Fresh-faced newcomer Nan Zhang stars as Kati, one of Blair's (Leighton Meester) loyal lieutenants, in The CW's new drama "Gossip Girl," from Josh Schwartz ("The O.C."), based on the tremendously popular book series about privileged teenagers who attend an elite private school in New York City.
Born in Bengbu in the Anhui province of China, Zhang immigrated to the United States at the age of 6 after her parents, both doctors, settled in New Orleans. Growing up, Zhang faced a major culture clash, torn between her parent's strict, traditional Chinese upbringing and her desire to be a "regular American teenager."
A self-proclaimed "nerd," she was ranked at the top of her high school class and moved to Baltimore to attend Johns Hopkins University to pursue a career in medicine, specializing in neuroscience. At the age of 16, Zhang also began to pursue modeling after being selected in Chanel/Seventeen Magazine's New Model of the Year contest. Her first big break in acting came when Zhang was discovered by a casting director while she was at a nail salon in New York City's Upper East Side. From that chance meeting, she landed a part in "Shanghai Hotel." After that, her next role was in "West 32nd," starring John Cho and Grace Park.
Zhang enjoys sports, snowboarding and is accomplished in archery (strictly for skill, not for hunting). She also loves playing the piano, jazz dance, painting and traveling. Despite her hectic acting and modeling schedule, she continues to be actively involved with neuroscience research.