just the facts:
Birthday: October 28
My Hometown: Although born in Dallas, TX, Huang was raised in New York City.
Wedding Belle: She married scientist Mickey Pentecost on June 18, 2005.
Speaking Up: She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese. “I spoke it at home with my parents growing up.”
Talking TV: “I MAY DESTROY YOU is so good. It’s Michaela Coel and was on HBO for one season, but was just amazing. I just watched THE BEATLES: GET BACK from Peter Jackson on Disney+. It’s like hanging out with The Beatles every night. You think, ‘This is so boring. No, I’m weirdly enthralled.’ ”
An App for That: “I have Insight Timer on my phone. It’s a meditation app. I have trouble sleeping, and there’s this one guy who sounds like Sean Connery. He puts me in a meditative sleep and helps me get the deepest sleep I’ve ever gotten.”
Cutting Room Floor: Huang was in the film Larry Crowne, although her part got cut. “It was still a week on a set, and Tom Hanks was the director. It was so lovely to see that he really is a very nice person. He knew everybody by name.”
If Tina Huang had to compare her alter ego, Salem’s relentless district attorney, Melinda Trask, to another character in the big, grand acting world, she’d opt for someone at the top of the strong and ruthless heap. “I’m a theater kid, a theater nerd at heart, so I do think of Lady Macbeth often,” she says. “Because ambition is a big part of Melinda. I know that sounds really snooty. But, I mean, who else? Joe Pesci from Goodfellas?”
Nailing the tough-as-nails antagonist has been incredibly easy for Huang. “It’s scary that it’s so natural to jump into that,” she observes. “You can either be upset that you’re such a mean character or you can just enjoy it and live in it for a while. For me, it’s pretty fun. Maybe I’m exorcising my own demons, because I’m such a people pleaser in real life.”
Huang took over the role of Melinda in February 2020, a few short weeks before the Covid shutdown. “I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I said it wasn’t hard,” admits the actress, who had the rug pulled out from under her just as she was acclimating to things. “But it was a challenge I wanted to rise to. It gave me a little time to process a lot of Melinda’s history with her daughter and what happened there. I got to build that world a bit and think of Melinda as a 3D human being.”
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