Posts Tagged ‘last airbender’

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So, here’s a thing that’s come up a bunch of times in my life that I find funny, or at least amusing. I’ll often get tweets or tumblr messages like the one I posted here, or I’ll get comments like the title of this post. I even got told this by director, Stephen Dypiangco, “I think my wife started dating me because she had a crush on you growing up!” Which, was awkward… then I said, “You’re welcome…” Which made it more awkward… Hahaha…

It just got me thinking, it’s strange way to think of how I might of impacted my generation. I’ve been told I was the first cool Asian actor many people actually saw on film and television in the 1990’s… No accent, no stereotypical roles… Just a cool kid. I actually did a movie called, “Extreme Days,” and when I went in to audition and met the director, Eric Hannah, told me, he didn’t realize till I walked in the room but, I was the guy in his head the whole time he was writing the character. You only see an Asian character a few times in movies and films… Especially in those days, and odds are if you remember any, I was probably one of them… and if was a cool Hip Hop kid… It was probably me. (Or one of my brothers, which I usually get credited for… but that’s another story)

But now the idea that I somehow helped this big melting pot of America, I somehow was the reason some girls (or guys) started dating Asian guys… Well, if this is in any way true. I have to be proud of that! It’s got be one of my finest accomplishments! It’s all funny… but cool.

I guess, part of this is the reason why I started my own production company and make movies. There’s way more to Asian America than what is so narrowly portrayed in mainstream media. Go watch Hang Loose, there’s a bunch of new Asian guys for you to fall in love with!

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Here is a continuation of my “Hollywood Stories,” series for my YouTube channel. It’s actually a lot of fun to look back and think about things I’ve done and projects I’ve been apart of. It’s the end of the year and I often get introspective at this time of year, all the things that happened this year and all the plans for next year.

There are so many fans of ATLA and looking back, I honestly didn’t know that this project was going to become the phenomenon it became. I mean, Nickelodeon was doing it, up to that point, “Sponge Bob Square Pants,” was what they were known for in animation, at least to me and this seemed so left field. On top of that, I’m fairly new to the animation world and auditioning and booking this, I just counted myself lucky to book another job.

But then something happened… (it all changed when the Fire Nation attacked) Somewhere in the middle of the second season as I was reading through the script and really seeing where Prince Zuko was going as a character, all the possibilities of what ultimately happened with him, it quickly became evident to me I could be in the middle of playing one of the greatest characters of my career… and it’s a cartoon character.

To see the impact this show has had on the world and impact this character has had on people… including myself. Just goes to show you, you never know what’s going to happen. We plan a lot things in our careers and in our lives, sometimes they happen, sometimes they don’t… sometimes something comes out of left field impacts you and the world, in ways you could never imagined.

For all you Avatar: The Last Airbender Fans… I’m talking about to the ones who love the animated series. I just want to give you a heads up… I just recorded an episode today in which I play a character that is a big surprise… (at least it was to me) & I must say it was so great to be back in that world and seeing a bunch of the old crew, including the Director Andrea Romano, the creators Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko… I love you guys. Even seeing our sound engineer, Justin and Shannon in casting was great. Its like a family reunion. I did miss Mae Whitman and sent her a text from the sound booth.

But to the die hard fans, I don’t think you will be disappointed with the new series… I think its going to be amazing and I’m just honored to be apart of it again.

Long live the Benders from all Four Elements… but especially the Fire Nation!

I just want thank everyone who read my last blog entry. When I wrote it, I had no idea this many people would see it. There’s a good amount of people that follow me, but the entry about “The Last Airbender” really caught fire and spread beyond my blog. I was at an event last weekend and got into a conversation with a few people who happen to have read it. Its somewhat surreal in the sense, I’ve never really been a political person, yet that last blog was a pretty big political statement, in the realm of “Hollywood” anyway. In truth, I’ve always been an actor who wants to do what I do best… and that’s work, by acting in meaningful parts.

I’ve always thought of myself as an actor first and only realized myself as an “ethnic” actor as I’ve grown up in the industry and experienced the lack of parts I was being able to play. My goal is always to work, but if I can in someway help widen the eye of “Hollywood” film making to include the stories and faces of everyone and not be so focused on one group or another’s perspective… I’m down for that.

Thank you again for all the fan’s who wanted to see me in the film, Prince Zuko will always be a special character to me and I’m sure Dev did a great job to help bring him to life. For all those who commented on the blog and continue to, thank you… Whether we agreed or not, I think this dialogue needs to happen, the more this comes up, the more the chance actual change can happen.