As we were seated at a tea house, Justin said that he did not wish to stay in a cubicle-like job for the rest of his life. Although he received a business degree from USC, he wanted to try something different and thus turned towards acting while in college. This small acting career turned into a success as he took part in many different television and movie roles. Justin later concluded that his father, who was a child actor in Korea, was one of his greatest influences.
Recently, he has taken part in bigger films such as “Twilight,” a film which has received such an overpowering wave of adulation that it has taken on a cult status in the teenage population of America. Justin was modest about this warm reception and felt honored to be a part of something so popular. Despite being in such a huge movie, he said that the amount of effort and determination he puts in each of his roles will remain the same or even better. His current plans film-wise is to take part in the third installation of “Twilight,” as well as to pursue roles in a couple of independent films and television projects. Justin added that acting is his passion and therefore, is striving not to be a big star, but to be a quality actor.
When asked about his personal life, Justin said that he loves to watch lots of movies and surf. It is no surprise as he grew up in an artistic family in Irvine, California— near the beaches. He also stays in tune with the Korean entertainment scene. Justin mentions 2ne1 as one of the examples of how far Korean music has come… “they have mad swagger with attitude…we’re no longer the quiet Asians; we’ve stepped it up, no longer can others put us in a box.” He also mentioned that he supports events such as “Kollaboration” and publications like the “KoreAm Magazine” which empower Asian Americans. Lastly, when asked about favorite Korean celebrities, Justin said he is friends with Brian Joo of Fly to the Sky, SE7EN, and respects veteran actors such as Jang Dong Gun (Taeguki) and Chae Min Shik (Old Boy). He also has great admiration for artists like Rain who works hard in whatever they do.
As the interview came to a close, Justin gave his opinion about Asians in the American entertainment industry. “The doors are definitely opening wider and wider for Asians; the current entertainers are laying the groundwork for the upcoming generation to blow it out of the water,” Justin said. Lastly, he gave a helpful tip for fellow aspiring artists. “Learn your craft; be the best you can possibly be…there are factors like appearance and business that you can’t control, so be the best you can since it’s the one thing you can control…eventually someone will notice you.”