I recently got the chance to talk to Elaine Kao about her role as a jewelry store customer in ‘Bridesmaids’. Here, Elaine talks about what it was like working with the cast and crew, how she got into acting and what’s coming up for her in 2011….
Hey Elaine. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me. ‘Bridesmaids’ is in UK cinemas right now. What is the general premise behind the film?
The film is about a woman, Annie (Kristen Wiig), and her experiences at being a maid of honor for her best friend’s wedding. It’s also about friendships and starting anew.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the film…
I play one half of a couple who are shopping for rings at the jewelry store where Annie works.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
Allison Jones, the casting director asked if I was available to shoot a scene with Kristen Wiig for her new film. She previously cast me before on an episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and also in the Judd Apatow film, “Funny People”. Of course, I was thrilled to be offered this wonderful opportunity!
How would you say this film is different from other comedies released this year?
Well, I believe it’s the only female driven comedy where you have six incredibly funny ladies dealing with scatological humor! Aside from that, I think it has a great balance of hilarity and heart.
What was it like working on-set with the cast and crew? I’m hearing a lot of praise at the minute for Kristen Wiig….
Kristen, Annie Mumolo (the co-writer), Tom Yi (who plays my husband) and the director, Paul Feig were fantastic to work with and everyone was so sweet and supportive. The entire scene is improvised and Kristen is amazingly brilliant at it. We improvised it a lot of different ways and Kristen, Annie and Paul would make suggestions on different takes. The hardest part was trying not to laugh at Kristen.
I’ve got an interview coming up with Tom Yi – your on-screen husband – so as a fictional married couple, what do you think your first argument would be about?
Hmm…I don’t know. They seem like lovers not fighters. J
Let’s talk a bit about you Elaine. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
I studied economics in college and thought I would be working in business after I graduated until I participated in a summer acting program. That’s where I fell in love with theatre and acting and decided that’s what I wanted to do with my life. I’ve always been very shy and acting is where I feel free to express myself through different characters.
Which actors / what movies have influenced you as an actor?
I love the films of Krzysztof Kieslowski (especially ‘Blue and The Decalogue’ series), Francois Truffaut, Zhang YiMou, and John Cassavetes. Their films have left the strongest emotional impact on me. Actors whose work I admire include Marion Cotillard, Giulietta Masina, Glenn Close, Sandra Oh, and Laura Linney.
You’ve been on a number of different TV projects as a guest – which has been your favourite to work on and why?
‘Entourage’ was one of my favorite projects to work on. It was really fun playing a character (Maxie) that’s so different from me. A lot of my friends didn’t even recognize me until they saw my name in the credits.
What does a Elaine Kao day usually consist of?
My days consist of any or all of the following: coffee, yoga or a walk, computer time, auditions, meetings, books, catching up on all my favorite TV shows, seeing theatre, volunteer work, rehearsals, acting class, wine with friends…
What’s coming up for you in 2011? I hear you’ve just finished two projects…
I just finished shooting a web series called “The Ho’s of Seventh Avenue” and I’m currently in rehearsals for a play that opens on July 29. It’s the world premiere of “Sun Sisters” by Vasanti Saxena at Company of Angels. I love theatre and I’m really looking forward to performing on stage again.
Thanks for the interview!