‘9-1-1’ Star Kenneth Choi Starred Alongside Matthew McConaughey in Box Office Smash

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by FOX Image Collection via Getty Images)

Prior to starring on Fox’s hit series 9-1-1, Kenneth Choi starred alongside Matthew McConaughey in Martin Scorsese’s box office hit The Wolf of Wall Street.

According to IMDb, the 9-1-1 actor played Chester Ming in The Wolf of Wall Street. During an interview with NextShark, Choi shared more details about his character in the film. “Chester Ming is a bit of an enforcer of Leo [DiCaprio’s] character,” Choi explained. “So it was important for him to have some real heft.”

The 9-1-1 star also stated that he actually gained 25 pounds for the role. “But it wasn’t enough. So, in the end, they had a fat suit made for me,” Choi admitted. He then said that Chester was one o the big guys in the room. “He doesn’t need to say or do much to be a presence. And I especially wanted to approach the funny moments with the same subtlety.”

Choi further explained that he was cast with a group of actors who had very strong comedy and improv backgrounds. “I do not. So, for me, I needed to find the funny in the real moments of whatever situation. Play them as real as possible. And, hopefully, I could be funny. I think I achieved that.”

In regards to working alongside DiCaprio and Scorsese on the film, the 9-1-1 castmate stated that the duo is at the top of their games for good reason. “Amazingly talented! And, at the same time, both are very gracious and generous. They were both very accessible and made everyone around them feel at ease.”

‘9-1-1’ Star Kenneth Choi Reveals What His Father Told Him When He said He Wanted to Act 

During an interview with NPR in 2015, the 9-1-1 star recalled how his father reacted when he told him he wanted to go into acting. “So I told my extremely conservative, Uber-traditional Korean father, ‘Hey Dad, I know what I want to do for the rest of my life. I want to be an actor.’”

Well, that didn’t go as well as the 9-1-1 cast member thought it would. “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. And he said, ‘I cannot believe one of my sons would say something so stupid.’”

Refusing to give up on his acting dreams, Choi revealed he actually ran away from home.  He purchased a one-way ticket for Greyhound and went to Portland then Hollywood. “[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 went on to add that went five years with absolutely no contact with his family.