Brad on General Hospital
Parry Shen's portrayal of gay, aggressive lab tech Brad Cooper on General Hospital has been that of a blackmailing sleaze. As with many " bad" characters in soap operas, the character is beginning to mellow. He's shown vulnerability, and he is anxious to prove himself a good person to Felix. The big barrier to that is that Felix and others believe he is the father of Britt's baby, Ben, and isn't supporting the baby or paying any attention to him.
On November 26, Brad returned to his old ways, threatening Britt. It seems that ingrained habits take some time to disappear.
Not How He Seems
Parry Shen is a highly experienced performer. And he is a surprising person because watching him in his General Hospital role, one can really believe his sleazism.
How about this? The actor has been married for eleven years and has two daughters. He speaks at universities about the work of an actor and the challenges facing an Asian American actor. He is the co-author of a graphic novel, Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology, published by The New Press.
Here's another shocker - he's forty years old! Shen was born in Queens, New York, on June 26, 1973, to a businessman father and a nurse mother. He attended the State University of New York at Buffalo until 1995 and worked with incoming freshmen, helping them with orientation. He would put them at ease with his imitation of Jason Priestley as Brandon Walsh on Beverly Hills 90210.
As an actor, he started out singing "Give My Regards to Broadway" on an episode of Caroline in the City in 1997, then moved on to appearances on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Suddenly Susan, Beverly Hills 90210, Malibu CA, The King of Queens, Chicago Hope, NCIS, Criminal Minds, and dozens of other shows. When he wasn't on prime time shows, he was in prime time commercials, for Stouffer's Lasagna, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Tacoma, the Webvan, Circuit City, Alltel, Heineken, and Dell.
In 2002, Shen starred in the acclaimed film Better Luck Tomorrow for MTV Films, playing the head of an Asian American group of what we used to call "brains" (smart kids) who take to crime. Critic Roger Ebert said the film "depicts a chilling hidden side of suburban affluence," giving it four out of four stars. Of Shen, he wrote, "Parry Shen gives a watchful and wary undertone to his all-American boy."
Shen followed up with The New Guy in 2002 and became part of the Hatchet horror film series, Hatchet I (2006), Hatchet II (2010), and Hatchet III (2013), doing a different role in each film. In between, he kept mighty busy with prime time television appearances and voiceovers for video games (Sleeping Dogs, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, and Far Cry 3. He also did the Cantonese looping for the Chinatown section for Spiderman 2.
In 2014, he will make his debut as producer. The film is Unidentified, which Shen also wrote. In 2012, he appeared in a romantic comedy, Yes, We're Open.
Shen's attitude is that acting is a business. He believes in marketing himself as a product and passing along his knowledge to others. He understands that you can't sit back and wait for your agent to call or for someone to just hand you a job while you're sitting at home watching television. No, this guy is a go-getter. His tremendous energy and teaching have brought him to the attention of Entertainment Tonight and Extra on TV, and in print in Rolling Stone, People, and the Wall Street Journal.
Currently, Shen has a good gig on General Hospital, but in 2013 alone, besides Unidentified and Hatchet III, he appears in two other films, Starting from Scratch and Chink.
Shen and his wife Kim, a fourth grade teacher, live in the Los Angeles area with their two daughters, Avery & Kori.
You can expect to see lots more of this hardworking actor, on GH and elsewhere.