Recap some of the Golden Globes fashion from Sunday evening – all featuring some of your favorite Asian celebrities!
We already know Summer 2012 began months ago, but L.A. Fashion Weekend’s kickoff event made it feel as if the summer began Thursday, June 28 right at The Standard Hotel in Hollywood. Hair experts Wella Professionals presented Fashion Splash, an “intimate” swimsuit fashion show, right at The Standard’s pool. The runway served as a platform to three swimwear lines: Eclat Swimwear, Culture Swimwear, and Maui and Sons. While The Standard’s very L.A. décor of white leather sofas and palm tree leaves growing out of white marbles was the perfect backdrop for a swimsuit fashion show, it was the beautiful, tan guests; fruity cocktails; and the big, poolside umbrellas that made it feel like it was first day of summer.
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“Most icons are dead or past their prime. I’m still alive. And still very much actively involved.” — George Takei
ISSUE: Summer 2011
STORY: Janice Jann
With a resurgence on film and TV, George Takei may be the next Betty White.
George Takei is not a fan of being called an icon. “I take a little umbrage with that,” says the veteran entertainer. “Most icons are dead or past their prime. I’m still alive. And still very much actively involved.”
Indeed, the Japanese American, who is arguably the most famous Asian American actor in Hollywood,
with an entertainment career that spans more than 50 years, across continents, on the small and large screen and on stage, is nowhere near slowing down.
Though Takei is perhaps best known for playing Hikaru Sulu on the ’60s cult classic Star Trek, the star with the deep-baritone voice continues to shine on screen and on stage to this day. Currently, Takei plays a holographic ancestor called Hologramps on the Nickelodeon comedy Supah Ninjas, a show he says will “bring family viewing back together again.” Takei also makes an appearance this summer in the Tom Hanks-Julia Roberts film Larry Crowne, and come 2012, he’ll be on Broadway starring in Allegiance, a musical with Lea Salonga about the Japanese internment during World War II. “It’s a story very close to me,” says Takei. “I lived that life as a child. The parents in the musical are really modeled after my own parents.”
Takei takes the hardships he’s faced in life in stride. Despite the actor’s sometimes stoic reputation, Takei has always been able to combat adversity with a good dose of humor. He’s an outspoken advocate of gay rights (he’s married to long-time partner Brad Altman) and is known for his mock PSAs responding to homo- phobic remarks by public figures. In fact, no one can call this 74-year-old entertainer behind the times in this YouTube age. After his Spider-Man musical spoof video went viral, Takei was dubbed the next Betty White. He’s flattered by the comparison, but what would he rather be called?
“What about George Takei?” he laughs. “I’d like to be that kind of an icon. Working, creative, active and relevant throughout his life.”
“I’m very blessed. “I think that’s what people’s goals in life should be. Do what you love and get paid for it.” — Jared Eng
ISSUE: Summer 2011
STORY: Janice Jann
The face and brains behind the beloved Hollywood gossip blog is anything but Just Jared.
Jared Eng doesn’t sleep much. “Hollywood is 24/7. There’s always something going on,” says the 28-year-old Chinese American. “So I go with the flow.” It’s that mentality that earned Eng’s popular celebrity gossip blog, Just Jared, millions of devoted readers, top- ping Yahoo!’s Blogger List.
What sets Just Jared apart is that, in an increasingly mean-spirited Internet age where every celebrity humiliation is documented, Eng refuses to say anything but exuberantly positive things about his site’s subjects. “I don’t really diss people,” says Eng. “I’m just presenting news.” The news may be light fare like Cameron Diaz grabbing Starbucks or Zac Efron’s mustache, but the site is influential enough for shows like Entourage to reference and for publications like The New York Times to profile.
Eng’s ascent as the blogosphere’s King of Nice took time. “Growing up, there weren’t any aspirations to be a blogger,” he says. His strict upbringing didn’t help — he wasn’t exposed to pop culture until he entered Columbia University. “I fell in love with stars,” Eng remembers. “Jennifer Garner from Alias. Britney Spears. I would watch her video frame by frame so I could learn her choreography.” Eng started Just Jared simply to share his interests. The blog didn’t have the same initial take-off as some of Just Jared’s more sardonic counterparts, but that didn’t bother Eng. “Personally, I have a very apathetic personality,” Eng laughs. “I don’t really get mad at things. I liked what I was putting out. In the long run, it’s paying off.”
It sure is. Just Jared is now developing a younger sister site, Just Jared Jr., and with more than five full-time staff, including Eng’s older brother who runs the business side, Eng is working on expanding the JJ brand. Though that means even less sleep, you won’t find Eng complaining. “I’m very blessed,” he says. “I think that’s what people’s goals in life should be. Do what you love and get paid for it.”
— Janice Jann
“When I go to the Wimbledon ball or the Oscars, it’s black tie with tennis shoes,” — Ashok Amritraj
ISSUE: Summer 2011
STORY: Janice Jann
When it comes to Hollywood producers, Ashok Amritraj is as cool as it gets.
When you imagine a hotshot Hollywood movie producer who’s worked with some of the biggest stars in Tinseltown — from Sandra Bullock to Steve Martin — and raked in billions of dollars in revenue, you may not picture him as a “suit and tennis shoes” kind of a guy. But Hyde Park Entertainment head Ashok Amritraj was never easy to peg. “When I go to the Wimbledon ball or the Oscars, it’s black tie with tennis shoes,” chuckles the easygoing, India-born mega-producer.
A fitting footwear choice given that before conquering Hollywood, Amritraj was recruited in the ’70s to play tennis in the U.S. and reigned as a teenage tennis champ. “Sports is the best way to understand that if you work hard, you’ll do better, and if you slouch off, some guy’s going to beat you,” he says.
Once in the U.S., Amritraj quickly turned his sights to filmmaking. He had grown up watching Ben Hur and The Sound of Music, but had no idea that making a movie was a whole other beast. “I learned a lot in the first five years. Knocked on a lot of doors, had them fall on my face,” Amritraj remembers. It was his perseverance that finally got him in the door. “In this town, 99 percent of movies don’t get made [because there’s] a lack of focus,” he says. “You run around, you go see people. Pretty soon, you’re off trying to cast another movie or writing something else. It takes a single-minded focus.”
That focus has gained Amritraj more than 100 titles under his belt, and now he’s leading Hyde Park’s expansion into the Middle East and Asia. For the mega-producer, it’s all about global synergy. “It’s easier to be a part of the world than it was before,” he says. “If there’s one thing I’d teach my kids, it’s get into business, but do it on a broader basis. Don’t think just L.A. or U.S. There are a lot of balls to play with.”
More stories from Audrey Magazine’s Archives here.
In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) held a panel discussion moderated by actress Jodi Long (All American Girl) discussing what the new Asian America (and Canada) looks like.
Chris Tashima, Ellen Ho, James Hong, Sandra Oh, Ken Mok and Julia Kim participated in the panel and took turns answering and questioning each other on what it’s like being Asian American* and working in Hollywood.
For someone who’s supposed to be a featured star within a film, they really don’t show it in this new trailer for Sucker Punch. A new trailer for Sucker Punch just premiered and it mainly features the protagonist, Baby Doll played by Emily Browning, but none of Korean American Jamie Chung’s character, Amber. I’ve watched through this trailer twice now and I haven’t spotted her once in it. The new trailer mainly focuses on the special effects from the film, which are absolutely gorgeous, but I WANT MORE JAMIE CHUNG. I mean, they have a character poster for her, doesn’t that mean she should have some screen time in the new trailer?
Even though the celebration was 20 days after her real birthday (January 9), it was better late than never! Nickelodeon’s True Jackson, VP star Ashley Argota celebrated her 18th birthday at The W Hotel in Hollywood with her family, close friends and (like a true VIP) plenty of press.
Before the Filipina America debuted on the carpet, Nickelodeon and Disney tween celebs like Debby Ryan (Suite Life on Deck), Robbie Amell (True Jackson, VP) and fellow Filipina American Anna Maria Perez de Tagle (Camp Rock 1 & 2) arrived on scene and ready for the lights, camera and action!
Some of the younger stars included the witty Rico Rodriguez (Modern Family), the charming Maddison Pettis (Cory in the House/Phineas and Ferb), and singers Abi Ann Hoffman and Neenah Taylor. Even though these actors are still rookies in the field, they definitely had no trouble handling the bright lights and mic. At some point, Rodriguez even busted out into a dance move to entertain the press.
Three of Argota’s chosen favorite children from Starlight Children’s Foundation, including Brittni Hamilton were some of the special guests of the night. Even though the True Jackson, VP actress has so many followers (and it’s not just her more than 50,000 Twitter followers we’re talking about here), she remembers to also give back to the community.
For Argota, this was her one big celebration for the year, so curious as to what dazzling gifts she got for her birthday? Stay tuned for upcoming video clips and interviews of Argota and more of your favorite tween stars.
Want more teen stars? Check out our Spring 2011 issue and our Feature Story on Asian American teens on TV, out in early March!