Talk to us about what goes into a normal day for you. What are your daily routines?
I like to start my day off with a cup of coffee and catch up on emails while I wait for said coffee to kick in. I usually like to squeeze in an AM workout, mostly because if I don’t do it in the morning, it’s hard to motivate myself to do it later! I love jogging on the beach or riding my beach cruiser over to the gym to take a class. You can then find me cozied up at home doing work, reading scripts, or prepping auditions. I’ll spend most of my day hopping around town to auditions and meetings when I’m not on set shooting. At some point, I’ve probably talked to my mom. I talk to her just about every day. Whenever she knows I’m going to an audition, she likes to send me a good luck text with some aggressive emojis. Can’t be mad about that! I also try to get down to the Watts projects with Red Eye every weekend to play with the kids there. They just want to hold your hand, run around, and mostly just need to be heard. I’m for anything that empowers kids, especially young girls and women empowering each other. That’s why I like to finish the day catching up with my girl friends.
Do you generally cook? What's your go-to meal? What did you make during the shoot?
I try to at least cook breakfast and lunch at home whenever possible. I usually make an egg scramble with tons of veggies for breakfast. My go to lunch is a big kale salad. I’ll chop up avocados, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, whatever I have around the house and add some grilled chicken or salmon. I like to make a dressing with lemon juice, olive oil, salt, red pepper flakes, and some Dijon mustard.
Your home seems to be so... Fresh! There's pretty flowers and lovely colors everywhere. How would you describe your style? What is your go-to place for home decor and furniture?
Flowers make me so happy. I love having sunflowers in my kitchen. I want my home to be cozy... A place where you feel comfortable and welcomed. I never want people to wonder if they can sit on the couch or throw their feet up. I guess my style is shabby chic with a hint of modern. I love Etsy and Anthropologie for little accent pieces. I was just laughing that I spent an absurd amount at Anthro on doorknobs! Seriously, this is my life now. I see something on HGTV and I think I’m Martha or something.
We can definitely relate. Those doorknobs are amazing. With all this rummaging, you must have a treasured item at home. What is it or what are they?
I have these 3 old black and white photos of New York City on the wall. I’ve had them since my first apartment out of school. They’re actually calendar pictures that I framed and mounted. They remind me of where I’m from and how far I’ve come.
With fall almost here, that means a whole bunch of shows are about to premiere. What's on your list of must-watch shows?
I can’t wait to watch "Selfie" on ABC. It’s so relevant with our times. People are so consumed with social media. It’s addicting and I’m definitely guilty of it myself. As much as it can connect us and give us instant news/updates, it also causes so much silly drama, especially in dating. I’m also excited for "Manhattan Love Story"’ where we’ll get to hear the funny, awkward and endearing thoughts of a couple dating and falling in love.
And your show "Mistresses" is great! What are you hoping for the show in the coming year? And what about your career goals? Where do you see yourself in the next few years? Or are you just playing along for now?
The title, "Mistresses," can be misleading because the show isn’t about love affairs. It’s about 4 friends who thought they’d have it together at this point in their lives, but don’t and are embracing the beautiful mess of it all with the help of each other. It’s that perfect summer guilty pleasure show, but the characters have evolved so much even from season 1 to 2; I hope the show keeps adding thought provoking story-lines that people can relate to. I’m not quite sure where I’ll be in the next few years, but whether it’s in TV or film, I’ll be working on strong, sexy, smart women; that I know for sure. Playing Anna Choi on "Mistresses" was a dream because she was seemingly quite different from me on the surface, a suicidal girl who ran away from home for love and is figuring out who she is and where she belongs. I hope I keep getting roles that stretch me as an actor and human, that provoke thought, and if I can make you laugh too, even better.
You seem to be family/friends-oriented. Would you say they keep you on your toes, which may especially be helpful for a Hollywood life?
When you have a job that involves constant rejection and lots of fleeting glitz and glamor, I think it’s that much more important to be surrounded by a great support system, people who will celebrate the highs and eat French fries and cookies with you during the lows, people who always tell it to you as it is. Besides, love, life, everything good and bad is better shared.
So, we loved having a picnic! It's refreshing we weren't entirely indoors. What other things do you love to do in LA? What are your favorite places to be?
I love being outdoors and running around. I’m like a golden retriever; I need fresh air. Whether it’s hiking, beach running, biking, or attempting to take up golf, I’m outside whenever possible. I even like to read scripts at an outdoor café or in a park. My favorite place in LA is Malibu Café. I love the kitschy ‘Alice in Wonderland’-like feel at this outdoor spot. There’s a live folky band on the weekends, you can go paddleboating on the lake, or play games like life-size chess, billiards, or cornhole. I also love trying new restaurants; it’s always impressive to me how chefs can turn food into art, into an experience. One of my favorites is a pop up warehouse restaurant in Venice called Foodshop. Yum! I definitely prefer bars over clubs where you can actually talk to your friends…although I’ve been known to get caught up in impromptu dance parties. And I’m always down to try new things. I may or may not have ended up at a country bar two stepping the other weekend.
Talk to us about your friends!
They’re my LA family. I’m so grateful that I made great friends in LA right away. When you’re far from home, you need that. We’re always there for each other. We can have as much fun getting takeout and watching trashy TV as we do going out on the town or hiking. We have these “Oprah couch sessions” where we catch up on each other’s lives, gossip about relationships and contemplate the future. Tricia is my best friend. We refer to each other as sisters. She was one of my first friends in LA, and we bonded while training for the SD marathon together a few years back. It’s so nice having such a close friend who’s an actress too. She’s the kind of friend I’d like to be stuck in a foxhole with. Steph and I always joke that we had girl crushes on each other, and I talk to her as much as I talk to my mom, sometimes more! She has such a generous heart and always gets you into just enough trouble. We always seem to have fun adventures together! Holly and Nikoo are sisters. Holly is so grounded and easy to talk to. She’s always there to listen and will champion you to the end. Nikoo can have a great time doing anything, everything and nothing. She’s so easy going and a perfect partner in crime. And Vy! is woman, hear her roar. She’s what a strong, classy modern woman looks like. She’s constantly looking to improve herself and with her ambition, she’ll be running this town soon enough.
Photography by Jessica Castro Styling by Lillian Fu Hair and Makeup by Briana Chapman