12/24/2013 11:43 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How Actress & Billionaire Heiress Josie Ho Won Her Family Feud


Josie Ho is a multi-awarding winning / nominated actress and stars opposite Sharlto Copley in the suspense thriller "OPEN GRAVE" directed by Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego ("Apollo 18"). Visit Josie's website.

Josie Ho may look like a delicate butterfly, but she's one sweet cookie that will not crumble. Aside from being named to Forbes list of 20 Most Intriguing Billionaire Heiresses, Josie is an accomplished actress, has a band and is also known as a trendsetter in Asia.

Josie's family has a financial background, so you can imagine the spinning spiral Josie had to endure when she decided to go into show business.

You're multi-talented, having made seven albums and over 30 movies. How did your band Josie Ho & the Uni Boys come about?

Thank you! I'm flattered. My band came about some 10 years ago. It was my drummer who is also the band leader -- part of the Uni Boys were playing together in sessions; we loved each other's style so we decided to form the band. They even agreed to call the band after my big boy Uni's name. Uni was a tough loving Shitzu puppy -- he was my son.

What was it like working with Director Steven Soderbergh on the film "Contagion" vs. working with Director Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego on "Open Grave"?

I really like to work with different directors and both Steven Soderbergh and Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego have a similar approach to working with actors. I feel that they give actors a lot of freedom. They both asked actors to block their own scenes and then they'd have a camera working with where we wanted to be. I have a lot to learn from that because we don't get so much freedom due to budget in Hong Kong. At times, I felt lost with too much freedom in scenes.

What was your audition like for "Open Grave"?

The audition for the film was done on Skype. Thanks to the internet! I was made aware of the role because of my manager and agent. Then I went to Hungary to meet with Gonzalo, where we did test shots immediately. I wore something warm, I remembered. It was kinda cool there at the time.

How did you overcome family feuds with you wanting to be in the performing business and your family being strict in the finance world?

It was planned. My sister and I set this up. She did all the debate to convince my parents. I shut my mouth. I am not very good at speaking. The whole point was to not send me abroad for university because I could have ended up breaking the law or something along those lines. I'm sort of like the "dangerous personnel" for the family. So, my sister reasoned it out with my parents about letting me stay in Hong Kong; as least they can watch over my back. So they've bought the deal and I stayed and worked.

You weren't always comfortable with your weight as a kid. At what point did you say to yourself that you wanted to change your look?

Are you sure those [pictures] are not photo-shopped?? Haha! Yes, weight loss and dieting seems so addictive to us girls here in Hong Kong. I believe you guys introduced this knowledge to us and now we are abusing it. I changed my weight at a point when an executive from a record company told my sister this comment. I was determined to look normal for them. Never wanna do that again. Losing weight is hell! I'd rather be comfortably chubby. And I admit it; I was ultra-chubby for a Chinese girl even when I was living in Canada.


"Open Grave" was recently released in Italy and is now expanding to the USA via Premium VOD & iTunes (12/31/13) as well as limited theatrical release (1/3/2014) in select markets.

You've also done behind the scenes work in the show business industry. Do you have a preference: being behind or in front of the camera?

Yes, I have done some behind-the-scenes work. My favorite is still working in front though. It's so complicated to work behind and the responsibilities that come along with that can suck. There can be lots of hardships, betrayal and headaches. I prefer to deal with simple things. You give me a job, I show up and work. But the last film that I produced, I got to help out within the promotion department. The most fun thing I enjoyed doing was to pull all of my friends together and sell a proposal to a mall event. I had the promotions guy's card and did something unusual out of desperation. I called him and demanded a meeting with him! It's like as if I am playing 'Josie Ho' now. It's hilarious. Although we lost the deal, I still had the chance to play dress up with executives and did the presentation. I see it as part of my acting skills.

In past photo shoots, you've had your fingernails painted different colors. Is there a specific reason for that?

It was mine and my makeup artist's idea. I thought painting ten fingers the same color could get boring sometimes, so we just decided to try something else. As if a finger and each color sends a message, but really, it had no plan or preconceived reason. We just had this abstract impression going on and played along with it.

Do you have a spouse/partner?

I do have a spouse already! His name is Conroy Chan and we have been together for 13-years now. He is a super simple guy and intelligent at the same time. It was almost love at first sight, but we were intimidated with each other. So we started out as friends. For me, it's love at first sight not daring to touch.

At what time of day do you get your best thinking done?

I'm a mid-day to night person. I cannot function under the sun properly. Maybe I'm a Day Walker.

Anything else you'd like to say?

Please go see "Open Grave"! You might be awakened after you watch this film. It tells you a lot about humanity.