Winston Chao Wen-hsuan was born in June of 1960 in Taiwan. Leading a simple life, Chao was working as an airline steward when director Ang Lee discovered him and offered him a role in the film The Wedding Banquet. Chao was understandably reluctant at first, as he had absolutely no previous acting experience whatsoever. Lee felt Chao had potential and took the young man under his wing, spending up to four hours each day teaching Chao how to be an actor.
Released in 1993 and directed by Ang Lee, The Wedding Banquet is the tale of a gay Taiwanese man in America who must marry a woman for his family. The film won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film (Independent). Shot in New York City, the film features actors Winston Chao, Sihung Lung, and Ya-lei Kuei.