Actor James Hong Moves TV Host to Tears in Heartfelt Conversation About Her Dad

Katie Phang Tearing Up During Interview with James Hong

Photo: Screenshot from MSNBC

When an actor goes on an interview news show, we don't expect the conversation to delve too emotionally deep. But that wasn’t the case in a recent interview between MSNBC host Katie Phang and veteran actor James Hong. Phang was chatting with the 94-year-old on her titular show, fresh off Hong's win at the 95th Academy Awards for the film Everything Everywhere All at Once. While much of their discussion spoke of his seven-decades-long career, the touching conversation got more personal, eventually leading Phang to tears.

The interview began with the two Asian Americans talking about Hong’s Oscar win and reflecting on how far he—and entertainment culture at large—had come since he first began acting in 1954.

Near the end of the conversation, Phang asked Hong about his children and grandchildren, commenting on how proud they must be of him. Hong then asked Phang about her father, and if he’s been able to see her break her barriers. “Did your father see you as you are now, the moderator, the only Asian with her own name on a program?”

“No, and I’m actually getting choked up,” Phang replied. She shared, wiping away tears, that her dad died of Alzheimer's disease and Lewy body dementia on Father's Day in 2019. “…so he never got to see me do this.” Phang added, “But I know he was proud of me.”

Hong responded with comfort and compassion. “I would be,” he replied. “You are doing a great job. I'm sure your father—and I, being a father—would be very proud of our children stepping forward, you know? Carrying our name forward.”

The segment ended with heartfelt thanks from Phang. “Thank you so much, and I'm sorry for crying!” Phang said. “But it really does move me to spend this time with you.”

Watch the moving exchange below.

Television host and commentator Katie Phang became choked up in a heartfelt conversation with 94-year-old actor James Hong. Watch a clip of it:

h/t: [People]

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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