Dustin Nguyen

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Dustin Nguyen

Born

9/17/1962, Saigon, South Vietnam.

Birth Name

Nguyen Xuan Tri

Gender

Male
8.8
out of 10
User Rating
22 votes

Biography

EDIT
Dustin's father was one of the Vietnam's top film and stage actors. Leaving at the last moment, Dustin and his family spent several weeks at sea on a boat with almost 1,000 others. After a stopover in Guam, the family was moved to a refugee camp in Arkansas,…more

Credits

Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Dustin's favorite movie is Enter the Dragon.

    • The episode entitled Christmas In Saigon in series 2 of 21 Jump Street, was based on Dustin's family's escape from Vietnam, on the day Saigon fell in 1975.

    • Dustin is in partnership with designer Jebran, in the line 'Skkin'. The customized leather and silver clothing and accessories line has customers such as Nine Inch Nails, Billy Idol, Godsmack, Slash and Will Smith.

    • Dustin was the face of the Levi Jeans' European "Hero" campaign. It was the first time Levi's had ever used an Asian lead.

    • Dustin enjoys practicing Muay Thai kickboxing.

    • After Dustin graduated high school, he moved to Southern California and attended Orange Coast College and majored in communications.

    • Dustin and his wife, former actress/model Angela Rockwood-Nguyen, have been active in the The Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center since a car accident left Angela a quadriplegic on September 3, 2001.

    • When Dustin told his parents about his inspiration to be an actor, they were disappointed that he would not graduate from college and become an engineer, as they knew firsthand how hard it would be. That then caused a break between them for while, until Dustin began acting in 21 Jump Street. His parents then admitted that they were proud of his accomplishments.

    • After Dustin's English improved, he became the good student he was back in Vietnam. He was still somewhat of an outcast because he was very shy and did not do very well at any American sports. It was then that he started studying martial arts. He excelled in martial arts and got his black belt in tae kwon do at age 17 and continued to study a number of other forms of martial arts over the next few years.

    • When Dustin started school in the 8th grade, he was one of the two Asians at his entire school.

    • After being relocated within the U.S. several times, Dustin and his family were eventually sent to live with a family in Kirkwood, Missouri. During that time Dustin's parents worked as a janitor and a cleaning lady, while Dustin learned English by watching Sesame Street. After a year of living in Kirkwood, the family bought a house of their own. They were the first Vietnamese family in the area.

    • When Dustin was still in Vietnam in April of '75, the communists struck and Dustin and his family were forced to flee to the beaches of Vung Tau. There thousands of families were bombarded by gunshots. Dustin was not with his family during the shooting, but he was with his best friend. They were both running towards the water and the American ships when Dustin turned and saw that his best friend had been shot and killed by a communist soldier. Dustin continued into the water until he got to a ship and later was relieved to be able to meet with the rest of his family members.

    • Dustin was an excellent student who was fluent in Vietnamese and French. He tested in the top five percent of students competing for entrance to the best public high schools.

    • Dustin's favorite show as a child was The Donny & Marie Show.

    • Dustin's favorite food is Pho, a Vietnamese noodle soup.

    • Dustin's favorite animal is the black panther.

    • Dustin's favorite color is black.

    • Dustin's mother My Le, was an actress and dancer, while his father, Xuan Phat, was an actor, writer and producer in South Vietnam. Dustin has one younger sibling - a brother.

  • Quotes

    • Dustin: (on getting injured in a fight scene on V.I.P.) The fellow I was fighting was a good friend of mine. We try to kick each other's legs out. On the fourth take, we were coming down from being airborne and he landed on top of my foot! My weight crashed to the inside and the knee collapsed. From the knee down, nothing could move, so the knee snapped out of the joint ... there was this explosion of pain. Of course my friend, who I was fighting with, felt awful! They rushed me to the emergency room and Angela [Dustin's wife] was there.

    • Dustin: (on being a teen idol on 21 Jump Street) Well, it was the second season of the show, and all this fan mail would come in. I remember we made our first public appearance for a photograph session inside a mall, and, you know, it was out of control. I've never experienced anything like that before. When we came out, people were screaming and totally going ballistic. People were saying, "Oh, I idolize you," and, you know, that's great. What's not great about that? But what's so confusing is that no one teaches you how to react to things like this. Johnny [Depp] was obviously the real heartthrob of the show, but the guys on the show were a tight-knit group so there was no rivalry. We all just felt, "Geez, people love us." And, for me, people said, "Wow, it's great to see an Asian on TV." And I thought that was great too.

    • Dustin: (on acting) I like the feeling of being able to express myself in a way that I normal couldn't as a person, because intrinsically I'm very shy. Acting opened up a lot of emotional discovery for me in terms of who I am as a person. I'm a lot more comfortable, playing a character. To me, it's about the study of the self and how you relate to another human being.

    • Dustin: (on his favourite 21 Jump Street episode) There were a lot of good ones. I think the one I remember the most was the one that focused on date rape. Where Holly Robinson's character had been date raped once. That's hard to say, but I would mention that episode. We did one on a kid that contracted AIDS that was quite touching as well.

    • Dustin: (on his favourite martial arts movie of all-time) Enter the Dragon. No doubt. In my opinion, it's the Gone With the Wind of martial arts movies. My second favorite - although it's a totally different - is Jackie Chan's Drunken Master, Part 2. It's unbelievable.

    • Dustin: (on filming a love scene with Cate Blanchett in Little Fish) I had about half a bottle of red wine and it kind of took the edge off me.

    • Dustin: (on filming a love scene with Cate Blanchett in Little Fish) I would have probably felt better if I'd had a body double, ... But I figured if Cate was game...I certainly wasn't going to be a wimp about it.

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