Claire Juliana Lanay was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. Both of her parents are Vietnamese immigrants. Claire’s father was a mathematics professor before serving as a soldier in the Vietnam War. Upon moving to the states, he became a pastor. Claire’s mother was a translator at the US Embassy in Saigon before becoming a beauty salon owner when they made their way to Hawaii. Claire’s parents have both since retired from long careers in nursing and geriatric care.
Transition, upheaval and adapting to new environments have all become second nature to Claire. After leaving Hawaii at an early age, she ended up living in several different locations such as Hesston, Kansas / Eugene, Oregon / Chicago, Illinois / Los Angeles, California / Atlanta, Georgia.
As is the case for many actors, artists and nomads, Claire has worked a ton of “survival jobs”. This varied list of paycheck gigs includes, though is not limited to: hotel auditor, graveyard shift security & medical alarm dispatching, call center concierge, property management admin, law firm receptionist, talent agency intern, Directors Guild of America residuals processor, strip club cashier and auto parts delivery driver.
When speaking about her journey and hopes for the future, Claire says: “sacrifices have to be made and sometimes you gotta do some crazy shit in order to get to where you want to be. There’s nothing inherently wrong with playing the nail salon girl, massage parlor girl, or even the me-love-you-long-time girl. I just can’t wait for the day when meaty roles that depict cerebral, articulate, formidable, determined, badass, ethnically diverse women are more commonplace.”
Claire has had recurring roles on TV shows such as “The Resident” (FOX) and “Sistas” (BET). She was recently in the pilot for “Naomi” (CW) which premiered on January 11, 2022. Claire can be seen next in the upcoming mini-series “DMZ” (HBO Max), of which episode one is set to debut at the SXSW Film Festival on March 13, 2022.