Brenda song is fondly psychic for play London Tipton in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody by anyone who watched Disney Channel in the 2000s. She reprised the function (and her "Yay me!" catchphrase) in a Suite Life standalone movie and the spinoff The Suite Life ~ above Deck"She"s a huge part of me now," Song stated of the personality in a Disney Channel YouTube video. "I played her for virtually eight years."

And when the half-Thai, half-Hmong actress" association through Disney runs deep, she"s likewise amassed an exceptional body the onscreen work since then, ranging from guest spots in such series as Scandal and New Girl to a recurring duty in Grey"s Anatomy spinoff Station 19 and also a dramatic turn in a Netflix thriller. Having booked her first professional exhilaration gig together a kid, track is the rare son star who effectively made the often-fraught change to adult gibbs — and she go it through aplomb.

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Fans can think they understand Brenda Song, given how lengthy she"s remained in the windy eye, but even her most ardent admirers may be surprised through what they don"t know around this multitalented young woman.


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Brenda Song"s acting ambitions date back to once she was just 3 years old living in Sacramento, Calif., as soon as she learned of one acting school for youngsters during a visit to a regional mall. Attending the school came to be a dream and then one obsession, and also she begged and also pleaded through her parental to enroll her. 


"We to be very, an extremely poor," track told magazine. "We had actually no money. My mom was still in school, mine dad was in college to it is in a schoolteacher." song recalled, "I acquired really, really sick and also I wouldn"t take it my Robitussin. My mommy was like, OK, well if girlfriend take your Robitussin, we"ll take you to this acting school." ns took it, and my grandma was like, "We need to take her," but my mommy was like, "No, us don"t. She"s a child, she"s not going to remember this."" but Song reportedly wouldn"t fall the subject and so she grandmother "took whatever out of she savings, which was $523," and brought she to the school, i beg your pardon Song defined as "not legit at all." Fortunately, through enrolling in the school, track was able come snag one agent and start walk on auditions.


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Once she gained an agent, young Brenda Song started vying for roles. She at some point booked her first television advertising on her sixth birthday as soon as her parents agreed to drive her come an audition in Los Angeles. "My parents had no idea what this industry was," she told W magazine. "They were immigrants, refugees, castle didn"t understand."


In 1999, song starred together a collection regular in Nickelodeon"s 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd, a weird sitcom about a institution bully who"s transformed into a dog and won"t be readjusted back till he does 100 an excellent deeds. That role led she to the Disney Channel, and she was actors in 2000"s The Ultimate Christmas Present, a movie around a pair that girls that steal Santa"s snow-making an equipment to develop a blizzard for this reason they have the right to enjoy a snow day. Eventually contract to Disney, track went on come star in an ext than a dozen Disney Channel projects. 

"I grew up on Disney, like literally," stated Song in a 2019 Disney Channel interview, adding, "I"ve never looked back. It"s practically been 20 years." 


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Brenda track was simply 15 once she was actors as spoiled London Tipton in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, yet the new role came at a complicated time. "My mom acquired breast cancer for the first time, ns booked Suite Life, and I was welcomed into the university I"d always wanted to walk to," song told W magazine. "My dad, who"s a schoolteacher, sat me down and said, "Here"s the thing. You have actually an exceptional opportunity, if exhilaration is what you desire to do. Education is the most crucial thing. You walk to university to figure out what you want to do, but if this is what you want to do, you have actually an possibility to perform it."


Looking back, Song currently realizes just just how fearless she was. "When you"re that age, the sky"s the limit," she told Refinery29. "You deserve to still fly. I never looked at the huge picture as a kid. I just loved acting so much. Ns loved the day come day. Ns loved acquiring a script. Ns loved auditioning. It was never about winning one Oscar or gift a movie star."


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As an gibbs of asian heritage, Brenda Song quickly realized the Disney readily available the type of opportunities she hadn"t to be receiving almost everywhere else. "I don"t think civilization realize how ahead the the curve Disney Channel was," she stated in an interview with Teen Vogue. "They to be colorblind casting means before everyone else. They were giving me TV movies because I to be 15 that civilization would never even think about. They were simply telling stories and wanting kids to be able to see themselves on TV at a young age."


In fact, tune admitted the it wasn"t till she involved Disney Channel that doors really started to open for her. "I didn"t gain a many auditions. It wasn"t until I gained into the Disney family that they were so an extremely open," she told W magazine. "So i feel yes, really proud the that due to the fact that for me, cultivation up i didn"t check out a the majority of girls who looked like me on TV and also it was a tiny disheartening due to the fact that I to be like, "I"m not Jackie Chan. I"m not Jet Li. How am ns going to execute this?""


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While some previous child stars try to distance themselves from your Disney roots, Brenda track still treasures the experience the network provided her. "I"m grateful to Disney since without them i wouldn"t it is in here," she told Refinery29. "But it"s a double-edged sword. When you"re on a successful present when you"re that period for for this reason long, you construct your very own stereotype." Explaining the she action on Suite Life as soon as she was 15 until she was 23, alongside gibbs Dylan and also Cole Sprouse, she noted that after that "everyone to be like, "Let me give you these crazy adult roles!"" She shared, "I was young, naive and also not ready. I feel fortunate to have actually been slowly pushed in the ideal direction. I"ve progressed as a human, yet I didn"t feel a sirloin to grow up. It was organic." 


Song can now reflect on her Disney Channel years through pride. "I feel like I"ve been very lucky and also can look ago and say i haven"t excellent a job that ns haven"t been proud that one means or another," tune told W magazine. "I"m proud of castle for various reasons."


As Brenda Song"s work caught the attention of Hollywood, she landed a component in an Oscar-winning film — but she virtually wasn"t allowed to take it. Chatting with W magazine, she recalled being offered a duty in the 2010 David Fincher-directed film The society Network, which chronicled the origins of Facebook. "Disney originally didn"t let me perform it due to the fact that of the bathroom scene," she explained, introduce to a short scene in which her character, a Harvard student called Christy, hooks up through Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin (played by Andrew Garfield) in a restroom stall. While the PG-13 movie was hardly scandalous, Disney Channel execs feared the the racy scene might tarnish the wholesome picture she"d cultivated on The Suite Life.


But the tenacious actress at some point wore the execs down till they relented. "It was among those things where I just said, "This is an possibility that ns don"t think will ever before come around again,"" she added. "The society Network was not just career-changing, yet life-changing. Ns learned so much on that project. I could talk about David Fincher every day due to the fact that he adjusted my life."


Brenda Song and boyfriend macacayy Culkin (of the well known Culkin family) store their connection so private and low-key the many people don"t also realize they"ve been an object since 2017. 

In fact, the key star the the Home Alone cast joked around his ambitions to have actually babies with Song during an appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast. "I"m gonna make part babies, that type of stuff," Culkin said Rogan. "This one"s a great one, for this reason I"m most likely gonna put some babies in she in a tiny bit. Ns mean, we"ve absolutely been practicing." he noted, "But yeah, I"m gonna have some quite babies."


Song told Refinery29 that while "we don"t yes, really talk around our an individual life," she and Culkin definitely share a bond due to their particular experiences as former child stars. "When you find other actors who"ve been in the sector for a lengthy time and also still love it, you have actually a shortcut forever," she added.


Numerous actors have admitted the they dread going to auditions, however not Brenda Song. "People believed I to be crazy since I said I love to audition," she told W magazine, "but I said I love to audition since every audition was choose a project to me."


In fact, track recalled that once she gained into trouble as a child, her parents would certainly punish her by refusing to let her go to an audition. "If i was bad, i didn"t get to walk to auditions. It wasn"t the opposite, getting gifts to walk to auditions. Ns was by the door v my portfolio ready to go, favor a stunner person," she told Refinery29.

"I had actually a an excellent experience," Song said of gift a boy actor. "If my youngsters ever want to it is in a component of it, ns would desire them to be at an er where they can make their own decisions. It"s hard for me come tell who at 10 lock don"t recognize what they want, due to the fact that I did. It"s all ns wanted."


October 2019 saw the release of Secret Obsession, a psychological thriller that confirmed a an extremely different next of Brenda song than what viewers had become accustomed come in every her Disney Channel projects.


In the Netflix movie, song plays a woman named Jennifer that is the victim of a traumatic assault that pipeline her unconscious. As soon as she comes to, she has actually amnesia, through no memory of her previous or she attacker. Thankfully, she attentive husband (played by Mike Vogel) is over there to take treatment of she every need while she recovers. When a police detective (Dennis Haysbert) notices some similarities in between her attack and the evidence he"s to be compiling while looking for his daughter"s kidnapper, Jennifer is resulted in a terrifying discovery. "The means that I"ve described the movie, without offering anything away, is the it"s kind of like a new twist to Misery, a version of Misery, which ns think is yes, really fun," Song said in an interview with BriefTake.


According come Netflix, Secret Obsession quickly ended up being one that its most-watched movies ever, v 40 million families streaming the flick within its an initial four weeks of release (via Time). 


After Brenda Song successfully made the transition from routinely starring in Disney Channel jobs to showing up in much more adult fare, she feeling comfortable sufficient to revisit she Disney past by certification in a new project because that the channel. In the animated series Amphibia, she provides the voice the a character named Anne Boonchuy, who, favor Song, is half Thai. 


"It"s taken me virtually 10 years from Disney to really feel prefer I uncovered a niche for myself," tune told Teen Vogue. "At 31 I ultimately feel choose I recognize what my strengths are, and I"m trying come steer right into that. The point is, world are like, "Well, we understand you native comedy, therefore you have to do other to change everyone"s minds." ns was like, "Why? This is what ns love come do.""

The personality has additionally been a method for she to connect to her Thai heritage. "Something ns really love around what we"re doing v the display is that we"re presenting our audience come a very particular culture, but she"s not characterized by it. It"s just who she is," song told NBC News.


Brenda Song returned to her comedy roots in Dollface, which debuted on streaming company Hulu in November 2019. Kat Dennings of Two damaged Girls fame stars as a Jules, who has actually just been dumped by she longtime boyfriend and realizes she"s let every her mrs friendships fall by the wayside. Together a result, she reconnects with her finest friends native college, play by Song and also Pretty little Liars" Shay Mitchell.


"I just discovered it therefore relatable," Song claimed of Dollface in an interview with W magazine. "It felt favor I was reading around the misadventures of me and also my girlfriends." Not only have the right to she recognize with the personalities in the show, she went also further come gush that Dollface was her "dream job," adding, "With this cast, shoot in L.A., and also with this character, I"ve never had a character that felt much more me."

She elaborated come Refinery29, "I"ve definitely been in Jules" place before, and also done the faux pas of leaving my girlfriends behind, living my boyfriend"s life, and forgetting mine own."


Not just did Brenda Song and also her Dollface co-stars play best friends top top the show, but they happened BFFs in actual life together well.

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"I"ve constantly been a component of male-driven projects and it was exceptional literally walk to occupational every day and also hanging out through my girlfriends," Song described to Teen Vogue. "It flew by so quickly because we literally simply hung the end for four months. We became so close since we all gained along and we were so surprised that none of united state had ever before met each various other before. It was intended to be."


Song revealed the she and also co-star Kat Dennings had become particularly close. "Kat and I look at at each other and also say, "Where have you been my entire life?" She"s my knitting buddy. We go yarn to buy together," Song called Refinery29. Who knew this celebs are finest friends?


While Brenda Song has shown numerous characters over the years, she feels Dollface to be the ideal showcase for she well-honed comedic skills. Song told W magazine, "I hope the my comedy continues to evolve and stays modern and relevant. Through every job, you learn a tiny bit an ext about yourself, you push yourself a little bit more. I"m looking forward to see what the future holds. I"m so open up to so plenty of things, however I"m yes, really hoping there"s a season two of Dollface in the future." 


Speaking with PopSugar, she mutual her wishes for what viewers take far from the show. "Hopefully you have the right to watch it, giggle, laugh at our misadventures, look in ~ our mistakes and also learn from them, please, and hopefully just have actually a good time," she explained. "That"s the whole allude of our show. Simply sit down with your friends and also laugh and hopefully you deserve to look at few of this and ago to some of those misadventures that you guys have actually had."


As a high-profile Asian-Amercian actress, the would have seemed most likely that Brenda track would have actually been a part of the groundbreaking comedy Crazy well-off Asians, i m sorry starred Constance Wu. But as soon as speaking with Teen Vogue, Song readily available some surprising information. "A many of civilization don"t understand this, yet I never acquired to check out for Crazy affluent Asians ever," she revealed. "Their reasoning behind that, what they stated was the my picture was basically not oriental enough, in not so countless words."


She discovered that baffling. "I"ve auditioned because that Caucasian functions my entire career, but this certain role, you"re no going to let me do it? You"re walking to fault me because that having operated my entirety life?"" claimed Song. "I to be like, "Where execute I fit?""

After taking some time away, song realized transforming others" perceptions isn"t something that will happen overnight. "I got myself together and also said, "Brenda, there is only one you, and you can"t readjust who friend are. You can"t change your past." i am so thankful for every project that I"ve done," she added. "All I have the right to do is continue to put an excellent auditions out there, perform the finest that I can — that"s every I deserve to ask for."