work followed in 2003, as the actress was seen on
      the Disney Channel's That's So Raven in June, while in November she
      appeared on One On One. Another Disney Network TV movie, Stuck In
      The Suburbs, followed in 2004, the same year she appeared as Kelly
      Anderson in the feature film A Cinderella Story, starring teen idol
      Hilary Duff. Song then won the co-starring role of Tia on ABC's
      popular Saturday morning Phil of the Future series.

      In 2005, Song has a regular starring role on the Disney Channel's
      The Suite Life, portraying London, the spoiled daughter of the owner
      of a luxury Boston hotel. Her next project, American Darlings, a
      feature film set during the swing era, stars Nicole Kidman and
      Jennifer Lopez.


      Actress - filmography

      Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior (2006) (TV) (filming) .... Wendy Wu
      "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody" .... London Tipton
      ... aka TSL (USA: informal short title)
      - The Suite Smell of Excess (2006) TV Episode .... London Tipton
      - Kept Man (2006) TV Episode .... London Tipton
      - Bowling (2006) TV Episode .... London Tipton
      - Neither a Borrower Nor a Speller Bee (2006) TV Episode ....
      London Tipton
      - Twins at the Tipton (2006) TV Episode .... London Tipton
      (38 more)
      "Desperate Housewives"
      - Remember: Part 1 (2006) TV Episode .... Melanie Foster
      "Phil of the Future"
      - Corner Pocket (2005) TV Episode .... Tia
      - Milkin' It (2005) TV Episode .... Tia
      - We'll Fix It in Editing (2004) TV Episode .... Tia
      - Doggie Day-Care (2004) TV Episode .... Tia
      - Future Tutor (2004) TV Episode .... Tia
      (2 more)
      Costume Party Capers: The Incredibles (2004) (TV)
      Stuck in the Suburbs (2004) (TV) .... Natasha Kwon-Shwartz
      "One on One"
      - Keeping It (2003) TV Episode .... Asanti/Asoniti
      "That's So Raven"
      ... aka That's So Raven! (USA: promotional title)
      - A Dog by Any Other Name (2003) TV Episode .... Amber
      "George Lopez"
      - Token of Unappreciation (2002) TV Episode .... Popular Girl #2
      Like Mike (2002) .... Reg Stevens
      Get a Clue (2002) (TV) .... Jennifer
      "The Nightmare Room"
      - Dear Diary, I'm Dead (2002) TV Episode
      "The Bernie Mac Show"
      - The King and I (2002) TV Episode .... Shannon
      "Judging Amy"
      - Darkness for Light (2001) TV Episode .... Vanessa Pran
      - Fear of Commitment (2001) TV Episode .... Lynda An
      - The Invisible Mom (2001) TV Episode .... Stacey
      The Ultimate Christmas Present (2000) (TV) .... Samantha Kwan
      "7th Heaven"
      ... aka 7th Heaven: Beginnings (USA: rerun title)
      ... aka Seventh Heaven
      - Love Stinks: Part 2 (2000) TV Episode .... Cynthia
      - Love Stinks: Part 1 (2000) TV Episode .... Cynthia
      - Fall on Your Knees (1999) TV Episode .... Mandy Shepherd
      "Once and Again"
      - There Be Dragons (1999) TV Episode .... Chrissy
      "100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd" (1999) TV Series .... Sariffa Chung
      Leave It to Beaver (1997) .... Susan Acustis
      "Small Talk"
      - Episode #1.31 (1996) TV Episode .... Panelist #2
      Santa with Muscles (1996) .... Susan
      "Thunder Alley"
      - Buzz Off, Buzzard Boy (1995) TV Episode .... Kathy
      - Speak No Evil (1994) TV Episode .... Kathy
      Requiem (1995) .... Young Fong

      Biography for Brenda Song

      5' 1¾" (1.57 m)
      Mini biography
      Brenda Song was born in Carmichael, California on 27th March 1988.
      Her mother is Thai-American and her father is Hmong. Brenda, her
      parents, and her younger brothers, Timmy and Nathan, now live in a
      suburb of Los Angeles.

      Brenda was named an All-American Scholar in ninth grade and holds a
      black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

      She stars as London Tipton, the hotel owner's spoiled daughter, in
      Disney Channel's new hit sitcom, "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody."
      Having acted since age six, Brenda is already a familiar face to
      Disney Channel viewers. Before beginning production on the new
      series, she had a recurring role as the hip and trendy Tia on "Phil
      of the Future." She also starred in the top-rated Disney Channel
      Original Movies "Stuck in the Suburbs," the mystery "Get A Clue"
      with Lindsay Lohan, and "The Ultimate Christmas Present" with Hallee
      Hirsh and Spencer Breslin.

      Her other television credits include guest starring roles on "That's
      So Raven," "George Lopez," "The Bernie Mac Show," "7th Heaven," "One
      On One," "The Nightmare Room," "Judging Amy," "Popular," "Once and
      Again," and as a panelist on "Small Talk." Brenda also had a
      starring role on the series "100 Deeds For Eddie McDowd."

      On the big screen, she starred in "Like Mike" opposite Lil' Bow Wow
      and Jonathan Lipnicki, and appeared in "Leave It To Beaver"
      and "Santa With Muscles" starring Hulk Hogan.

      A self-proclaimed "total dork," she loves sampling international
      cuisine, shopping and studying. She is an avid Los Angeles Lakers



      Brenda Song (born March 27, 1988 in Carmichael, California) is an
      American actress. She is most familiar to Disney Channel viewers,
      having starred in three and soon to be four Disney original movies
      and in two TV shows.

      Song is a Hmong descent. Her family came to America from Laos 30
      years ago. She holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and was named an
      All-American Scholar in ninth grade. She began acting and modeling
      at age 6. Her first television appearance was in a Little Caesars
      commercial. She has been in various movies and television shows. She
      had a several-episode guest role as Tia in the Disney Channel series
      Phil of the Future and she had a starring role as Natasha in the
      Disney original film Stuck in the Suburbs.

      One of Song's biggest acting roles is the role of London Tipton in
      the Disney Channel Original Series The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.
      She plays the role of a shallow heiress living in one of her
      father's hotels as a spoof of Paris Hilton. Wendy Wu: Homecoming
      Warrior is currently being produced and stars Song. She also sang
      alongside other Disney Channel stars in their rendition of "A Dream
      is a Wish Your Heart Makes" which was released on both the special
      edtion "Cinderella" DVD and on the ;Disneymania 4 CD. Two of
      Brenda's good friends are Ashley Tisdale and Danielle Panabaker. She
      works with Ashley Tisdale on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and she
      worked with Danielle Panabaker on Stuck in the Suburbs, a Disney
      Chanel original movie. She is also good friends with actress Kristin
      Herrera, famous for her role on Zoey 101.


      Brenda Song is Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior

      Packed with spectacular martial arts action, adventure and
      laughs, "Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior" is the story of an all-
      American suburban girl who learns to accept her warrior destiny and
      embrace her ancient heritage.

      I just did a promotion for Disney where I'm talking about my
      heritage, just setting things straight. It's really nice because a
      lot of questions do come up about it (heritage) and a lot of people
      don't know where it is.

      Wendy Wu is an average, popular American teenager and then suddenly,
      her life is turned upside down by a visit from a young Chinese monk
      who claims she is the reincarnation of a powerful female warrior --
      and the only person who can prevent an ancient evil spirit from
      destroying the world. But when she receives this news, Wendy is
      already locked in mortal combat… in a no holds barred battle for
      Homecoming Queen with her high school archrival, Jessica Dawson.
      Faced with these two underhanded opponents, Wendy has no choice but
      to take a stand.

      Starring is Brenda Song, best known to fans of Disney Channel's hit
      series "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" as London Tipton, the hotel
      owner's spoiled daughter. She also starred in three Disney Channel
      Original Movies: "The Ultimate Christmas Present," "Get a Clue"
      and "Stuck in the Suburbs" and in a recurring role as Tia on Disney
      Channel's "Phil of the Future." Song is joined by Shin Koyamada
      ("The Last Samurai") as Shen, the young monk whose responsibility it
      is to prepare Wendy Wu for the ultimate battle.

      According to Shen, Wendy is a reincarnated Yin Warrior, the only
      person who can defeat Yan-Lo, an evil spirit who attempts to conquer
      the world every 90 years. Popular high school student Wendy Wu is a
      shoo-in for Homecoming Queen until her longtime nemesis Jessica
      Dawson throws her hat in the ring. If it isn't bad enough that she
      must compete with a girl who's been stealing her moves since second
      grade, Wendy now must grapple with the fact that her fate is to save

      Shen begs Wendy to don a powerful amulet that will protect her from
      evil until he can train her in kung fu. Appalled by his obvious lack
      of fashion sense, Wendy is too busy campaigning for Homecoming Queen
      to be bothered with rescuing civilization.

      Wendy's traditional grandmother knows that Shen is speaking the
      truth; after all, her mother was the previous Yin Warrior who 90
      years earlier defeated Yan-Lo in China. But Wendy, her brother Peter
      and their parents have lost touch with their Chinese heritage. Faced
      with the choice between fighting evil and going shopping, Wendy is
      off to the mall in a heartbeat with her best friends Tory and Lisa.

      But Yan-Lo soon materializes and sets out to destroy Wendy before
      she can attain her full warrior abilities. In quick succession, the
      dark spirit possesses Wendy's brother, her principal, her dog, her
      girlfriend, her teachers and even (as if she weren't evil enough
      already) Jessica Dawson. As Shen's martial arts training unleashes
      Wendy's inner heroine, the malevolent apparition steps up its
      efforts and forces a final showdown with Wendy — during Homecoming!

      ASIANCE Magazine spoke with Brenda as soon as she returned from New
      Zealand where she was shooting Wendy Wu!

      ASIANCE: Last time we spoke your mom was battling Breast Cancer. How
      is everything?

      Brenda: She's good! She's doing a lot better. She's good now.

      We just moved right before we went to New Zealand, so my mom and I
      are still furniture shopping and doing all that fun stuff. I haven't
      really had any time off. So this is kind of my time sitting at home
      watching TV. I'm getting headaches from watching so many re-runs.
      Going out, buying CDs because I felt I was so out of the loop. I'm
      just trying to get back in the hang of things. And it's nice to just
      be back at home and not have to wake up early. Just be a teenager
      and be on the phone for hours and do nothing..oh and do my makeup
      for no reason.

      ASIANCE: How was it filming this movie?

      Brenda: We wrapped it in the beginning of March. It was so much fun!
      It was definitely a different side for me. A part of me that a lot
      of people didn't know about is that I do martial arts. It's
      something I've done for a long time. It's a passion of mine I love.
      It's just something for me to learn and grow into. Every shot is
      beautiful. It's tranquil. The crew was wonderful. It was so nice to
      get out of LA for awhile since I'm such an LA girl. We had so much

      ASIANCE: Did you identify with Wendy?

      Brenda: I did. I actually learned a lot from her. Just playing her
      and seeing how a 16 year old girl kind of lost her heritage because
      she got caught up in everyday life. It just made me think twice. And
      when people ask about my heritage, I truly want them to know.
      Playing Wendy I thought, "Oh my god? Have I done that?" I know the
      basic gist of all the times my grandmother was telling stories and
      we'd say, "Oh grandma not another one!" For me, the Hmong people, we
      don't have a written history. It's all been word of mouth. We don't
      have anything written down. All I have are stories that my grandma
      tells me, that my grandpa tells me, that my uncle tells me. For me,
      I really identified with Wendy because I don't want to not know
      where I came from. Wendy for me was a real character. She wasn't
      exaggerated like the other characters that I played. She was going
      through what I go through. She's having a hard time prioritizing her
      life, understanding what's right and what's wrong, getting caught up
      in peer pressure and at times she is so miserable and at other times
      so happy. She's just going through life. That was fun for me to pull
      a different part of me, not the fantasy part of me, the shopping
      part of me but a part of me down in the gut and use that towards
      what I'm doing. It was a nice change of pace.

      ASIANCE: How was it working with Shin?

      Brenda: Working with Shin was amazing because he was so wonderful in
      The Last Samurai. The funny thing is I've never actually seen the
      movie until I was in New Zealand. It was almost the last day and I
      had to watch it. I watched it and Shin made me cry like three times.
      It was really, really fun. It's great where there's a movie not so
      focused on the acting but the martial arts part of it. It took up so
      much time. We shot an action film in 24 days. It was insane. I
      learned so much from it. I learned a lot about myself and about what
      I can do and what my limitations are and how far I can push myself.
      But it was a wonderful experience and if I could do it again I
      would. I am a black belt in Tae Kwon Do

      ASIANCE: Shin kept up with you?

      Brenda: OMG we both trained once or twice a week about 3 months
      before the movie. We learned each others strengths and weaknesses.
      We really learned to trust each other. It was really nice because if
      Shin knew I was uncomfortable about something he would always make
      sure my ankle was ok because I have a really bad ankle. I actually
      sprained it prior to the movie. Shin was always watching out for
      that. We would always stretch together and make sure that we were
      ready. We were in this together. It's great to have someone watch
      your back and to know there was someone that was going to be there
      to drag me along the way.

      ASIANCE: Did you bond with anyone else on the show?

      Brenda: We had such an amazing cast. Ellen Woglom, who played my
      rival was really sweet. She was really, really sweet…so refreshing.
      Shin did become like my older younger brother. He is older than me.
      My little brother came with me and they totally bonded and I
      thought, "Oh my gosh he reminds me of my 15 year old brother!" It
      was really nice. It was truly a big family there. We did a lot of
      night shoots. We did a lot of work and a lot stress but when it came
      down to it all, it was great to have a support team.

      ASIANCE: Are people more aware of your Hmong heritage?

      Brenda: I just did a promotion for Disney where I'm talking about my
      heritage, just setting things straight. It's really nice because a
      lot of questions do come up about it (heritage) and a lot of people
      don't know where it is. I'm proud of where I come from and who I am
      because it is who I am and I wouldn't be here without all that. The
      people before me came here and I wouldn't be here without them. I'd
      be happy to answer any questions that come along.

      ASIANCE: Is there something in life that you want to do but haven't
      done yet?

      Brenda: I'm so laid back and I really live life day to day. I just
      want to live life to the fullest whether that's skydiving one day or
      learning how to ride a motorcycle or going to Italy for a year.

      ASIANCE: So you skydived?

      Brenda: Ha. I want to someday. It would be really fun and something
      totally crazy and out of character. I'd be scared out of my mind but
      I want to try it. I want to overcome my fear because I don't want to
      live a life in fear.

      ASIANCE: What are you going to do now since you are done shooting?

      Brenda: I'm actually right back on The Suite Life! I did the Suite
      Life, I left for 5 weeks and then I came back. I'm actually on
      hiatus right now. It's so wonderful to come back to The Suite Life
      and it's so wonderful to come back to your family. You just feel so
      wonderful to come back to people who care about you and you care
      about them. No matter what happens they are always behind you and
      support you. I'm so lucky because that's what I have over there…. A
      big Suite Family!

      ASIANCE: What's going to change for London this time around on The
      Suite Life?

      Brenda: Well she's grown so much. The Suite Life has become much
      more of a family. We have a lot more story lines for Ashley and I.
      It's been really fun. We just did a health and fitness episode which
      was so much fun and focused in on a lot of insecurities that girls
      have. She's grown. She and Maddie don't really have a love hate
      relationship anymore. It's more as a sister relationship. She's
      created a stronger relationship with Carey who's now kind of become
      her mother and she's made the tie with Mr. Moseby stronger who has
      clearly become her father figure. In a sense she's grown up a lot in
      this next season?

      ASIANCE: Is the last season?

      Brenda: Oh we don't know yet. This is the last season that we're
      scheduled for but who knows?

      ASIANCE: Everyone is getting so big!

      Brenda: Yeah oh my goodness the twins are getting so tall. They
      doubled their size. They're almost as tall as me so that's pretty

      We've been so lucky. I've put so hard work in London that we've been
      fortunate that it's done so well. Whether it bombed or did well it
      really didn't matter to us because we worked so hard. We really
      enjoy what we do. We have a wonderful team of writers, producers,
      crew, hair, makeup, everybody. We have so much fun and that's all
      that really matters to us.

      ASIANCE: Are you going to school?

      Brenda: Actually I took this semester off. Everything is just so
      much right now. I want to put everything into it and not overwhelm
      myself. I'd rather be really great at one thing rather than just ok
      at everything. I'm already ahead.

      ASIANCE: You're going to go away right?

      Brenda: Yes well it won't be four years but it will be nice to go
      somewhere and explore a different side of myself.

      ASIANCE: Any plans to get into Hollywood movies?

      Brenda: Well right now Disney has been so good to me. To give me my
      starting role in this movie is so wonderful. I'm taking it one
      project at a time. I don't like to jump too ahead of myself. It was
      so hard to one day focus on London and the next day quite literally
      get into this whole mentality of Wendy and then back to London. So I
      just want to worry about each day doing my best and not worry about
      what I'm going to do 6 months from now. Who knows what the future
      holds? I hope to get another job after. I enjoy it so much.

      ASIANCE: So you're a pioneer!

      Brenda: It's definitely changing. It's still very hard and very
      limited. It's so much more open than it was 5 years ago, even 2
      years ago. People are starting to get the idea that people come in
      all shapes and sizes and it doesn't really matter. They want to be
      able to relate to who they are. Growing up I never saw any Asians on
      TV and that could be discouraging in so many ways to wonder, "Why am
      I not good enough?" or "What's wrong with me why can't I be on TV?"
      So that pushed me and drove me harder to do what I do. All I want to
      do to keep working!


      RISING STAR: Brenda Song Shows Off Chops in 'Wendy Wu'
      By Stacy Jenel Smith

      Beautiful Brenda Song climbs another rung up the ladder of fame
      with "Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior."
      The June 16-premiering Disney Channel Original movie gives the 18-
      year-old rising star the opportunity to show off some chops her
      growing fan base hasn't seen before.

      For instance, there's her martial arts ability. The actress, who
      holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, went into intensive Kung Fu
      training for the movie - in which she plays a high school girl who
      learns she's the reincarnation of a powerful female Chinese warrior,
      and the only person who can stop an ancient evil spirit from
      destroying the world.

      "Everyone thinks martial arts are all the same," notes Brenda,
      during an afternoon break from shooting on her Disney Channel
      series, "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody." She smiles, "But my muscles
      will tell you different."
      The petite (5' 1-3/4) performer worked with a trainer twice a week
      for three months - focusing on Kung Fu's snake, crane, leopard and
      swan forms - before shooting began.

      "Homecoming Warrior," which also stars Japanese actor Shin Koyamada
      ("The Last Samurai") also gave Brenda the chance to tap into her
      dramatic acting abilities.

      Yes, the telepic has tween and teen-centric elements Disney Channel
      fans expect: Wendy Wu's popularity in high school and her battle to
      become Homecoming Queen are every bit as important to her as
      preserving life as we know it on earth. (The movie is being
      preceeded by an eight-hour Brenda Song marathon on the channel, by
      the way.) But the "Wendy Wu" story also has her getting in touch
      with her cultural roots. And it caused Brenda, who is of Hmong
      heritage (her mother is half Thai, her father is Hmong), to take a
      closer look at her own.

      "It opened my eyes about my own family," she says. And she's been
      eagerly finding out "why we eat certain foods, what are the meanings
      of certain clothing we wear at New Year's or when we get married."

      The Hmong "don't have a written history. The oral history is all we
      have," she points out, referring to the Asian tribal peoples of
      Laos, China, Thailand, and Vietnam (who endured genocide as a result
      of their support of the United States in the Vietnam war).

      "There are times I regret not listening to the stories as carefully
      as I could have," says Brenda, whose mother and grandmother came
      from Laos.

      Born in Carmichael, California outside Sacramento, Brenda now lives
      in the L.A. 'burbs with her parents and younger brothers Timmy and
      Nathan. She has been acting as long as she can remember. She was
      appearing on television in series guest parts, on such shows as "7th
      Heaven" and "Judging Amy," and commercials - such as Reese's Puffs
      cereal - as well as in small movie roles by the age of six.

      She landed a recurring role on the Disney Channel's "Phil of the
      Future" as trendy teen Tia, and had roles in Disney Channel movies
      including "Get a Clue" with Lindsay Lohan. On the big screen, she
      appeared in Hilary Duff's "A Cinderella Story" and starred in "Like
      Mike" opposite Lil' Bow Wow and Jonathan Lipnicki - along with
      playing roles in "Leave It To Beaver" and "Santa With Muscles"
      starring Hulk Hogan.

      Growing up with two younger boy siblings helped her feel right at
      home when she started playing ditsy, spoiled hotel heiress London
      on "Suite Life" - acting alongside the show's 13-year-old title
      twins, Cole and Dylan Sprouse.

      "When the show first came up, I thought, 'Oh, my goodness. No more
      brothers,'" she laughs. "They drive you crazy but at the same time
      they keep you sane. Does that make sense?"

      She says, "I learned so much from Dylan and Cole. I learned never to
      hold back if I have a question about something. And they taught me
      you can have fun and still work. They get along so well with my
      brothers...We had so much fun playing games like hide and seek and
      four square on the back lot."

      Small wonder she says that returning to the "Suite Life" set - after
      her weeks in New Zealand to film "Wendy Wu" - was like "coming home."
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