Creator, writer, and actress Soojeong Son joins us on Close-Up Culture to chat about her role in A Good Person. The film follows Allison, whose life falls apart following her involvement in a fatal accident.
You star in the upcoming Zach Braff drama, A Good Person. What brought you to this project, and how exciting was it to be involved?
It all started on the subway while deshelling a boiled egg – jk! – but I was probably eating on the subway – when I got an email from my team about A Good Person. I had read for a different role on the film and while that didn’t work out, Zach wanted me to go in for the part I currently play.
The scene is rich with super sharp dialogue. I’ve been a huge fan of Zach ever since Garden State, and listening to that soundtrack on repeat while traveling to visit undeserving ex-boyfriends, so it was a total DREAM to be a part of a Zach Braff feature. I also loved working with a writer/director who is also an actor as I feel like with auteurs, there is a holistic understanding of the emotional journeys of each character – and what it really feels like to be someone else. As a writer/actor myself, I was lowkey studying Zach tryna learn how he directs, communicates, and thinks as an actor. Maybe this is creepy and I am going to own up to that.
You have a great scene with Florence Pugh. What was your experience like filming it?
Working with Florence Pugh was just the best. I loved her so much in Greta Gerwig’s Little Women so I was so stoked when I realized I’d be working with an actual m-f-ing G. Filming the scene was so fun – Florence was the realest – so present, so spontaneous – which is a gift for a scene partner cuz all you gotta do then is react. Have you heard that acting is reacting? I haven’t until just now when I made it up. We shot on location in a real pharmacy, another gift for an actor, and the crew was so chill and kind. It’s kinda why I love more indie-ish features because there is this very grounded culture of “yes we’re making art and we’re in it together.” And yes, this indie had Florence Pugh and Morgan Freeman but you get it.
The film looks incredible. What should UK audiences expect from A Good Person?
Imperfect women, complicated families, people caring about each other (which our world needs more of), Florence cuts her own hair on camera and continues to look hot, Morgan Freeman generally.
You recently had a recurring role in Netflix’s Kaleidoscope. How do you reflect on that project and your role as Liz Kim?
Kaleidoscope was another incredible set experience. It’s a heist show where you can watch the episodes in any order in a choose-your-own-adventure way. I loved the cast so much – such generous, empathetic, funny, unique people. My character Liz, was the protagonist Hannah’s (Tati Gabrielle) free-spirited, aspiring DJ kid sister. Playing siblings is the most fun (and fraught) experience because there’s this complicated “I love you/I never chose you” relationship you get to toggle between. Tati and I really vibed and I think our relationship really translates on screen.
You host a podcast called Emotional Slut, with the comedian Woody Fu. What do you two delve into on the podcast?
On Emotional Slut, Woody Fu, my comedy partner and dear friend, and I talk about our lives as overly emotional and slutty people, which are two things that go against the Asian stereotype. Or sometimes it is the stereotype. Well whatever Asians are, that is the stereotype, so let’s get rid of stereotypes eh? The two of us will often break down stories of inappropriate emotional outbursts we have in public, dating, sex, listener-submitted dating stories, and most recently my dead dog. RIP Sunny Son you were a real one. The show’s on Apple, Spotify, and it is funny.
As well as acting and podcast, you’re a writer. Can you share anything you’re working on?
I’m most excited about the upcoming Netflix series, The Brothers Sun helmed by the formidable Brad Falchuk and Byron Wu! Michelle Yeoh (have u heard of her?) is the star, playing the unassuming matriach of a Triad family in Los Angeles. It’s about two brothers, one an aspiring improv comedian and the other a Triad gangster so it spans very different worlds which is the beauty of it. I was a writer in an all Asian American writers room – a dream to be a part of.
I’m also currently developing my own half hour comedy series with Showtime that I write/EP/star. It’s a more autobiographical show about the perception of modern Asian American women. Unlike Gen Z, I wish to be perceived!!!
What type of roles would you love to take on in the future?
Cop with gun with dark checkered past. Biopic about Taylor Swift where I play Taylor as a Korean woman who performs All Too Well (25 Minute Version). And if acting is just wish fulfillment, maybe a funny, hip superhero who has TOO MANY dating prospects. Whether it’s in a drama or comedy, I like playing characters with deep, emotional storylines.
What are your dreams and ambitions for the future?
In the future I’d like to write/star/EP my own TV show, so cross your fingers about my Showtime deal. I’d like to write and star in a feature film. I’d like to go to Sundance one day with a project. I’d like to perform my one woman show, CUM, at some cool venue. I’d like to win an Oscar for “tries the hardest.” I’d like to go to an expensive pool party.
Follow Soojeong on Instagram – Soojeong Son (@sjsonmyson)