Nichole Bloom makes her leading lady debut in the upcoming independent film, Model Minority.
ISSUE: Summer 2012
STORY: Courtney Hong
“I was a late bloomer,” says 22- year-old Nichole Bloom, who stars as 16-year-old Kayla Tanaka in the up-coming independent film Model Minority, written and directed by award-winning screenwriter Lily Mariye. “I still relate so much to that adolescent phase, like who you are, what you’re supposed to do. I feel more comfortable playing younger characters than older, that’s for sure.”
Bloom, who is Japanese-Irish American, may feel young, but she was far ahead of other 8-year-olds when she decided at that age to be an actress. At 14, she convinced her parents to move from San Francisco to Los Angeles so she could pursue her career, trading a high school social life for piano practice, ballet class and other endeavors that would hone her acting skills. In 2010, Bloom finished the theater program at the University of Southern California early. “I didn’t really see the point to being in school and studying theater when the way to do that is to go out and do it,” she says.
Doing commercials is one thing, but Bloom’s determination to act in films pitted her against her greatest challenge: her ethnicity. “[It’s] easy to be seen as the white girl, or the Asian girl who’s going to play the supporting character. I don’t fall into either of those categories,” says Bloom, who played a leading man’s girl in the high school party flick Project X. Like her most recent character Kayla, Bloom continues to struggle to balance her Japanese and American identities.
“I hope I will get the opportunity to play characters despite what I look like,” she says. “There’s no Asian Julia Roberts yet. That’s a crazy aspiration, maybe, but until we have that, we really haven’t broken barriers. I’m hoping I’ll be able to overcome it.” And with a lead in an indie already under her belt, Bloom’s star has just begun to shine.
— Courtney Hong