Unity through Diversity

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Introducing our first Mixed twins, Stephen and Louise Hoo. We happily stumbled across Stephen on a feature for Channel 4’s “In Conversation with…” talking about his work in the theatre and we knew we had to get in touch with him about Mixed. The first time we spoke to the actor and rising playwright, he was busy playing the part of Eddie (lead) in ‘Takeaway‘ over at the Royal Stratford East and we set a date for the end of it’s run for him to come in to the studio.

In his career, Stephen has sought out work that deals with themes of homosexuality and identity, and his roles typically go against the stereotype of what it is to be Chinese and gay. How Stephen sees himself is complex and contextual… he identifies as ‘Eurasian’, ‘British Chinese’ when he is in Europe, and ‘Hun Xue’er’ or ‘Mixed Race’, when he is in Asia. His sister Louise on the other hand, describes herself as English in relation to her race, but nevertheless her Chinese heritage is very important to her. Louise currently works in the financial industry, however she also has a strong footballing pedigree having played internationally for Malaysia, (the twins’ father’s birthplace). Stephen and Louise’s mother is English and they were both born in London.

What drew us to Stephen is that he quite clearly has some very interesting views on his own identity, particularly with the additional dimension of sexuality in the mix. In his testimony, he talks about how his choice of study has been greatly influenced by a desire to learn about his culture. Stephen studied Theatre at the world-renowned Brit School and thereafter, attended the School of Oriental and African Studies to study Modern and Classical Chinese. He has even lived and travelled in the Far East in order to further explore this element of his mixed heritage. He certainly didn’t let us down, he was fascinating and very open about his life and his experiences.