February 26, 2013
What?!! An Asian American male star in a Hollywood movie that isn't a Kung Fu film?
Justin Chon ("Twilight"), steps into the spotlight as the lead character in the comedy 21 and Over, opening in theaters nationwide March 1.
Chon, 31, was born in Garden Grove in Orange County, California, and was raised in Irvine, California. He attended business school at the University of Southern California. At age 20, Chon began taking acting lessons, inspired by growing up watching his father in black and white films. His father is a former child actor from South Korea.
AsianConnections' Suzanne Joe Kai chatted with Justin about his new role, breaking stereotypes, and what's next in his fast-rising career. (For the full interview transcript click on the blue headline link above.)
Justin: Hey Suzanne, thank you.
Suzanne: You’re right from Orange County, California!
Justin: Yeah, Irvine. Yeah, born and raised. I was born in Garden Grove Hospital.
Suzanne: Can you describe your role in your new film 21 and Over coming out in theaters March 1, 2013?
Justin: Yeah. I play a character named Jeff Chang. It's his 21st birthday and my two friends come up to celebrate with me but I have a medical school interview the next day. They convinced me to have one beer and obviously that beer turns into absolute chaos. My character's just an average kid. He's actually not that smart, he's like failing out of school.
Suzanne: What made you jump on board this film?
Justin: Well, the guys who wrote it wrote The Hangover and they’re great writers. I just read the script and I loved it. I’m an Asian American actor and it’s a three-dimensional part so it’s great to see somebody who wrote such a great part for an Asian American so I just had to do...
New York City
Congressman John Lewis, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives (Georgia), Jose Antonio Vargas of Define American, and Simone Wu of Choice Hotels International, Inc. received the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund’s (AALDEF) 2013 Justice in Action Awards at AALDEF’s annual Lunar New Year benefit, held at PIER 60 Chelsea Piers in New York on February 19, 2013.
Since 1987, AALDEF has presented the Justice in Action Awards to exceptional individuals for their outstanding achievements and efforts in advancing social justice. The awards were presented by Rep. Grace Meng, the first Asian American to represent New York in Congress, Tony Award-winning playwright of M. Butterfly David Henry Hwang, and Gordon Smith, CEO of Consumer and Community Banking, JPMorgan Chase.
Juju Chang, Emmy Award-winning correspondent for ABC News...
The Chinese American Museum's 6th anual 2012 Historymakers Awards Banquet takes place this year September 27 at The Westin Bonaventure.
Prominently recognized as one of the premiere Chinese American events in Southern California, the event honors the achievements of extraordinary individuals who have made a significant impact or lasting contributions towards the advancement of the Chinese American community and beyond in the fields of art, literature, journalism, medicine, film, science, business, government, law, athletics, and community service.
This year’s Historymakers Awardees include:
Excellence in Corporate Leadership – Tom McKernan and the Automobile Club of Southern California;
Excellence in Medicine and Community Service – Dr. Carl K. Moy, an OB/GYN who practices in Chinatown and Monterey Park;
Excellence in Government - Honorable Carol Liu, California State Senator, 21st District, serving Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena, San Gabriel, Temple City, La Cañada Flintridge, East Pasadena and East San Gabriel;
Lifetime Achievement Award – Dr. Dan S. Louie, Jr., Chinese American Citizens Alliance;
The Judge Ronald S.W. Lew Visionary Award – Latham & Watkins, LLP.
“We are incredibly excited to be honoring this distinguished group of community, civic and corporate leaders,” said Banquet Chair Munson A. Kwok, Ph.D. “The Board of Directors is committed to reaching its goal to become one of the pre-eminent museums in the United States. By honoring these individuals, we recognize their commitment to the importance of the rich history of Chinese Americans.”
In addition, this banquet also serves as the major annual fundraiser for CAM, helping to raise critical funds to cover operational and program costs. ...
Are You Truly Free?
By Marilyn Tam
“In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.” ~Franklin D. Roosevelt
We are fortunate that we in the USA can enjoy basic freedom as a given. The things that bind us are more internal – the mental restrictions and “shoulds” that shape our thinking and our decisions subconsciously.
These subconscious constraints confine us to a fixed set of expectations and view of the world.
It locks us from truly being able to soar to our highest potential, inner peace and happiness. How can we break free? This is a three-step process. First by recognizing that we are prisoners of our beliefs.
Whatever we believe about ourselves and the world is what we are going to experience. If you are holding negative thoughts like, “I’m not good enough” or “Bad things happen to me”, then that is what you are going to create in at least some aspects of your life.
No one consciously choose to hold limiting beliefs, and yet we all do to some extent. Our childhood conditioning, whether from family, school, other influential figures in our lives, or the mass media, often contain some negative programming. People’s intentions may have been good, but fear and limitation are commonly used to keep young, rambunctious and questioning children, and indeed all people, in line. We often take on the constraints set for us as a children, to keep us from achieving our full potential later on in our lives.
The second step is to examine your beliefs. Is it really true that you are only good at math, and/or that you can’t sing?...
TO LIE OR NOT TO LIE
By Marilyn Tam
Scott Thompson, the four months old CEO of Yahoo, was forced to resign because he lied on his resume. Worse, he lied about his lying and was found out. He denied that he inserted an extra degree into his resume, and then he blamed the recruiting firm he worked with for doing so. The recruiting firm, wanting to maintain their reputation, showed that it was Mr. Thompson who lied. Net result is that Mr. Thompson now has much more time to contemplate the efficacy of lying.
The question is, what are we willing to tolerate in our leaders’ behavior and reflectively in our own? Lying is bad. We’ve been told that ever since we were little. Or have we? Haven’t we also been told, “don’t say that, it will make them feel bad”, and there are such things as “white lies”, as compared to I guess black lies, which are bad.
So we have grown up with some sense of expediency in what we call lying. Why do people lie? Is it because there is a perception that one can get ahead faster by lying than by telling the truth? Why would someone who is already well credentialed and respected feel the need to embellish his or her story? Is it a basic human nature to try to appear more than we are?
Insecurities and fear that we are not as good or confident as we may appear to the world is a common trait. Almost everyone have self-doubts. Many years ago in a quote that is oft repeated, Sally Fields upon receiving her second Oscar in five years burst...