Released in the US on 29th May, 2019, “Always Be My Maybe” garnered attention for its poignant humour and plot that depicted the not-so-glossy side of love, with both its confusion and awkwardness. Starring Ali Wong, Rendall Park, Keanu Reeves, Miya Chech, Emerson Min, Daniel Dae Kim, James Saito, Susan Park, and Vivian Bang, the Nahnatchka Khan directorial comes with its own colloquial flavor that puts Asian culture and representation at its forefront.
Emerson Min stars in the movie as younger Marcus (Rendall Park). He captures the essence of the character and sets a perfect tone for the grown-up Marcus. Earlier seen as Mason from ABC Hit series “Black-ish”, Min is steadily making his mark on the audiences through his work but it’s not just his work that makes him a sought-after artist. Min is an opinionated individual who has been using his platform and influence to raise awareness around the issue of whitewashing and significance of representation in the mainstream media and industry.
In his free time, Emerson enjoys volleyball, debate, golf, basketball and collecting baseball cards. Emerson currently resides in Los Angeles.
CelebMix got a chance to catch up with Emerson Min to talk about his journey so far and his future projects. Check out the interview below:
Please tell our readers a bit about yourself.
Hey! I’m Emerson Min. A few cool things about me is that my favourite subject in school is math, I love to play sports like basketball, volleyball, and I am part of the debate team throughout the year at my school. I just finished an in-school play called “The Rules Of Comedy” and that was a blast! I like to motorcycle in the mountains with my dad and love exploring new cultures and destinations.
What triggered your interest in acting and how did your journey as an actor begin?
My mom used to be a director. She gave me a small role in her short film and I immediately loved it. I did commercials for about 5-6 years as a hobby, then went on to television and film about a year or two ago.
Do you have someone who you look up to as an inspiration?
I have so many inspirations, but I think that Sandra Oh has to be one of the biggest. What she has done for Asian representation is truly amazing. Seeing her host the Golden Globes was a pivotal moment. I felt it was an honour just to be Asian.
We read that you enjoy volleyball, debate, golf, basketball and collecting baseball cards. How do you manage your studies and your pursuit of becoming an actor?
I think that acting is all about balance. I have learned how to balance school, acting and extra-curricular activities with limited time in my schedule. Volleyball, golf, and basketball keep me active outside of school while debate keeps my intellectual wheels turning as I think about each topic throughout the day. Collecting baseball cards is also a fun hobby when I have the time. My school, Polytechnic, is a high achieving school that usually keeps me really busy with homework and tests. With all that, I must admit I love acting the most. I found something I love to do and wouldn’t trade it in for anything. My mom says that being in school fills me with experiences that help me become a better actor. Also, if I don’t get a role, I have something great to go back to.
How has been your experience of playing the role of Mason in Black-ish?
Mason is probably one of my favourite characters I’ve played. He’s funny, happy, and sometimes awkward that brings a lot of laughs to the show. In the last episode I was able to improve with Anthony which was amazing. I feel privileged to be an Asian representative on a show.
Black-ish puts forth its narrative from the perspective of people who have been usually sidelined in the mainstream industry. How do you perceive the show and your role in the show?
I love being a part of a show that addresses current issues in a dramatic story that has a comedic spin. I’m proud to be part of a show that isn’t just a sitcom to be funny but has deeper meaning and creates conversation.
We went through your Instagram feed. You have been very vocal about Asian representation and its significance. After projects like Crazy Rich Asians catching the attention of the general public, how do you position yourself as an Asian actor in the western industry? Have things improved?
Crazy Rich Asians is a great start for Asian representation as a minority group. It’s the first movie I’ve seen on the big screen that had a full Asian cast. That was significant for me. I think the public is starting to realize the talent of some Asian actors and we are starting to show everyone what we can bring to the table. I am proud to be an Asian actor in this industry and hope that there are more variety of roles that are created for aspiring Asians actors like me. Even though we are far from where we need to be in the industry regarding representation, we are starting to break out of a certain stereotype.
What steps do you think we must take to encourage more diversity in the media and the film industry?
I think that people need to realize Asian actors can play a variety of roles. Look at BTS and the following they have! Asians can be the most popular boy band and even a romantic lead like in “Always Be My Maybe”.
Congratulations for “Always Be My Maybe”. Can you please tell our readers about the new project?
“Always Be My Maybe” is an Asian romantic comedy that is sooo cute! It’s about Marcus and Sasha who are childhood best friends in San Francisco. They drift apart after high school. Fast forward years later, they coincidentally run into each other back in San Francisco, but have extremely different lives. The movie shows how they reconnect and get back together.
The trailer seems fun. How was the experience of playing the role of Marcus?
Marcus is literally me! I can relate to him on every level. From being Korean, to having a bright personality I felt I understood him inside and out. Though I didn’t live in San Francisco, I visited the city many times and went to many of the same locations.
Considering that your journey has just started, what kind of projects or themes would you like to take up in the near future?
I would love to do more comedy because making people laugh on and off the screen is one of the best feelings ever. Comedy is my favourite genre in film or tv. There’s nothing better than to watch someone laugh from your performance. I hope to encourage people one laugh at a time. I also would like to go into dramatic film roles. The best dramatic roles usually have some humour in it too.
Would you like to share with us your future projects or endeavours?
Black-ish got another season! Stay tuned at @emersoneliasmin on insta for all future shows and projects I do! I have a few things in the works.
What do you think about “Always Be My Maybe”? Share your thoughts on Emerson Min and his work via tweet @CelebMix.