Although you know Twilight’s Justin Chon as human Eric Yorkie, I’m happy to say that the humanity doesn’t stop there. After chatting with him yesterday for a few minutes he’s easily made it on my list of super down-to-earth people. That my friends, is a good list to be on. Aside from earning a spot on that list, he was able to dish on the upcoming New Moon movie and fill us in on what he’s been up to since we last chatted. A few times, he even turned the tables on me by asking me questions. JI: I understand you’ve recently attended the Pusan International Film Festival. Can you tell me about your experience and what you did there?
JC: I’d like to say that I felt out of place a little, I don’t know why they invited me. I felt like an outsider.
JI: Why is that?
JC: I don’t know, I just didn’t feel like I was a part of ‘the club’ or whatever. Everyone there had their own team and I thought it’d be okay if I went by myself… and um, it wasn’t okay.
JI: I’m sorry to hear about that.
JC: Yeah, it’s okay. I mean that’s just the way they do business there. Actually I learned a lot, I learned a lot about how they operate over there– I realized that I truly love working in America.
JI: Speaking of America, New Moon will be premiering soon. How are you prepping yourself for the madness?
JC: Absolutely no preparation at all.
JI: You’re just going to walk in there and be cool?
JC: What’s there to prepare for? I’ll uh…get a suit. I’ll uh…get a suit and on the day of I’ll show up with [my publicist] Anthony and we’ll… watch the movie. I think that’s the best preparation I can do.
JI: So, no emotional preparation? The premiere last year looked pretty crazy from what I’ve seen.
JC: What kind of preparation would you do?
JI: I think I would do a little yoga, call on Jesus and ask people to pray for me.
JC: Yeah, I think that’s actually a very good idea. I think I’ll have people pray for me too.
JI: With the success of Twilight going from being an indie film to a massive franchise, how has this affected your experience of filming New Moon?
JC: Not much at all. A movie set is a movie set, the only thing that’s different is they’re just a lot more protective with the people and they have umbrellas so photographers can’t take pictures. You know, the only thing that’s affected is personal freedom. You can’t just walk off the set and smoke a cigarette anymore and they have to know where you are at all times. They set up these black walls everywhere so you can’t escape the set. But other than that, filming-wise, filming is the same. Just a different director. There’s differences in those terms but with that, in terms of the work, it’s the same.
JI: As I’ve mentioned earlier, a handful of our readers including myself are Orange County natives, has life here changed fo—
JC: Didn’t you say you were from Rowland Heights or the San Gabriel Valley?
JI: I’m actually from Anaheim.
JC: Anaheim! My dad has a store on Ball and Chapman, The Mega Shoe Factory.
JI: I totally know where that is! I’ll check it out sometime when I need shoes.
JC: What high school did you go to?
JI: Orange High.
JC: Awesome. I went to University High in Irvine.
JI: Cool deal. So, has life here changed for you since Twilight happened?
JC: Life — I mean, in some ways, yeah. Like I get to travel a lot. Ya know, once in awhile I get recognized for something. But uh, yeah, I’ve been traveling a lot. In the last year I got to go to Paris, uh Spain, France…(laughs)haha Paris is in France, London, Florida, Korea, New York, Vancouver, Washington, Arizona, Australia, Chicago –twice…I think that’s it.
JI: Of those places, which place did you enjoy the most?
JC: Paris. Ya know what, I honestly thought I wouldn’t love Mona, I’d love Italy but uh…that’s not the case. I thought the French in France would be a bunch of high-nosed rude people, but that’s not the case. If you’re overly nice to them, they treat you with just as much respect. I think they’re just used to American people coming in and poo-poo-ing on sh**. And uh, they just don’t like that. So if you’re really nice, they’re nice to you. The thing I love about Paris was that it’s big city, but it has a really calm attitude. Everyone is just really chill and quiet. Not wild,
JI: Or frantic…
JC: Which I also love! But at the same time it’s fast paced. The subway doors opens before the car even stops — you get to where you’re going and once you get there, you relax. And I really like how everyone is into their own thing and not staring you. I remember I was on the train and some girls were screaming a song — no one gave a sh**. They just let them be teenagers, and no one was trying to reprimand them. Well, people laughed but it was awesome.
JI: What’s next on your list of places to travel to?
JC: I’m going to be back in Paris next week for a signing.
JI: For a Twilight convention?
JC: Yeah, me and a bunch of the other Twilight cast members usually do these conventions where we go to places and sign autographs. So, I’m looking forward to that because ::French accent:: I love Pareee.
JI: What other upcoming projects do you have in store?
JC: Nothing, just Twilight. After that, I’m going back to the drawing board and going to pilot season. I’m re-energized to be an artist and be kind of done with Twilight.
JI: I think that’s more than enough for now.
JC: Do you?
JI: Twilight seems like a lot in itself!
JC: Yeah! The thing is, I’m at a good chapter in my life but I think it’s time to expand the horizons you know. It’s been like, what…two and a half years?
Archive for ningin
During the taping of the Boys vs. Girls episode of ABDC, I got the chance to speak with the friendly and laid back Justin Chon. The 27-year-old actor recently received national attention for his performance as Eric Yorkie in Twilight and is currently on the heels of another success: the upcoming film Crossing Over, an intense drama that weaves together several vignettes about immigrants in Los Angeles.
Why was he hanging out at ABDC, you ask? It turns out that Justin’s apparel store, Attic, which is located in San Diego and in his home base of Orange County, is currently supplying clothing for the boys of Quest Crew. In this two-part interview, we touch upon his past work, his inspirations, his dream projects and his ethos on acting. I enjoyed getting to know this passionate young actor, and I hope you guys will, too.
TJL: Can you tell us more about your store?
JC: It’s called Attic, and every season we’ve provided clothing for certain teams, and this year, we ended up providing clothes for Quest.
TJL: So, it’s more like an urban style, street wear kind of store?
JC: Yeah, and I’m out here to support the show and support them [Quest] and check it out [ABDC]. I’m a huge fan of the show.
TJL: In regards to your store, do you do any designing for the lines? Or is it consigned?
JC: No, it’s not consigned. We have accounts with different brands, and I’m not really too involved with the buying, but one of my best friends [James Yang] runs the store with me. He’s mostly in charge of that. But yeah, we just kind of got together and started buying a lot of clothes we like and [are] selling them now, yeah.
TJL: Very cool. It’s great if you can make a living doing that.
JC: Yeah, definitely.
TJL: I understand that your father was an actor in Korea, right?
TJL: What was that experience like for you, and how did that impact you as a kid?
JC: When I was young—growing up—I used to watch his black and white movies, and it definitely influenced me a lot because I was just like, “That’s possible?” Even back then, that was like in the 60’s, so that drove me to kind of follow my dreams. But there’s a little bit of a difference. He did it out of necessity; he needed to make money. I always had an interest in acting, but he allowed me to be like, “Okay, well, you can do it.”
TJL: Did he have any words of advice for you when you started getting into acting?
JC: I mean, he’s just like, “It’s a really lonely road. It’s a really hard life, but if you’re up for it, go for it.” And he gave me a few acting tips, and he continues to critique my work. [laughs]
TJL: And what’s his best advice so far?
JC: I would say… he says all the time, “You gotta make it real. You gotta make it truthful.”
TJL: And on that subject—on Eric Yorkie—what sort of preparation went into that role? Because it’s not typical [in mainstream American media] that a person of Asian descent is given a role that actually transcends all colors and barriers.
JC: Yeah. I just thought of it not in terms of color. I was just like, “What does this kid [Yorkie] need, and what does he want? And what’s his main driving force in life?” I just figured that he’s just like anybody else. He really wants to be liked, but really liked to an extreme. So, at his school—I boiled it down to one word: he’s like a diplomat.
TJL: Yeah, he is.
JC: Yeah, so he’s the type of guy in your school where he’s friends with one guy from each crew.
TJL: Ah, the interloper.
JC: Yeah! [laughs] So, he just drifts around. He has his little clique, but he’s in with everybody. So, he obviously has to be in a good mood all the time and [be] very energetic and [be] someone that people want to be around. And he might not be funny, but he tries to be.
TJL: Will we be able to expect to see him in the subsequent [Twilight] films?
JC: I think so, I think so.
TJL: People like [Yorkie]—when they’re always trying to please other people—are sometimes very repressed on the inside because they can’t show anger or loneliness, so will you eventually get a chance to play any of that in the later films?
JC: I don’t think in Twi—actually, I have no idea because I haven’t read the scripts yet, but I know in my other movie that’s coming out, you’ll see a lot of drama.