Brenda Song is an American former teen icon, popular actor, and model. She started her career as a child fashion model. She is also involved in film production and is widely regarded as an upcoming Hollywood diva. The American media is in awe of her and often includes her in the ‘rising Hollywood stars’ list. Brenda started her acting career with children’s shows and TV commercials. In the mid-90s, she appeared in ‘Fudge’ which marked her TV debut. She continued working on TV shows and also appeared in a few films around that time. She was given the ‘Young Artist Award’ in 2001. She then made a switch to ‘Disney’ channel, after which her popularity crossed the national borders, making her an international celebrity. The most defining role of her career came in ‘The Suite Life of Zack and Cody’ where she played a spoilt brat. The show was a massive success and she became a fan favorite. Her character ‘London Tipton’ from the show soon became one of the longest appearing characters in the ‘Disney’ history. Her popularity led her to Hollywood and she starred in films, such as ‘The Social Network,’ a film by maverick director David Fincher.
Childhood & Early Life
Brenda Song was born on 27th March 1988, in California, USA, to a Thai mother and a Hmong father. Her family belonged to the prestigious Xiong Clan and they moved to the United States for a better life. She has two siblings. Her father works as a school teacher, while her mother is a homemaker.
Since her early childhood, Brenda showed interest in dancing and other performing arts. Her father enrolled her into a martial arts class. She also wanted to take belle classes along with that, but her father disagreed. She was able to convince her mother to take her to Los Angeles where Brenda wanted to try acting.
Although she was homeschooled, Brenda was pretty good in academics and eventually ended up doing her major in psychology, with a minor degree in business studies.
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Brenda Song’s career started when a casting agent spotted her in a shopping mall. She wasn’t more than five years of age and her mother accepted the offer. Brenda’s introduction to fame happened in the form of a ‘Little Caesars’ commercial. A ‘Barbie’ commercial followed sometime later and Brenda started getting popular among kids.
In 1995, she was approached to play a role in ‘Requiem,’ an independent film. Subsequently, she appeared in a few short films. She exhibited immense confidence in front of the camera and the entire crew loved having her around. Her next appearance on television was a two-episode role in ‘Thunder Alley.’ Soon after that, a regular role in ‘Fudge’ followed. Dozens of other roles followed and Song became one of the most popular child actors. However, she was also type-cast to play ‘Asian’ characters.
In 2000, she was presented with a couple of awards for her role in ‘The Ultimate Christmas Present.’ Two years later, her performance on ‘The Bernie Mac’ show met with critical acclaim and established her as a good actor. In 2002, ‘Disney’ signed her on and she became one of the many child actors ‘Disney’ channel had signed for shows that were under production at the time.
Brenda started with guest appearances on ‘Disney’ shows. The biggest break of her career arrived in 2005 when Disney’s ‘Suite Life of Zack and Cody’ started airing on the channel. Song played the spoilt daughter of an Asian businessman, and her character became the most loved one on the show. Later, the writers said that she wasn’t even auditioned for the role as she was always on their mind while writing the character.
She worked her way into mainstream cinema. Her big breakthrough came in 2010 when she was cast in the biographical drama ‘The Social Network.’ Two years later, she worked with Joseph Mazzello, her co-star from ‘The Social Network,’ in the short film ‘First Kiss.’
Over the years, Song has had many recurring roles in various TV series, such as ‘Scandal,’ ‘New Girl,’ ‘Dads,’ and ‘Station 19.’ She was part of the main cast of the medical drama ‘Pure Genius.’
Her next starring role came in the form of ‘Jennifer Allen Williams’ in the psychological thriller ‘Secret Obsession’ (2019) on Netflix. She is currently cast as the main lead in the ‘Disney’ animated TV series ‘Amphibia’ and ‘Hulu’ comedy web series ‘Dollface.’