Brian Tee

Last updated
Brian Tee
Brian Tee 2011 (cropped).jpg
Tee in April 2011
Jae-bum Takata [1]

(1977-03-15) March 15, 1977 (age 41)
Alma mater University of California, Berkeley
Years active2000–present
Spouse(s)Mirelly Taylor

Jaebeom Takata (born March 15, 1977), known professionally as Brian Tee, is a Korean Japanese American actor best known for his role as Kazu in the Nickelodeon Show 'Zoey 101’ and as Dr. Ethan Choi in the NBC medical drama Chicago Med (2015–present).

Korean Americans are Americans of Korean heritage or descent, mostly from South Korea, and with a very small minority from North Korea, China, Japan, and the Post-Soviet states. The Korean American community comprises about 0.6% of the United States population, or about 1.8 million people, and is the fifth largest Asian American subgroup, after the Chinese American, Filipino American, Indian American, and Vietnamese American communities. The U.S. is home to the second largest Korean diaspora community in the world after the People's Republic of China.

Japanese Americans ethnic group

Japanese Americans are Americans who are fully or partially of Japanese descent, especially those who identify with that ancestry, along with their cultural characteristics. Japanese Americans were among the three largest Asian American ethnic communities during the 20th century; but, according to the 2000 census, they have declined in number to constitute the sixth largest Asian American group at around 1.4 million, including those of partial ancestry. According to the 2010 census, the largest Japanese American communities were found in California with 272,528, Hawaii with 185,502, New York with 37,780, Washington with 35,008, Illinois with 17,542, and Ohio with 16,995. Southern California has the largest Japanese American population in North America and the city of Torrance holds the densest Japanese American population in the 48 contiguous states.

NBC American television and radio network

The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial terrestrial television network that is a flagship property of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. The network is headquartered at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, with additional major offices near Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. The network is one of the Big Three television networks. NBC is sometimes referred to as the "Peacock Network", in reference to its stylized peacock logo, introduced in 1956 to promote the company's innovations in early color broadcasting. It became the network's official emblem in 1979.


Early life

Tee was born Jaebeom Takata in Okinawa, to a Korean American (Zainichi Korean) mother and a Japanese American father. [2] [3] At the age of two, he moved to Hacienda Heights, California and was raised in Southern California. He attended Glen A. Wilson High School where he was Associated Student Body president and captain of the football team. While in high school, he worked at Blackjack Pizza.

Koreans in Japan comprise ethnic Koreans who have permanent residency status in Japan or who have become Japanese citizens and whose immigration to Japan originated before 1945 or who are descendents of those immigrants. They are a distinct group from South Korean nationals who have emigrated to Japan after the end of World War II and the division of Korea.

Hacienda Heights, California Census-designated place in California, United States

Hacienda Heights is an unincorporated suburban community and census-designated place in Los Angeles County, California, United States. As of the 2010 census, the community had a total population of 54,038, up from 53,122 at the 2000 census. Hacienda Heights is the second largest census designated place in Los Angeles County by area and the county's second largest CDP by population.

Southern California Place in California, United States

Southern California is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises California's southernmost counties, and is the second most populous urban agglomeration in the United States. The region is traditionally described as eight counties, based on demographics and economic ties: Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura. The more extensive 10-county definition, which includes Kern and San Luis Obispo counties, is also used and is based on historical political divisions.

Tee graduated from University of California, Berkeley with a degree in theater and performing arts. [4] Not long after graduating he adopted his "culturally ambiguous" stage name Brian Tee after being rejected by a Korean director at an audition for having a Japanese last name. [5] [3]

University of California, Berkeley Public university in California, USA

The University of California, Berkeley is a public research university in Berkeley, California. It was founded in 1868 and serves as the flagship institution of the ten research universities affiliated with the University of California system. Berkeley has since grown to instruct over 40,000 students in approximately 350 undergraduate and graduate degree programs covering numerous disciplines.

Performing arts art forms in which artists use their body or voice to convey artistic expression

Performing arts are a form of art in which artists use their voices, bodies or inanimate objects to convey artistic expression. It is different from visual arts, which is when artists use paint, canvas or various materials to create physical or static art objects. Performing arts include a range of disciplines which are performed in front of a live audience.

Stage name pseudonym used by performing artist

A stage name is a pseudonym used by performers and entertainers, such as actors, comedians, singers and musicians. Such titles are adopted for a wide variety of reasons and may be similar or nearly identical to an individual's birth name. In some situations, a performer will eventually adopt his or her title as a legal name, although this is often not the case. Personal names or nicknames that make up the professional name should not necessarily be considered as a "fake name" like Lady Gaga : for example: Miley Cyrus: born Destiny Hope Cyrus, uses her personal nickname "Miley" and her maiden name "Cyrus" as her professional name, in 2018 she legally changed to Miley Ray Hemsworth.


Tee played Kazu, the owner of Sushi Rox, on Nickelodeon's Zoey 101 . He played Eddie Choi in Crash . [6] He also starred as Akira Kimura on Grimm and Takeda on Burn Notice . He also appeared in the season 4 episode "The Girl in the Mask" as Ken Nakamura on the series Bones . He has also played Dwayne Archimedes in the indie Feature film Roswell FM. Tee has also appeared in an episode in the first season of the television series Dark Blue as a Korean criminal. He also had a short part in Austin Powers in Goldmember as a pedestrian ("Run! It's Goldzilla!"; "Still we should run like it is Godzilla!"). Brian can also be seen as a contestant on an episode of Hollywood Squares hosted by Tom Bergeron. He played in 1999 against a woman named Heidi.

<i>Zoey 101</i> television series

Zoey 101 is an American comedy-drama television series created by Dan Schneider that originally aired on Nickelodeon from January 9, 2005 until May 2, 2008. It focuses on the lives of teenager Zoey Brooks, her brother Dustin, and her friends as they attend Pacific Coast Academy (PCA), a fictional boarding school in Southern California. It was initially filmed at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, then at stages in Valencia, California beginning in season 3. It was nominated for an "Outstanding Children's Program" Emmy in 2005. Zoey 101 was the most expensive production ever for a Nickelodeon series, as it was shot completely on location in Malibu, California.

<i>Crash</i> (2008 TV series) American television series of 2008

Crash is an American television drama series set in Los Angeles, California that starred Dennis Hopper and Eric Roberts. It is the first original series produced by the Starz network. The network ordered a 13 episode season which premiered on October 17, 2008. The series is based on the 2004 film of the same title. It was developed for television by Glen Mazzara. In Canada, Crash can be seen on Super Channel. Starz ordered a second season that premiered in September 2009 before concluding in December 2009.

Grimm is an American fantasy police procedural drama television series created by Stephen Carpenter and Jim Kouf & David Greenwalt and produced by Universal Television for NBC. The series aired from October 28, 2011 to March 31, 2017, for 123 episodes, over six seasons. The series' narrative follows Portland Homicide detective Nick Burkhardt, who discovers he is a Grimm, the latest in a line of guardians who are sworn to keep the balance between humanity and mythological creatures, known as Wesen. The series features a supporting cast consisting of Russell Hornsby, Bitsie Tulloch, Silas Weir Mitchell, Sasha Roiz, Reggie Lee, Bree Turner, and Claire Coffee.

Tee was also in the music video "Dance Like Michael Jackson" by Far East Movement.

Far East Movement band

Far East Movement is an American hip hop and electronic music group based in Los Angeles. The group formed in 2003 and as of August 2018 consists of Kev Nish, Prohgress and DJ Virman. Their single "Like a G6", featuring pop-rap duo The Cataracs and singer Dev hit number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 chart and on the iTunes chart in late October 2010, making them the first Asian-American group to earn a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Among their other chart toppers are: "Rocketeer" featuring Ryan Tedder of One Republic, "Turn Up the Love", and their 2012 remix to the song "Get Up (Rattle)" by the Bingo Players, also hit number one on the UK charts.

In James Mangold's The Wolverine (2013), starring Hugh Jackman, Tee played Noburo Mori, a sadistic minister of justice arranged to marry the daughter of Yakuza Boss Shingen Yashida (Hiroyuki Sanada). [7]

James Mangold Film director, screenwriter

James Mangold is an American film and television director, screenwriter and producer. He is best known for directing the films Cop Land (1997), Girl, Interrupted (1999), Kate & Leopold (2001), Walk the Line (2005), 3:10 to Yuma (2007), and Knight and Day (2010). Mangold also directed the superhero films based on the Marvel Comics character Wolverine, The Wolverine (2013) and Logan (2017), the latter of which earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

<i>The Wolverine</i> (film) 2013 superhero film directed by James Mangold

The Wolverine is a 2013 superhero film featuring the Marvel Comics character Wolverine. The film, distributed by 20th Century Fox, is the sixth installment in the X-Men film series and the second film of the Wolverine solo film series. Hugh Jackman reprises his role from previous films as the title character, with James Mangold directing a screenplay written by Scott Frank and Mark Bomback, based on the 1982 limited series Wolverine by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller. In the film, which follows the events of X-Men: The Last Stand, Logan travels to Japan, where he engages an old acquaintance in a struggle that has lasting consequences. Stripped of his healing factor, Wolverine must battle deadly samurai while struggling with guilt over Jean Grey's death.

Hugh Jackman Australian actor and producer

Hugh Michael Jackman is an Australian actor, singer, and producer. Jackman has won international recognition for his roles in a variety of film genres. He is known for his long-running role as Wolverine in the X-Men film series which he holds the Guinness World Record of longest career as a live-action Marvel superhero for. He is also recognized for his lead roles in films such as the romantic-comedy fantasy Kate & Leopold (2001), the action-horror film Van Helsing (2004), the magic-themed drama The Prestige (2006), the epic fantasy drama The Fountain (2006), the epic historical romantic drama Australia (2008), the film version of Les Misérables (2012), the thriller Prisoners (2013), and the musical The Greatest Showman (2017) which he received a Grammy Award for Best Soundtrack Album. His work in Les Misérables earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and his second Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy in 2013.

Tee took on the role of Liu Kang in the YouTube series Mortal Kombat Legacy . [8]

Tee appeared in the made-for-television film The Gabby Douglas Story on October 18, 2013, where he played her coach Liang Chow, which aired in 2014 on Lifetime.

Tee co-starred in the 2015 film Jurassic World where he played Hamada, a high-ranking commander who works for the Asset Containment Unit (ACU). [9]

Tee played Shredder in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows , the 2016 sequel to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles where the role was previously portrayed by Tohoru Masamune. [10] [11]

On July 20, 2015, Tee signed on to co-star in the NBC medical drama Chicago Med as Dr. Ethan Choi. [12] He had previously appeared on its sister show Chicago P.D. as a Chinese gangster in season 2.

Personal life

Besides English, Tee speaks fluent Japanese and Korean. [13] He is married to actress Mirelly Taylor and has a daughter named Madelyn Skyler Tee, born in 2015. [14]



2002 We Were Soldiers Pfc. Jimmy Nakayama
2002 Austin Powers in Goldmember Japanese Pedestrian
2005 Fun with Dick and Jane Sushi Chef
2006All InRosenbloom Player 2
2006 The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift Takashi "D.K."
2007 Pandemic Danny Miniseries
2007 Finishing the Game Mac Chang
2008The TradeMr. Cho
2009Chain LetterBrian Yee
2009Wedding PalaceJason
2013 The Wolverine Noburo Mori
2014The Gabby Douglas Story Liang Chow
2014 No Tears for the Dead Chaoz
2015 Jurassic World Hamada
2016 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Oroku Saki/The Shredder


2000 The Pretender Male AgentEpisode: "The Agent of Year Zero"
2000 The Invisible Man MallonEpisode: "The Value of Secrets"
2000 Buffy the Vampire Slayer InternEpisode: "Family"
2001 Family Law DEA AgentEpisode: "Liar's Club: Part 1"
200118 Wheels of JusticeHostEpisode: "The Game"
2001 The Chronicle NeoEpisode: "Here There Be Dragons"
2002FlipsideLanceEpisode: "Pilot"
2003 JAG North Korean SoldierEpisode: "Close Quarters"
2004 Passions Young Asian Man1 episode
2004 Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation Cpl. Thom KobeTelevision film
2004 Cracking Up Frat Guy #1Episode: "Daddy's Home"
2004 Monk James LuEpisode: "Mr. Monk Meets the Godfather"
2004 Tiger Cruise MA2 ChanTelevision film
2005–06 Zoey 101 Kazu3 episodes
2005 Without a Trace KirkEpisode: "Transitions"
2005 Wanted Jin-Lee ParkEpisode: "Rubbing One Out"
2006 The Unit Rebel LeaderEpisode: "200th Hour"
2006 Entourage Fukijama's BodyguardEpisode: "What About Bob?"
2007 Grey's Anatomy Andy Meltzer2 episodes
2008 Jericho CheungEpisode: "Patriots and Tyrants"
2008–09 Crash Eddie Choi13 episodes
2009 Lie to Me Han Yong-DaeEpisode: "Love Always"
2009 Bones Ken NakamuraEpisode: "The Girl in the Mask"
2009 Dark Blue KangEpisode: "K-Town"
2010 Sym-Bionic Titan Mike Chan (voice)Episode: "Roar of the White Dragon"
2011 Burn Notice TakedaEpisode: "Bloodlines"
2012–13 Grimm Akira Kimura3 episodes
2012 Shake It Up Concierge"Made in Japan"
2013 Hawaii Five-0 Ryu Nabushi/Hideaki KurodaEpisode: "Kupouli 'la"
2014 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Toshiro MoriEpisode: "A Fractured House"
2014 Chicago P.D. Jesse KongEpisode: "The Three Gs"
2015 Baby Daddy Tommy KwanEpisode: "It Takes a Village Idiot"
2015–present Chicago Med Dr. Ethan Choi Series regular
2016–present Chicago Fire Dr. Ethan ChoiRecurring character
2016–present Chicago P.D. Dr. Ethan ChoiRecurring character
2018 Lucifer Ben RogersEpisode: "Once Upon a Time"


2013 Mortal Kombat: Legacy Liu Kang 4 episodes

Video games

2008 Saints Row 2 Jyunichi (voice)

Music videos

2006"Conteo" Don Omar
2008"Dance Like Michael Jackson" Far East Movement

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  1. Han, Brian (15 January 2015). "'Jurassic World' actor Brian Tee feels 'career starting to hit stride'". The Korea Times. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  2. Sanders, David Lee (29 September 2009). "Interview with Brian Tee". Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  3. 1 2 Weik, Taylor (August 1, 2017). "From 'The Fast And The Furious' To 'Chicago Med,' Actor Brian Tee Is Paving His Own Path". NBC.
  4. Interview with Brian Tee
  5. "'Jurassic World' actor Brian Tee feels 'career starting to hit stride'". The Korea Times . January 15, 2015.
  6. interviews Brian Tee of Crash, 13/12/2008
  7. indieWire, Brian Tee Joins The Wolverine,, 10/07/2012
  8. "Web Series 'Mortal Kombat: Legacy 2′ Hitting February 17th". Latino Review. Archived from the original on 2012-12-06. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
  9. Reera Yoo, "Brian Tee Cast as 'Hamada' in Jurassic World" Archived 2014-11-30 at the Wayback Machine
  10. Prudom, Laura (April 27, 2015). "'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2' Casts Brian Tee as Shredder". Variety.
  11. Gomez, Luis (November 11, 2015). "Interview: Brian Tee says his Shredder in 'Ninja Turtles' sequel is 'more grounded in reality'". Chicago Tribune .
  12. Kate Stanhope (July 20, 2015). "'Chicago Med' Adds 'Jurassic World' Actor as Series Regular'". The Hollywood Reporter.
  13. "Chicago Med's Brian Tee: Balance Is the Key to Life". Parade . November 9, 2016.
  14. "Brian Tee Welcomes Daughter Madelyn Skyler". People . August 13, 2015.