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James Hong brings TV host to tears with a heartwarming message in emotional interview

Reflecting on his family in an interview on 'The Katie Phang Show,' Hong opened up about his three daughters and eight grandchildren.

James Hong brings TV host to tears with a heartwarming message in emotional interview
Cover Image Source: Twitter / The Katie Phang Show

Actor James Hong shared a touching moment with MSNBC host Katie Phang in an interview. During an appearance on her titular "The Katie Phang Show," the 94-year-old star of "Everything Everywhere All At Once" brought the TV host to tears after he said that her late father would "be very proud" of her.

According to PEOPLE, the actor reflected on his family, opening up about his three daughters and eight grandchildren. "I know that they must be proud of you," Phang told Hong. "I lost my father going on four years this June, and so I know that they're proud of you. I'm so glad that you're still going. Thanks for all of the stuff that you've done for our community, and that you're continuing to do."

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 26: (L-R) Brian Le, James Hong, Andy Le, and Michelle Yeoh accept the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture award for
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 26: (L-R) Brian Le, James Hong, Andy Le, and Michelle Yeoh accept the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture award for "Everything Everywhere All at Once" onstage during the 29th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on February 26, 2023, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

When asked if her father had witnessed Phang with her name on a program, she "choked up" and shared that her father died from Alzheimer's and Lewy body dementia on Father's Day in 2019. Phang confirmed that he never got to see her become "the only Asian with her own name on a program." She added: "But I know he was proud of me."

Hong replied, "I would be. You are doing a great job. I'm sure your father – and I, being a father – would be very proud of our children stepping forward, you know? Carrying our name forward." Phang was visibly emotional but quickly composed herself and said, "Thank you so much, and I'm sorry for crying! But it really does move me to spend this time with you." 



 

The Hollywood veteran, who has paved the way for other Asian actors, won his first SAG award in February 2023 for "Everything Everywhere All At Once." Hong, who plays Gong Gong in the sci-fi adventure film, started his acting career in the 1950s. "It shows if you wait long enough, you'll make it," Hong said on ABC's "On the Red Carpet" at the 2023 Oscars preshow. "I'm very happy my mother fed me those bitter herbs. It carried me to 94 and 1 month—I've got to count it by month now. This movie, 'Everything Everywhere All At Once,' gave me the chance to be here today." The "Mulan" actor is also hopeful that his first Oscar won't be his last.



 

"It takes perseverance through all these years to make it," he said. "And through my 500 movies and TV, I'm here. I hope to be here next year and the year after. When I'm 100, I'll come back and say hello to everybody."

Hong also received a standing ovation at the 2023 SAG Awards where he gave a rousing speech partly in Chines. "Actually, I said that because we might be broadcast in Hong Kong," he began. "And I hope next year the network won't change their mind and put us on again. So I got my first card, the SAG card, and, well, anyway, that was 70 years ago. My first movie was with Clark Gable."



 

"Back in those days, I have to tell you that the leading role was played by these guys with eyes taped up like this and they talk like this because the producer said the Asians were not good enough and they are not a box office draw," Hong added while accepting the award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture.

Hong has appeared in nearly 500 TV shows, more than 150 feature films, 30-plus short films and 20-plus video games. He's appeared in "Seinfeld," "The Big Bang Theory," "Chinatown" and "Big Trouble in Little China." Hong has also notably voiced Mr. Ping in the "Kung Fu Panda" series and the villain Chi-Fu in Disney's "Mulan."

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