Hello hello dear readers! Firstly, happy belated new year, it’s 2017 and there’s a lot of catching up to do. As we addressed in our previous post, we did take a longer hiatus than we planned but that being said we want to make up for lost time with some cool content coming over the next few weeks. Back in July of 2016, we sat down with actress and host Yvonne Lu during our trip to LA for KCON, and we got to chat with her about her projects at the time and her insight on Hollywood. Without further ado, here is that interview with miss Yvonne Lu!
Yvonne Lu is a Chinese-American actress, model and TV and radio host, based in Los Angeles but originally from New Orleans. She is best known for her hosting gig on Mnet America’s show Beats Per Mnet (BPM) alongside comedian Paul ‘PK’ Kim, as well as a role in the Ktown Cowboys movie. She starred in some smaller roles both on film and TV, and she’s got some cool projects ahead aside from her radio gig on YTN Radio in Los Angeles. Check it out!
For those who aren’t familiar with you, please briefly introduce yourself.
Hi, my name is Yvonne Lu. I am a host and actress in LA. I’ve been in entertainment for the last ten years or so. I started out doing print and commercial work, and then I was hosting a TV show for about a year, a show on Mnet America called Beats Per Mnet (BPM). And then I started hosting a radio show on Radio Korea in LA. It’s a Korean radio show, however my co-host and I had the English speaking block, so I did that for a year. And now I currently host a show on YTN Radio. I also do acting, with a focus on TV films right now.
Let’s talk about some of your recent work. Currently you’re co-hosting the Vonnie & Walter Show. Talk about that.
It’s great. Walter and I have been working together for the last three or so years. He’s a great comedian and a great co-host. The experience has been great. Radio is a very different format from TV because I feel like we can do what we want, say what we want, so to speak. It feels very freeing. And it’s cool, we talk about pop culture, entertainment…kind of the same things I touched on with my TV show, but we also tried to bring a lighter touch to more serious and political topics we talk about on our show, not to make light of those situations but to bring a different perspective to them, a more relatable perspective. I also feel like we try to be a voice for those in the Asian-American community, no matter where in the country they are.
Last year you landed a role in the Ktown Cowboys movie. What attracted you to that role?
I’ve known the Ktown Cowboys guys for a very long time, and so Danny Cho (cast member) had called me up one day and said, “Hey I’m working on Ktown Cowboys and I wrote a perfect role for you, I want you to be in it”. So then the role is kind of a girl next door vibe, and it was a short bit in this film, but since they’re working on a sequel, my character might have a bigger role in the next film. But it was really fun working with them, always a fun time working with friends.
K-pop fans might be familiar with your name as you co-hosted a show on Mnet’s US channel. Talk about that experience.
Working at Mnet on BPM was an awesome experience, and working with PK (BPM co-host) was amazing. I knew of PK before but we weren’t that close until we filmed BPM together. After working with him, he’s like my brother now, like family. As for the show itself, it was hard because we didn’t have writers, we weren’t really prepared to write our own material but it was great because we would always riff off of each other. Because of PK’s witty sensibility, it was really comfortable to play off of each other most of the time. It was also cool because we would get to go around the city, explore different restaurants, different venues, and it was really fun.
So IMDB lists American DJ and Sleepless as some of your upcoming projects. What can you tell us about both?
Those two are in post-production right now. I have a role in a band in American DJ, and it was cool because in the script there was some drama between my character’s band and their manager. The director of this film is actually a DJ himself and so most of the people on set with me were DJs, so that was really cool. As for Sleepless, my role in that film was really fun. I’m not sure when it’ll be out but in this film I play a gangster’s girlfriend and so I have a small role in that film, but it was my first time having a role in that kind of action film. I got to do some of my own stunt and the stunt coordinator ran through it with me to ensure it went smoothly beforehand. I only had two chances to get it right, and it was so different from what I’ve done before, so it was a great learning experience.
As an Asian actress, what are your thoughts on the direction Hollywood has taken in terms of casting Asian actors?
In all the years I’ve been in the industry, I’ve really seen a big shift in Hollywood becoming more diverse, though some naysayers have said it isn’t as diverse as it could be, but honestly there’s been huge strides that have been made, even in the last five to seven years. With TV shows like Fresh off The Boat, and even roles given for major films like Suicide Squad, we’re getting these leading roles now. In most TV shows and films nowadays there’s always at least one Asian actor or actress in a supporting role if not in a main or recurring role. Recently I saw ‘The Intern’ with Anne Hathaway and Robert DeNiro. The funny thing about that movie was that I don’t recall seeing any Asian actors in that movie at all. It was a great film, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen a film where there was a noticeable lack of colour in the casting. I’ve done a lot of auditions lately and a lot of the roles I read for were Asian roles, although some started out as non-ethnicity specific, however they go Asian. There’s a lot of opportunities now, there could be more, but there’s a lot more than I’ve ever seen.
What else do you have planned for the rest of the year in terms of other projects?
Recently I had filmed a music video with OneRepublic, the ‘Wherever I Go’ music video. I’ve also filmed some commercials recently. Hopefully I’ll have more to announce soon.
What kind of character roles would you like to play next that you have not yet had the chance to?
I would love to do a period piece, like one set in ancient China. I would also love to do a 1950’s/1960’s American period film. Maybe also a medical role, like something on Chicago M.D? I’d love to play a role like that.
When you have spare time, what do you do for fun?
I run, shop online and watch sunsets!
Current guilty pleasure?
Most of the time it’s shopping online or eating acai bowls.
Name something that fans may not already know about you.
I’m born and raised in New Orleans, and I can speak a bit of Korean. I can also understand a fair amount of Spanish. I also have an all-natural skin care line for women coming out, called ‘By Vonnie’. I’m also making a guys’ line as well. The girls’ line should be out by the end of this year (2016). Oh, and I work at a hospital. That’s my day job when I’m not in front of a camera, for the last seven years.
Any advice for aspiring actors?
My only advice is to stick with it, believe in yourself, hone your craft. You can always turn your passion into your career but you have to not only treat it as your passion or hobby, but you really have to put in the time and the work and effort. The one thing I’ve learned in the time I’ve been in the industry is that you have to have longevity and patience to stick it out. You gotta work hard. You always have to push yourself to do more and do better, otherwise no one will do that for you.
Any final words for the readers/fans?
Thank you for all the support. Thanks for always watching out for my projects, so keep an eye out. Thank you again!
Once again thanks for reading, and until next time, this has been a rhythm.connection exclusive!