This interview has been edited for length and clarity by XFINITY.
CAAM had the pleasure of catching up with Lucille Soong over email. Soong plays Grandma Huang on ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat,” which is now in its fourth season and airs on Monday nights. Since the first season, her character has charmed audiences with her humor, hipness and Mandarin-speaking ways.
What made you want to become an actor?
Lucille Soong: I’m an accidental actress—it just happened. Right after I moved to London from Hong Kong, I went grocery shopping on a street when an agent chased me down. He asked me to go to Spain for the movie “55 Days at Peking.” That was the second time I was put in a movie, so it seems to be fate.
You’ve acted in movies with Orson Welles, Ava Gardner and Sammy Davis, Jr. What were those experiences like?
How do you think the media landscape has changed over the decades, as far as opportunities for Asian-American actors and representation?
LS: It has changed tremendously. When I was filming “55 Days at Peking” in 1962, the studio cast an English actress to play the Chinese Empress. Now we have Asian actors playing Asians. It has been a long journey.
Your character on “Fresh Off the Boat” brings a lot of humor and joy to the show. What’s your favorite thing about playing Grandma Huang?
What was it like working with George Takei?
What kinds of reactions have you received from fans, family members and friends based on your role on the show?
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
LS: I am happy that my character is so interesting, and I enjoy being a grandma on TV.
This Q&A is a crosspost from the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), a nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting stories that convey the richness and diversity of Asian American experiences to the broadest audience possible. CAAM does this by funding, producing, distributing and exhibiting works in film, television and digital media.
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