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AsiaFinest's Interview with Steph Song
AF: Why did you get into acting?
Steph: When I was very young I watched Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory the first one with Gene Wilder- and in this film there was a river made of chocolate and the trees were made of candy and you could drink a soda and fly and then burp yourself down. And I thought now thats where I want to live! In a place where you can create any kind of world you would like to live in. I could live many lives instead of just one and experience so many different things. I was hooked on the idea of all those possibilities.
Plus I still find that sitting there in the dark in a movie theatre and the title credits start rolling is so exciting for me. Something about the anticipation of being told a good story still fills me with such child like glee. To be part of that storytelling process is the basis for why I initially wanted to act.
AF: What was your most favorite project or work to this date?
Steph: I have a fairly long and extensive list of points on which to determine the projects that have been my most memorable; the story, the character I played, the director, the cast, the crew, the sense of collaboration. Each project has different aspects that I have loved, so Im hard pressed to pick one or even a few.
I guess if it comes down to the work - then my most favorite projects are the ones that have challenged and stretched me the most as an actress. The roles in which I was given the time to fully occupy the character as much as Im able to.
Having said that my favorite project is also whichever project that I am currently working on. I make it my favourite. That is my politically correct answer. Ha ha.
AF: What's the most embarrassing moment in your life?
Steph: I make an ass out of myself on a daily basis but fortunately for me I get paid to do it. I dont embarrass easily anymore. When youre on set and acting a scene where youre crying or baring your soul or doing something else that is emotionally taxing in front of a whole roomful of strangers then you tend to drop inhibitions pretty fast.
AF: In what way has the Internet changed your life?
Steph: Ive always been a little bit suspicious of technology. I only got my first computer a Mac laptop a few months ago- and that was only because I was starting to feel guilty about the amount of paper it took to print out a script.
I love the ease of researching anything on the internet. I find that my computer is still used primarily for email correspondence and watching movies on the long lonely flights across the pacific.
AF: For the female visitors of AsiaFinest: How do you keep in shape?
Steph: Its a constant battle. Every actress youll ever meet is hungry. Probably explains why were all in such bad moods all the time. Any actress who says that theyre naturally thin and can eat whatever she wants is full of shit. Of course that could just be my crabbiness at being hungry coming out.
AF: Any advice or tips for girls who are thinking of becoming actress?
Steph: Be prepared to work hard. Unless its truly your lifes calling Id say avoid it like the plague. Theres better ways of both making money and having fun. Its 98% hard work and 2% perks. And even the 2% perks most times aint all it cracks up to be.
If you absolutely MUST act then get a good agent. Thats half the battle won if you have a good support network behind you. Did I say be prepared to work hard?
Steph: Not initially. Cant say I blame them either. They knew the hardship of an actors life and didnt want that for me. Plus they were academics themselves, my mom has a Masters degree in political science and my dad a PhD in genetics, so needless to say they had hoped Id continue past high school and get a few degrees. So- I studied and got my 2 degrees
- journalism and nursing, before I ventured off to re immerse myself in thespianism.
Having said that- I never encountered opposition from them when I told them my life direction, I think all parents wish happiness for their children. When my folks realized that I could actually make quite a nice living in showbusiness they relaxed a bit more. I think they secretly feared I would be living on their couch for all their remaining years. They remain keenly interested in my projects and always enjoy a good giggle at my expense watching my films.
AF: What's the hardest part about being an actress?
Steph: Hmmm. Are you looking for sordid casting couch stories from me? I havent got any. That probably means Im low on the sexy factor.
Theres more business to it than art on most days. The auditioning process can be quite brutal and then once youre actually working on a project theres no guarantee that the director or the producers may want to take risks with your character and try different ways of doing things.
Oh yeah- theres a lot of waiting around on set. Ive always said that I get paid to wait, I act for free. Overall though- if I didnt like it. I wouldnt do it. The best part of it is the energy you feel when you walk on to set for the first day of shoot and the collaboration between your fellow actors, the director and the writers to create a story. When everyone is switched on and in sync and all the actors are right there next to you connecting with both you and the material there truly isnt a better feeling in the world. Its unexplainable, its like Im in a zone and I cease to exist just for that moment as Steph Song and Im occupying my characters mindset and time and space and reacting as the character would independently of myself.
Sounds kinda nutty doesnt it? I wouldnt trade it for anything.
AF: Yes it does sound a bit mad. Where would you be today if you weren't an actress?
Steph: It seems that every interview of some hot young actor/actress when asked what they would be doing if they were not acting they all seem to say that theyd want to be a marine biologist. Why is that? I dont understand. Ok ask me again.
AF: Alright Steph, Where would you be today if you werent an actress?
Steph: Id be a marine biologist!
Sorry, I just wanted to see how Id feel after saying that.
AF: And how did it make you feel?
Steph: It felt kinda .. vacuous, but in a cute, idealistic way. Naaah. Id never choose to be a marine biologist. I have too big a fear of open water, all those icky things down there in the dark ewww!
Having said that - I DO think I would like to be working on some kind of environmental cause. At the start of my film and television career I hosted a program for the National Geographic Channel called Earth Pulse. It highlighted pressing environmental issues such as green house gas emissions, extinction of species (both plant and animal), recycling and in particular methods of living sustainably on the planet without depleting earths natural resources. I would like to work on something like that again but perhaps behind the camera this time. The greenie/crusty hippie in me demands it!
AF: Any goals that you want to achieve but still haven't?
Steph: See the above answer. Oh yeah and I just recently tried pole dancing. I was at an event and there were instructors in the art of pole dancing giving little five minute lessons.
I wouldnt mind mastering that. Apart from giving you a super ab section and a good work out in core strength, there aint nothing sexier than doing a slow strip tease for your man. Meeeeoooow!
AF: What's your favorite movie(s) and why? Seen any good or bad movies lately?
Steph: I have soooo many movies I count as favorites even if some of them Ive viewed only once. I guess I cant stand the idea of watching them again only because it may dilute the magic that I originally felt in my first viewing. Is that weird?
Theres so many Asian movies that I really love, all of Zhang Yimous movies leave me breathless with the stunning, irreplaceable Gong Li. Her performances move me. Wong Kar Wais movies are like a visual feast, all that beautiful cinematography, I soak it all in with my mouth hanging open in amazement. Just recently I watched Ang Lees Brokeback Mountain. Every frame was like a gorgeous painting. From Singapore I really liked Eating Air.
I love the generational movies like I love the generational authors. I think Douglas Coupland and Chuck Palahniuk are two authors whose work resonates a chord. They do for my generation what The Graduate was for its times. I think Fight Club and more recently Everythings Gone Green, one of my movies, are very now and of its time. I watch a lot of Hollywood movies, you kind of have to just to keep in touch with whats happening out there. But theyre mostly all dumb schlock.
AF: What genre of music and which artist are you listening to now?
Steph: Thats another depending on the mood question. Lemme check what was on todays playlist . John Coltrane, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone Love Me, Queen, Ray Charles, The Pixies amongst many others.
AF: Any upcoming projects that we should look out for?
Steph: Dragon Boys, a CBC mini series and Everythings Gone Green are out this fall and currently Im working on a film with Jet Li. I play his love interest. Im a newcomer to this industry and was so star struck that I was literally speechless when I first met him. He probably thought I was a moron.
AF: Yep, he probably did.
Steph: But dude! Its Jet Li!
If you have any pictures of Steph Song, please send it to us and we'll credit you for it. Talk about Steph Song in our friendly discussion forum!
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