Suzy Wrong Gets A Chance - Playing Her Part In Hungry Ghosts

Written by Graeme Watson
Category: TV & Film Published: Tuesday, 30 July 2019 11:43

Suzy Wrong had almost given up hope of getting cast in film and television roles, then along came the perfect part in 'Hungry Ghosts', a new supernatural drama.

Set on the eve of the Hungry Ghost Festival in Melbourne, the action kicks off when a vengeful spirit is unleashed, wreaking havoc across the Vietnamese Australian community.

Wrong plays Roxy, a trans woman and gifted clairvoyant who is friends to May Le, played by Catherine Văn-Davies, an aspiring chef who discovers she too has hidden supernatural gifts of her own.

It was through her friendship with Văn-Davies that the Singaporean born actor was recommended for the part of Roxy.

“I met her about a month before filming was about to start and she realised I was the perfect person for the role, she recommended me to the producers and I got the part.”

Wrong says when it comes to the supernatural, she’s definitely a believer.

“I believe in ghosts, I believe in the dimension beyond what human eyes can see. I believe in all of that, so it was a pleasure to play a clairvoyant, and in her case a semi-expert in that realm.

“It was extremely fun, and I love it that people are going to see a trans character on screen, it's not a small part, she appears in every episode. When her best friend is visited by a ghost she gets really excited and we see her in her element, kicking ass, doing a great job and having a good time – that’s not how we normally see transgender characters.”

Wrong says it was refreshing to have a trans character who is just being really good at what they do, rather than being wrapped in an all-too-common storyline of angst and despair.

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“To suddenly have this character who is happy and having fun, and on top of that she doesn’t spend any time explaining her trans-ness to a mainstream audience, it’s completely unheard of,” Wrong says.

With only a few transgender characters gracing our screens, Wrong often saw these roles going to cis-gendered actors, and even less likely was casting directors considering her for a cis-gendered role.

“It’s not just that writers don’t create many transgender roles, I don’t get called in for regular cis-women roles. They think that because you look a certain way, or sound a certain way, you can only play trans roles, that’s how they think – but I don’t agree naturally,” she says.

Wrong appears along aside a diverse cast of well known Australian actors including Catherine Vãn-Davies, Justine Clarke, Ryan Corr, Gary Sweet and Susie Porter. She’s hopeful though that the show will also make some of the other actors in the series household names; Ferdinand Hoang, Hoa Xuande, Jillian Nguyen and Gareth Yuen also have major roles.

“We recognise their faces, but we might not know their names yet. We all realised that this is a very special project from a Vietnamese-Australian perspective. It’s quite a groundbreaking moment in TV programming, and we all understand that we are responsible for a respectful telling of these stories.”

With a unique story that embraces the culture of Australia’s Vietnamese community, and a real diversity in its casting, 'Hungry Ghosts' will air on SBS later this year.

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