Watch: Elodie Yung shares Cambodian father’s story for AANHPI Heritage Month

Watch: Elodie Yung shares Cambodian father’s story for AANHPI Heritage MonthWatch: Elodie Yung shares Cambodian father’s story for AANHPI Heritage Month
via FOX
Michelle De Pacina
12 days ago
“The Cleaning Lady” star Elodie Yung commemorated Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month by sharing her Cambodian background, particularly her father’s personal story.  
Key points:
  • In a video shared to Fox’s YouTube channel, Yung recounts her father’s journey from Cambodia to seek a better life, highlighting the resilience he instilled in her.
The details:
  • Yung’s father, who was born in Phnom Penh, was a doctor in Cambodia before their family immigrated to France during the Khmer Rouge regime’s rule, which left an estimated 1.5 to 2 million people dying of starvation, torture and extrajudicial killings.
  • “He’s got an interesting and complex youth,” Yung shares. “His dad was a judge. His mother was a teacher, and he had 10 brothers and sisters. He managed to escape Cambodia, but he lost everybody. He said, ‘I cried [but] then you just have to stop. You have to live.’”  
  • Yung credits her resilient character to her father. “I know that he’s passed it on to me. I look at him, and I look at my family, and I look at my past, and I just know I have a strong connection,” she says.
  • Yung was born in 1981 in France, where she says she “never felt represented” growing up. Her experiences eventually shaped her resolve to amplify marginalized voices and foster inclusivity.
  • “My culture and where I come from, I bring it with me on set and to every character,” the actor says. “Society is changing. Television plays a big part in how a community is going to be portrayed.” 
“The Cleaning Lady”: 
  • Yung portrays lead protagonist Thony De La Rosa in Fox’s ongoing TV series “The Cleaning Lady,” which depicts the struggles of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. 
  • Her character is a Cambodian doctor from the Philippines who comes to the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant with her ailing son and eventually finds herself making ends meet as a cleaning lady for organized crime. 
  • The character name “Thony” came from one of Yung’s father’s cousins who escaped the Cambodian genocide and has been an influential person in her life.
  • “[‘The Cleaning Lady’] is a gift to me because it’s the first time I got to play someone of my background,” Yung previously told NextShark. “I felt very lucky to tap into my roots, to tap into this resilience that I know from my dad. To bring that on screen, you know this is not full front, but it is very much part of Thony and that is constantly with me and with this character.”
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