From Veep to The Office to Office Christmas Party to Trainwreck, Randall Park has an endless list of credits which have led to the ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat, the first Asian American-led sitcom on network TV since Margaret Cho’s All American Girl in 1994. Many saw it as a game-changing moment as there was a rise in demand for more Asian American-centered narratives. As Fresh Off the Boat enters its sixth season, Asian American TV series and films have been rising in the ranks — and this includes Park’s Netflix rom-com Always Be My Maybe.
Directed by Nahnatchka Khan, Park wrote the feature with Ali Wong and Michael Golamco, the film not only featured Asian faces in front of the camera but also behind it. The feature became an instant crowd pleaser with Park and Wong serving classic rom-com charm with modern panache — and Keanu Reeves. More than that, Park’s role as loveable stoner Marcus Kim further eliminate stereotypical tropes of Asian American males who are often seen as desexualized nerds. If anything Always Be My Maybe hyper-sexualizes Asian men with Park, Daniel Dae Kim and Keanu Reeves (yup, The Matrix star is of Asian Pacific Islander descent).
Park stopped by the New Hollywood Podcast to unpack his experiences in the industry as an Asian male, how the release of The Interview kind of scared him and, of course, the journey of Always By My Maybe and whether or not he can really freestyle like he does in the movie. Listen to the episode below.