Born and raised in Malaysia, Samantha is an international actress, writer, director and dancer now based in Los Angeles after working in London and New York City. She is the first Malaysian in history to become a Lifetime Member of The Actors Studio, led by co-presidents Ellen Burstyn, Al Pacino and Alec Baldwin in NYC and co-associate Artistic Directors Lou Antonio and Salome Jens in West Hollywood. She is a recent recipient of the "Artist of Extraordinary Ability" green card.
Samantha is the writer, director, producer and star of the short film Ally Chia, a dramatic comedy loosely based on her real life experiences as a struggling chef. The film was shot in one day with an all-female crew, and is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Ally Chia marked Samantha’s first original script and directorial debut, and was also a second-rounder for the MACRO Episodic Lab powered by The Black List. The short was made as a proof-of-concept for a TV series which she is currently developing.
Prior to this, Samantha was the first Malaysian in history to be accepted into the Actors Studio Drama School program in NYC, where she trained for 3 years in the modern Method and graduated with an MFA in Acting. She made headlines when she succeeded in raising $105,000 in 2 weeks via an unprecedented viral fundraising campaign to pay her tuition and secure her foreign student visa. She is still amazed and grateful to this day for the generous souls all around the world who donated and made her studies possible.
Samantha is known for her deep emotional range and versatility across genres, as well as her unique physical gifts as a highly trained dancer, rhythmic gymnast and kickboxer. She is also multi-lingual and speaks fluent Malay and basic Cantonese, Hokkien and Mandarin.
Notable UK credits include High School Musical (original London cast), The King & I (Royal Albert Hall) alongside Daniel Dae Kim, Bizet's Carmen at the O2 Arena, the BRIT Awards, and the 2012 London Olympics Closing Ceremony, where she was a featured dancer behind Russell Brand watched by an estimated TV audience of 750 million worldwide.
She is currently represented in Los Angeles by 3G Management and Jana Luker Agency (theatrical and commercial), and Rothman Brecher Ehrich Livingston (literary).