Born in Vietnam after his ethnic Chinese parents fled there from Cambodia in 1975 during its civil war, he was taken to Paris as a six-month-old baby and has been living there since. After studying to be an engineer, Frederic Chau worked as a flight attendant for his first job, before deciding at age 26 to study theatre.
He began as a stand-up comic, working for four years with actor-comedian Jamel Debbouze.
Since 2008, he has appeared in TV series and movies, including small parts in five Luc Besson films. "It's the first time I did my two jobs at the same time," he jokes about his flight attendant character in this year's Lucy, opposite Scarlett Johansson.
As a tribute to his parents, Frederic Chau is writing a book about their lives, with the hope of one day developing it into a movie. While that might have seemed a distant prospect a year ago, Serial (Bad) Weddings has made it a concrete possibility.
Opportunities that have recently opened to Frederic Chau include the chance to develop his own movie: he will take the lead role in Made in China, a film he wrote himself. "It is the first comedy that talks about Chinese people living in France," he says.
Edmund Lee - South China Morning Post