Actress Katie Chang on Her New Movie, A Birder’s Guide to Everything

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After spotting a member of an allegedly extinct species, 15-year-old David goes on a journey with his cohort of bird-watching pals to find this elusive duck in “A Birder’s Guide to Everything.” The coming-of-age indie comedy and Tribeca Film Festival favorite features Ben Kingsley and a cast of talented teens, including “The Bling Ring” star Katie Chang (who also happens to be our Winter 2012 cover girl!). Here, Chang shares her experience on set of the film — and a few reasons to catch it in theaters starting this Friday.

I filmed “A Birder’s Guide to Everything” three months after I finished my first movie, “The Bling Ring.” When I got on set, I immediately knew it would be a different experience. We filmed the movie over four weeks in the woods of Westchester, New York. The entire crew, including us cast members, lived in a small Holiday Inn — it was nothing like filming “The Bling Ring,” where I lived in an apartment on Beverly Boulevard and worked all over Los Angeles.
But I loved filming “Birder’s” just as much as my first film. Making a movie in the woods is like going to summer camp. It was an incredible bonding experience and I relished every second of it. Working on “Birder’s” also helped me grow as an actress because it allowed me to practice intense character development. I am so proud of this film and hope many people either download it on iTunes or go and see it in theaters!

Here are five reasons why you should go see “A Birder’s Guide to Everything”:
1)Asian American actors are very present in the film! I am in it, as is the fantastic Michael Chen.
2)It’s hilarious. I know I’m biased because I am in the movie, but it is so funny. We did a lot of improvisation on set and that really comes through in the final cut. Alex Wolff in particular has some of my favorite lines in the entire film.
3)It has a little bit of everything: comedy, romance, and adventure. The movie is perfect for anyone.
4)The film elicits emotions in such a sweet and beautiful way. My manager Geoffrey says he teared up while watching it (though he might try to deny this fact now).
5)The setting of the film is gorgeous and reminds me of spring! What more can a person want, especially with this cold winter we’re having? Plus, birding season is coming up. Perhaps the movie will inspire some to become birders!

Interview: Winnetka’s Katie Chang settling into school, acting life

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When it came time to arrange her housing situation at Columbia University in New York, Katie Chang — who co-starred with Emma Watson in 2013’s “The Bling Ring” and co-starred with Sir Ben Kingsley in the upcoming “A Birder’s Guide To Everything” — opted to search for a roommate online rather than get paired off at random.

“I used a website that’s like eHarmony for roommates,” said Chang, a freshman at Columbia, over the phone from her home in Winnetka, where she is spending her spring break. “I wanted someone who I could explain the acting thing to beforehand.”

The acting thing took off when Chang was cast in “The Bling Ring,” directed by Sofia Coppola and based on the real-life group of teens and 20-somethings who robbed celebrity homes. Chang filmed the movie during the spring of her junior year at New Trier High School and then shot “Birder’s Guide” the summer before her senior year. On Friday, Chang will screen “Birder’s Guide” at the Wilmette Theatre and take part in a Q&A before heading to the screening’s cocktail reception nearby at The Avenue restaurant.

“I’m certainly by no means a huge presence on (Columbia’s) campus,” said Chang, an alum of the Wilmette Theatre’s Actors Training Center. “I think there’s knowledge of an actor on campus but, for the most part, I’m anonymous. It’s been fun, actually, the couple times (I get recognized). It’s cool to hear what people think of (‘Bling Ring’).

“In high school, I was more nervous to talk about it. People probably thought I was scary, but I was just uncomfortable with attention and tended to be a little closed off, except with friends. I learned to embrace the attention.”

“Birder’s Guide” revolves around four high school students in pursuit of what they believe to be a Labrador duck, said to be extinct for 130 years. Chang plays the lone female in the bunch, joining her bird-loving peers to photograph the potential discovery. The independent film hits theaters Friday.

Chang will appear in “Anesthesia” with Glenn Close and Kristen Stewart after that. She filmed her role in one day last November.

“It was less nerve-wrecking,” Chang said of “Anesthesia.” “The first day of ‘Bling Ring,’ I was so nervous and freaking out. I’m a know-it-all and was going into a situation where I couldn’t predict what would happen. But now I’ve gotten to know more about the industry. And now that I’m over 18, I can work without my parents on set. That was nice and helped me get comfortable.”

Although she has three films under her belt before the age of 20, Chang said she has experienced plenty of rejection. She said there was one role in particular she felt a strong connection with that eventually went to another actress, but didn’t specify. The rejection stung and, as she put it, fired her up — but Chang likes that it reminds her how passionate she is about acting.

Still, she does have other interests, which explains, in part, why she is attending college. She is considering majoring in film and English — possibly art history.

“Looking back now as I near the end of my freshman year, I’m glad I gave myself the time to do the quintessential college years,” said Chang. “Otherwise I’d be sitting on my parent’s couch waiting for my phone to ring.”

Katie Chang headed to film premiere in Wilmette

The Wilmette Theatre hosts the Chicago area premiere of “A Birder’s Guide to Everything” starring Ben Kingsley and James Le Gros, as well as Winnetka native and Actors Training Center alumna Katie Chang, at 7:30 p.m. March 21. Chang (“The Bling Ring”) will give a post-show chat to discuss her experiences on-set and her time as an ATC student. Tickets are $40.

(source Chicago Sun-Times)

An interview with Katie Chang

Katie Chang starred in one of 2013′s biggest movies, The Bling Ring, but don’t expect it to go to her head any time soon. Katie is down to earth, but driven. She’s been acting since she was a little girl, and through focus and years of training, was able to make her dreams come true. We were lucky enough to chat with the young starlet, and trust us, she’s an actress you’ll want to keep your eye on. –

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‘Bling Ring’ Star Joins Indie ‘Anesthesia’

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Katie Chang made her feature film debut as the ringleader of a group of teen robbers in Sofia Coppola’s film.

The Bling Ring actress Katie Chang has joined Anesthesia, the indie film starring Glenn Close, Sam Waterston, Gretchen Mol and Kristen Stewart.

The Tim Blake Nelson-helmed drama follows a group of New Yorkers whose lives intersect after the violent mugging of a popular Columbia University professor, Walter Zarrow (Waterson).

Chang, who starred as the ringleader of a group of teen robbers in Sofia Coppola’s film, will play Amy, a young love interest for Zarrow’s grandson in Anesthesia.
Chang should feel comfortable in the film’s setting as she’s currently studying creative writing as a freshman at Columbia.
The Bling Ring was Chang’s feature film debut. In the based-on-a-true-story film, Chang played Rebecca, the leader of a group of teens who stole from the homes of Hollywood celebrities including Orlando Bloom, Paris Hilton, Brian Austin Green and Megan Fox.
Up next, Chang stars in A Birder’s Guide to Everything, directed by Rob Meyer. The film about a birding fanatic’s road trip also stars Sir Ben Kingsley, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Alex Wolff. Chang is repped by ICM, Soffer/Namoff, and Carole Dibo.