Actor Bee Vang took an unexpected and unusual route to Hollywood. The son of immigrant Hmongs, Vang was born in California and grew up with his large extended family around him before his immediate family relocated to Minnesota. There a high school teacher encouraged Vang to explore his artistic side and, under her guidance, he began studying the piano and viola. After his parents expressed their fear of his pursuing a career in such a competitive field as classical music, Vang turned to another interest, medicine. Vang volunteered at several hospitals, eventually earning a nursing assistant certificate. Still attracted by the arts, Vang returned to his creative interests and served an internship with a local Hmong filmmaker. When a newspaper advertisement announced a casting call for teen Hmong actors to appear in a feature film, Vang sent in his profile on impulse. Stunned to receive a request to audition, after trying out for the film he was told he had won a leading role co-starring with director Clint Eastwood in his production of "Gran Torino." Although his parents were concerned by the influence this experience might have on him, they agreed to Vang's participation in the film. For Vang, it was a learning experience both in developing as an actor and getting accustomed to the motion picture business. Since Vang's debut in a high-profile film, he has appeared in a small role in the hugely popular sitcom "Modern Family."