The 27-year old Justin Chon was so friendly, chill and enthusiastic in his interview. Maybe it had to do with the fact that he finally got his first vacation in three years after wrapping up two major films. You may recognize him from the recent vampire hit Twilight, as Eric Yorkie.
He also has a part in the anticipated film ‘Crossing Over’ with Harrison Ford, Sean Penn, Ray Liota and Ashley Judd, which comes out in the next year. Once known for his role on Nickeloedon’s Just Jordan, Justin has certainly “crossed over’ into some serious Hollywood territory.
The craziest part is through all the excitement, he is also a busy entrepreneur and has started his own clothing store in L.A.! This is one actor who will never get a break because he is ‘breaking’ into the business at full speed!
ASIANCE: What have you been up to since the wrap of Twilight and ‘Crossing Over’ (which unfortunately does not come out till next year now!)?
Justin: I’ve been training really hard acting wise to get better and keep my chops up. Since I finished Twilight, I’ve just been playing a lot of music, surfing. This is kind of the longest break I’ve had in three years. It’s the longest I’ve ever gone without working.
ASIANCE: How will you keep yourself in check with this new explosion of fame?
Justin: Haha! Explosion! Honestly I do my job and I’ve been kind of hustling for a while. To think there is going to be an explosion, I just can’t believe that. If it happens it happens but I will continue to work hard. I haven’t thought about it in terms of “Oh, I’m gonna blow up soon!’ I actually just really want to work.
ASIANCE: What is your style of acting and how did you train for your recent roles?
Justin: I don’t have proper training maybe because I’m from L.A., you know how the actors in NYC all went to school and have a hodge-podge of different techniques… but I’ve done some method acting, and this and that. I basically just want to stay warm and find my own style. I’m not focusing on a certain technique right now.
ASIANCE: You father also was an actor in Korea. Do you ever think of taking your career over there?
Justin: My dad, from like, 2 to 25 did a lot of TV and theater. As for me, I would not mind doing some stuff overseas. I think it would actually be really fun and it depends if someone would want to give me a part.
but the kind of person I would want to date is someone more interesting and who I would feel comfortable with. It doesn’t even matter how beautiful they are. Beautiful is cool but it’s more who they are as a person.
ASIANCE: You speak Korean and visit there often?
Justin: I speak fluent Korean. And I can speak some Mandarin. I took it in high school. I haven’t been back to Korea for five years but am going soon!
ASIANCE: What was it like to work on the star-studded film like Crossing Over?
Justin: I am this Korean American kid in ‘Crossing Over’, just trying to find my place. And I’m resentful towards my parents for bringing me over. It’s about being in that formidable time in life and trying to find yourself, ending up with the wrong crowd. There are actually six or seven story lines in it. I don’t actually come in contact with anyone so famous.
There is a scene with Harrison Ford but I don’t actually come in contact with him. The story is pretty self-contained. I don’t know what they are going to keep or not keep or what the final product will be. But hopefully they will keep most stuff in there and I have some meaty scenes.
ASIANCE: Is Hollywood giving more roles to Asian actors in your own experience?
Justin: Oh yes, for example, my role in Twilight was originally for a white kid, Eric Yorkie, and I haven’t met an Asian kid with that last name. Haha Yeah Hollywood is taking more chances and it’s great they are realizing Asian actors can pull it off and have the chops.
ASIANCE: What famous actresses or models do you think are your type?
Justin: I mean, everybody. There are people who are beautiful and you just can’t deny it. But like, for me, it’s cool and I can’t deny they are so attractive, but the kind of person I would want to date is someone more interesting and who I would feel comfortable with. It doesn’t even matter how beautiful they are. Beautiful is cool but it’s more who they are as a person. There are people you may see in a picture and think they are ok but then you meet them in person and they have a beautiful heart and that’s more attractive to me. With celebrities, I feel like I’d be let down. I don’t know them as a person, so my expectations are too high about who they are as a person.
ASIANCE: Have you found a special someone amidst all the craziness?
Justin: I don’t have a girlfriend and am looking actively for a cool girl.
ASIANCE: Like what kind of girl?
Justin: Someone really cool, no drama, really fun to hang out with, not stressful. I just want to meet someone ready to have fun and go with the flow – that type of girl. I love girls who are really chill and don’t mind doing crazy stuff because I end up doing a lot of weird crazy stuff. A girl with a sense of humor is important. I’m so crazy and especially Asian girls think I’m weird! I feel like the Asian girls are more serious. They have their things they are very comfortable with and if I don’t fit with that, it is a turn-off. Sometimes I’m subtle or sarcastic, or acting really stupid. I’d say most of my past girlfriends are embarrassed to hang out with me. (laughter)
ASIANCE: Oh I’m sure not! What kind of style do you try to lure girls in with?
Justin: I’m very eclectic. Sometimes I’ll dress very nice, like Hugo Boss dress shirt, nice vests. Also, since I have a store that has street-wear, I wear that a lot, like cool Nike’s converse. It’s all over the place. I’m casual but also dress very nice it depends on my mood.
ASIANCE: What would you do next time you come visit New York, in your up and coming celeb status?
Justin: The next time I go to New York, I think I would probably spend a lot of time with my friends and do regular stuff I usually do. I love Chinese food so I’ll probably go to Chinatown. I found this really great dumpling place, so I’ll probably go there again. I’ll get a nice massage or something, hit up some bars and yeah!
They would never let me get away with being an asshole, you know. They keep me pretty grounded.
ASIANCE: Do your friends appreciate your fame?
Justin: They would never let me get away with being an asshole, you know. They keep me pretty grounded. I don’t think it really changes me as a person because I’ve known my friends since elementary school or junior high, so if I were to act really different they would just wonder why. All the change stuff, I feel like I’ve already gone through that. I’m not saying I’m already famous but any kinds of complications over me dealing with that, I’ve already gone through it. My friends and family support me and that’s all that really matters to me.
ASIANCE: So what else do you do to chill out?
Justin: I read a lot of books and scripts. I watch a ton of movies. I watch like, one a day. I play a lot of music. I play guitar and sing and I play piano and played the violin for thirteen years when I was a kid. I love going on the internet and look at, like Perez Hilton. I can’t stop looking at it- it’s like a guilty pleasure of mine.
ASIANCE: I bet he would write things about you soon – non scandalous of course! You aren’t the kind of guy to cause trouble with other young celebrities, it seems, like get DUI’s etc.
Justin: Yeah that’s the thing. That’s why I feel like my life is not really going to change. I don’t even really live in L.A. I lived there for eight or nine years and pretty recently I moved back to Orange County, to my hometown and I think I’ll be ok with that kind of crazy stuff going on because I don’t hang out with too many celebrities and I try to just keep my head straight.
ASIANCE: Do you work out?
Justin: I surf a lot. I used to work out every day but I actually really hurt my wrist, like three months ago. So I haven’t really been able to lift stuff and got pretty skinny. Right now I’ve just been trying to surf as much as I can, running and trying to keep myself fit.
ASIANCE: Do you have pets?
Justin: My mom has a dog. He thinks he’s like the prince of the house.
ASIANCE: Can you tell us more about your stores? That is so ambitious!
Justin: Attic! I have two! One is in Buena Park across from Knott’s Berry Farm and one is in San Diego. Last March we launched an online store. It is www.attic2zoo.com and you can buy stuff online. Yeah, it was just a store launched with friends and it is doing ok despite the depression and it’s what I would do if I wasn’t acting. I think next year I will do more stuff with it, but yeah, it’s my baby.