Justin Chon is recognizable from many of his roles on TV and film — but many might recognize him as Bella’s non-vampire friend Eric in the gigantic supernatural teen blockbuster Twilight franchise. As a filmmaker, Chon is hitting his stride, specifically with his film Gook, which played to critical acclaim and received the Sundance Next Audience Award.
Chon sat down with the New Hollywood Podcast to talk about how he was inspired by his father to be an actor (his dad was a child actor and known as the Macaulay Culkin of South Korea) and his turn as a filmmaker. He specifically talked about his early career when he was on the grind as an actor and how he faced a lack of opportunities for Asians, being considered for a Latino role, whitewashing & appropriation in Hollywood, and typecasting — he even admitted to typecasting himself during an audition without realizing it.
And even though the magician-centric ABC series Deception has been canceled since we talked with Chon, he shared his stories of learning magic, finding out magician’s secrets and how it was like working on such a conceptual show. He also gives us his idea of an all-Asian version of the Twilight franchise.
If you are an avid listener of New Hollywood, we ask our guests each week to talk about an underrepresented voice in the industry. This week Chon gave a shout out to filmmakers Andrew Ahn and Vera Miao. You can follow them on Twitter at @AndrewAhnFilms and @VivaMiao. And you can follow Justin Chon at @justinchon.
Listen to the episode below.