Audrey Kang is a Korean-born actress who is currently taking new adventures in Los Angeles, California, after several years of performing on the New York stage. Audrey aspires to be in film and television and has recently landed roles in commercials.

Audrey made the top-ten finalists at a “May Queen” with Girl’s Day Hyeri, a popular K-pop group. She performed GSGT musical as a lead in the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea.

During high school, she won an Honor award from the Michigan Student Film Festival. After that, she graduated from one of the best acting schools, Stella Adler Studio of Acting, in New York where Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro are the alumni.

Audrey has played numerous lead roles in productions in both America and Korea, and she recently discussed her career and her plans for the future via an exclusive interview on December 11, 2018.

Characters, acting, dancing, and inspiration

Meagan Meehan (MM): What inspired you to start acting and dancing, and which gift came first?

Audrey Kang (AK): I used to write my own scripts and performed at the elementary school and had great applause from the audience but I never thought of it as a career. I also wanted to be a scientist when I was studying at the British International School in Malaysia.

After I moved back to South Korea, I watched a film called “Nun’s Story” and, all of a sudden, I heard a voice say: “You need to be an actress like her!” I didn’t know where it was from, but I trusted the Universe or God. So, I started to learn acting. Since then, I have been in love with acting.

MM: What was it like to come to study in the United States and how does the theater and film scene here differ from the one in South Korea?

AK: I came here as a high school exchange student in Michigan.

The reason I decided to come to the United States was to learn about American culture and speak English better in order to develop my own foundation to become a Hollywood actress. Regarding the theatre and the film industry in South Korea, there are lots of good ideas or projects, but they are limited. The genre, budget of the Movies or tv shows, and acting styles are limited. If I just share a big difference, Korean acting styles are more focused on dramatic acting such as crying, yelling, revenge, “Cinderella” type romantic genre comedy, gangs, crime, old Korean history, thriller, fantasy, etc.

It’s not that Korean films aren’t great, I just think that there is so much more freedom in American films. Frankly, even though I am Korean, I feel so much closer to American movies and actors in terms of acting style, stories, interactions, and characters. Also, I really respect Hollywood itself. It’s amazing how they’ve grown up and developed amazing community which affects the whole world.

MM: What types of characters are your favorites to portray and which genres are your favorites?

AK: My favorite characters are surrealistic characters. I like Scarlett Johansson's characters in “Lucy,” “Under the Skin,” “Lost in Translation” and “Ghost in the Shell,” as well as Marion Cotillard’s characters in “Inception” and “Midnight in Paris.” I love sci-fi, fantasy, and thrillers, but I am open to playing any kinds of roles--even comedy--if they are challenging characters from the good scripts.

MM: To date, what have been some of your favorite character portrayals and why?

AK: To date, Mother Nature (Gaia) from “Ninja Ballet” and Cecil from “Yolk” have been my favorite characters. I have written an introduction to the script for “Ninja Ballet.” The script is entitled “Karma” and my introduction explains the pain of Mother Nature from the time of her birth and agony of her life with the struggle against human destruction of the environment. I was a pescatarian before this role but being Mother Nature awakened me to be closer to nature and motivated me to become a vegetarian. I’ve felt Gaia so much through my acting, so I love this character. Cecil is my first role in a film, which was about an adopted teenager from the Korean War living in an island near Maine. She meets her blood brother for the first time after ten years. I related to this character in many ways as I understood her life.

New York, theater, career, and projects

MM: Your last theater performance in New York was playing the role of Anya in a play called “Trilogy.” So, what most appealed to you about this play and the character of Anya?

AK: Trilogy is a special play to me because it combines different religions into one play. We also had a diverse cast which I really loved. Different Gods together discuss humans in chaos and brainstorm ideas to keep them safe from evil spirits. It truly awakens people to elevate the soul. Anya is a goddess of love who always brings brightness and happiness to the table. She leads the group to the solution of the free will of humans destroying their structures and the world. Anya is a fun character who is not afraid to challenge and expose her positivity with charisma. Anya brought more love to my life and made me experience my own femininity. I also sang and danced with famous underground singer Percilla, so I am thankful for that experience, as well as being a part of the great history at Nuyorican Poets Cafe.

MM: So, Audrey, what are your biggest goals for the future of your acting career?

AK: I want to be an A-list actress in Hollywood. I want to work with the best directors and actors and act every day on the set. I want to enlighten the world with acting. Acting in films heals people in many different ways; it releases their own pain and inspires them to explore their true selves.

MM: Have you any more awesome new acting-focused projects forthcoming and would you like to discuss anything else?

AK: Yes, I have many projects coming soon in the near future. I have the film “Yolk” where I am acting as Cecil who’s an adopted teenager during Korean War. This short version is viewed by Academy and Emmy Awards Nominee and Winner of Cannes Film Festival, Werner Herzog. I’ll be filming more scenes to show the detailed life story of Cecil. Previously, we have filmed for the shorter version, but we want to lengthen the film.

We will further explore her confusion about identity, her normal life in the 1970s as an Asian alone on the Island in the United States, and her own perspective of having her brother for the first time in her life. I am also continuously working with the world-renowned performer, Shoko Tamai at the Ninja Ballet Company with different projects such as reincarnated geisha and AI world Ninja, which are related to the spiritual sides with the combination of modernism. Mysterious fantasy will be brought to real life. Also, I will work with famous Korean choreographer Hyun Kim who directed the most well-known Korean musical titled “Arirang” and in Off-Broadway shows such as “Comfort Women” and “Inner Mind.” The projects will reveal the combination of acting and dance which were inspired by the landscapes and people of Korea and the traditional Korean movements. I am very excited to share myself with the world via my acting gifts.

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