‘She looked like me’: Lana Condor and Brenda Song talk Asian representation in entertainment

Image: Character Media

Lana Condor and Brenda Song recently joined in conversation while promoting their upcoming projects “Moonshot” and “Dollface” to share their experiences as Asian American women working in Hollywood. 

In a virtual discussion hosted by Character Media, the two actors met for the first time to talk about the importance of representation and bonded over their passion for their work. 

Condor, the 24-year-old Vietnamese American actor who rose to fame in 2018 as Lara Jean in Netflix’s “To All the Boys” series, expressed joy at meeting her idol, telling Song, “You were the sole actor I looked up to as a child because I was like, ‘She looked like me!’”

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Thai and Hmong American actor Song, 34, is fondly remembered as London Tipton from Disney Channel’s “The Suite Life,” which ran in the mid-2000s. Song took the moment to share how Asian representation in film and media looked when she was young. 

“Growing up for me, like Ming Na Wen was the only Asian American actress on TV that I saw that really inspired me,” she said. “I do not have to be like Jackie Chan or Jet Li to be in this industry.” 

Song also shared that one of the most valuable lessons she has learned throughout her career is the importance of asserting boundaries. 

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“Learning to say no and putting your life first, because I didn’t. Because I feel like Asian women in Hollywood, we always feel like this opportunity may be the last one, so we have to hold on to that for dear life, and you can’t say no because it may not come back around” she said.

Both actors expressed that they understood the weight of their responsibility as two of the still too few Asian American women in Hollywood. 

“I want people to feel seen and feel not so different, and I want people to feel safe and represented,” said Condor. 

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“I’m amazed at how far this Asian community in Hollywood has come in just the past 20 years,” Song continued. “Kids should not be ashamed of their culture or where they come from.”

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