Profile: JuJu Chan Yuk-wan

Posted in Profiles by - May 01, 2017
Profile: JuJu Chan Yuk-wan

Date of birth: 2 February, 1988 (Hong Kong)

Style: Taekwondo, Muay Thai, Judo, Karate

Occupation: Actor, martial arts instructor, singer, writer, personal trainer.

Other names: Juliana Chan; Chan Yuk Wan.

Biography: Juliana ‘JuJu’ Chan Yuk-wan is one of twins born in Hong Kong. The Chan family moved to Boston when JuJu was three years old. She lived in various locations as a child, and developed a love of cinema from watching films with her father. She went to high-school in Hong Kong and went on to study at the University of San Francisco, graduating with a bachelor’s degree with honours in Computer Sciences and Mathematics in 2005 with a minor in Dance. In 2007, she graduated from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a master’s degree in film and television.

Upon returning to San Francisco in 2009, Chan participated in the Miss Chinatown USA beauty pageant, winning the TVB People’s Choice Award. In the same year, she also took part in the United Nations Pageants International event held in Jamaica, where she won Miss Congeniality, Miss United Nations China, Miss Photogenic, and Miss International Ambassador 2009. She was also a semi-finalist in Miss Hong Kong 2010. In 2009, Chan took part in the realty TV series Rich Mate Poor Mate, produced by Hong Kong’s public service broadcaster, RTHK. The philanthropic show, which centred around issues relating to poverty, saw JuJu cast as the show’s ‘beauty queen’ who was selected to live the life of a single immigrant mother in Hong Kong trying to raise an eight year old child. Since her involvement with the show, Chan has become a spokesperson for children’s charities. She is also an ambassador for an environmental charity tackling deforestation in rural China.

In 2009, Chan played the title role in the dark, fantasy web series LUMINA, written and directed by Hong Kong-based filmmaker Jennifer Thym. In 2010, she made her action movie debut in the Scottish independent film, Unconditional Love. In 2011, Chan first worked with the Australian filmmaker Anthony Szeto, who cast her in the Roger Corman-produced horror film Palace of the Damned. This was followed with further work for Szeto including a role in 2013’s Fist of the Dragon (also produced by Corman and starring MMA fighter Josh Thomson), for which she was nominated for Best Actress at the 2017 Widescreen Film & Music Video Festival, and The Young Boxer. The latter film cast Chan as a wing chun expert living next door to a young Bruce Lee. The film starred Yuen Wah and earned JuJu the nickname of the ‘female Bruce Lee’ after displaying her double nunchaku skills. In 2013, she also worked with the Australian martial artist Maria Tran on the short film, Hit Girls.

In 2016, Chan was cast as one of an ensemble of fighters in the Netflix and Weinstein Company-produced sequel, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, directed by Yuen Woo-ping and starring Donnie Yen and Michelle Yeoh. Chan played the role of Silver Dart Shi alongside Donnie Yen’s Silent Wolf character and a cast of other Asian-American actors, including Darryl Quon, Chris Pang, Roger Yuan and Woon Young Park. In 2017, JuJu Chan starred alongside Scott Adkins and Marko Zaror in Savage Dog, written and directed by famed British stunt coordinator Jesse V. Johnson. In 2017, she wrapped on a Hong Kong martial arts production for director Fruit Chan called The Invincible Dragon, starring Max Zhang and UFC fighter Anderson Silva.

JuJu Chan holds a black belt in taekwondo. In 2013, she represented Hong Kong at the 18th World Taekwondo (ITF) Championships and the China Open Taekwondo Championships, where she won a bronze sparring medal and a gold pattern medal. She also studies Muay Thai kickboxing, and in 2014, she was crowned champion of her 46kg weight division at the World Muay Thai Council (WMC) Championships, held in Hong Kong. JuJu Chan is also a singer. In 2011, she released an album of Cantopop songs entitled I Wanna Hold Your Heart and has won two ‘newcomer’ music awards in Hong Kong. Chan has also written two books: To Live a Beautiful Life, based on her experiences on Rich Mate Poor Mate, and an advice book entitled Food & Ordering at a Restaurant. In 2017, she became the spokesperson for a fitness app called Move It. She lives in Hong Kong and Los Angeles.

Speech! “Yes, I’m competitive. If you’re not competitive, there’s no force to drive you for the extra work you do to make yourself better and stand out. It’s important.” In conversation with Kung Fu Movie Guide.

Click here to listen to KFMG Podcast S02 Episode 13 with JuJu Chan.

Filmography: 2009 Rich Mate Poor Mate (TV); Lumina (TV); The Other End of the Gun (short); 2010 Unconditional Love; 2013 The Young Boxer; Palace of the Damned; Hit Girls (short); 2014 Fist of the Dragon; 2016 Sampan (short); Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny; 2017 Savage Dog; V-Force: New Dawn of V.I.C.T.O.R.Y.; The Invincible Dragon.

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