The sky’s the proverbial limit for Sky Yang, having landed the starring role in Fast & Furious franchise director Justin Lin’s The Last Days Of John Allen Chau, a personal project about a real-life missionary who set out to contact an isolated tribe living under protection on an island in the Indian Ocean. “It’s a big shift for him, back to his indie roots,” says Yang of Lin.

The south Londoner graduated from the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art in 2020, and has been playing make-believe for as long as he can remember. “As a kid, I was always trying to be someone else, to reinvent myself in a way that would make me cooler or more exciting.”

Yang jumped into acting after starring in a school production of Peter Pan, be it youth theatre, school plays or drama A-level. A Saturday class at Sylvia Young Theatre School landed him an agent, a role in Madam Butterfly in the West End, and a video-game job. Aged 17, he spent a month in South Africa on the 2018 Tomb Raider reboot but did not enjoy the experience. “That directed me towards drama school. I wanted to be someone who has agency on set.”

While appearing in Nicholas Hytner’s Book Of Dust at London’s Bridge Theatre, Yang auditioned for Zack Snyder’s upcoming Netflix sci-fi feature Rebel Moon, then spent nine months shooting in Los Angeles.

Yang also makes short films. Sunny, a spoken-word piece about “growing up East Asian and being told you should feel ashamed of where you come from”, in which he wears a yellow papier-mâché head, was released during the pandemic. “It seemed to affect a large number of people, and made them feel less alone and also made me feel less alone,” Yang says.

Film community organisation MilkTea - founded by 2021 Star Chi Thai - asked him to perform Sunny live at London’s BFI Southbank before a screening of Lin’s Better Luck Tomorrow in January, where Yang met the director and hit it off. A month later he was auditioning for The Last Days Of John Allen Chau. “This project has flipped a lot of my perspectives and beliefs and feelings about the world and people,” Yang says.

Contact: Humphrey Hendrix, Independent Talent