While speaking to PEOPLE about her new movie Joy RideActress Ashley Park reveals how she deals with racism in Hollywood and how her experience with “coping in” ultimately “shaped me as a person.”

in Joy RidePark plays Audrey, a successful lawyer who goes on a business trip to Asia. However, after things take an unexpected turn, Audrey enlists the help of her childhood friend Lulu (played by Cherry Cola), former college roommate and Chinese soap star Kat (played by Stephanie Hsu), and Lulu’s quirky cousin Deadeye (played by Sabrina. Wu). ).

Joy Ride It marks Park’s first leading role and is also his first movie Emily in Paris It was written and directed by Asian women and has a cast of Asian stars. Park stated that she immediately noticed a difference in her experience.

Park said, “First of all, Sabrina, Stephanie and Sherry, we’re all so happy and conditioned to be such supporting characters. It really felt like family right away. And there’s a certain level of comfort, especially with [writer] Teresa [Hsiao] And [director] Adele [Lim] And [writer] Cherry [Chevapravatdumrong] at the helm.”

the meat The actress went on to reveal how she relates to her Joy Ride a personality. In the film, Audrey works hard to blend in with her (mostly white male) co-workers as a way to further her career.

Park noted, “That’s why I actually understand Audrey so well. I want to admit that I’m complicit and totally figure out a way to be a part of this world. I am Audrey that way.”

Related: The Rise of Asian Directors and Films in Hollywood

Ashley Park said she is “adapting” to “be a safe place for everyone”.


The Broadway star continued, “It’s a fitting thing. It’s what people do on a basic level and I’ve done it a thousand times to be a safe place for everyone. Because I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder that says ‘Well, if this role isn’t supposed to be Asian, I probably haven’t.'” I would never have had it because I wasn’t good enough.”

Park has also admitted that sometimes, in both her life and her career, she has changed her behavior in order to make other people more comfortable.

Park said, “We’re changing codes because we’re trying to find a way to be indispensable to people, whether as a friend or a confidant. The reason code shifting has really helped me as an actor is because I’m really good at spotting what someone needs and what someone feels safe in. I don’t change myself.” For that, but because it makes me feel good to be for them. But it has put me in danger as a person too much.”

Park noted that, by contrast, she didn’t feel obligated to perform or change any part of herself in the show Joy Ride hiring.

The actor said, “We talk about it a lot, me and him [sic] Adele, Kerry and Teresa. I didn’t have to swap the code for anyone and could just be there like me. I can be me.”


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