And we’re back! In the second part of our “Meet the Members” interview (read part 1 here), Lynn Chen discusses her career as a child actor, baking experiments, and of course, what makes Andrew Garfield so adorable.
Courtney Jones: If you could go back and talk to yourself at the beginning of your acting career, I know you were a child, so pretend like you were a little older than that, what kind of advice would you give yourself? Or what advice would you give yourself as a child actor?
Lynn: I worked so much as a kid, that it was effortless. It was almost like, “Oh God, this acting thing is really getting in the way of me being a normal kid.” And I feel like I had agents pounding down my door. I had no idea how difficult it really was. Like I didn’t know what rejection was. So part of me wants to say, “Can we bottle this energy or something? Whatever it is you’re thinking, can we bottle this, and give it me?” When I was a kid, I was living my life and acting just happened to be a part of it. I would really want my little self to be giving me advice now because, who knows, I was probably getting rejected. But I didn’t know or didn’t care. It wasn’t about me getting health insurance or things you have no control over, and thinking about how to do things the right way. And honestly the answer is there is no right way. And I think I knew that as a kid.
C: So it’s time for the lightning round. It’s just three questions.
C: Ryan Gosling or Natalie Portman
L: Ryan Gosling.
C: In the theater or at home on DVD?
L: Oh shit. If it’s the ArcLight, then it’s the ArcLight. That’s like my favorite theater in the world. I can see anything there and be ok. But mostly I’m a DVD at home person.
C: And I think I know the answer to this last one, but I’m going to pose it to you anyway. Candy or Popcorn?
C: That was exactly what I thought.
L: Popcorn isn’t complete unless it’s drenched in candy. It needs to have chocolate or something on it, which is why I rarely get popcorn now.
C: I had some amazing popcorn recently that was called cupcake popcorn. It was just drenched in white chocolate, and frosting, and some sort of confetti sprinkles on it. It was insane.
L: I believe I’ve seen the recipe for that and they call it “cake batter” popcorn.
L: I want it. I have to make a popcorn cake for my friend’s baby shower soon. I’m in the midst of researching how to do that now.
C: What kind of a baker are you? Do you find the recipe and then attack it? Or do you have to think on it for a few days? I mean, you obviously have experiments that you do on your own.
L: I feel like everything is an experiment. I cannot not do experiments. I cannot stick to the recipe. It’s perverse. The problem is, I’m like a fucking mad scientist.
C: That’s awesome.
L: I start to follow a recipe and then I say, “what if we did this?” Then it fucks it all up.
C: I love that you share your creations on the Actor’s Diet. It’s amazing to me. I’m always thinking, “How does she do this?” I know a lot of people are reluctant to try out different taste combinations to see what they like.
L: I’m lucky that I have friends that know me so well. They don’t really care that it’s burnt or tasting like crap, but I always bring reinforcements. I’ll bring my hideous cake, but I’ll also bring like a big bag of candy. Something that I know people aren’t going to shun.
C: That’s great advice. What’s your dream role?
L: It’s not that I have a dream role, more so than the people I want to work with. There’s a long list of directors I just salivate over.
C: Give me the top three.
L: Spike Jonze. Christopher Guest. Richard Linklater. Ugh, they’re all white men. But I love their movies.
C: Any co-stars?
L: Penelope Cruze. And Woody Allen is at the top of my list too. I will say that I just saw Spiderman, and afterward I was like “Andrew Garfield is the bees knees.”
C: He’s beautiful.
L: He is. Maybe because he reminds me of my husband a little bit, but he has this essence of “cool nerd”. He’s not too geeky, but he’s not like a heartthrob either. Just like an accessible sweet guy who’s not full of himself. I’ve seen him in like three or four things, and he’s so different in every single thing, and I think that he’s amazing. I mean there’s so many actors I watch them and I think, “They’d be fun.” Every time I get an audition for something, and they list the actors, I get excited because I recognize their names.
C: Is that one of the things that keeps you passionate about acting? I know you mentioned being immersed in the character and really enjoying the cast. But is that what keeps you passionate about what you’re doing as an actress?
L: I think so. I think that part of it is that it’s my life. It’s all I know. I’ve been doing it for so long. But I truly am a fan of film and television—film especially, and indie film especially. What keeps me going is that I enjoy it. I’m lucky that my entire family gets it.
C: Well, thank you so much for talking with me today!
L: Not a problem. Thank you so much, Courtney! And thank you for your support!
C: Ah well, it’s easy to support you. You do a lot, and you do a lot of good while doing a lot.
Courtney Jones is a writer and book reviewer in Chicago(land). Follow her on twitter @shymoxie.