She later transitioned into acting and has since become known for films, such as Dragonball Evolution, Grown Ups, Premium Rush, Sorority Row, The Hangover Part II, Sucker Punch, and Big Hero 6 and having been the series lead of the ABC Family television miniseries Samurai Girl. Chung received critical acclaim for her lead performance in the independent drama film about domestic human trafficking, Eden.
Since 2012, Chung has appeared in the recurring role of Mulan in the ABC fantasy television series Once Upon a Time. She also created the fashion blog What the Chung?
Jamie Chung was born and raised in San Francisco, California. She and her older sister are second-generation Korean Americans, raised by "traditional" parents who moved to the United States in 1980, and ran a hamburger restaurant. She was described by MTV as someone who "tells it like it is". After graduating from Lowell High School in 2001, Chung attended and graduated from the University of California, Riverside with a B.A. in economics in 2005; she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
Chung was a cast member on The Real World: San Diego, the fourteenth season of MTV's long-running reality TV show, The Real World, which first aired in 2004. At the time she was selected to be on The Real World: San Diego, she was described by MTV as a hard-working student who worked two jobs to pay her tuition, but who also enjoyed partying. She was also described by her friends as not having the best taste in men.
After appearing on The Real World, Chung appeared on its spin-off game show, Real World/Road Rules Challenge, as a cast member in that show's 2005 season, The Inferno II, during which she was a member of the "Good Guys" team, which squared off against the "Bad Asses". By the end of the season, after several cast members had been eliminated during the competition, Chung remained, along with her fellow Good Guys teammates Darrell Taylor, Landon Lueck, and Mike Mizanin. Chung and her teammates were victorious against the remaining members of the Bad Asses in the final event, and won the competition.
After her stint on The Real World, she began her acting career appearing in various minor roles in television and films, including as Cordy Han in ten episodes of Days of Our Lives, as a Hooters girl in the 2007 comedy I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, and in episodes of CSI: NY and Veronica Mars.
In 2008 she got her first major role, as the series lead in the ABC Family miniseries Samurai Girl.
She later had supporting roles in the 2009 feature films Sorority Row and Dragonball Evolution, in the latter as Goku's love interest, Chi Chi, as well as the lead role in one of the segments of the movie Burning Palms. Chung later went to star in the Disney Channel TV movie, Princess Protection Program which co-starred Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez. She appeared in 2010 film Grown Ups and had a supporting role in the 2012 martial arts film The Man with the Iron Fists.
In 2011, she provided the voice of Aimi Yoshida in the video game X-Men: Destiny. She also co-starred in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, released in August 2014.
Chung gained her first major feature film role in the 2012 film Premium Rush, directed by David Koepp. That same year, she starred as the lead in the independent film Eden, in which she played a Korean American girl abducted and coerced into prostitution by American human traffickers. Since 2012, she has appeared in the recurring role of Mulan in the television series Once Upon a Time.
In 2014, she provided the voice of GoGo Tomago in the animated Disney film Big Hero 6, which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
Chung and her then-fiance, Bryan Greenberg, co-starred together as a couple who meet in Hong Kong in the film Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong, which was released in February 2015.
Chung will reprise her role of GoGo Tomago in the upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series on Disney XD.
In March 2016, Chung was cast as attorney Lana Harris, the "alpha female" in the one-hour legal drama Miranda's Rights, but the series was not picked up by NBC after the pilot episode.
Chung is an avid follower of the fashion industry who shares her experiences and advice related to food, travel and other related topics at her blog, What the Chung?
Chung won the Female Stars of Tomorrow Award at the 2009 ShoWest industry trade show along with her Sorority Row castmates.
In 2013, Chung moved to Manhattan.
Chung began dating actor/musician Bryan Greenberg in early 2012. They became engaged in December 2013. Greenberg proposed to Chung while the two visited Chung's hometown of San Francisco, and did so by singing a song he wrote. They were married in October 2015 at the El Capitan Canyon resort in Santa Barbara, California. The wedding was a three-day celebration consisting of a welcome dinner on Halloween Eve in which guests were required to wear costumes, followed by a wedding ceremony on October 31 in which Chung and Greenberg exchanged non-denominational vows.