Natasha Liu Bordizzo is as surprised as any by the success she’s been having. Acting, which is how she’s made her name, was far from her plan as a kid — and even when she started making her way into the Hollywood world, it was to be a body double.
But Bordizzo, who grew up near the beach on the east side of Sydney, was seemingly meant to be front and center. A few months after she started working as a body double, she got cast in the Netflix sequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and immediately her career shot off.
“It was my first time acting — not just my first role,” she says. “It was my first anything, and it was just a huge 180 for me, because I’d been in law school. It was really the opposite.”
Now a star thanks to the beloved Netflix series “The Society,” new Amazon series “The Voyeurs” and a Chanel ambassadorship at that — with a series of projects on the horizon — Bordizzo is just warming up.
Law school was somewhat the expectation, after she’d been placed at a highly academic and competitive government school in Australia at age 12.
“Everyone from that school kind of goes on to do something academic. You’re not really getting many singers and actors and dancers from that school,” she says.
The combination of that and her mom’s Chinese culture pushed her toward her studies, she says, and law seemed like a natural fit, given her love of writing.
She started working as a body double while in school, mainly because the main Fox studio was located near her high school.
“I would always just be there helping out. I somehow got a job.…I think I knew some casting director there, because I started body doubling for the actresses in those films, and it was honestly not even something I thought of in any way except just to earn some money on the side, because I was studying and I was just broke,” she explains. “I just really enjoyed being on set. I had my laptop with me, and I was doing work, and I just enjoyed the flow of the waiting, and then you do things, and then you wait again.”
Though she liked the environment, she didn’t see herself as someone who could ever be in front of the cameras.
“I think part of that’s just because I’m mixed Asian, and growing up in Australia, the media is extremely white, and my brain just didn’t click as for that being a possibility, because I’d never seen an example of it,” she says. “I’m pretty risk averse, so I don’t want to enter into a career where I feel like I won’t be able to succeed, despite how much hard work I put in.”
She didn’t pursue it, but then a few months later she was cast in the “Crouching Tiger” film — and the rest, she says “is history.”
She went on to star in “The Society,” a viral Netflix series that was renewed for another season only to have the plug pulled due to the pandemic. By then she decided to commit to the American market, and was focusing on scripts for American projects when “The Voyeurs” came along.
“It was just something that I wouldn’t necessarily do, because it’s an erotic thriller. It’s a genre [that] hasn’t been done much,” she says. She and a friend were on a train from Rome to Milan for a fashion show when the script landed in her inbox.
“We were both just like, ‘Oh my God’ at everything that was happening. Both of us were reading it off my laptop on this train and audibly gasping, because it’s just, there’s so many crazy plot twists,” Bordizzo says. “And I’m thinking, ‘Well, if I’m having these feelings reading it, then watching it is going to be fun.’”
Up next she’ll be seen alongside Jamie Foxx and Dave Franco in the Netflix movie “Day Shift,” in which Foxx stars as a pool cleaner by day, vampire hunter by night.
“I think when that trailer hits, people are going to be mind-blown,” she teases. “I’ve done a lot of action. It’s definitely the craziest action I’ve ever done.”
It was her first project to shoot post-pandemic shutdowns, and the shocking nature of it made her want to say yes immediately.
“It was exactly the kind of film I wanted to do after COVID-19, because I was just so…we were all so stagnant, and it was just so monotonous and depressing, and I just saw the script, and luckily the director and everyone liked me,” she says. “It just worked.”