Asian-American actor Randall Park is on a high after starring in Netflix romcom ‘Always Be My Maybe’ but says a career in movies isn’t usually smooth sailing.
“I think this industry is a tough one for anybody. Not just people of colour. Being an actor is a career with no real road map,” Park said. “Everyone’s journey is different and that makes it really tough to know if you’re on the right path. But for me, it’s what I wanted to do. And even when I knew that there weren’t as many opportunities for an Asian-American actor in this industry, I was still willing to go for it, because again, it was my passion.”
“In that regard, I’m glad I stuck it through, because it’s now a really exciting time — the opportunities are starting to open up and it’s pretty cool to know that I played a small part in that change,” he added.
Park has been carving his way through Hollywood since 2003 by building up his career with cameos and recurring roles in hit shows such as ‘Veep’, ‘The Mindy Project’ and ‘The Office’.
He was also seen in supporting roles in films such as ‘Dinner For Schmucks’, ‘The Five Year Engagement’ and ‘Neighbors’. But he found fame through his lead role in 2014 film ‘The Interview’, in which he was seen as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The actor followed it up with roles in TV show ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ and superhero movies ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ and ‘Aquaman’.
He can now be seen in Netflix’s romcom ‘Always Be My Maybe’, which he co-wrote with his co-star Ali Wong. The film is about two friends as they reconnect with each other while navigating the true meaning of friendships, family and staying together.
Asked how easy it is to evade getting stereotyped, Randall said: “Pretty easy”.
“For an actor, it’s easy to evade blatantly stereotypical roles. The hard part is evading roles [which] are not as clear cut — roles that are borderline stereotypical, side characters that are one-note.
“It’s especially tough when you’re a struggling actor, looking for a big break, or at the very least, a job to pay your rent. I know in my journey there were jobs that I look back on and probably wouldn’t have taken in retrospect. But you live and you learn. And I’m glad it all got me to where I am right now,” said the 45-year-old.
Park wants to continue on the path of exploring himself as an artist and to “keep having fun”.
“That’s pretty much it. And for me, having fun means working with people I love and trying new things. I loved the writing and producing aspects of working on this film [‘Always Be My Maybe’]. So that’s something I’d like to build on.
“I also want to keep acting in roles that I wouldn’t have been considered for otherwise. For example, nobody thought I would ever be the lead in a romcom until we made this movie. Maybe for the next one, I can be an action star. Or maybe I’ll do something dramatic for once. I don’t know, just something different.”