‘Glee’ Star Harry Shum, Jr. Goes Shirtless in Da Man Magazine
Harry Shum Jr. (aka Mike Chang on 'Glee') is becoming quite the center of attention lately. This week's episode of 'Glee' positioned Mike front and center as he pursued his desire to dance, which was at odds with the wishes of his traditional parents and their impossibly high standards. Now, Shum further turns the spotlight on himself in the new issue of Da Man, where he poses shirtless and shows off a set of rock hard abs. The attention is squarely on Harry Shum Jr. with a shot like that! Mike who?
The actor/dancer, which is how he identifies, since he was acting first and dancing came second, is full Chinese, and was born in Costa Rica, so he certainly has an interesting background to be inspired by. He said, "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."
Unlike Mike Changs's father, who considered the arts a waste of time on a professional level, Shum's parents were supportive of his choices. "The only thing my parents wanted for me was to have a good stable career where I would never have to suffer," he said. "That is why they brought me to America, so I could have more opportunities to choose from."
The Shum family was well aware of the pitfalls of show biz, which made them a little apprehensive, but they did not try and block his goals. He said, "They’ve always heard negative stories about Hollywood and the entertainment business; while also being an unstable career. I don’t blame them for not wanting me to pursue it, but they have never given me an ultimatum of choosing the school or arts -- they were just more comfortable with the idea of me going to college and getting a job in traditional business … They finally gave me their full support after seeing how hard I was working and making a career out of it. It also helped that their friends were telling them that they saw me in magazines and on television. Parents love to brag about their kids, so I’m glad I had something for them to brag about."
Even though Shum is an actor first, he considers the art of dance to be akin to acting. "I have always viewed dancing as a form of acting, because when a dancer is dancing he should be telling a story through movement," he said. "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."
Harry Shum Jr. is quite the well-adjusted actor/dancer, isn't he?