Latin Times: Tells about yourself, your family and your family History?
Chuti Tiu: I am mixture of Chinese, Filipino, and Spanish Born in Louisiana. My Dad is Chinese from the Fujian Province, China, but he was born in the Philippines, my mother is Spanish and Filipino. I only spoke English at home.
Chuti Tiu: I always loved making people happy, making them smile, and entertaining them. I started with playing classical piano, and I loved being in front of a camera and on stage. At a young age, I did my very first play – Snow White, playing the title role. As I was growing up, I wasn’t allowed by my parents to think of acting as a profession; they wanted me to be a lawyer or some kind of professional. It took some convincing, but eventually they finally realized that acting is my true calling.
Latin Times: Tell us about some of the movies and TV shows you have been in?
Chuti Tiu: Most recently I guest-starred on the show Nashville. I play Tara Ashton – a tough litigator. As you know, I starred in Pretty Rosebud, which is a movie that I wrote and my husband Oscar Torre directed, which won multiple awards on the film festival circuit, including Best Actress (myself), Best Director (Oscar) and Best Film. I was also in the critically acclaimed film Rampart with Woody Harrelson and Brie Larson, and in the fan favorite The Internship with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. On television, I’ve guest-starred on Rizzoli & Isles, 2 Broke Girls, and Chasing Life. Others include Southland, 24, General Hospital, Weeds and The Closer. I’m presently writing a dramatic screenplay that is similar in tone to Pretty Rosebud; I enjoy being an architect for life stories. Victor, I just love to work!
Latin Times: Do you and your husband Oscar Torre work on any projects together?
Chuti Tiu: Yes, right now Oscar actually has two projects we are working and collaborating together on; one is about death and the meaning of life. Oscar and I believe in pushing the envelope in terms of filmmaking. We are always working.
Latin Times: Being in action scenes, have you studied Martial Arts?
Chuti Tiu: Yes, I did. I studied for many years – Shaolin Kung Fu. I definitely appreciate the arts and am thankful for the knowledge of self-defense and the preservation of cultural heritage.
Latin Times: Married to a Cuban, growing up Filipino and Chinese, what is your favorite Latin food?
Chuti Tiu: Ropa Vieja, I love it! And tostones – tostones are so bad for you but sooooooo good. A little slice of heaven.
Latin Times: What advice would you give diverse young actors and actresses?
Chuti Tiu: Welcome! Now is an amazing time for you. We are all in this together; it’s really important that different ethnicities celebrate their backgrounds and it’s so important to tell your stories. Study your butt off; remember that it takes work to be a great actor or actress. It takes education, rehearsal, and practice. And vulnerability. Which means not being perfect.
Latin Times: Who is one of your favorite Latino actors or actresses you have worked with?
Chuti Tiu: My husband Oscar Torre, of course! Not only is he an amazing husband and supporter, he is also passionate about what I am working on. He is always coaching me and lifting me up, building me up. He is amazing.
Latin Times: Who in your life has been your inspiration or hero?
Chuti Tiu: In many respects, it’s my parents. It was very difficult for them to come to the United States. I still remember being young and moving into a house not having any furniture but I didn’t care – it was fun to sleep on the floor! They’ve always been hard-working; they instilled a strong faith in me. They also taught me to get along and be diplomatic. When my parents first came to the U.S., my father worked at the hospital and went to the cafeteria. To his surprise, there were blacks on one side and whites on the other. Both sides invited my dad to sit with them. Not wanting to make any enemies, my father dragged a table to the middle of the room, because let’s face it – he’s neither white nor black. My parents are my heroes.
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