Fun, irreverent Alice Lee on playing a badass in Philip K. Dick’s ‘Electric Dreams’ Series

By Dawn Lee Tu

PHILIP K. DICK’S ELECTRIC DREAMS – SEASON 1 – EPISODE 106 – “Safe and Sound” (photo: Elizabeth Sisson © 2017 Sony Pictures Television)

Alice Lee has been in the game for a decade and there’s a good chance you’ve seen her before.

Her impressive body of work includes Broadway (award-winning Spring Awakeningand Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark) and off-Broadway (Heathers the Musical), indy film (Jack, Jules, Esther and Me), television (Switched at Birth, Son of Zorn, The Mindy Project, Two Broke Girls), to reality-music talent show Rising Star. She finds time to cover songs and release original music on her YouTube channel. Lee is also the fresh-faced Asian customer service agent in the Discover Card commercialthat always sparks a fresh round of “Spot the Asian,” my favorite game to play while watching TV.

She can be seen in Safe and Sound, premiering January 12th on Amazon Prime Video. Safe and Soundis an part of Philip K. Dick’s anthology Electric Dreams, a sci-fi anthology series of ten epic, ambitious and moving standalone episodes, each set in a different and unique world – some which lie in the far reaches of the universe and time and others which are much, much closer to home. While the stories may be worlds apart, central to each is the poignant and warm exploration of the importance and significance of humanity.

Each episode is inspired by one of Philip K. Dick’s renowned short stories and has been adapted by leading British and American writers including Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica, Outlander),Michael Dinner (Justified), Tony Grisoni (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), Matthew Graham (Doctor Who), David Farr (The Night Manager), Dee Rees (Mudbound) and Travis Beacham (Pacific Rim) among others.

Lee and I talked over the phone about her latest breakout role, balancing her love for singing and acting, and how she cultivates her creative energies.

Continue reading “Fun, irreverent Alice Lee on playing a badass in Philip K. Dick’s ‘Electric Dreams’ Series”

Emily Chang to Join ‘Vampire Diaries’ for Season 6

8A-2014-07-EmilyCChangFrom The Hollywood Reporter:

The Vampire Diaries is adding a new character who may not be who she seems.

On the heels of Eureka star Colin Ferguson joining the sixth season, The CW drama will be introducing the recurring character of Ivy, described as sweet and sincere. Actress Emily C. Chang, whose credits include Days of Our Lives and Total Recall, has booked the role.

Not much is known about Ivy, only that she’s “the quintessential girl next door with an unexpected wild side” — but knowing Vampire Diaries, the tide will turn sooner rather than later. She will first appear in the sixth-season premiere. [full story]

Go Daddy Adds Ella Koon to Roster

As if web hosting company Go Daddy didn’t play the hot girl action enough, they’re now adding Ella Koon to their repertoire of “Go Daddy girls.” Ella Koon is a musician, model, and actress (which is pretty typical of all celebrities in Asia).

I’ve never heard her music, but apparently she’s pretty popular in television dramas such as Revolving Door of Vengeance and Survivor’s Law II. She’s definitely a little different from the usual gals who Go Daddy CEO and Founder Bob Parsons usually promotes but perhaps a different culture deems different types of beauty. All I have to say is that I’m glad they didn’t pick someone with a bowl cut.

Music Video from Asian American Movie “The People I’ve Slept With” Banned from YouTube

“Crazy Fucked Up Bitch” Official Uncut Version from People Pictures on Vimeo.

It probably goes without saying that this post and all related items may be NSFW, so consider yourself warned.

I know we’re not able to cover every single Asian American thing out there, but I’m shocked that we haven’t mentioned the upcoming feature film The People I’ve Slept With yet. I promise we will cover the film itself in more detail as screenings start to happen, but for now you should know that the movie is a modern sex comedy about a promiscuous woman whose motto is: “a slut is nothing more than a woman with the morals of a man.” Starring Karin Anna Cheung, Wilson Cruz, Archie Kao, Lynn Chen, and James Shigeta (with 8Asians favorite Randall Park as “Mr Nice But Boring”), I love the trailer and can’t wait to see the film.

In the meantime, a couple of music videos from the movie have been released, but the second one, “Crazy F*cked Up B*tch,” was recently banned by YouTube because it features singer/songwriter the Fabulous Miss Wendy and lead actress Karin Anna Cheung — who plays the character Angela Yang — engaging in simulated sex. (If that doesn’t get people to click on the video above, I don’t know what will!) According to YouTube, the video was “removed due to terms of use violation.”

Stanley Yung, the producer of the film, admits that “it was a little risqué but there was no frontal nudity and nothing you couldn’t see on TV.” He believes the issue is bigger than just this video. “We are not only upset by the unjustified deletion but also appalled that our freedom of speech and creative expression has been censored.” He wonders what other videos get regularly deleted. The filmmakers are asking that their video be allowed to play on YouTube again.

The filmmakers of The People I’ve Slept With are committed to an open and frank discussion of sex between consenting adults. Quentin Lee, the director and producer of the film, said that “It’s silly that we still face so much sexual and moral repression in this day and age.”

I spoke to writer/producer Koji Steven Sakai about it over the weekend and asked if they were planning on cutting a version of the video specifically for YouTube. He said that there were no current plans to do so, but said that they did do a version that was for Logo, so a “YouTube cut” could possibly be in the future. (Of course, you can see the uncut video on their site, so who needs YouTube?)

Last year, the filmmakers had put out a call for photos, looking for people to submit pictures of themselves as if they had been one of Angela’s lovers. I asked if there were a lot of responses to this and Koji said that several hundred people did submit photos of themselves and that many of the photos will be seen in the movie or during the credits. Now I’m wondering if I’ll recognize anyone in these pix!

If you missed that chance to be a part of the film you can still be a part of the dialogue. The filmmakers launched “The Most Memorable Person I’ve Slept With” video contest — where people can share with the world their most unforgettable sexual experience which promises to yield some interesting responses. I personally don’t like seeing myself on video, but I challenge you to put yourself on tape on this topic!

8Asians Interviews Bai Ling on “Crank: High Voltage” (And Some Other Stuff)

bai-ling-gunsI never thought I would be blogging about Bai Ling, since — believe it or not — we have never mentioned her on the site. But in a recent post by another blog, websites like ours were called out for talking about Paris Hilton and Bai Ling. Well, their facts were wrong on that one, so as a homage to the Fighting 44s, I am fulfilling their wish and interviewing Bai Ling for 8Asians.

Bai Ling is in the upcoming release of Crank: High Voltage in the role of Ria, a “scantily-clad, fast-talking Asian call girl.” (For the record, not a role originally written for an Asian, says Bai Ling). I spoke to her a couple of weeks by phone about this movie, and a bunch of other topics. Fielding questions from 8Asians bloggers, Bai Ling talks about her image in the media (too much emphasis on the nipple shots!), the Asian American community (if you don’t feel like she’s “one of us,” don’t worry! Neither does she!), and of course, her character in Crank: High Voltage (she did her own stunts!).

And of course, you can always check out what’s new with her on Bai Ling’s blog, Naked Seduction.

Yan’s question from China: Are you aware of image in the media? What do you think of it?

Bai Ling: To be honest with you, I don’t read much — I’m not good at the computer, I don’t watch movies, I don’t even own a TV. I’m in my own world, living in the reality of life, in the moment. So I’m not exactly sure in the serious aspects, but I know that through  gossip magazines or newspapers they tend to accentuate [images] that are eccentrically crazy — my nipple shots, all of that stuff — I think that things being too emphasized. They’re just a very, very little part of me. It’s like I have this little spirit, that just one of the girls —  a tiny girl wearing miniskirts with advanced fashion sense; a crazy, open, eccentric show-off living in her own world. That’s what you see on the red carpet sometimes. But that’s just the very little mischievous little girl’s spirit in me.

But there’s so many other aspects … like the film Dumplings, I won four Asian Academy Awards. Four [of the] most important acting awards [in] one movie. So I hope people can more concentrate on my work. They’re all very different roles; I play very extreme from each other, and they are equally brilliant. I’m just like naturally … a very talented actress. I think that people cannot deny if you look at my work seriously. So I just hope they can shift their little bit weight [when] looking at my work.

And really, that’s why I have this blog there; [for] my writing and so you can know my heart, my soul a little bit more, instead of just those pictures [that] emphasize like my nipple shot; you see those pictures everywhere. Sometimes I look really elegant — I don’t see those pictures. Sometimes there are people who are there to trash me; but some are there to celebrate me.

Moye from Los Angeles: Do you feel like you’re part of the Asian American community? Do you feel like you’re part of a larger community?

Bai Ling: I feel like — you know, it’s like I’m a different creature. That’s why I think I really I landed from the moon. I don’t even think that I’m Asian American or Asian actress or something. I think I’m just one of the brilliant, nature-made creatures in the world — I don’t think otherwise. I think I just lucky to be here to serve, to give, to enjoy, to dance, to smile, to have fun, to make love; I’m just a free spirit.

Joz from Los Angeles: About your character in Crank: High Voltage, you said this role allowed you to show more of your own spirit. You’ve said that “Ria is just wacky, crazy, and the role allowed me to be extremely funny.”

Bai Ling: It gives me the stage because the two young directors [Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor] are really free. They allowed me to say [and] do whatever I wanted. So it encouraged this crazy little girl [to] go extreme. Because that’s the character — they want her to be funny. They want her to be crazy and extreme and [she] serves the style and energy of the film. I just think she’s so much fun. And everything I say, people laugh … whatever she says doesn’t make sense, but in her character make perfect sense. She’s just a funny, fearless, and bold crazy character, and I like that energy — so advanced, modern, careless, and bold. I just enjoy that spirit and doing [this role] all the time was fun, pure fun. Hopefully [this] will lead to some big comedy or craziness because extremes just make people laugh and gives them joy.

[This movie is] like a roller coaster. It’s basically Jason [Statham]’s movie, [and a] really, really fun concept. [An] hour and a half seems like 20 minutes. You know, I did my own stunts — hit by a car but didn’t die. Then I had a cat fight with Amy Smart’s character… just hilarious. My role is silly, but it’s fun.

Bai Ling was actually quite honest during our interview and willing to answer any questions, so I’ll save some of the other parts of the interview for another post, but until then, you can catch her in Crank: High Voltage or the upcoming Love Ranch, and of course, at her blog. She says she’d love it if you’d leave a comment there and tell her you got there through!

Other interviews at: movieline, sfgate