Actress Ashley Park is fresh off of winning a Miss Asia USA pageant and sits down to chat with Dan's Movie Report about her recent projects, pageant win, and upcoming films in 2016.
I read in your great interview in Search My Trash website that you were very athletic when you were younger. What were some of the sports you participated in?
Yes, I was a competitive athlete for many years. I ran cross country and track for my high school. I won multiple state championships and set some records in both cross country and track. I was also on my high school swim team. I went on to run cross country and track on a scholarship at the University of Oklahoma before I transferred to the University of Arkansas to compete as a Lady Razorback.
I saw recently you have been doing beauty pageants. Perhaps share some behind the scenes stories from the beauty pageant world.
Miss Asia USA is actually my first pageant! I was scouted to apply for the pageant, and seeing what a great opportunity it was, I decided to accept the honor and challenge. I was then designated the title of Miss Korea USA 2015, and I was fortunate enough to win the title of Miss Asia USA this past Saturday. It was a great honor for me to have represented Korea. I have to say that participating in this pageant was one of the best experiences of my life, and I have made some wonderful new friends in the process.
What are some of the pressures you have being a contestant in a pageant?
Competing in anything is going to demand a certain amount of determination, discipline and dedication. There is more to competing in a pageant than meets the eye. Being a contestant reminded me not only of my previous athletic and academic competitions, but also the ever-competitive Hollywood industry.
You mentioned you are analytical about characters you play in films. Do you ever read a script and adjust the character in your mind before filming?
Yes, I am a very analytical person, so naturally, that translates into every area of my life. In order to take on a character truthfully, every actor has to look for clues in the script that help define the character. Then you have to make choices that work for you while remaining true to the circumstances of the story. It’s important to already have made your choices when you show up to set, but I think it’s equally as important to be flexible so that you can react and be present in each moment of every scene. And the director and other actors may throw you a curveball at times! You have to be ready for that.
Share a story from the set of 'All American Bikini Car Wash'.
We had such a great time on set! The chemistry of the cast was amazing, and we all had a blast shooting this film in Las Vegas. Having the opportunity to travel together was such a great bonding experience. While the weather was generally mild and sunny, we had a rather unfortunate day while shooting the car wash scenes outdoors. It was incredibly cold that day, with no sun and a random thunderstorm that blew through our set. In between takes, we were all huddled around a tiny heater in the corner in a rather sad attempt to stay warm. When it was time to shoot, we’d stay wrapped in robes and blankets until the very moment the cameras turned on. Now that I look back on it, we must have been quite a funny sight to behold!
What are your thoughts on nudity in film, if given the chance to play a complex character and as part of the story she had to disrobe, would that be in tune with your ideas?
Nudity can be a part of a complex character in a film, especially when it’s included as an integral part of the story. As the reigning Miss Asia USA and a proud representative of Korea, I take my responsibility as a role model for young women seriously, so nudity is not in the cards for me.
When is Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter going to be released? Looks like a cool project. Can you shed a bit more light on your character Rhianna? Is she a fighter?
Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter will be released in early 2016. It stars talented actress Tracey Birdsall, who is also the producer. Neil Johnson is the director, and I was fortunate enough to be cast to play the integral role of Rhianna. Yes, I would definitely say that Rhianna is a fighter and a survivor, using every tool known to man (and artificial intelligence!) to stay alive in a post-apocalyptic world.
Back to the beauty pageant world. Is there some camaraderie in the pageant world or is it more everyone for themselves?
It’s a competitive environment, for sure. However, I found that many of the women I have met while participating in Miss Asia USA are not only gorgeous, but also kindhearted, intelligent women who radiate with beauty from the inside out. I have definitely made a few friends for life.
How about new projects after Rogue Warrior? What is on the horizon for 2016?
I am preparing to shoot a new sci-fi film in late January. I am very excited about this project, and will be taking on the role of Kat. As soon as I read the script, I knew I had to get the part. The film is called Trapdoor, and it’s a desert sci-fi that blends elements of action, horror and adventure. Another feature film I was in is being released in early 2016, called Day for Night. It’s a film noir starring many wonderful actors, including Peter Bogdanovich, Lin Shaye and Sally Kirkland. I am currently working on multiple projects, and am preparing to shoot three web series in early 2016 as well.
What charitable organizations do you support?
I worked alongside my mother for over a decade helping to hand out food to the homeless every Saturday. It's an area that is very near and dear to my heart. I am also a big fan of Mercy For Animals, and have worked with them quite a few times over the years.
Wrapping up, what advice for young aspiring models and actresses, is there something you wish someone in the biz would have told you before you started that you can think of to tell people just getting started?
My advice for young people would be to study. Study everything, and become a master of your craft in every way. I was so anxious to get started before I was ready, and it really shows in some of my projects. So many people told me to go learn on set, and to take any project that comes along as a learning experience. I really don’t recommend that, because you have to live with that footage for the rest of your life. It won’t go away. I think that the classroom is the best place to hone your skills, and that actors should wait until they’re truly ready to step onto a set.
Check out Ashley on her IMDB page @ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3844430/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1