Meet The Creative Minds Behind the Headlining Films of LAAPFF 2019

This year, Southern California’s largest Asian-centric film festival is celebrating its 35th anniversary with one of its strongest lineups ever.

Since its inception in 1983, the Los Angeles Pacific Film Festival has screened over 4,000 films, shorts and media works created by API artists. This year’s festivities kicked off with its first ever Filipino-directed opening night film, “Yellow Rose,” a Texas-style take on the pitfalls of the modern immigration system. LAAPFF 2019’s bill also featured works like “Come As You Are,” a touching story of three men with disabilities scheming to lose their V-cards featuring Hayden Szeto, “In a New York Minute,” directed by Ximan Li that follows the story of New York City women going through personal growth, “Go Back to China” featuring YouTube personality Anna Akana and “Blinded by the Light,” a Bruce Springsteen-inspired flick directed by Gurinder Chadha (“Bend It Like Beckham”).

Character sat down with the creators behind the most anticipated films of the festival to chat and pick their brains. Check it out below:

Yellow Rose – Diane Paragas and Princess Punzalan

Character: How does it feel to be here at LAAPFF after the day of your movie’s world premiere?

Princess Punzalan: I’m so excited to see the final cut of the movie and I was also elated and very much touched with how much the people related to the film and that they actually verbalized it. Telling us, not just Filipinos, saying how much they felt like, “Oh, you were like my mom.” People really related to the story. It was really fun.

Diane Paragas: You know, you spend a lot of time making a film, but until you show a film to an audience, only then does it become a real movie. Because it’s not just making it for your own gratification, it’s about making this interaction between the audience and the film. You don’t know quite what you have until that moment, like last night. I was overwhelmed. I couldn’t believe it. In all honesty, I was curled up in a ball outside the door because I was just like, “I hope people like this.” And then I just kept hearing laughter. I could actually hear crying. There were so many tears. It’s been great seeing how people have taken the film to heart. So many people were like “That was me,” or “That meant so much to me.” From the music to simply seeing a Filipino story on the big screen, so many people embraced it. So many people were thanking me and felt grateful. I’m on a mission now to get this to a wider audience because so many people really did respond to it. We’re just really proud of it.

Do you mind giving me a brief description of what your film is about?

Paragas: “Yellow Rose” is the story of a 17-year-old undocumented Filipina teenager whose life is ripped apart when her mom gets picked up by Immigration Customs Enforcement and she’s forced to go on a journey to find what her next home is. What about you? I want to hear what your version is.

Punzalan: Basically, it’s a story of this undocumented family who wanted a better life. But, because of some circumstances and some people who fooled them into thinking they’re okay and some lawyers who weren’t that good and just took their money and left. They were in a tough spot and they wanted to do what’s right, but things happen and they got caught. So, what’s going to happen next? That’s the story.

Paragas: Well put. See, I knew she would do better than me.

It was a really beautiful film. Why was this story important for you two to tell now?

Punzalan: For me personally, a lot of people that I know that are in this situation, and don’t really know what’s going to happen. And with the movie, some hints are given, “Oh, if your child is not yet an adult, this is the process that is going to happen if you get arrested.” It’s educational, but yet, it’s presented in a way that’s not like you’re in a classroom. That was one of the things that I really liked about the film.

Paragas: For me, this film has really taken on several iterations in the script because it took so long to get it financed and made. When we got to this final script, Trump had already entered office and there was so much anti-immigrant sentiment that it was really important for me to follow Princess’ story. Like to follow her, through the process as she says, into the detention center and what that’s like. And the fear that you experience, beyond just Rose. So, that changed in the script because of the world that we live in. Because of the toxicity of people putting us over here and over there and “You’re like this” and “We’re like that.” The whole point of the film is to say, “We’re all moms, we’re all daughters. We all have a family. We all are looking out to give the best lives for our children.” That decision to come here and break the law is not meant from a malicious place. It’s meant from love. I really hope that’s a message that comes across in the film. I think it’s the kind of film that we need to heal the toxic ugliness that’s going on in our country and in our world. So, I hope that people take that away. And I think they did.

So, what was it like for you two to film on location in Austin, Texas?

Punzalan: I love the fact that we were actually in Austin and it gave me a better characterization of the mom. Like the actual set was in a motel where they lived. The set-up was just perfect. It helped me visualize what could happen if things happened in this place right here, right now. It was just easier to do the shoot knowing that it was all real, not just walls made of just wood.

And the heat! I felt so sorry for Eva and Liam when they were shooting inside the car with the windows up, with no air conditioning in 110 degrees, and I saw the sweat.

Paragas: But that’s Texas! I was like, “Leave it!” That’s how hot it is.

What was it like for you going back after having been away in New York City for so long?

Paragas: I went to college at U.T. Hook ‘em horns! And it was just great. I live in New York City, so I hadn’t been back in a long time and I kind of wanted to have this faded, dusty memory of Texas, but I also wanted to honor what was really happening in Austin. So, what was really interesting with Broken Spoke [a honky tonk bar in the film], when I first shot there for the short, was just in this sort of dirt road. Then, by the time we shot the film there were two huge condos that went up on the side and you’ll see it in the film and it was like “Wow, that really is how Austin is changing.” This world of tech is crunching in on this world of country music and that kind of tradition of what Austin is. But it was great.

It was hot. It was hot. It was 107 degrees, 110 degrees every single day. Princess shot in the armory for all of the detention center scenes, or some kind of airport, or school or something with no air conditioning. We shot all of the prison scenes in one day. Princess had like twenty set-ups, I don’t even remember. It was a lot of sweating, heat, changing back and forth, looking miserable. It was good because she really looked miserable. You really were miserable!

Punzalan: It was believable.

I’m sorry you had to go through that!

Paragas: So much of the movie is a love letter to Texas. There’s no other place in the world that would produce a Dale Watson, that would produce a Broken Spoke, and I wanted to capture that.

I totally think so, too. To celebrate APAHM and our name change, we’re asking everybody what they’re favorite Asian character is from TV, films or literature. Do you have a favorite Asian character?

Paragas: Gosh, that’s tough… let me think. Um, I’m gonna go outside of what you said because it just popped into my head, but it’s Lea Salonga who’s in our film. I mean, when I was growing up, she was the only Filipina who was doing anything in entertainment. She was in “Miss Saigon,” she won the Tony Award and the Olivier Award and then she was “Mulan!” Mulan and Jasmine! It’s not just a character, but the person. So, when she said “Yes,” and came out of her film retirement to make this movie, meant so much to me. Putting your icon in your own movie is such a dream.

Go Back To China – Emily Ting and Lynne Chen

How are y’all feeling being here today?

Emily Ting: Oh, it’s been great. LAAPFF is always one of my favorite events to go to every year in L.A. and I was actually super bummed that I missed it last year because I was in China shooting the movie. So, it feels like a real homecoming a year later with the film. And to be selected as a centerpiece film was a real surprise and a real honor.

Lynn Chen: Yeah, this is one of my favorite festivals also and I was sad to have missed it last year.

Tell us about what “Go Back to China” is about.

Ting: “Go Back to China” is about a spoiled, trust fund princess, played by Anna Akana, who after blowing through half of her trust fund, is cut off by her father and forced to go back to China and work for the family toy business. What started out as a way to regain financial support, soon turns into a journey of self-discovery.

What was it like filming in China for you two?

Ting: Lynn, do you want to take that?

Chen: I’ve always wanted to film a movie in China. I’ve heard that it was difficult not only because of the whole difference of cultures, but also, they don’t have unions there. So I’ve always wondered how that was going to happen, especially since I don’t speak Chinese fluently. So this particular project was wonderful in the sense that I didn’t have to speak Chinese that much and also that it was a union job. It was definitely different, but in a lot of ways because we did have the SAG-AFTRA schedule going, it still felt very familiar.

Ting: So, I had done a previous film called “Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong,” which I shot in Hong Kong and is technically the same country as China—I don’t want to get too political, but it’s true—going to China was a whole different beast. We shot for a few days in Hong Kong and we had to hire a company to move the entire cast and crew across the border. We chartered a bus and bussed everyone over across the border and the whole process of just crossing the border took like two hours. We had to get visas for everyone and lug everyone’s luggage across the border. Once we were over there, we were shooting in a very small town in China, so it wasn’t like we were shooting in Beijing or Shanghai where they’re used to a lot of production, whenever we were outside of our controlled sets, we would just be gawked at. People would point! Our camera guy, our director of photography, is from here and he’s a white guy and his assistant camera is this tall Swedish guy and everywhere they went, they attracted so much attention.

We had Richard Ng who is a very famous actor in Hong Kong, but more people wanted to take pictures with our white camera guys than with Richard. They were always getting mobbed for pictures wherever they would go. I was like, “Now you know what it’s like to be a minority!”

So, I’ve read that the inspiration for your film came from your own life. Do you mind telling me how it did?

Ting: Yeah, so the inspiration for this movie is very personal. It’s semi-autobiographical in that when I was 24, I did go back to China and work for the family business. But the Sasha character is a more exaggerated version of who I was, more for comedic effect. I hope I was not as spoiled and bratty as she is in the movie. So much of it, the family dynamics, is based on my own family. In fact, I would say I simplified a lot of the real facts from life to just make it a little more accessible for people. The character that Lynn plays in the movie, Carol, is a lot like who I am now. We’re both in our—well, I am in my late 30s—and her character is very reflective of where I am in life right now.

Chen: She’s the responsible one who is holding the family business down. The good daughter. The one who holds the family together.

I’m wondering, for you guys, why was it important for you to make this film and what attracted you to the role of Carol?

Ting: This is a story that I’ve wanted to make for a really long time. I feel like for everyone, there is that one story in their life that kind of sets up the trajectory of their life and shapes who they are today. For me, it was going back to China. I’ve always wondered what my life would be like if I never made that move and I just stayed in the States. And you know, I’ll never know what would happen because this is the choice that I’ve made. So, this is a story that’s sat with me for a long time and it was a story that I really wanted to tell and I thought, “If I don’t tell it now, I’ll never be able to.” So, it was very important for me to get that story out there before I could really tell any other stories.

Chen: I had actually been watching Emily’s first feature, “It’s Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong,” in a hotel room in New York City and then the next day, I got an email from a mutual friend of ours saying, “Emily Ting has written a script and she wants you to be in it.” And I was like, “The same Emily Ting whose movie I watched yesterday, who I’m fascinated with? Yes!” I mean, I didn’t even have to read the script honestly and I still would’ve done it. Luckily the script was great and I really loved the story of these two women who were not fighting over some dude. I mean, their dad…

Ting: Yeah, their father’s affection.

Chen: But I mean, not the traditional stuff.

Ting: Yeah, it’s not a rom-com.

Chen: Exactly. So, I really was attracted to that. Then getting to work with Emily, getting to work with Anna and also getting to work in China.

So, to celebrate our name change and APAHM, we’re asking everyone who their favorite Asian character is. Who are you all’s?

Chen: Well, I’ll say someone who’s extremely meaningful to me. I was just thinking about her yesterday. Tamlyn Tomita’s character in “The Karate Kid Part II.” It was one of the first times I had ever seen somebody who looked like me in a romantic interest, leading role. I used to put my hair up and put it down and pretend I was doing tea ceremonies for Ralph Macchio, and I just got to direct Tamlyn in my directorial debut which will be out next year, “I Will Make You Mine.” I was just thinking about how when you’re a little girl, when you’re imagining things, you’ll never know what that will bring you one day.

Ting: For me, this is probably so not original, but it’s really Constance Wu’s character in “Crazy Rich Asians.” I saw the movie three times and I cried every single time. It was such a watershed moment and it came so recently and so soon after our movie. I feel like I’ve been seeing Asian characters on screen forever through film festivals like this, but never at a multiplex where it’s the No. 1 film at the box office. Something about that touched me very deeply. I watched it with three different groups of people, my Chinese family, my Lithuanian in-laws and everyone loved it. It was so universal.

Empty by Design – Osric Chau, Dante Bosco, Andrea A. Walter, Madeleine Humphries, Rob Rusli, Iya Yujuico, Brian H. Merrick

Character: So, how does it feel to be at the LAAPFF?

Osric Chau: Feels a little crowded. No, it feels great to be back. This is our hometown festival.

How many times have you been to this festival?

Dante Basco: Several times, myself and my family, my Basco family.  All my brothers, we’ve had at least five or six films in the festival over the years, so it’s always felt like our hometown festival. We’re from L.A., this is the biggest Asian film festival in the country. I’ve hung out with a lot of people here from the festival, so being able to close this festival is definitely a big honor.

Can you give me a brief description of the film in your own words?

Andrea A. Walter: The film follows two people who have been away from home for so long, and they come back and try to reconnect with their culture. Samantha was at school, she came back due to a family tragedy and she’s trying to figure out whether she’s actually, really Filipina. She spends a lot of time trying to reconnect with her family roots and just her general home town. Our other character, played by Osric, he’s been gone for over a decade, he comes back due to a job, and he can’t speak the language anymore, he’s terrified to meet his family, and he spends that whole journey trying to figure out what makes him Filipino as well.

So, what was it like filming in the Philippines and just in general, what was the process behind this film?

Basco: It was hot! It was hot most of the time.

Chau: It was humid. I personally got bit by a lot of mosquitoes.

Madeleine Humphries: Well, I’m a local, so all I know is filming in the Philippines. As a Filipino working with an American production and a female director, I think it was an awesome experience, an awesome first taste of the local industry.

Walter: I just like working at home, it was so fun just to be home. It was nice having Osric because usually the mosquitoes come to me, so I would stand next to him all the time.

He’s the mosquito beacon.

Walter: Yeah, he’s the beacon. Generally it was just nice to be home, nice to work at home, and be able to work with my people. People who look like me, people who I can relate to and felt like I was much more comfortable. I’ve never had a film set really feel that way for me.

Basco: Yeah, it’s beautiful, it’s a great time. We’ve been doing a lot of films here as part of the Asian American film movement for the last, I’d say eight years now, doing a lot of films out of Hawaii, with Kinetic Films. But being able to go back to the Philippines, it’s time for us as Asian Americans to go into Asia, and tap into the power base, all the wonderful artists and just start building bridges for Asian Americans to go into Asia: the Philippines, China, Singapore, Thailand. But then at the same time, take all that wonderful talent and build bridges for them, to bring them into America. We’re entering a whole new time of media, for Asian media, it’s not just Asian American media anymore, it’s just new, Asian media, which is amazing.

Why do you think it’s important to tell this story to an American audience especially?

Basco: Well, they [Walter and Chau] wrote it together, and so it’s a lot of their experiences. But at the same token, I think as Asian Americans, and as Asians, we’re immigrants. So it’s a story about displacement, it’s a story about not just Asians, Filipinos, but a lot of people of color in American film. How comfortable do we feel as someone here in America or in Europe, and then how comfortable do you feel in your homelands? That conversation is a big part of the film.

For the month of May, we’re asking everyone, who their favorite Asian character is.You guys can pass the mics around.

Basco: Go this way, go this way.

Walter: Are we all going to say Zuko?

Iya Yujuico: I was going to say Rufio. Yeah, Rufio.

Chau: A lot of Rufios in here.

Basco: I think Rufio is an awesome character. I think growing up, Asian characters… I mean, my main historical reference is Bruce Lee. For sure. In everything.

Rob Rusli: I gotta say Prince Zuko.

Basco: Also a very cool character.

Humphries: Mr. Miyagi.

Basco: Oh, yeah. Lucy Liu. In all the…

Just Lucy Liu?

Basco: Just Lucy Liu, walking around town, is my favorite Asian character.

Humphries: There you go.

Walter: Mine are from animation. My number one’s Mulan, because I guess the voice of it, not the talking voice, the singing one. And also I forgot her name, the little girl in “Spirited Away.”

MH: Chihiro?

Walter: Yeah, there you go, thank you. She’s one of my favorites.

Chau: Part of the problem is—I mean, how many of these are cartoon characters? There is an issue here, clearly, that we’re all trying to fight towards. It shouldn’t take me this long. First thought is Mr. Nice Guy: Jackie Chan.

Basco: Yeah.

Chau: Yeah. But I don’t know, I think part of what we’re moving towards is giving people more options to choose from.

Come As You Are – Hayden Szeto and Grant Rosenmeyer

Character: How does it feel to be at the LAAPFF?

Hayden Szeto: I’ve been here before, ask this guy.

Grant Rosenmeyer: Yeah, I’ve never been here before.

Szeto: You found parking?

Rosenmeyer: Somehow I found parking. I love Little Tokyo, so it’s great to be back here. I literally just walked in the doors, so I’m just getting my bearings.

Can you give us a brief description of the film in your own words?

Szeto: Yeah. So, your own words—go. I’ll just reiterate what he says.

Rosenmeyer: Yes. So, it’s called “Come As You Are,” inspired by the true story of an English man, Asta Philpot, who along with two other young men who have disabilities, went to a brothel that catered to people with special needs.

Szeto: A very nice brothel.

Rosenmeyer: A very nice brothel. In our movie it’s in Montreal. So they could lose their virginities and experience independence. It’s a comedy.

I was reading up on the film and the original movie didn’t come out too long ago, in 2011. Why do you think it’s important that the remake came out now?

Szeto: Well, I think at the core of this story, it’s very well suited for an American audience. There’s a road trip—

Rosenmeyer: It’s a Belgian film. It’s based off a Belgian film.

Szeto: Yeah, it was a Belgian film. And you know, there’s a road-trip aspect American moviegoers are used to, but the core of it has a lot of heart. It’s about these three kids wanting to become men. And the coming-of-age genre is making a huge comeback in terms of American moviemaking, so I think it will very much resonate.

Why do you think it’s important that this film has more people of color than the original?

Szeto: Did you even think about that?

Rosenmeyer: Honestly, it was something that from the outset was really important to the filmmakers, to make this film as diverse and inclusive as possible. That’s also reflective of the world that we’re in now, where more people’s stories are getting to be told, and I think that’s really cool.

Szeto: Yeah. And I think the beautiful part about it is that not once in the whole movie did we have to mention—

Rosenmeyer: Yeah, race was never mentioned.

Szeto: Richard Wong, our director, made it a rule: no race jokes, no nothing, we just want this to be what it is.

That makes sense.

Szeto: It’s an American story.

Rosenmeyer: Actually, your character was originally written as a white guy.

Szeto: Very white. Extremely white.

Rosenmeyer: And that was something that in early conversations between the director and myself—I’m in the movie, but I also helped produce the movie. It was like alright, how can we subvert the expectations? Yeah, it’s written for a white guy, but why couldn’t this be something else?

As actors, what was it like immersing yourself in the world of disabled individuals?

Szeto: First of all, we did a lot of research. I did research without knowing it. My uncle, before he passed away, he was an amputee for most of his life, and my sister and I took care of him day-in-day-out, and we saw what a day was like in the hospital for him, how he would navigate his house and everything. Once you do that, you look at a room differently. You’re like, wow, it’s become very different for me to navigate this room than a person that can just walk on two feet. There’s a lot of logistics that go into it, and you look at the world differently. And we did our homework. On the Internet, nowadays it’s a golden age for actors, I think. Go on Youtube and there’s vloggings of things, so you see a day in the life of a paraplegic. I followed this one guy on YouTube, because he’ll teach you how to transfer to a chair from a bed and how he gets around his house, what he does in a day, how he works out. And I pretty much just followed that, and using my knowledge of taking care of my uncle. And then we spoke to a lot of actors with disabilities.

Rosenmeyer: I actually had the benefit of having the real guy that my character was inspired by helping me through the entire process, and also we shot a lot of the movie on location in Chicago and we had the help of disability organizations. We got so much help from the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab out in Chicago, and the wheelchair athletes of McFetridge Sports Park, and it was incredibly eye-opening and just a beautiful experience. It’s pretty much what you hope for as an actor.

Szeto: And a lot of our castmates that were on-set, we had a lot of actors with disabilities on-set, and they would tell me when something doesn’t look right, because this means a lot to them. And it means a lot to us, so we had that collaboration whenever something wasn’t working. Like: “You wouldn’t be using this chair.” “How long were you a paraplegic for?” And we figured it out, they helped us write a more coherent story around what we had.

Rosenmeyer: It was the best.

Szeto: It was so great.

At Character Media, for the month of May we’re doing #favoriteasiancharacter. So we’re gonna ask you guys, who’s your favorite Asian character?

Szeto: Well, I know who his is.

Rosenmeyer: Who’s my favorite Asian character?

Szeto: Obviously Hayden Szeto.

Rosenmeyer: This guy!

Szeto: I mean, it’s so easy. Just kidding.

Rosenmeyer: Erwin Kim, “Edge of Seventeen.”

Szeto: Oh, stop it, stop it. For me, well, man…

Rosenmeyer: That’s a great question.

Szeto: I have a favorite—I definitely have an icon.

Rosenmeyer: I just re-watched “Mulan” on Netflix. It’s so good. Anybody in that movie.

Szeto: Yeah. Li Shang, what a stud. But for me, growing up, being Cantonese, and my family’s from Hong Kong, Bruce Lee’s definitely an icon of mine. I gotta say, I don’t know if you guys know Ekin Cheng? He did a bunch of Hong Kong mafia movies, but with the triad, called “Young and Dangerous.” Those guys were my jam. And also Stephen Chow. So, any movie he’s in is my favorite.

In a New York Minute – Celia Au, Ximan Li, Yi Liu

Character: So, how does it feel to be at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival?

Celia Au: It’s amazing!

Ximan Li: Amazing.

Au: Wait—we should say it all together, guys!

All: One, two, three—it’s AMAZING!

That was well-coordinated!

Au: Yeah! It’s great to see all the Asian films and our stories being told to an audience. People get to see it and there’s a platform for us to show it.

Yi Liu: I live in New York and this is my first time here, and I flew myself here really just for this one.

Li: It’s the first time for me, too, to be part of this film festival. I’m honored and excited.

Can you give us a brief description of the film in your own words?

Li: So, “In a New York Minute” follows the story of Asian women living in New York, trying to explore their identities, searching for love and freedom. They are strangers to each other, but as the film progresses, their stories will cross, and also affect each other.

Where did the inspiration for the film come from?

Li: This film was based on a short story that is in Chinese, published online. I read the story about two years ago. After I read the story, I felt like, “Oh, that’s really nice, you have three Asian women that have their own personal struggles, and searching for love and freedom.” Personally, I can really relate to those characters, because I’m an immigrant here. I came here for film school about five years ago, and during that short time I also experienced loneliness, homesickness, lost myself. That’s how I really connect with the story, that’s how I found the inspiration.

But you found yourself.

Au: She found herself as a director here.

Why was it important to you to make the film about these three women in particular? I’m unfortunately not familiar with the short story, but are they the same kind of characters in the story as they are in the film?

Li: The character setting is basically the same as the short story I read in Chinese. I just changed it a little bit. The original story crosses over, like three storylines.

What do you think was the biggest struggle in capturing such different lives and getting those across?

Au: The struggle for me, as an actor per se, is—you can tell, I am not that girly, if you watch the trailer, I am really girly. So, it was a great opportunity to play something that’s out of my realm and out of my comfort zone, and to get into wearing heels, and walking in heels, and dresses, and low-cut shirts, and I was like, “Whoa, this is different.” But it’s fun. It’s like what the arts are about, and acting is about, to portray different characters and to be in different people’s skins. And I think from [Li], she was probably like, “Oh my god, I’ve got to teach Celia to walk like a girl! Alright Celia, smaller steps. Alright Celia, it’s not a bookbag, it’s a purse.”

Can’t just swing it over your shoulder.

Au: Yeah, I was doing that a lot. She was like, “Hmm, maybe like this?”

Well, you pull it off really well in the film.

Au: Thank you. But yeah, what’s your struggle?

Li: The most difficult part for me is that the production was across the country. Because this film is made in New York, and I live in L.A. So during that time, I didn’t have any connections or resources. That was the hardest thing for me. Also, when I was trying to meet some indie film producers during that time, they don’t see me as a director. They all think I’m an actress, or a producer, or a writer or something. Sometimes I showed up with my producer, Wayne Lin. They all think—he’s a guy, so they all think “Oh, that must be the director,” and I just produce for him. So, I hope in the future, people will see us as female directors.

Au: A female can direct and produce a good film. Rise together!


Liu: Being independent is always a topic that I’m interested in, like being independent financially, mentally and intellectually. Do not take anything that’s given in this society already, and to think for yourself. So, I really love this character and this journey is absolutely beautiful, but New York is so cold. So cold. And our movie takes place in November, December, and a lot of emotional scenes are outside, in dresses. So that was really hard.

Au: Yeah, that was true. I remember there was this one day, I was like…

Li: Yeah, we were shooting the KTV scene and you were standing outside, in front of the…

Au: We were shooting this KTV scene, and I was standing outside, in a little skimpy lingerie, and it was so cold. And [Li] was like, “You’re stuttering.” I’m like, “I know, I know, I know, just give me one second… Okay, let’s do it.” That was probably the most challenging thing, to act when you’re cold, and not look cold.

Li: To get into that emotion as well, wearing a thing like that dress.

Liu: Don’t freeze my emotions! I’ll forever remember Brooklyn Bridge, two in the morning.

Au: I visited set that day and I was like, “Nope! Have fun guys, bye!”

So, for our last question, we’ve been asking everybody, what is your favorite Asian character?

Au: Favorite Asian character… one second, I need to think. This is sad, because we have to think about it. Alright, guys, growing up, the one Asian kind of superhero I had was Trinity from the “Power Rangers.” And she’s the Yellow Ranger. I used to run home everyday from school to make sure I didn’t miss the “Power Rangers.” I was like, “Oh my God, I want to be a yellow ranger! That’s all I want to be! She’s awesome, she’s a badass!”

That’s the only one, if you actually think about it. Throughout our history there’s other people later on, but as for when I was a kid, she’s the only one I can think of.

Li: Let me think.

Liu: Can I say I just hope for more characters?

Li: Yeah, I feel the same.

Absolutely, yeah. We hope so too.

Au: I think representation, and having our stories out there and having people accept us for who we are will create that opportunity for us to have more characters.