What is Ellen Tamaki’s ethnicity? The actor’s mixed race upbringing

Ellen Tamaki

Ellen Tamaki has Manifest to thank for making her a household name. Tamaki landed the recurring role of Drea in the series after playing detective Niko Hamada in season 1 of Charmed. “What a special journey,” Tamaki wrote on Instagram after the final episodes of Manifest appeared on Netflix. “Just like that damn flight, we thought we were goners, but then this last season brought us back to life and now we’ve reached our final destination.”

Ellen Tamaki’s father is Japanese, and her mother is white

Ellen Tamaki was born to a Japanese father and a white mother in The Bronx, New York City. She is Asian American. 

After watching Crazy Rich Asians, Tamaki opened up about growing up half-Japanese in the United States. Tamaki tweeted that she loved the live-action Cinderella because one character looked like her father. The actor said she’d downplayed her half-Asian side for most of her life, writing:

“Culturally, my upbringing looked really similar to the white kids I was surrounded by. I have always been proud to be half Japanese, but never felt Asian enough to identify as a person of color.”

Tamaki stated that Crazy Rich Asians accurately mirrored her experiences as a half-Asian woman. “I saw myself and my family in these characters. I burst into tears when the heartbroken Rachel was comforted with a bowl of rice. The beauty of representation exists in the specificity of our differences,” Tamaki tweeted

“I feel so proud of @CrazyRichMovie and enlivened for the effect this will have on an extremely underrepresented community in Hollywood,” Tamaki concluded