The World’s Smallest Woman Achieves Her Biggest Dream on “American Horror Story: Freak Show”

 

Tonight’s the night! The highly anticipated fourth season of FX television series American Horror Story premieres tonight and has fans on the edge of their seats in excitement.

As the name suggests, American Horror Story: Freak Show is is set in 1952 Jupiter, Florida and tells the story of a traveling freak show in America. There’s no denying our excitement for the expected suspense and horror (after all, there is a mysterious murderer in town), but truth be told, we’re more excited for something else.

AHS is including many actors from their usual cast, but in an effort to achieve authenticity, AHS went above and beyond to search for actors who may have actually been qualified for this type of show back when exhibitions of human oddities existed. This means AHS has opened their doors up and created opportunities for actors who have doubted their chances of ever being on screen because of their size, disability, etc.

Based on the numerous interviews with the AHS actors, many seem ecstatic about the opportunity. These actors finally get to show their talent in an industry that is not as accepting as many of us would like.

In particular, we’re excited to see 20-year-old Jyoti Amge from Nagpur, India. With a height of 23 inches and a weight of 11 pounds, Amge currently holds the Guinness World Record for the shortest woman.

“People like me might be small in stature, but can also act,” she says in an exclusive American Horror Story interview. “Regular people should not underestimate people who are small. In every aspect [we] can do things that normal people can.”

And Amge certainly proves that by achieving her biggest dream. When AHS producers checked out her official website, Amge openly stated that she wanted to move to Hollywood and become an actress.

Fulfilling that dream, Jyoti Amge plays the character Ma Petite, an assistant to the head of the freak show. Although Amge’s character is part of the freak show, she points out that an important message is to be learned from this: People who are different are not “freaks” and should not scare you.

Check out the American Horror Story: Freak Show interview below. Amge talks about everything from marriage, her pet peeves and of course, the must-see show.

 

 

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Fall Television Shows With Asian American Actors

 

Looking for a new show to watch this fall? Want to see more Asian American faces on your screen? Well you’re in luck! Here are four of the fall television shows with Asian American actors that we’re most excited for.


 

THE MYSTERIES OF LAURA, NBC
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Fresh off her role as the witch Tessa in Vampire Diaries, Janina Gavankar joins the cast of the new NBC series The Mysteries of Laura, which stars Debra Messing (Will & Grace) as Laura Diamond, a NYPD homicide detective who’s juggling her professional and personal lives as a working mother of twin boys. Gavankar plays her colleague and rival Detective Meredith Bose, whom she has describes as a “buff, which is somebody who takes their job a little too seriously.” The Indian-Dutch native of Joliet, Ill., is also known for her roles as Papi in The L Word, shapeshifter Luna Garza in True Blood, Detective McKenna Hall in Arrow and Shiva in The League. Having grown up studying classical piano, percussion and voice, Gavankar is also a singer. She was once in the girl group Endera on the Cash Money label, shot a music video cover of Kanye West’s “Love Lockdown,” and most recently released her single “Waiting for Godot,” which will be part of a forthcoming EP on Randy Jackson’s label. Details: Premieres September 24.

 

SCORPION, CBS
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Inspired by a true story, Scorpion follows eccentric IT genius Walter O’Brien, played by Indian-Tunisian British actor Elyes Gabel, who leads a tactical team of brilliant, nerdy misfits, including Asian Canadian Jadyn Wong as Happy Quinn, a “mechanical prodigy.” When Homeland Security comes calling, the team must utilize every trick in their genius book to protect the country from high-tech threats. The pilot, directed by Justin Lin (Fast & Furious), is a wild ride, with the team scrambling to prevent a plane crash. Details: Premieres September 22.


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SELFIE, ABC
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Selfie, a loose adaptation of Pygmalion and My Fair Lady, stars Karen Gillan as Eliza Dooley, a fame-obsessed social media star whose public image takes a dive after a humiliating breakup, and John Cho as Henry, a marketing guru who’s going to teach her how to re-brand herself (and hopefully become a better person in the real world). Though casting directors were originally looking for an older British actor for the romantic lead, Cho eventually won them over, and creator Emily Kapnek (Suburgatory) told reporters she was especially excited about growing the characters’ relationship after seeing the natural chemistry between her two stars. Details: Premieres September 30.

 

STALKER, CBS
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If you’ve ever been stalked, you’re going to relate to this one. In this psychological thriller, Maggie Q is head of the Threat Assessment Unit of the LAPD. Working on cases ranging from voyeurism, cyber harassment and romantic fixation, Q’s Beth Davis is opinionated, obsessive and a workaholic — for a reason. “Anyone can be a stalker; anyone can be a victim. That’s where I come in,” she says in the pilot. When she is joined by a brash new transfer from New York, played by Dylan McDermott, who jokes that he joined the unit to meet Scarlett Johansson, Q is not pleased. In fact, there’s more to Q’s Davis than just dedication to her job — while trying to calm one victim of a stalker who has already killed, she assures him, “There is nothing that you’re feeling that I don’t know. Believe me, I know.” Details: Premieres October 1.

 

  –STORY BY ANNA M. PARK & ADA TSENG.
This story was originally published in our Fall 2014 issue. Get your copy here.

 

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SCORPION PHOTO BY MONTY BRINTON/CBS© 2014 CBS BROADCASTING, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; STALKER PHOTO BY RICHARD CARTWRIGHT/CBS ©2014 CBS BROADCASTING, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; SELFIE PHOTO BY CRAIG SJODIN/ABC.

 

Kimiko Glenn As Brook Soso on ‘Orange is the New Black’

When Netflix released the entire second season of Orange is the New Black, let’s just say we were more than a little excited. By the third episode, we discovered something to be really excited about– they casted an Asian.

Kimiko Glenn is the actress who plays the prison’s newest inmate, Brook Soso. Another character has described her as a “dirty hippie.” This isn’t completely missing the mark considering everything we’ve learned about her so far. She refuses to shower, goes on hunger strikes for better prison conditions and even rallies her other other inmates. Although at times odd, she’s clearly quite a character.

Of course this isn’t the first Asian character on Orange is the New Black. However, the only other Asian character, Chang, hardly spoke and told us nothing about her personality. Soso is quite the opposite– she can’t stop talking and the other inmates are quick to realize that.

Recently, actress Kimiko Glenn opened up to Cosmopolitan.com about her character:

Cosmo: You’re in more than half of the episodes in Season 2. How did you end up on the show?
Glenn: I was doing theater before all this, and I had some experience with film and TV — I filmed a sitcom pilot. When I got the audition, I was actually watching episode 5 of the first season. You know how it kind of snowballs and you’re like, Now I can’t stop, I’m addicted? I was in the middle of that. After I finished, I paused and looked at [my agent’s] email and it said: “Appointment for Orange Is The New Black.” And I said, “Oh my god, wait!” I stared at it for a second because I thought I was seeing things. It was cool because I was watching, like, “I would love to be on this show, but I would never be on this show because what part would there be for me in a prison?”

 

Cosmo: Orange is a great platform for minorities. How does Brook’s character help as far as Asian American representation, and do you think about it?
Glenn: Absolutely. I think the original vision of the character was a blonde girl, and then they opened it up to Indian, and then it kind of landed on me somehow. But I think that was telling of how open Jenji [Kohan, the creator] is and the way in which we’re thinking about it more. What I love about playing Brook is the fact that this is not an Asian stereotype. This is not like any character I’ve gone in for. I go in for a lot of the typical things you would think: the silly sidekick, the smart one, stuff like that. It is something I think about all the time. It’s a conversation I ask my agents; I ask my managers. It’s always a conversation because I do want to be playing parts that are human parts. And I love that they say that I’m Asian American. I’m not “full Asian.” I think Asians in general are underrepresented.

Cosmo: There isn’t much representation at all, and your character is funny.
Glenn: I get discouraged when I watch films. TV, I think is getting a lot better, but I’ll watch and it’ll be primarily white and then a few African-American actors scattered in. As an Asian woman, I find that it’s pretty difficult to break the boundary, you know, to come in and tell a story that isn’t about being Asian. I think what would be completely ground-breaking is if there was some sort of film or TV show — or maybe there is, I don’t know — where there is an Asian American lead who wasn’t about being Asian American.

 

Read the rest of Kimiko Glenn’s responses here.


Shay Mitchell’s Steamy ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Photoshoot

Shay Mitchell, the Filipina-Scottish-Irish American actress most known for her role as Emily in Pretty Little Liars, recently took over the pages of GQ along with her PLL cast members.

In the original books that Pretty Little Liars was based on, her character Emily is a redheaded Caucasian.

“She doesn’t look anything like me,” Mitchell tells Audrey Magazine. “I think it says a lot. The girl-next-door isn’t just blond-haired and blue-eyed anymore.”

“I’m finding there are so many auditions that I can go to that I’m sure actresses before me couldn’t go to five, 10 years ago,” Mitchell adds. “If I feel, looking as I do, that I can be a girl next door, I think that’s a really good thing for Asian American actors.”

Mitchell joins her co-stars Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale and Troian Bellisario for this steamy photoshoot. Unfortunately, the photoshoot has gotten some criticism for being photoshopped and the actors have responded by saying they are proud of their natural bodies.

“Photoshopped or not. I work with three of the most gorgeous women on the planet.” Bellisario added.

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See more of the photoshoot here. 

Korean Americans on TV: Who’s In and Who’s Out?

Story by Ruth Kim.

Wondering whether or not you’ll see your favorite Korean American faces on screen this season? Here’s a rundown of which of their shows got the green light—and which ones got the boot.


Sniff! Here are the shows that have been cancelled:   

The Neighbors: The aliens are moving out of New Jersey. Tim Jo, who plays the extraterrestrial Reggie Jackson on the ABC comedy, will have has his last laugh as the show ends after its second season. In a KoreAminterview, he said, “There’s no doubt that the world is getting more accustomed to seeing minority faces on screen.” We doubt this funny man will stay off the screen for very long.

The Tomorrow People: With the foresight of their telepathic abilities, you’d think that The Tomorrow People saw this one coming. Unfortunately, the superhuman cast of the CW Network sci-fi series is being transported back to the future, including Korean American actor Aaron Yoo, who played Russell Kwon, one of the leading roles.

Community: The spunky Ken Jeong will see his last days as Ben Chang, the pesky, peculiar, and totally endearing character on NBC’s cult comedy, Community. While the threat of cancellation loomed over the show in previous seasons like a dark cloud, the network will finally lay down the ax after five seasons. Ken Jeong tweeted, “A most heartfelt THANK YOU to all the Community fans. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. My life is so blessed because you’re all in it. Chang The World.”

BelieveJamie Chung’s days as Janice Channing on NBC’s drama Believe were cut short. The KA actress doesn’t seem too fazed, though. Receiving critical acclaim for her roles as Eden in the eponymous film and Mulan in ABC’s Once Upon a Time, Chung has a lot to believe in.

Growing Up Fisher: NBC’s American sitcom will be cancelled after its first season, despite the efforts of 13-year-old Lance Lim, who played Runyen. Three days before the show was cancelled, Lim posted on his Facebook page, “We really need all the viewers on this one so please please please watch tonights episode of Growing Up Fisher, again at 9:30 on NBC! 1 view really counts so even if you can’t watch it just turn the tv on at NBC! thanks guys!”

Intelligence: You’d think that any show starring the husky voice and the chiseled features of Josh Holloway would grace our screens forever. Sad to say, CBS will cancel the cyber-themed television series after only one season. Will Yun Lee had a recurring role.


But it’s not all doom and gloom. You can still catch your fave KA TV actors on these shows, which have been renewed. 

Once Upon a Time: Who is this girl I see, staring straight back at me? Jamie Chung, that’s who. As mentioned above, Chung will continue her role as Mulan in ABC’s Once Upon a Time as the show moves forward with its fourth season.

Modern Family: There’s no way ABC will cancel a show that features the most adorable, spunkiest little girl on television. We’re talking about Aubrey Anderson Emmons, who plays Lily Tucker-Pritchett on Modern Family. Little known fact: Emmons is the daughter of South Korean adoptee and comedian Amy Anderson and radio host Kent Emmons.

The 100: Speaking of Korean adoptees, actor and fellow adoptee Christopher Larkin will continue his role as the endearing delinquent, Monty Green, on the CW Network’s The 100. When KoreAm spoke with Larkin before the show premiered, he spoke passionately about representing Asian Americans on screen while trying to avoid stereotypical Asian roles. We’re glad that Larkin still has the chance to show us what he’s made of

The Mentalist: Surprise—Tim Kang is back as Special Agent Kimball Cho in another season of The Mentalist. Despite a series of low ratings in the sixth season, the CBS drama made the cut. Kang tweeted, “Thank you, everyone, for all your support! Seriously, couldn’t have gotten a Season 7 without you. Looking forward to it!!”

Grey’s Anatomy: There’s no rest for the weary: wrapping up its tenth season, the cast of Grey’s Anatomy will move on to its 11th season. Operations will resume at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital but without one pivotal character: Sandra Oh. Read all about Oh’s decision to move on from her groundbreaking role as Dr. Cristina Yang in the latest issue of KoreAm. And see her before she scrubs in for the final time—Oh’s final episode airs tomorrow.

There’s also some fresh meat coming in on the ABC network—John Cho will play an arrogant, successful marketing expert in his new sitcom SelfieRex Lee, who starred in Entourage and in the recently cancelled show Suburgatory, will explore a new role as a high-strung, metrosexual publicist in an upcoming comedy, Young & Hungry.

And last but not least—and at last!—ABC filled one more slot with an unprecedented sitcom that focuses on an Asian American family. Based on food personality Eddie Huang’s memoir, Fresh Off the Boat  will feature Hudson Yang, Randall Park, and Constance Wu.

This story was originally published on iamkoream.com

“Fresh Off The Boat” Author is Not Sorry For Controversial Title

It goes without saying that we are all excited for ABC’s new sitcom Fresh Off The Boat. After all, it’s been two decades since we’ve seen a television series focus on an Asian American family.

While our readers generally agree with our excitement, there was one reaction that popped up more than anything else: what is with that title? 

As you can imagine, many people were confused with the controversial title. “Fresh off the boat” has historically been a derogatory term and has been generally used as an insult. Many people have shared their fear that the sitcom will normalize the usage of “F.O.B.” without recognizing the oppression that comes along with the term.

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Eddie Huang, the creator/writer of the Fresh Off The Boat memoir and the co-producer of the show, highly disagrees. The Taiwanese-Chinese American writer claims that he is turning the tables and hopes to create an environment where the phrase is a badge of honor. 

“I would never call myself an American,” he told BuzzFeed. “I’m a Taiwanese-Chinese American. My parents came here in the late ’70s and had me about three years after they’d lived in this country. So I consider myself fresh. You can’t tell me to not consider myself something.”

“There are people in every race who try to speak for everybody and try to legislate what you can think and what you can’t think, with no understanding of what it means to interpret an experience,” he added. “It’s ‘fresh off the boat.’ That’s a term that Asians call each other and we claim it and it’s worn with pride.”

 

He went on to say that the title is a nod to how his family was perceived by others and how they perceived themselves.

Of course Huang recognizes that some may disagree with the title as well as the show’s portrayal of Asian Americans. He simply emphasizes that he is showing his own experience and it’s important for other Asian Americans to go and show their separate experience. After all, we are capable of having different stories.

“It’s not enough for one person to represent us,” he said. “We need many people. People are going to disagree, but, you know what? They gotta make another show.”

(Source)

New Korean Show Allows Contestants to Reverse Excessive Plastic Surgery

If you told us that South Korea was releasing a new television show based on plastic surgery, we admit that we wouldn’t be too surprised. After all, we’ve already seen twin sisters look completely different after appearing on the show Let’s Beauty.

We will, however, admit that we were caught off guard with the new Korean show Back to My Face. The popular show does focus on plastic surgery, but it has a big twist: the show focused on “reverse makeovers” that allow contestants to go back to their original appearance.

Back to My Face features contestants who have had 10 or more procedures done and may have some regrets about their decisions. Contestants are encouraged to go back to their original appearance through a number of “therapy sessions” such as getting feedback from strangers about their pre-surgery photos.

After their sessions, the contestants decide if they want to have reconstructive surgery to remove implants or undo excessive plastic surgery that has been done. 

Although the show has gathered quite a bit of attention for itself, netizens have mixed feelings towards the show. Some claim that Back to My Face has a good message and reminds people to embrace what they are born with. Others have complained that the show tries to be redeeming, but it is still about more surgery.

Watch the preview below and tell us what you think.

 

Here is a photo of one contestant who regretted the amount of surgery she had done:
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Here is the contestant after her reconstructive surgery:

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And here is an old photo of the contestant before excessive amounts of surgery. Were they able to match her original appearance? :
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Check out more contestants who wanted to get their original appearance back:

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(Source 1, 2)

Top 5 Reasons We Love Darren Criss

Darren Criss has only been in television’s spotlight for a handful of years, but he has already managed to gather an incredible amount of dedicated fans. On twitter alone, his account has an impressive 1.7 million followers. It doesn’t take much to see that Criss is beloved by many.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the 27-year-old actor, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 reasons we love Darren Criss. See if you end up falling in love with him after reading them all.

 


 

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1. He’s Harry Potter.

Well… not exactly, but he certainly does a great job of portraying a comedic Harry Potter on stage. In 2009, Darren Criss co-founded a Chicago-based musical theatre company called StarKid Productions. That same year, Criss played Harry Potter in the StarKid production “A Very Potter Musical” and began gathering attention for himself. The hilarious musical was put on YouTube and became a viral video. The musical was so popular that they created two more installments. Even before hitting television screens, Criss already showed us his humor, charm, talent and stage presence.

 


 


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2. He’s Blaine.

Darren Criss is most known for his character Blaine Anderson on the popular Fox musical comedy-drama series Glee. Following his success with StarKid Productions, he was casted as the charming gay high school student. The chemistry between Blaine and another character named Kurt Hummel gained a large fan support and their relationship was named, “one of the most beloved TV couples of the millennium” by  the New York Post. Additionally, they were named Favorite TV Couple at the 2010 AfterElton.com Visibility Awards, and Entertainment Weekly claims that the boys have been “leading the way” in representing the gay community on television.

 


 

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3. He’s talented.
As you can probably tell from his work, Darren Criss is an awfully talented fellow. He began playing the violin at the age of 5 and was classically trained for 15 years. Of course, he didn’t stop there. He also taught himself how to play the guitar, piano, mandolin, harmonica and drums. By the age of ten, he began joining theater groups and theater companies. By 15, Criss began composing songs. He made his television debut in 2009 on Eastwick, his Broadway debut in 2012 in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and his film debut later that year in Girl Most Likely.

 

 


 


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4. He’s Filipino-American.
And he’s extremely proud of his roots. His mother is a native of Cebu, Philippines and went to live in America in hopes of better circumstances for her children. Criss admits that while his childhood was not too immersed in the culture, he has been to the Philippines numerous times and has a “bizarre kinship” with the country. “As soon as I got off the plane, I was like, ‘Ah, this is me back in the Philippines.” I love this place. Whatever Filipino blood [I have in me] is very happy to be here.” he said in an interview.

 


 


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5. He has a big heart.
Possibly one of the biggest reasons Criss has such a large fanbase is because he seems to be a genuinely good person. Following the massive Typhoon that hit the Philippines, Criss launched a campaign to encourage donations. His statement said, “My mother was born & raised there, and as a result I have always been proud of my Filipino heritage, as well as lucky enough to feel the tremendous support of the Filipino community throughout my life as an artist.” Criss is an active supporter of The Trevor Project which focuses on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. His work with this organization gained him Variety’s Power of Youth Philanthropy award.

 


 

Bonus: He’s Hot.

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This Adorable 3-Year-Old Will Make Your Day With His Dance Moves

Even if you have the worst case of the Mondays, 3-year-old Zhang Junhao will certainly make your day.

A Chinese reality show, which appears to be similar to America’s Got Talent, recently had the brave young boy on their stage to impress the judges and bring the audience to their feet.

The boy doesn’t appear to have an ounce of bashfulness as he hugs his luggage, calls it his baby and says he will dance with his baby. The second Zhang Junhao walks on stage, he puts a smile on the faces of the judges including celebrity judge Jet Li.

After running up to the judges to give them all a kiss on the cheek, he begins showing off his adorable dance skills. He does everything from the robot to karate punches to skipping. Zhang Junhao may be young and his dancing may be completely random, but he certainly seems natural at putting a smile on someone’s face.

He bravely tells the judges that he was not afraid to perform and he dances for his entire family everyday. He then tells the judges that he loves dancing because it makes his mother laugh and laughter is happiness.

Trust us when we say young  Zhang Junhao will put a smile on your face.

(source)

‘America’s Next Top Model’ Filming in Korea

Story by Cassandra Kwok. 

Supermodel Tyra Banks and the newest contestants of reality TV show America’s Next Top Modelwere spotted roaming the streets of Seoul, causing a “frenzy” among local media, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Local residents have been reporting on the group’s whereabouts on social media, after host Banks and her crew arrived in Seoul on March 21. The group reportedly visited various city landmarks and popular tourist attractions, including City Hall and Gwanghwamun at Gyeongbok Palace, while filming the 21st iteration of the modeling competition, which will be coed this season.

Various entertainment sites reported that 17-year-old Korean model, Lee Jin-yi, could possibly be a competitor this season. Lee is the daughter of actress Hwang Shin-hye. In addition, K-pop group BtoB will appear on the show as dance judges.

The reality TV show is known for traveling to extravagant locations with the latest trend-setting fashion. Filming of the show will continue for next two weeks under tight security.

Residents of Seoul will be seeing much more than just models wandering their streets as South Korea has been taking center stage for several international productions this year.

In just a few weeks, the filming of Avengers 2: Age of Ultron will be shutting down the streets of Seoul as reports have stated closures of many major roads and specified locations.

Earlier this year, ABC’s reality show The Bachelor filmed several episodes of its season in Korea, with contestants participating in a K-pop performance with idol girl group, 2NE1.

America’s Next Top Model will air on the CW in August.

This story was originally published on iamkoream.com.