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Jasper Jeon

00:03 jasper jeon 00:04 so happy to have you on the everyday 00:05 enthusiast you are an 00:07 actor that's appeared on major tv shows 00:09 like glee true blood westworld 00:12 and now most recently you were playing 00:14 uh the character jesse on the video game 00:16 the last of us too correct 00:18 that's correct yeah first off thanks for 00:19 having me really appreciate you 00:21 thank you uh yeah it was uh you know i 00:24 was featured on glee 00:25 true blood um and the last of us was 00:28 kind of like 00:29 one of those things where like it was 00:30 kind of like a dream come true type of 00:32 deal like 00:33 you know i'ma be honest i wasn't too 00:35 huge and informed into um 00:37 games up until probably like two three 00:40 years ago 00:41 you know i actually i got the news from 00:42 my my agent saying like hey you booked 00:44 this job called 00:45 uh the last of us and it was from um the 00:48 game developers naughty dog i was like 00:50 oh okay cool cool you know i brushed it 00:52 off and i told 00:53 told my wife i was like hey i booked 00:54 some job called uh 00:56 the last of us and she was like the last 00:59 of us you know 01:00 you know i was like oh god this must be 01:02 big so i did my research and due 01:04 diligence since then and i'm 01:06 super grateful for the opportunity and 01:08 um you know i've had a lot of people 01:09 reaching out to me 01:10 a lot of um friends from like my high 01:13 school and like college and stuff and 01:15 like 01:15 you know i started over them the past 01:18 like 01:19 12 since the past 12 months you know 01:21 i've had a lot of like 01:23 realization of how how much of an impact 01:25 this game was for a lot of people 01:27 yeah it's shocking to me you know people 01:29 downplay i think some people still think 01:31 of gaming as like this niche culture and 01:33 it's like these blockbuster video games 01:35 they have 01:35 budgets bigger than you know hollywood 01:37 video or hollywood movies i mean like 01:39 hundreds of millions of dollars they're 01:40 putting into these projects 01:42 and i mean i don't play video games and 01:43 i've heard of that video game 01:45 so like a crazy experience for you but 01:48 obviously 01:49 you know they are innovators as far as 01:52 storytelling and and 01:53 i think you know hollywood should take 01:55 notice to that you know which i'm sure 01:56 they have 01:57 um but i really like the stories that 02:00 they tell and they're very progressive 02:01 you know 02:01 despite all the backlash and all that 02:04 and well and of course 02:05 like uh it's not just you voicing a 02:07 character you're actually putting on 02:09 like a 02:09 like a little right for jesse i i didn't 02:13 do the voice i just did the mocap room 02:15 and i'm the face of him 02:17 uh the actor that played his voice his 02:19 name is stephen h chang 02:22 interesting so actually so it's your 02:23 body but a different voice 02:25 yeah yeah yeah he gave me a southern 02:27 twang in the game 02:30 and and so like how like how many weeks 02:32 were you working on that project how 02:33 exactly does that work doing mo 02:34 motion i would say it was probably um 02:39 i'd say like four weeks split up four 02:41 weeks about and it was very tedious long 02:43 days 16 hours you know i i 02:46 won in their headquarters in santa 02:48 monica and the next one and um the mocap 02:49 was done in san diego 02:51 um and it was very tedious work you know 02:53 it was a lot of 02:54 facial expressions and and moving around 02:58 with like guns and axes and bats and 03:00 stuff in the mocap which is which is fun 03:02 that was probably my favorite part of it 03:03 you know doing like movements and stuff 03:05 so basically how 03:07 jessie moves in the game is exactly how 03:08 i move and walk 03:10 and is jessie a playable character was 03:13 that 03:13 is jesse a playable character um 03:17 no he's not a playable character but 03:18 he's he's um he's a part of uh 03:20 ellie's story basically so they always 03:23 interact from the start you know from 03:24 the very 03:25 opening games introduction dialogue 03:27 scene he's there 03:28 and you know he takes he's like his he's 03:31 like ellie's like right 03:32 hand and now uh you know as an actor 03:36 you know it's it's a long process how do 03:38 you as an actor 03:40 stand out from you know the millions of 03:41 other people in the city 03:43 you know trying to you know make their 03:44 you know make their stake into this 03:46 business how do you uh stand out like or 03:48 if you were to give advice to another 03:49 actor 03:51 you know it's a that's a really good 03:53 question you know 03:54 and that's something you know i had to 03:55 discover for myself you know because 03:57 you're i'm going into these rooms and 04:00 you know it's funny because you know on 04:03 tv and film you'll see these 04:04 stereotypical audition scenarios and 04:06 it's like 04:07 exactly like that you know you go in and 04:09 there's like a 100 carbon copies of 04:11 yourself you know with like similar 04:13 features but 04:14 you know and it's you know at first 04:16 going into it 04:18 i would be honest size people up 04:20 sometimes you know i'm like wow like 04:22 it's like 04:22 that guy's like almost like a better 04:24 looking me or more talented 04:27 person and then i started catching 04:28 myself and i was like no you know what 04:30 like 04:30 it's it's really not it's really not 04:32 about that you know it 04:34 you what you need to bring is your true 04:36 self you know don't try to be someone 04:38 else 04:38 just just be your true self because 04:40 really there is only one of you so that 04:42 would be probably my best advice you 04:43 know don't 04:44 don't go in there as a competition 04:46 because it's really you're not you're 04:48 not battling anybody else they're not 04:50 going to keep the 04:50 other actors is not going to give you 04:52 this job really it's the pro 04:54 it's the producer it's the director it's 04:57 if you actually fit the story and you 04:58 understand the story 05:00 and you can give a fruitful genuine 05:02 honest 05:03 um presentation of what what this story 05:07 and character represents you know so in 05:09 the end like i've met 05:11 i've made some of the best and closest 05:13 friends 05:14 through through thinking that way you 05:16 know and i'll see them out all the time 05:18 at auditions and now it's like a small 05:19 community going and i love that you know 05:22 no one's really trying to like bring 05:24 anyone down you know you'll get a people 05:26 every now and then you know one or two 05:28 you know bad apples out of the bunch 05:30 that will you know 05:31 try to throw some shade and stuff but um 05:34 for the most part everyone's pretty 05:35 supportive of each other 05:37 and yeah the talent will always shine 05:39 through it's you know as somebody 05:41 who you know i was filming tv was my 05:43 major passion that was what i majored in 05:45 in college and stuff it's 05:46 you're seeing a real evolution in the 05:48 industry too 05:49 um but you know you mentioned something 05:51 that must be that's kind of funny it 05:52 must be very surreal 05:54 to walk into a room we know where you're 05:55 going for a part and just to see like 05:58 twins of yourself everywhere that must 06:00 be a really 06:01 odd experience you know i found it i 06:04 found it very comical offer so i was 06:06 like oh 06:07 yeah that that scene in masters of none 06:09 was a hundred percent 06:11 accurate oh my gosh you just yes i just 06:14 remembered that oh man 06:18 um 06:24 are there any uh actors you know that 06:26 are your inspiration like who is your 06:28 you know your favorite actor who do you 06:29 aspire to be like um 06:31 you know uh when i first got into the 06:33 industry definitely i would say bruce 06:35 lee 06:36 um he was you know growing up as a kid 06:38 you know i i really couldn't 06:40 identify with anybody that i saw on 06:42 screen that looked like me you know 06:44 um of course there was other actors that 06:45 didn't weren't asian 06:47 or asian american that i did relate with 06:48 in certain ways you know because of 06:50 um their characteristics and who they 06:53 are as a person 06:54 um but bruce lee was definitely one of 06:57 my 06:57 my idols and actually i um i auditioned 07:00 for 07:01 tarantino's once upon a time in 07:02 hollywood and i auditioned for the role 07:04 of bruce lee 07:05 and like when i got that i was like oh 07:07 my gosh like i i put 07:09 so much into it you know i spent a lot 07:11 of money on training you know 07:12 like i i reached out to uh you know brad 07:15 pitt's accent coach 07:16 um and and and if that would have done 07:20 it justice because you know i'd be in 07:21 that scene with brad pitt too 07:22 so i like oh i gotta i gotta hire his 07:25 accent coach for this you know so i put 07:27 a lot of time and effort into it 07:28 um and just to be in that room was like 07:31 that was enough for me 07:32 you know that was that was definitely 07:33 enough for me um but 07:35 yeah bruce lee would be the starter now 07:38 i look up you know 07:39 i see more and more faces now which is 07:41 great um daniel day kim is another idol 07:44 i look up to he's a great person 07:45 through and then you know on-screen 07:48 off-screen genuine guy 07:49 family man um 07:53 now like uh actually have you met by 07:56 chance i mean 07:56 like as you know spending all this time 07:58 in la going from shoot to shoot do you 08:00 ever have you ever had a chance to meet 08:01 one of these idols of yours 08:03 um 08:07 because i'll say like being in la i have 08:09 met it's it's weird whether it's just 08:11 actually at jobs or even like going to 08:13 chipotle at the corner and like hey 08:15 you know you and then you have an 08:16 awkward awkward stare down with somebody 08:18 you're like is it them 08:19 and then you finally realize it is there 08:21 yeah you know i haven't got to meet any 08:23 of the people that i truly look up to 08:25 but i have you know ran into 08:27 you know people that other people know 08:29 of um 08:30 i i did get a chance to audition for 08:32 daniel day kim's show 08:34 the good doctor that he's executive 08:35 producing which would have been awesome 08:37 to get on 08:38 um but other than that i haven't got to 08:41 run into any of my idols unfortunately 08:43 but you know 08:43 it's a matter of time i would say well 08:46 you know what's really important 08:47 something that you mentioned though is 08:48 that like 08:49 i don't think people uh i think people 08:51 will downplay the importance of 08:53 representation in media you know 08:55 to for a young man you know who's 08:57 watching you know something 08:58 bruce lee's somebody who he sees himself 09:00 reflected in it can be really 09:02 touching and it will be a moment of 09:03 inspiration i mean for you it 09:05 that's what led you to pursue the career 09:07 that you have and 09:09 uh you know it's it's obviously you know 09:11 the industry is evolving to show 09:14 you know more you know a rainbow if you 09:16 will you know to show all forms of 09:17 representation 09:19 um are you are you happy about this are 09:21 you seeing like you know do you think 09:22 you know the next 10 years 09:23 it will just be it won't even be a 09:25 question anymore you know we'll laugh at 09:27 scenes you know how they're portrayed in 09:28 master of none like that will be a joke 09:31 not by 09:32 the reality right right and yeah you 09:34 know um 09:35 i think we will look up look back on 09:37 that and i think it's good to look back 09:39 on the past of where it was where the 09:42 mistakes were made 09:43 you know i mean and to look back on that 09:45 because then you'll see how far 09:46 it has come from that for the industry 09:48 and yeah i have seen you know i've been 09:50 doing this for about nine years 09:52 and i have seen the progressiveness of 09:54 the industry 09:55 and you know it's made leaps and bounds 09:57 but i think it's really made an impact 09:59 last year 10:00 you know when when crazy rich asians 10:01 came out when parasite won um 10:04 the oscars you know like that was just 10:06 groundbreaking 10:07 groundbreaking you know and i definitely 10:10 see it on the other end too when i'm 10:12 getting these scripts that haven't maybe 10:13 some of them didn't take off but you 10:15 know 10:15 we're backed by really big productions 10:17 you know like warner brothers and fox 10:18 you know and that 10:19 i'm seeing a lot more scripts that have 10:21 like asian needs and it's not like 10:24 it's not roles that i would not take you 10:26 know it was definitely non-stereotypical 10:28 roles which is great yes 10:30 um so yes i think you know 10 years from 10:32 now it's 10:33 it's gonna be you know i think the 10:36 representation will be 10:38 um very true to what um 10:42 we represent you know honestly in in 10:44 life 10:45 you know it's it's not like it's not 10:48 like um it's 10:49 above anything it's just equal 10:50 representation 10:52 exactly what i'm hoping for you know and 10:54 i think right now i think you know 10:55 asians and asians americans only 10:57 represent 10:58 10 of um principal actors 11:01 in in the industry right now and that's 11:03 it's very small you know but 11:05 it's starting to grow it's starting to 11:07 grow i i have faith 11:08 that must be yeah and i hope that would 11:10 be encouraging to other actors as well i 11:12 mean but also i mean it's a grind 11:14 no matter what i mean you said you were 11:16 doing this for nine years 11:17 how long did it take you until you 11:19 booked that first like you know where 11:21 you 11:21 you're like this is my first real gig um 11:25 i would say um you know i had this uh 11:28 film that went to uh sundance actually 11:30 that i booked 11:31 and i booked the um the lead of it and 11:34 this was kind of one of those stories 11:36 that you know 11:37 a lot of people don't really really 11:38 share because 11:40 of um you know it's their it's their 11:43 mistakes that they've made 11:44 and you know i think i i got that role 11:48 too early on in my career i would say 11:50 because it was like a year in you know i 11:52 got 11:52 scouted by a manager off of this really 11:55 kind of sketchy website called model 11:56 mayhem 11:57 and you know some of the messages you 11:59 get on there you don't know if they're 12:00 good or reliable or 12:02 legitimate um so a lot of them were 12:04 questionable so when this manager 12:05 reached out to me on there i was like 12:06 okay well 12:07 you know yeah yeah i'll come and read 12:09 for you you know and i read for him and 12:11 uh turns out he's like a 12:12 really well known manager and powerhouse 12:14 of a management company and 12:16 you know one of the first auditions he 12:17 sent me on i booked 12:19 and um you know some of the the script 12:22 was great 12:22 well written some of it was a little you 12:25 know um 12:28 it was very vulgar you know some of the 12:30 material in it 12:31 and you know my manager had some 12:33 concerns about it saying telling me 12:35 you know that this might not be a good 12:37 great look you know for your very first 12:39 role 12:40 and you know i i and we we kind of had a 12:42 back and forth you know i 12:44 i kind of disagreed but you know in the 12:46 end of the day i respected his decision 12:47 because you know 12:48 he he's been in the industry for 50 plus 12:50 years you know he's coming off of 12:52 working with 12:53 um he was an agent at caa and his 12:55 partner was a 12:56 agent at wme and they came in and made 12:58 their own agency you know our 12:59 own management company so i trusted 13:02 their knowledge 13:03 but you know that that film you know 13:07 was well written 100 and it won sundance 13:10 you know awards so 13:11 i i i was upset about that and we kind 13:14 of had a falling out 13:15 um and it took a while to you know 13:18 bounce back from that because then after 13:19 that i was like is this really what i 13:21 want to do you know 13:22 it's a constant battle i would say every 13:24 day every single day it's a constant 13:26 battle and 13:27 um you got to love it you have to love 13:30 doing this you know it's not about 13:32 booking for me you know it's really 13:33 about loving the craft and loving the 13:35 stories that you get 13:36 you get in front of you that that's what 13:38 i think it's really about so 13:40 um as far as booking roles you know i i 13:43 i haven't really like got something 13:45 where i was like 13:46 yes you know um but i have i think 13:50 for me the the wins are in getting there 13:52 and getting that good feedback you know 13:54 and and being able to play 13:55 being able to really play in there well 13:58 geez just the fact that you got in the 13:59 room for the bruce lee roll that's a 14:01 huge 14:02 deal i mean i bet everybody was trying 14:04 to get in there 14:05 because i mean bruce lee it's bruce lee 14:08 um yeah 14:09 as a now are you exclusively a writer do 14:11 you ever like ever do anything else 14:13 behind the camera 14:14 or like uh you know yeah i've been i've 14:16 actually been writing some stories you 14:18 know during during 14:19 or a lockdown and stuff um um but 14:23 you know it's one of those things where 14:26 i'm trying to find inspiration for it 14:28 and i do see inspiration in everyday 14:29 life of course um 14:32 but right now i i have been writing a 14:35 couple things 14:36 definitely that um um it'll be soon that 14:40 i 14:40 share it hopefully it'll be very soon 14:42 and it'll be a very 14:44 moving powerful story and it'll be 14:45 proper representation but that's the 14:46 hard part you know it's kind of like 14:48 um to have a house story like that and 14:51 also you know meet the needs of 14:53 hollywood 14:54 it's tough you know and i would probably 14:56 have to go the route of um 14:58 self-funding and looking for um 15:00 investors and stuff like that 15:02 have you ever uh done like a short film 15:05 or anything like that is this your first 15:06 project that you've written no no i 15:07 definitely have wrote short films i 15:09 haven't been shot before um 15:11 obviously not to the grade i would like 15:12 them you know but it was more so testers 15:14 you know i've had like casting calls and 15:16 stuff like that 15:17 right on all right and so uh just like 15:21 one more question here so now that you 15:23 you know you're you've been in bigger 15:24 projects now you're jesse from the last 15:26 of us 15:27 have you ever had that moment where 15:28 you're the one that stopped on the 15:30 street and somebody says hey 15:31 you are you jesse for like have you had 15:33 that moment where somebody sees you and 15:34 recognizes you 15:36 um not yet i think you know since the 15:37 game has just been released and we 15:39 haven't been out 15:40 much definitely not oh my gosh i've had 15:42 some people from social media reach out 15:44 to me a lot of people do social media 15:46 that didn't 15:47 that don't even know me it's like wait 15:48 are you jesse 15:50 you know and and that's been great 15:52 that's been great 15:53 well i'm sure if you know the world was 15:55 still happening and we were going 15:56 outside you'd be getting stopped at 15:57 every 15:58 every street corner i would love that 16:00 you know i would totally i would totally 16:02 eat it up you know 16:03 definitely you know um shoot it you know 16:05 because i love conversating about stuff 16:07 like this you know and 16:08 and um i guess like 16:12 i i would never want to be at a point 16:14 where i get big headed about it you know 16:16 i would i 16:17 i hope someone comes and talks to me you 16:19 know not just just 16:20 to be a fan you know it'd be more to 16:22 like have a conversation and make that 16:24 connection with someone you know 16:26 well and to also uh one day be the 16:28 person that you know plays the role that 16:30 bruce lee played in your life you're 16:32 you'll be the one on the screen who you 16:33 know inspires the fans to you know one 16:36 day do it themselves 16:37 yeah definitely jasper thank you so much 16:40 for taking the time i really appreciate 16:41 it 16:42 thanks for having me

theTUNDRA sits down with Los Angeles-based actor Jasper Jeon, who has appeared in numerous high profile televisions shows like "Westworld", "Glee" and "True Blood". Most recently, Jeon did the motion-capture for the character Jesse in the blockbuster video game "The Last of Us Part II". If you're a Film Enthusiast, check out Jasper's Instagram page and follow his career: https://www.instagram.com/jasperjeon

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