Third Blog Post: Jamie Chung- Ariana Callan
Jamie Chung has always interested in me, mostly because of her fashion style. She is routinely in best fashion style lists and because of her love for fashion, she created the successful lifestyle blog, What the Chung where she blogs about her favorite restaurants, fashion looks, and the like. Her day job is as an actress where she has played Lauren in The Hangover II and The Hangover III and Mulan in Once Upon a Time. She has had a relatively successful career as an actress; although, as far as I know she has had no major starring roles, which points out how there are really not that many female Asian Americans roles, especially as leading characters. But Chung has had a successful career as an Asian American actress, playing fairly diverse roles.
Chung is Korean American, meaning that she is a completely different ethnicity from her role as Mulan in Once Upon a Time. I truthfully have never seen this show, but I do know that Mulan is Chinese- not Korean. While it is most likely an important role (especially if she has been playing the same character since 2012), it is still sad that she is limited to playing roles that are not her own ethnicity. Her choices are so limited in who she is able to play. But she does not seem to care about that: “I really don’t see what difference it makes. I mean, I’m honored to play these roles and these characters, and I know quite a lot about the Japanese culture as well as Thai culture and Korean culture and Chinese culture, and they are all respectfully very different.”
Lastly I think it is interesting to note that Chung was originally on Real World: San Diego– a reality TV show that aired on MTV in 2004. She later starred in the off shoot of the show, The Challenge. So she obviously had had a successful, but short lived career, on reality TV. Chung is one of the only people I know of who’ve successfully transitioned from reality TV to a different medium and still stayed popular. While a person like Lauren Conrad, who has also had a successful career after MTV, still clings to her identity as a former reality TV star, Chung does not want to, in fact she in many ways avoids. I did not even know Chung had been on reality TV until years after I was introduced to her. Since the movement from reality television is rarely successful, I think that it is interesting that Chung, as a Korean American woman, was able to do it, especially since she was not a Lauren Conrad level of successful on reality television. In an interview, Chung commented, “But as an artist, it’s sad that we’re kind of limited. We’re already so segregated — Asian female actress — it sucks that it’s even more limiting if you think like that.” So it is interesting to know that she was able to make the jump from reality to film/television while becoming even more successful, especially since she is so limited in who she can play as an actress. Chung has been able to open doors for herself that weren’t there before.
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