Angry Reader of the Week: Louis Changchien

"I have the amazing luck of getting paid to act."

Hey, you guyyyyys. You know what's up. Time to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Louis Changchien.

Who are you?

I'm Louis Ozawa Changchien. My first name is pronounced LOUIE, the "s" is silent. My parents chose Louis because it sounds close to the Japanese name Rui, which means fortress or base. I guess the name connotes stability. I'm also a Libra, which is the zodiac sign represented by scales, which I guess also represents stability, but my family and friends would probably beg to differ. Ozawa is my mother's maiden name. She's from Japan. And Changchien (pronounced CHANG-CHEN) is my dad's rare two-character name. He's from Taiwan.

What are you?

I'm an American actor, sometimes a photographer, motorcycle enthusiast, and always a proud papa and husband.

Where are you?

I live in Los Angeles in a small neighborhood just west of K-town. It's a quiet middle-class neighborhood, with an amazingly diverse population for Los Angeles. The centerpiece is a park located just across the street from our apartment. There are giant eucalyptus and pine trees that shade our building and provide the illusion of a forest-like environment. At the moment, the jacarandas have just started shedding their Laker-purple blossoms. We have a hawk that perches right outside our window. Hummingbirds hover and buzz alongside bees sucking nectar from the bloom spikes of agave. My daily existence these days is peaceful, perhaps a little boring. Most mornings you can find me in the park with my wife and two boys, Atticus (my dog) and Bodi (my son). They love it.

Where are you from?

Born and raised in New York City. College in Northern California. Grad school in Rhode Island. I miss New York and I do envision moving back, but we're not quite ready yet. We have a few other adventures to embark on first.

What do you do?

I like to tell stories on screen and on the stage. Mostly dramatic. Sometimes comedic.

Not too many years ago I was a classically trained theater actor, playing reticent yet sensitive characters on stage. But on film and tv, I've somehow carved out a modest career making action movies -- sometimes kicking butt, but more often, getting killed in terrible ways. I'm beginning to feel as though I'm being type-cast, but who am I to complain? I have the amazing luck of getting paid to act.

At the moment I'm enjoying being a cast member on the Amazon series The Man In the High Castle. It's such a nuanced and stunning show. Everyone is so good. I play Paul Kasoura, and I love him. He's a complicated man. Best of all, I don't need to kill or get killed... yet (fingers crossed). And I shoot in Vancouver. It's a beautiful city and the Asian food there is AMAZING.

What are you all about?

Right now, I'm all about spending time with my wife, son and dog. But when I'm not with them, I'm all about movies. Call me old school, but I still love a good film. I love the act of going to the cinema. And I love the rigor behind making it. I love the intense bonds you make with so many inspiring and talented people in far-flung locations. Thanks to these experiences, I have some wonderful friends all over the world. My wish is to continue to make film throughout my life. And I hope the work is varied, meaningful and affecting because I certainly don't do this for the money.

What makes you angry?

My wife tells me I get angry about too many things. So I guess a lot. If I had to pick one thing? Institutionalized ignorance makes me angry.

We live in the richest most influential country in the world, where more than half of our adult population has never traveled abroad. The fact that the most desired travel destinations for Americans are Las Vegas and Disneyland angers me, but more than that, it makes me profoundly sad. People here can't realistically dream of stepping foot on foreign soil. And that may be by design with our abysmally low minimum wage, an average of only 10 annual vacation days, exorbitantly high health care costs, and one of the worst performing and most segregated public education systems in the developed world. How can we act with compassion for people from other nations and cultures when we have no frame of reference? How can we act with compassion for our fellow Americans with this kind of ignorance? Are Americans that uninterested in the rest of the world? I don't think so. How can we promote and support travel abroad? I have no answers, but I worry.

In reference to isolation in America, Mark Twain once said, "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."


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