DA Man magazine sat down with Harry, and here are a few of the highlights from the interview:
DA: Is it true that you cannot sing, or is that just part of the character you play on Glee?
Harry Shum, Jr.: I’m not a singer, but it’s definitely exaggerated for the character Mike Chang. I’ve been taking vocal lessons, so hopefully that translates into Mike improving as well. Maybe Mike will sing in Season 3?
DA: So tell us about your background, we understand you were born in Costa Rica, raised in California and have Chinese parents?
Harry Shum, Jr.: I am full Chinese and was born in Costa Rica. It was confusing growing up in a place where you looked completely different from the people that surrounded you. I’d look at old photos of my friends and I would stick out like a sore thumb being the only Asian kid. I think that is why I feel so comfortable being in different environments, because that’s what I’m used to. Spanish was my first language, but my vocabulary shrank when I moved to the U.S. and had to learn Chinese (Cantonese) and English. My parents still speak Spanish fluently and being yelled at by them in a trilingual home is a funny sight.
More from the interview…
DA: Any advice for bad dancers?
Harry Shum, Jr.: I was a bad dancer at one point and sometimes I still think I am. Keep working hard because you never know which day you might find your groove. Also it’s good to be real with yourself sometimes, because I realize that my dreams of being a pro quarterback for the NFL are pretty much gone. But you can always just dance for fun; just like being able to play football for fun.
DA: Do you consider yourself more of an actor or dancer or something altogether different?
Harry Shum, Jr.: I’m an actor and a dancer. I was an actor before I started dancing but that doesn’t mean I’m one less than the other. I have always viewed dancing as a form of acting, because when a dancer is dancing he should be telling a story through movement. There should be an emotion behind each motion, whether it’s light and happy or heavy and sad. I love all forms of art, so I wouldn’t limit myself to only one title.
Read the full interview at Da Man!