Celeste Thorson was born July 23, 1984 in Orange County, California and was raised throughout the southwest of New Mexico, Texas & California by her mother, a fine artist and father, a US Marine. Ethnically she has Korean, Scottish, Irish Lebanese, Apache American Indian, and Spanish heritage.
She performed throughout her childhood in live community theater in New Mexico finding joy acting in plays and drawing inspiration from fine artists and mentors from around the world.
She traveled much of the southwest at a very young age, from city to city on her family estates, so her mother could tour her artwork. She would often volunteer at the lab and teach computer literacy at Western New Mexico State University, working as a camp counselor at a Christian water sports camp, or apprenticing large format fine artists in Santa Fe, NM. Her sophomore year in High School she decided to graduate early and attend Instituto Allende, a historic classical art institute her mother, and grandmother went to in the international art colony of San Miguel De Allende Guanajuato, Mexico.
At the age of 17, she returned to the US and moved to Los Angeles, working as an non-profit activist for Sierra Club, GreenPeace, HRC, Calpirg and helped start the Save the Children Chapter in Los Angeles. At 19 she signed with CESD Talent Agency (us) and two months later entered the Screen Actors Guild in a couple of national commercials. She is known as the daredevil host of “Destination X TV” and action star from Room Nine.
ASIANCE: Did you stand out as “different” as a child since you were mixed Asian?
Celeste:I find my family history fascinating because so many people traveled from so many different parts of the world so I can even exist. It’s mind blowing. My father was born in South Korea and was also part Scottish Irish. My mother has a lovely exotic look with her Lebanese, Apache American Indian, and Spanish background. I’ve always been called a chameleon because my look can change so much when my different features are highlighted. People often assume I’m a little bit of whatever race they are, which I always get a kick out of.
ASIANCE: You come from a military family! Yeah! How did your parents meet?
Celeste:They met when my father was in the Marines at Camp Pendleton and my mom was going to school in Orange County. My dad was really funny and charming and my mom is just super creative and gorgeous. She is a great artist and did a modern oil painting of him when they were together. You can really see her passion in the colors and textures. She also did some self portraits so it’s fun to see her art of both of them from back in the day.
ASIANCE: Do you visit Korea?
Celeste:I love Korea and still have family there, part of my soul is from Seoul baby. When I went to the Asia Model Festival Awards my grandauntie was in the audience when I won, so those were some special memories with her. They spoiled me with the most delicious home cooking, all the savory Korean BBQ and fiery kimchi. Possibly one of my biggest weaknesses is grandma’s seaweed soup, but grandauntie’s was a close second.
Thorson & Todd Mitchell Received the Best Female & Male Model Star Awards
ASIANCE: Is there an ultimate goal for you in terms of your career? Something you really want to achieve?
Celeste: As long as I can be creative, try new things, and look at life from different perspectives, I’m happy. I find art very fulfilling so I love to express myself in as many ways as possible. I feel like acting is an incredibly exciting process and opens up your most vulnerable thoughts, hopes and dreams. I feel blessed to be able to share that and really enjoy writing and performing for film and television. I just want to keep creating and collaborating with inspiring artists for as long as I’m breathing.
ASIANCE: How about an ultimate role?
Celeste: I do have a soft spot for sci-fi and action films. I’m looking for that awesome high concept role paired with an original out of the box story idea. My ultimate role would probably be a mix of Inception, the Matrix, and Kill Bill. I love the work of directors like Tony Scott, Martin Scorsese, Prachya Pinkaew, Chan-wook Park, Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez and Joss Whedon. Stepping into any of the worlds they create would be awesome.
ASIANCE: Do you follow any other Asian American women’s career? Any other Asian Irish careers?
Celeste: I’m a big believer in celebrating the successes of other women, especially Asian American’s. We all audition for a lot of the same roles, so even if I don’t book it I love cheering on whoever does. When I auditioned for Hawaii 5-0, I knew there was some tough competition and I was actually really happy when Grace Park got it because I think she’s fabulous. It’s a win for all of us when Asian women are given leading roles in major studio productions. I love ladies who can kick butt and look great doing it, like Lucy Liu and Maggie Q, go Nikita! And of course women who are out of control hilarious like Margaret Cho and Maurissa Tancharoen. As far as Asian Irish goes, Carrie Ann Inaba is one foxy lady.
ASIANCE: Tell us about your webseries coming out this summer.
Celeste:Shooting our comedic webseries Yogaphiles this summer is going to be a blast. We plan on casting a rainbow of talented comedians from as many cultures and backgrounds as possible. I’m really looking forward to the cast chemistry and doing a bit of improv. I’ll be posting details and release dates on my site in July so you can check out all that fun stuff.
ASIANCE: What do you do in your free time? Hobbies?
Celeste: I love being outdoors so surfing, sky diving, zip lining, martial arts, crazy things that make me feel alive. I like to spice things up a bit by cooking different types of cuisines. I love fashion and thrive on being able to travel and find influences from different cultures. I’m always watching movies, old and new, indie and foreign. Playing video games, checking out the latest gadgets and technology. I’m curious about virtually everything.
ASIANCE: If you weren’t acting what would you be doing?
Celeste: If I wasn’t acting, I’d still be writing my heart out and doing political activism. I do both already, but they could be full time jobs on their own. I’m crazy passionate about human and environmental rights. Women’s rights obviously hits home, so when I hear about women still getting stoned to death, being forced into virginity checks and underage marriage or not being able to speak their mind in fear of blasphemy, it brings out my inner raging bull. I get this volcanic adrenaline rush and type letters at like 1,000 words a minute.
Celeste Thorson Destination X Hawaii TV Star JetSkiing
ASIANCE: What advice do you have for girls who want to break into acting?
Celeste:I found working coaches that helped me hone my craft in a supportive environment was great for my process personally. Do your research and find people you can rely on and get along with for your team. Focus on your strengths and celebrate the little wins in life because it’s too short to spend stressing. No matter what, keep your chin up and know that each mistake is a chance to learn. I think if you stay positive and professional people want to work with you, but in this business you have to be very proactive. Like anything you want, don’t wait for it, go out and get it.
ASIANCE: I love your commercials. Do you have a favorite? Any particular one stick out in your mind?
Celeste: The Reebok commercial I did with director Shaun Conrad was pure fun. They added some colorful graffiti animations in After Effects and I think it’s so cool when they mix fantasy and reality. I adore his documentaries like Purvis of Overtown and his work bringing awareness to trichotillomania. Paul Street is an amazing commercial and film director who is an absolute joy to be around. I had the great fortune of working with him on our film Room Nine and a Nissan commercial. He is highly creative and has a great eye for art and composition.
ASIANCE: Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Celeste: I tweet a lot of cool petitions and love to spread the word about good causes so you can catch up with me that way. I like getting introduced to cool new charities through my fans especially on twitter and facebook and all the different social networks. You can visit my website www.CelesteThorson.com and get links to keep in touch with all the latest and greatest. Be kind to yourself, be kind to others, that’s all.