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 it. The whole movie's mass is with partying but the core of it is really about these three guys and their friendship.
Suzanne: I think this is one of the very few or if not the first movie...