If Emily is having an issue or a problem, she’s very open to talking about it. And Mindy’s approach is similar to mine, where when she’s feeling bad, she doesn’t quite know how to navigate that. She’s not gonna blurt that out and be emotional. She’s gonna sit on it for a second. Her mom is Korean, and we’ve only talked about her dad, his empire and what she left behind there. Her difficult relationship with her father was a beautiful way of opening up the character to being more vulnerable. Mindy, even if she’s a burst of confidence and helps Emily navigate France, is just as lost herself.
You also had a supporting role on Girls5Eva not long after Emily in Paris came out. There was an interesting twist after the first season. Are you going to be on Season 2?
I don’t know if I can answer that. The fact that I got to be in a ’90s girl group, who didn’t dream of that? I was just really happy to be back in the Tina Fey world and getting to do something that was, again, intended to bring joy and humor to people when we are all still amid the pandemic.
Well, I’ll cross my fingers you’re in Season 2. Have you filmed any other projects in addition to Emily in Paris lately?
I just wrapped a film that we shot in Vancouver that’s untitled right now. But it’s a comedy from Lionsgate and Point Grey Pictures, Seth Rogan‘s company. It’s a very hard comedy with a lot of heart, but it was the first time I was the number one on a call sheet. Even in Broadway, I haven’t been “the lead.” My three supporting actors were all Asian actors, Asian females. I love Mindy so much, but it was interesting being in a world where the director, the writers, all the heads of the department, were all Asian females. And to be helming a story that was brought to the surface by people who had my perspective, I just have never seen Asian women getting to be funny, raunchy, smart, heartfelt, and sexy but for the benefit of our story rather than for the benefit of another person’s story. It’s the first time I’ve ever had access to that, so I’m very much reflecting on how much it’s helped me grow both as a person and as an actor.
What do you envision for Mindy’s future on the show?
That question is funny because as soon as you say it, then you manifest some of it. If you had asked me that at the beginning of the first season after I shot the pilot, I probably would have never even dreamed for myself what has happened for Mindy. Season 1 was very much Emily’s point of view and perspective, and we see that still, but we’re really getting into the head and heart of Mindy, as well. I think that the thing I was asked the most after the first season was, “Where’s Mindy’s love interest, and is there going to be more singing?” So that has already come into the picture. Selfishly, I would love for Mindy and Emily to take a trip somewhere again. But also, Mindy is somebody who comes from a world of extremes. She’s an heiress. She was in business school. It’d be interesting to see the Mindy that got away from all that. And, a third season would be nice.
Watch the second season of Emily in Paris on Netflix beginning December 22.