EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Star Donald Heng Talks about his role on tv shows Tracker, Virgin River and Hallmark’s movies – WATCH

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We at Survived The Shows had the pleasure of chatting with actor Donald Heng, star of tv shows like Tracker and Virgin River.

Donald’s Bio

Donald has already had a busy year in 2024. Earlier this year, Donald guest starred in 3 different network shows: CBS’ Tracker, The CW’s Family Law, and ABC’s The Good Doctor.  In the 2nd episode of 2024’s biggest network show, Tracker, entitled Missoula, Donald portrays Jackson Cheong opposite Justin Hartley (This is Us, Smallville) as an accountant who has recently cut ties with his family and joins a cult. Jackson’s parents hire Colton Shaw (Justin Hartley) and successfully track him down, discovering that Jackson may or may not be there of his own free will.

In the season premiere of the final season of The Good Doctor, Donald plays Owen Pierce, a father whose son urgently needs a heart transplant. In season 3 of Family Law, Donald was cast as Theo Leung, a man who becomes entangled in an inheritance dispute with his sister soon after their father passes away.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Star Donald Heng Talks about his role on tv shows Tracker, Virgin River and Hallmark’s movies – WATCH

Most recently, Donald also appeared in a supporting role opposite Emmy-award-winning actor Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) as Dr. Berton in the indie black comedy American Dreamer, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

The film also stars Academy Award winner Shirley MacLaine, Academy-Award-nominated actor Matt Dillon, and Danny Glover. Furthermore, he recently wrapped filming in an undisclosed role in the highly anticipated upcoming sci-fi blockbuster film Tron: Ares (Jared Leto, Greta Lee).

In 2022-2023, Donald had a 7-episode recurring Guest Star role as Anthony Chan in The CW’s Kung Fu. Anthony is introduced as the district supervisor of Chinatown, running for re-election. He is a family friend of Tzi Ma’s (Rush Hour, Arrival) character “Jin.” They are initially allies fighting for the exact cause until Jin discovers Anthony is being blackmailed, pitting them into a campaign against one another in the upcoming election.

Also, in 2023, Donald was cast as one of the leads in Hallmark Channel’s movie Retreat to You. In it, Donald plays a chef at a resort who falls in love with MeganHeffern’s (Wynona Earp) character.

Throughout his career, Donald has had a leading role in an episode of the CW’s Two Sentence Horror Stories and other guest star spots, including roles on the CW’s The Flash, CBS’ Ransom, and CityTV’s The Murders. He also has a recurring role as George on one of Netflix’s most popular shows, Virgin River.

On the big screen, Donald has appeared in a supporting role alongside Milo Ventimiglia (This is Us, Gilmore Girls) in Fox Studio’s The Art of Racing in the Rain. He was also thrilled to appear alongside some of Asia’s biggest stars for the project Fatal Visit (Sammi Cheng, Tong Dawei, Charlene Choi), in a role where Donald only speaks Mandarin and Cantonese for the first time on screen.

Find full interview in the video below!

Donald, can you tell us about your character Jackson Cheong in ‘Tracker’ and what drew you to this role?

He was a different character. He’s an accountant who grew up under the shadow of his parents and very babied. And when he meets a girl who is older than him, he falls in love with her and he eventually joins a cult. And so his parents, because of their son just suddenly disappearing, decide to hire Colton Shaw, who is played by Justin Hartley on the show Tracker. He goes and he tracks me down and he finds me in this cult. And he talks to me, thinking that I don’t actually want to be there and that I am coerced into being there. But then he finds out that I, in fact, am very happy being there.

It’s the first time, I guess, in Jackson’s life where he is able to feel any sort of independence and under, not under, the watch of his parents. And essentially he’s brainwashed. So that’s a character. The show itself, obviously, in the USA and Canada, it’s one of the biggest shows of the year. Not sure if everyone who was involved in it really thought it was going to be this popular, but I’m very happy to hear that it was. I also heard if you guys watched the whole show, Jensen Ackles from Supernatural also made a few appearances and played Justin, Colton’s brother and I think that it was so well received that there are little talks about whether he should have his own show. So that’s pretty cool. I know that they have a second season coming now.

You’ve had a recurring role as George on ‘Virgin River.’ How has it been being part of such a beloved show?

That one was a surprise. Honestly, when I worked on it, I don’t think that I realized how big of a show it was or that it was going to be. As small as that role was I’m not in it a lot. Right? I’m in four episodes, but I don’t have a huge part. I get recognized for that sometimes more than anything else I’ve ever done. And that just means people, so many people will watch that show. I think it’s one of Netflix’s most successful shows, at least here in Canada and the US. I don’t know what it’s like in Italy. It’s cool. I mean, but I’ve seen time. It’s a weird feeling because at the time of shooting it, I didn’t know how big it was. And it’s only when I left the show that in the next few seasons, it really blew up.

In ‘Retreat to You,’ you play a chef who falls in love. How did you approach bringing this romantic story to life?

This was a fun role to do. We shot this in Calgary in a very beautiful resort. As you can see, we actually shot in that resort most of the time. That character is really about, and it was a first for me. And honestly, I don’t feel like I’m really critical of my own work, actually. When I watch myself, I constantly look at things I can improve. And things that I didn’t prepare properly for, or maybe I made the wrong choice at the time. That character was really. I played him like someone who, I guess he knew that he was. He just knows that the girl likes him, and so he likes to kind of like he knows, but he doesn’t show it.

He tries not to outwardly show it is really where I went with him. And there’s different ways you can play. You can play it like he’s genuinely, really into her.

And I feel like it could have been different. I feel like there’s opportunity where I could have been more genuinely interested in who she was rather than like. I know she thinks I’m attractive or whatever. But in Hallmark movies, the reason why they’re so fun to do is because they’re just more simple in terms of characters. You know what’s gonna happen, that it’s gonna be a happy ending and that they’re gonna end up together.

And so, I feel like he’s probably more of a simple character compared to when you ask me a question, about Jackson in Tracker. There’s almost no conflict in those kind of movies. Nothing really bad is gonna really, really happen. So I don’t really want to say there’s not much prepared for, but I would say that there’s less to prepare for in a role like that versus something in Tracker.

The interview with Donald Heng has been edited and condensed for lenght and clarity. Watch the full video interview at the top of the article!

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Desirèe

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