HomeEntertainment‘9-1-1’ Star Kenneth Choi Ran Away from Home to Begin Acting Career

‘9-1-1’ Star Kenneth Choi Ran Away from Home to Begin Acting Career

by Taylor Cunningham
(Photo by FOX Image Collection via Getty Images)

From a young age, 9-1-1 star Kenneth Choi knew he wanted to be an actor. But his family disapproved of the Hollywood lifestyle. So he ran away from home.

Kenneth Choi was raised by an “extremely conservative, uber-traditional Korean father,” who wanted his son to go to college and then spend his life working a 9-5 job. But Choi had stars in his eyes—he wanted to head to Hollywood instead.

So as Choi recounted to NPR, one night, he said “‘Hey dad, I know what I want to do for the rest of my life. I want to be an actor.'”

“And I remember we were standing in the kitchen and he looked at me with this discerning look that he’s given me my entire youth,” he continued. “And he said, ‘I cannot believe one of my sons would say something so stupid.’ “

Without the support of his family, The Wolf of Wall Street star decided to give up his dream. So when it was time for college, he begrudgingly enrolled at Purdue University with the goal of becoming an accountant.

But before long, Choi realized he’d be miserable living his father’s dream. So he dropped out of school and ran away to Portland. Then eventually, he moved to LA.

“[I] Didn’t tell my parents, I didn’t tell my brothers, I didn’t tell any relatives, I didn’t tell any of my close friends that they knew,” Choi remembered. “The entire time I was in Portland, which was the five years, I had absolutely no contact with any of my family.”

While Kenneth Choi was in Portland, he worked at a Blockbuster to put himself through acting school, which paid off. The actor went on to star in the Marvel Franchise and is now a fan-favorite actor on 9-1-1.

One Special Moment Perfectly Depicted Hen and Chimney’s Friendship on‘9-1-1’

Hen and Chimney’s relationship on 9-1-1 is one of the best storylines in the series. The two have a bond that’s strong both in and out of the firehouse.

And according to Chimney’s actor Kenneth Choi, one on-screen moment perfectly captured the friendship.

“That scene outside the ambulance [in Season 4 Episode 4] is a perfect depiction of Hen and Chimney’s relationship. After Hen realizes who Chimney’s secret is about, he feels awful for keeping that secret from his best friend,” he told TV Insider last February.

“And Hen knows that if she pries even just a little bit, he will fold like a cheap suit,” Choi continued. “It sounds as if she is telling him that she doesn’t want that burden of also knowing the secret, but in reality, she is supporting him by allowing him to keep his promise. That scene is about friendship and camaraderie and what we do for our friends to allow them to be the best version of themselves. I love their relationship!”