Katie Chang plays The Bling Ring's teen-gang leader


She once dreamed of being a fashion designer. But acting tipped the scales for this Illinois native, who's one-quarter Korean.



In the news in May, when she made her debut at Cannes Film Festival, sharing the limelight with her The Bling Ring director Sofia Coppola and co-star Emma Watson.

The Bling Ring opens here on Thursday.



There's certainly something about this pretty 18-year-old that caught Coppola's eyes. In her audition tape, Chang rattled on about dinosaurs and her love for palaeontology - and she was asked to meet Coppola.

Three months later, she found herself in her first lead role.

There's substance behind the pretty face too. Chang trained for five years at her hometown Actors Training Center, honing her techniques. She's also a brainiac of sorts, having been accepted into Ivy league college Columbia University in New York City to study creative writing.


Based on true events, The Bling Ring sees Chang playing Rebecca, leader of a teenage gang that walks casually into Hollywood celebrities' homes and leaves with US$3 million (S$3.8 million) worth of designer goods, jewellery, art and more.



On her character Rebecca

"She's the wild child, very manipulative and selfish. She's just a girl who desperately hates herself and thinks that these possessions are going to validate her."

On perks of starring in The Bling Ring

"As we filmed, the wardrobe changed from (high street brands) Zara and H&M to (branded) stuff like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana! I had to return everything, but I got to keep these amazing Tory Burch moccasins that I wear every day now."

On why she shies away from the limelight

"I can understand the allure of it. You have to cut yourself off from the craziness and the lifestyle early, or it's going to completely consume you. I want to stay centred. (The Bling Ring) is the poster child for what could go wrong if you don't."

Get The New Paper for more stories.