Brenda Song (born March 27, 1988) is an American actress of Hmong and Thai descent, active since the mid-1990s. She is best known as one of the most popular and longest-serving female stars from Disney Channel. During her rise to fame in the mid-to-late 2000s, she was described as one of "young Hollywood’s most promising rising stars" and a "young phenomenon on the rise" by media outlets. TV Guide listed her in its 2008 list of "13 Hottest Young Stars to Watch".
Song's most famous role is the Asian Airhead heiress London Tipton in The Suite Life series; she also appeared in Disney works including Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior (as Wendy Wu), Phil of the Future (as Tia), and Get a Clue (as Jennifer). Later roles of Song's included the girlfriend of Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) in The Social Network, Alissa on ABC's Scandal, Veronica in dads, and Anne Boonchuy in Amphibia. She has also acted in video games, appearing as Kaitlyn in The Quarry.
Between 2007 and 2008, Song was also the host of the first two seasons of the short-form Disney Channel series Pass the Plate, which "aims to inspire kids and preteens to lead a healthier lifestyle by sharing cultural and historical facts about food and cooking". In 2011, she appeared in a series of ads promoting healthy living starring Michelle Obama and several Disney Channel stars.
Song was in an on-and-off relationship with Metro Station frontman Trace Cyrus (who is the brother of Miley Cyrus) from 2010 to 2017, with the two being engaged from 2011 to 2012. She later entered a relationship with Macaulay Culkin in 2017; they have two children, the first born in April 2021 and the second in December 2022.
Brenda Song exhibits these tropes:
- Asian Airhead: Is usually typecast as this.
- Badass Adorable: Several of her characters; in real life, Song holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
- Genius Ditz: If she's playing an Asian Airhead, this comes into play sooner or later.
- Irony as She Is Cast: She's typecast as an Asian Airhead, but she got into Harvard at sixteen.
- Ms. Fanservice/Parent Service: Especially with some of London's more skimpy outfits.
- Playing Against Type: She played the brainy best friend of one of the main characters in 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd, her first notable role.
- Her Alpha Bitch character, Asanti, on One on One, who just lost her virginity, and is part of a group Virgin-Shaming Breanna and Spirit.
- Her terrifying turn in The Social Network. Particularly notable in that she was still filming Suite Life on Deck at the time.
- Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior is probably the closest and most we'll ever see to Brenda more or less playing herself instead of yet another London Tipton.
- Her role in the Seth MacFarlane-produced dads (or at least the nature of the show) is decidedly adult.
- Her role as Frida Callisto is decidedly more intelligent then her usual ditzy roles.
- Anne Boonchuy of Amphibia is also more clever than a lot of her characters. That said, she does sometimes jump into situations without thinking and starts off the series with a twisted concept of friendship, but gets better through character development.
- Waif-Fu: As said above, she holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. She also exhibits her fighting skills in an episode of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and in the DCOM Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior.