Alum’s acting career a departure from real estate

For Lyman Chen, BE ’93, the 2006 Academy Awards were something special.

Chen, who is a real estate agent in suburban Wilmington, Del., and has a second career as an actor, landed his biggest role to date in the film that ended up winning the Best Picture award, The Departed.

Chen says he’s done commercials and small movie roles over the past four years, but Martin Scorsese’s Boston mob epic marked his first speaking part in a major film. In The Departed, he appears as an interpreter in a scene in which Jack Nicholson meets with a group of Chinese-speaking gangsters.

“This was by far my biggest part, and it was especially exciting to work with major actors and a directing legend like Scorsese,” Chen says.

“I still own the real estate agency, but I also pursue acting as a second full-time job.”

At the Feb. 25 Academy Awards presentations, The Departed led the winners with four Oscars—for best director, adapted screenplay and editing, in addition to best picture—and was Scorsese’s first win after five previous nominations in an illustrious career. The movie also was the most popular among the five Oscar contenders at the box office, grossing more than $131 million nationwide.