Korean Canadian actor Sandra Oh recently gave heartwarming advice to young Asian Americans in an interview with a local high school student.
Oh was invited to the San Francisco International Film Festival, hosted by SFFilm, along with actor Michelle Yeoh on Friday, where the two went viral after dancing to Whiteny Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” together on stage. The video of their interaction, posted to Twitter by @angryasianman, has amassed 949 retweets and 7,650 likes since it was uploaded on Sunday.
At the event, a local high school junior representing San Francisco radio station KQED, Catherine Hou, asked Oh for advice on improving Asian American representation.
A video of the interview, in which Oh can be seen intently listening to Hou, was posted to KQED’s official Twitter page.
A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.
Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.
Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.
“I recently finished a segment on KQED forum that highlighted the importance of Asian American representation,” Hou says, “And I was wondering what message you would give to a young Asian American trying to make a change based on your own past experience.”
Oh expresses that she wants to hear what the young student has to say, to which Hou responds that she would want to “encourage people to not be afraid to speak up” and to “work with [their] community and encourage people to speak out about issues that they care about.”
Oh responds by acknowledging just how challenging speaking out can be.
“I find that kind of like the first hurdle [is] to figure out how to speak out. Those two things that you said of finding a community – because it’s sometimes best to do it together, I think that I want to just answer your answer,” Oh says in the video.
“You know, because it can be totally isolating, these things of like, ‘I don’t know what to say’ … except to talk to you. To be with you and to encourage you, because I’m doing my job, taking pictures and all that stuff, but it’s really what you’re doing that I think is about really building and developing the real muscle that I feel like we need as Asian Americans.”