SNAKKLE: Was getting cast as Fook Mi a defining moment in your career?
When they told me I got it, I was in my car driving on Wilshire Boulevard. I screamed and then I called my parents. I had a good career before that [including dancing for Prince and dancing in a Gap commercial], but nothing that high-profile. A summer blockbuster franchise movie with Mike Myers—it was such a fun project.
SNAKKLE: How did Carrie Ann Inaba get cast as your twin?
I went in and thought, how cool—they’ll CGI me and make me into twins. I met Jay Roach and he loved my audition, but he asked, “Do you have a sister or know anyone who looks like you?” I thought, how can I make this work? . . . This big director likes me for this part, but my sister is not an actor and doesn’t look like me. I knew Carrie Ann—because I started as a dancer—so I called her up. [She had been a dancer in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.] We put our outfits together and did our makeup to accentuate our similarities. We added in this little martial arts thing. I went in a total of six times before they gave the part to us. We weren’t really twins. We weren’t names. The best part, though, was that was once we got the parts, the hair and makeup artists said Michael Caine praised our acting while watching our audition tape. I thought, I can die now. It just doesn’t get any better than that.
SNAKKLE: Tell us about being appointed Ashton Kutcher’s VP of Pop Culture.
Recently, I entered a social media contest on Facebook by Popchips. I had to make a video and submit it. I was the top woman from the votes and then Ashton and the company picked me. I won $50,000 and I get to cover pop culture events and blog about it for a year. It’s a new direction for my career, and that’s really exciting. I just got back from my first assignment to interview Bruno Mars at his rehearsal for his current tour. I got to hang out with him and his band and was one of the first seven people to see his private show. It was one of the best days of my life.
SNAKKLE: Is this where you predicted you’d be?
I never would’ve been able to predict a career like this, but I think a lot of it came from the work ethic of being a dancer. When I started, I had low expectations. I would just be happy if people paid me to dance and I lived in a one-bedroom apartment. I would’ve never expected to be in Cyrus or hang out with Bruno Mars. It’s been exciting to see my career. I can’t wait to see what the new chapter is.
SNAKKLE: What’s the secret to your success?
To survive in this industry, you have to be diverse. I still do commercials, which I love. If the right acting job comes up, I’ll throw my hat in the ring. When I did Cyrus, my scene was originally just two lines on paper. I auditioned and ended up getting it. The directors said, “John [as in John C. Reilly] is going to come and hit on you, so just go with it.” I couldn’t believe I was improvising with John C. Reilly. And then my scene ended up being a lot longer than what was on the page. Catherine Keener came up to me and said, “You’re hilarious.” That was another moment of feeling like, I can die now—Catherine likes my work.
SNAKKLE: You’re a single mom. Is there anything in particular you want to pass on to your son?
A big motivator for me is to love what I do. I want him to feel like he can take his career any way that he wants—pursue what he wants and not just take a job for money.
SNAKKLE: How do you feel about life and celebrity?
I like a simple life. I like to work and spend time with my family and have health insurance. I have a great group of friends and great family. That’s what life is really about for me. Self-promotion was hard for me. Uncomfortable. Interviewing really famous people, I see what their life is like with all the handlers. I wouldn’t trade places with them for any amount of money in the world. I get to do these exciting things and then come home and be a regular mom.