Japanese-Irish American actress Nichole Bloom, who plays JB’s girl in the spring high school party flick Project X, and the lead role of 16-year-old Kayla Tanaka in independent film Model Minority, moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles as a 14-year-old to pursue acting. Choosing career over a typical high school life was well worth it, as the 22-year-old Bloom, who initially did mostly commercial work and graduated early from the University of Southern California theater program, continues to stay focused on her aspiration to become the Asian Julia Roberts. In Model Minority, Bloom faces her very personal struggle to balance her Japanese and American cultures and stay true to herself.
Don’t miss the rest of our interview with the talented actress published in the Audrey Magazine summer issue. Don’t have a copy? Purchase one or subscribe here.
Audrey Magazine: How did you become involved with Project X and Model Minority?
Nichole Bloom: Project X was the first movie I had ever been cast in. Filming was so much fun. Model Minority was a great experience for me as an actor. I don’t know when I’ll get to… [play] a character that has such a huge story line and goes through so much. I met the director, Lily Mariye, the second time I went in to audition. I kind of already knew then that she wanted me for the role. That was an intense filming process. We did up to five scenes a day. It was a marathon.
AM: When did you know that you wanted to pursue acting as a career?
NB: I feel like a lot of people have a specific moment, but I never had anything like that. I just remember being really young and I would love to entertain my mom, be a total goofball, and do impressions. She encouraged that in me. By the time I was eight, I was involved in a theater group and got more encouragement from my teacher. There was no question, why would I be interested in anything else? By the time I was 12, I knew I had to get an agent if I really wanted to do this, and it kind of snowballed.
AM: Who is someone you admire and respect and why?
NB: The first person that comes to mind is my mother. She’s one of the strongest people I know. Right now, Rooney Mara [star of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo] is a hero for me, someone I am kind of in awe of. She’s so different than the trend of what’s going on in Hollywood right now. She’s just a real artist.
AM: You mention your obsession with good food and enjoying it with friends. As an actor, are you ever concerned with your body image?
NB: There’s a reality to it. I try to not think about what everyone else’s opinions are. I’m going to enjoy myself. It’s really important to be healthy, which is why I work out and try to stay in shape as much as possible. Ultimately, I’m a woman and my body will do what it will do. I struggled a lot with that when I was younger, but I’ve come to accept who I am and if people don’t like that, I don’t care about their opinion. If people aren’t going to hire me for that, they’re not the kind of people that I would work for.
AM: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
NB: As an actor I’m always struggling to figure out what it is that I’m thinking and what I’m really feeling. Half the time it’s hard to tell. Am I thinking this because I’m supposed to or conditioned to or is this actually what I’m thinking? You really have to sit down and just think about this stuff and it’s really hard to do. Personally, I’m working on that, getting to the core of what’s going on with me. If I do that, it helps me to act so much better.