Masala: The Cast of ‘Love Hard’ Talk Representing Asian American Men, Disaster Dates and More

With Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner, the decorations are coming out, temperatures are dropping and snow is starting to fall—well, everywhere except Southern California, at least.

No matter where you are for the holidays, you can cozy up with the new Netflix rom-com “Love Hard,” which premiered on Friday, Nov. 5. Starring Jimmy O. Yang, Darren Barnet and Nina Dobrev, the film follows a Los Angeles writer, Natalie Bauer (Dobrev), known for chronicling her online dating experiences with a column called Disaster Dates. After deciding to take a chance on love, she flies across the country to meet a guy she’s been calling and texting (Yang), only to discover that she’s been catfished.

The initial premise might sound familiar: a city gal who heads to the country and finds love where she least expects it. But have you ever seen that plot feature not just one, but two Asian American guys? “It’s pretty great. The movie wasn’t written for two Asian Americans per say,” said Yang. “Casting us, it was awesome but also it’s just so great to see … the whole Asian family coming together, without having them need to be Asian, but we’re just there as part of this movie.”

Barnet agreed with Yang, adding that he’s grateful for the opportunity to authentically represent his heritage with the roles he takes on. “It was never something I was thinking I was going to lead with in my career, regardless of how proud I am of my Japanese heritage,” he said. “So I’m so thankful for it, and it’s even better in this film that it’s such a powerful, amazing Asian cast.”

And yes, Barnet and Dobrev also took the time to dish on their own disaster dates, with Dobrev recounting her own experience of traveling thousands of miles for a supposedly romantic weekend getaway. “I flew across the country to see this person, and when I arrived at the house there [were] like, five or six other people there,” Dobrev said. “His buddies were just at the house, watching football and hanging out. It was supposed to be just a weekend of just the two of us, and it turned into me just sort of lingering, and it was super awkward, not romantic at all.”

Watch our full interview with the cast above to hear more, then head to Netflix to watch “Love Hard!”