Friday, September 16, 2011

Acting Like a Foodie: The Hong Lei Interview

How does an actor prepare for a role that involves eating a lot of awesome food take after take? Find out below as we sit down with Bacon Wrapped Date star Hong Lei, who plays the title role of Maggie in director Jin Yoo-Kim's cinematic ode to foodies.

(Bacon Wrapped Date, is available exclusively on the iPad through the Play Festival Films app! Witness cinematic glory)

How did you prepare for the role of Maggie?
HL: I began by looking at real food bloggers' blogs. Prior to this project I had only heard about food bloggers but never really checked out a food blog. On the site, I paid attention to the writing style, the pictures that were taken, the different places they visited. I just perused the different blogs to familiarize myself w/ what food blogging was about. Then I started paying attention to certain details like the composition of the photos that were taken of the food, the color scheme used on the site, the details that were included in the blog. It just helped me think about how Maggie's food blog would look like.

What was it like to work with co-star Allan Axibal (as Jason)?
HL: Working w/ Allan was like working w/ a dear friend from a previous life. I felt really comfortable w/ Allan pretty quickly... I think it started as early as my first audition for the role. He was open, present & ready for anything. I think I jumped on him at the audition when Jin had us do some improv exercises & he just went with it. We got along really well & became friends because of this project.

What was it like to work with Director Jin Yoo-Kim?
HL: Jin is easy-going, but not a push-over. She's professional w/o being overly strict. She knows what she wants, but still has an open mind. She's balanced & it was very easy to work w/ her. She was very supportive of her actors, very considerate & caring. Actually, everyone involved, from the writer to wardrobe and cameraman- they were all very caring and supportive. I think that type of supportive energy just made me feel more comfortable and opened me up as an actor. But back to Jin... I had a great time working w/ her & on this project and am truly looking forward to working w/ her again in the future.

Name one memorable moment from the shoot.
HL: The first one that pops in my head is when we were shooting the last scene of the film. It was late & cold & Allan & I were getting kind of tired. We were at Don Chow's taco truck & it smelled so good & I had one of the most interesting tacos ever- the orange chicken taco, I believe. After we shot the last scene, the crew got their Don Chow Tacos & proceeded to "chow" down, if you will :) But Allan & I were so full that we just sat in the car talking as everyone ate. I just remember the tone of the night ending very pleasantly- very "Maggie & Jason"-ish.

Are you a foodie?
HL: I am not a "foodie" as in a food blogger who avidly explores different restaurants. I actually don't eat out that much. But don't get me wrong, I very much love food & love to eat delicious food.

Do you think that food plays a big part of relationships?
HL: I think it depends. For me, it would play an important part, but not a big one. I like to eat as healthy as I can, but like to indulge in ice cream or french fries once in a while. I like to cook at home, but also enjoy eating out occasionally. Food definitely plays a tremendous social role in my friendships. I have countless meetings with friends over breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, happy hour, etc.

What's your next project?
HL: My next project, at the moment, is to be determined. Lately I've been working on music. I sing and have been writing and compiling songs to record and will be starting guitar lessons soon.

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