Tag Archives: grace park

Wednesday's Link Attack: Kim Jong-un, Crazy Korean Hair, Hawaii 5-0

Kim Jong-un May Join Powerful Military Organization Next Year
Yonhap News Agency

The youngest son and heir apparent of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il could assume a powerful military post next year as the communist regime inches toward a third-generation hereditary succession, a South Korean report said Wednesday.

The Research Institute for National Security Affairs (RINSA) at the Korea National Defense University said Kim Jong-un could be named the first vice chairman of the powerful National Defense Commission next year. Kim Jong-il serves as the chairman of the organization.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment 2011: Power 100 – #96
The Hollywood Reporter

Nelson doesn’t come across as terribly impressed with herself. Her last movie hit it big, she says, because “we got to explore these characters more deeply. Everyone working on the film — the cast, the crew — knows these characters so well. And everybody has such a great time doing it.”

That’s the case with a lot of movies and probably a lot of sequels. But not every movie sees the same scale of success as Kung Fu Panda 2: With worldwide box office of about $650 million, the animated 3D sequel to the 2008 original has become the highest-grossing film directed by a woman.

Derek Kirk Kim’s Same Difference: Slacker Korean-American Kids Come of Age in the Bay Area

Same Difference is the story of Korean-American 20-something slackers in San Francisco who wrestle with the stereotypes and ambitions that they feel guide their lives. It has the feel of vintage Douglas Coupland, a drifting ennui shot through with moments of human warmth and connection. And though it’s a quick read, it leaves a lasting emotional coal smouldering in its wake.

South Korea Sack Coach Cho

And despite South Korea currently sitting top of their 2014 World Cup qualifying group, a shock 2-1 defeat to Lebanon in their last outing has left the 2002 World Cup semi-finalists precariously poised going into a crunch final game against Kuwait, who could qualify at their hosts’ expense if they win in Seoul.

KBS announced Cho’s departure on Tuesday and named Afshin Ghotbi, Choi Kang-Hee and Hong Myong-Bo as the Korean Football Association’s preferred replacements.

Seoul to let all Native English Speaking Teachers go by 2014
The Marmot’s Hole

A Seoul Metropolitan Council official said according to a poll, students and parents preferred Korean instructors fluent in English over native speakers, and that the council plans to slash Seoul Office of Education’s budget for personnel costs for native speakers.

In the next fiscal year, the city plans to reduce the 30 billion won budget for native speakers by 4.9 billion won; it appears 707 native speakers—57% of the 1,245 total—will leave their schools.

Oxford’s Kim at Home on the Court and in the Classroom
Rockdale Citizen (Conyers-Rockdale County, Ga.)

Kim also sports a 5.5 point-per-game average and scored a team-high 15 points in Oxford’s 89-63 victory on Sunday against the Greenville Titans. And while he’s one of the Eagles’ tallest players, he’s comfortable taking charge of the ball in transition.

“Sam’s a multi-purpose player,” Oxford coach Roderick Stubbs said. “He can play anywhere from point guard to center. And he’s an excellent passer and looks for people in the open court. And he’s our leading rebounder. He brings a lot to the table and helps us to function better.

“We put in a system where if you get the (defensive) rebound, then you’re the point. So he’ll go get it and can run the point and look for people in transition. He loves that.”

South Korea Steps up Enforcement of Cold War-era Law Banning Praise of North Korea
The Washington Post

Since a conservative government took power in 2008, indictments have shot up under a South Korean security law that makes it a crime to praise, sympathize or cooperate with North Korea. More than 150 were questioned and 60 charged in 2010, up from 39 questioned and 36 charged in 2007, officials say.

In another sign of stepped-up enforcement, a South Korean government agency launched a team on Wednesday that will examine Facebook and Twitter posts and smartphone applications to cope with what it says is a growing volume of illicit content, including violations of the security law.

South Korean Leaders Quit Party Posts in Vote Scandal
The Wall Street Journal

South Korea’s ruling political party fell into crisis as three of its seven leaders quit their posts and others tried to distance themselves from a scandal involving legislative aides who police say tampered with the government election agency’s computers during recent polling.

The Crazy Cutting Edge of Korean Hair
The Guardian (U.K.)

The Korea Hair Show in Seoul is a showcase for the most out-there developments in contemporary hairstyling. They’re unlikely to inspire many copycat styles – unless your name is Lady Gaga.

For more photos, check out the gallery.


Access to caregiving can have barriers for immigrants
Baltimore Sun

Banghwa Lee Casado, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, conducted a study of 146 Korean American caregivers in Maryland and northern Virginia to examine access barriers to using home- and community-based programs, such as respite care, adult day care, home health and transportation services.

Casado’s research found a good majority of her subjects had never used these services. A lack of awareness was the most cited reason for not accessing these services. For instance, more than eight out of 10 reported having no knowledge of respite care and caregiving support group.

“We know anecdotally they have limited resources,” said Casado, who presented her findings at The Gerontological Society of America conference last month in Boston. “But without the data, we can’t show evidence there is unmeet need.”

EXCLUSIVE First Look: A TV Wedding, ‘Hawaii Five-0′ Style

Yep, the ‘Hawaii Five-0′ wedding is almost here, and we’ve got the exclusive first look at the big day. In ‘Alaheo Pau’ole’ (Mon., Dec. 12, 10PM ET on CBS) — which translates to “Gone Forever” — Chin and Malia are tying the knot, but not before the Five-0 are called to investigate a crime or two. It seems a man was left for dead in an abandoned WWII bunker, and that is somehow tied to a Jane Doe case the Capt. Fryer (Tom Sizemore) is working on.

The National Film Society interviews Joy Osmanski

Affable actor Joy Osmanski joins the National Film Society to talk headshots, Hollywood and Jonah Hill.


Thursday's Link Attack: Apple, Grace Park, Korean Adoptees

South Korean Lawyer Plans Class-Action Suit Against Apple
The Wall Street Journal

Apple Inc.’s South Korea unit last month paid about $950 to a South Korean lawyer who sued the company after Apple acknowledged that its iPhone retained location information about users.

The attorney, Kim Hyung-seok, on Thursday said he plans to file a class-action lawsuit against the company on behalf of other people allegedly affected by the matter.

U.S. Senate sets hearing on Sung Kim’s nomination

The U.S. Senate plans to hold a confirmation hearing for Sung Kim, the nominee to become ambassador to South Korea, next week, a related committee announced Thursday.

‘Hawaii Five-0′ back in action
Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Hugs and handshakes were the order of the day as a gallery of news cameras clicked to document the return of the show’s main players: Alex O’Loughlin, Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park. They were joined by series regulars Masi Oka, Taylor Wily and child actor Teilor Grubbs, who plays Danny “Danno” Williams’ daughter on the series.

Grace Park talks about the upcoming second season for Hawaii Five-0

Man U’s South Korean soccer superstar coming to Seattle
Northwest Asian Weekly

Manchester United will continue its U.S. tour with a stop in Seattle July 20. Former South Korean national team captain Ji Sung Park scored a goal in the Red Devils friendly win over the New England Revolution yesterday.

The Find: Jun Won’s farm-fresh Korean cuisine
Los Angeles Times

A sparkling multicolored spread of dishes on every table gives the place the feel of a lavish tapas party. Fish is the star of the menu, but that’s only one reason the 18-year-old restaurant’s loyal clientele keeps returning. The seasonal array of eight or nine banchan (which may include a toss of sesame-dressed sukkat (young chrysanthemum greens), fresh parsley salad, tiny burger patties and seasoned eggplant) outshines those found at most Korean barbecues.

Owner Jung Ye Jun gets many of her leafy greens from friends who farm them in Bakersfield, says her son Jeff Jun, who now manages the restaurant. For years people would ask to buy extra banchan to go. Finally, at the urging of loyal customers, Jung Ye Jun opened a small retail boutique on Olympic Boulevard, where she makes and sells her banchan along with kimchi in the typical style of her home province, Chungcheongnam-do.

Camp teaches adopted Korean children about their native culture
Democrat & Chronicle (Rochester, N.Y.)

Attending Camp Chin-Gu as a youth and teenager, Amanda Ornt-Rezer had one overarching reaction: Everyone here is just like me.

Now 24 years old, Ornt-Rezer is married, lives in Virginia Beach and is expecting her first child.

But she still makes the weeklong trip to the Fairport camp each year, where she now helps teach young adopted Korean children — and their siblings — about their native culture.

Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim join 'Hawaii 5-0'

Get ready to see more of Grace Park, half naked. This time in a bikini.

Surf’s up! Two KA hotties have have joined the cast of “Hawaii Five-O,” CBS’s remake of the series about the Hawaii police department. Grace Park will play Kona Kalakua, champion surfer and police academy member.

Daniel Dae Kim will play her uncle, squad member Chin Ho Kelly. Park’s character is recruited to join the police unit run by Steve McGarrett, who will be played by “Three Rivers’ star Alex O’Loughlin. (Maybe they can get Daniel Henney on the island, too!) Filming in Oahu begins this month.


Grace 2.0

By Oliver Saria
Photographs by Dean Foreman

Fans of the sci-fi cult hit Battlestar Galactica might recognize the above subtitle as a reference to the show’s opening sequence, when viewers are reminded that the Cylons—a race of cybernetic clones hell-bent on human genocide—have always had a plan. It’s ironic then that Grace Park—who will forever be remembered as Sharon/Athena/Boomer/Eight or, to the casual observer, “The Asian Cylon”—has never really had one.

When she booked her first series gig 10 years ago, she was merely happy to be working. The show was Edgemont, a 2001-2005 teen drama on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) that also launched the career of Kristin Kreuk of Smallville fame. Grace’s role as Shannon Ng was noteworthy for being the first depiction of an Asian teenage lesbian in North American television. (Yeah, Grace laughs at the specificity of it, too.) At that point in her acting career, she had no 10-year plan or five-year plan, or for that matter, a one-year plan; she didn’t write her hopes and dreams on pieces of paper to manifest them into reality or other ridiculous success strategies designed to foster hope in a brutal industry that usually crushes them. Yet, when Kristin booked CW’s Smallville and became a spokeswoman for Neutrogena, in the back of Grace’s mind, she knew stardom would also come her way.

Flash-forward 10 years. Grace recently concluded an acclaimed run on Syfy’s Battlestar Galactica, a show, hailed by critics as one of the best television series of the past decade, that aired from 2003-2009. She starred opposite John Cho in Michael Kang’s 2007 indie thriller, West 32nd. She appeared on The Border, a popular CBC action drama, now three seasons in, about an elite Canadian Immigration and Customs Security Unit. And Edgemont is finally being syndicated in the United States, to the delight of countless Asian teenage lesbians.

You’d think with the dawn of a new decade, the Los Angeles-born Canadian would want to reflect on the past like everybody else. But the thought never even occurred to her. “I don’t really think I’ve been reflective. I just more feel like I’m looking forward to what I’d like to do this year,” she proclaims.

Since Grace didn’t want to dwell on the past, I decided to walk her through it.

In previous interviews, Grace, who lives in Vancouver, asserts that she didn’t become an actress for the fame or glamour. And it wasn’t about the money either. Then (as now), she’d always been driven by the desire to excel at what she does. She admits, however, “It was hard for me to act for a while because I knew I was getting these great opportunities, but my work was not where I wanted it to be.” Thus, the thought of Edgemont being seen by a whole new audience makes her cringe. “When something like Edgemont that you’ve done early on decides to come back out…I’m not going to be running out and watching any of my original work.”

She’s slightly prouder of the work she did in the final 10 episodes of Battlestar, which the influential entertainment blog, “Television Without Pity,” honored by naming Grace one of the Most Valuable Performers of 2009. And to think those final episodes might never have been filmed. The 2007 Writers Guild of America strike halted production of the series at a critical juncture. The last scenes that were shot prior to the strike were set on the charred, uninhabitable remains of Earth. At that point in the series, Grace was playing several versions of the Eighth humanoid Cylon model. In one iteration, she had betrayed the Cylons, pledged loyalty to the Colonial fleet as they wandered deep space in search of Earth, and married a human pilot with whom she had a mixed-race daughter. In another iteration, she played the sleeper Cylon agent responsible for the failed assassination attempt on the fleet’s admiral. She also portrayed various clones on the Cylon baseship.

With the strike looming, many on set knew that there were no guarantees the show would return. The sadness and despair on the actors’ faces during those scenes were genuine. Earth could have served as an ending to the series—albeit a sorely disappointing one. When production returned, Edward James Olmos, the cast’s patriarch, sat them down to watch the last few episodes they had completed thus far. Grace’s reaction to her performance was scathing to say the least. “Really?” she thought. “Is that the last thing I shot? Is that all? Is that where I’m at? This sucks. Not that my stuff was necessarily bad, but I guess I just had higher hopes. So I was at the point where I felt like—alright, I’m all in.” Her bet paid off. “Television Without Pity” wrote of her work: “Park’s character had the most impressive range, from a woman being judged for her mixed marriage (Cylon & human) to clones wanting more out of their life to awesome pilot. Although she was often overlooked in favor of Starbuck and Six, her final few episodes were emotional and tearjerkingly wonderful.”

That same fearless approach to acting persists to this day and you can see the subtle differences in subsequent roles in The Border and The Cleaner (A&E). For the former, she played Homeland Security Agent Liz Carver and for the latter, edgy but big-hearted Akani Cuesta, part of an unconventional team of “extreme interventionists” that steers addicts toward recovery; though neither project gave her the same range of emotions as Battlestar, she comes across as an actress fully in command of her craft and a woman more comfortable in her shell.

And let’s talk about that shell for a moment, shall we? Chosen as one of FHM magazine’s “100 Sexiest Women in the World” and one of Maxim magazine’s “Hot 100,” Grace easily looks 10 years younger than her actual age (35, thank you very much.) Chalk it up to the whole Asian thing, but she credits the mass quantities of green food nutritional supplements that she pounds on a daily basis for keeping her ageless and fit. Apparently, the stuff looks like swamp water and according to her husband, smells like “low tide.” Whatever it is, it’s working. But you wouldn’t necessarily know that from the characters she portrays; they are never vixens vamping for the camera, but rather, complex women whose beauty is enhanced by their strength; the sex appeal is muted, yet unmistakable. That is until she smolders on the cover of Maxim or poses for some racy pictorial or films a steamy-yet-tasteful love scene, that you’re reminded what an absolute stunner she is. Which leads one to wonder: How does the man married to Grace Park handle it when she unleashes all that sexy?

As far as her sex-symbol status goes, her husband seems unfazed. “He has a lot of trust in me,” Grace asserts. “If you didn’t trust your woman or were a little bit insecure or if you were a player, you know, all of those things would influence you to perhaps be more possessive. It’s been a lot easier to be an actor with those characteristics in a husband, for sure.”

In an industry where celebs abdicate privacy and much as journalists invade it, Grace is refreshingly reticent about her marriage. Despite my prodding for intimate details about their courtship, she mostly stuck to the generalities. She’s been married since 2004 to Phil Kim, a Korea-born real estate developer who grew up in British Columbia. Surprised? (Not so much by the Canadian part, but by the fact that he’s Korean?) Well, Grace admits, “It was a surprise to me, too. Of course there are things we have in common so it’s a lot easier. It was actually a teeny bit negative just because my dad and just certain things. It was like, dude, I do not want to have to deal with this bullshit for the rest of my life.” So it probably helped that Phil wasn’t exactly hardcore Korean. According to Grace, between the two of them, they can count their close Korean friends on one hand. And despite being born in Korea, Phil tends to make up his own words. “He likes to say that he knows better Korean than me. And he says these really weird words, but his mom grew up in the south. So I finally go, ‘Oh, okay, that’s just how they say it.’ And then we’d be talking to either his mom or my mom or dad, and they’d say, ‘No, what is that?’ The words he makes up are just crap.”

Not that Grace and Phil have totally assimilated either. She did wear a hanbok for her pebaek in Vancouver, though no dates or chestnuts were thrown. And when she was developing her Cylon character, it was Phil who’d planted the cultural parallels. “I had a hard time just being the villain,” Grace explains. (Cylons, it should be known, were actually created by humans and enslaved until they rose up against their creators.) “My husband had said back when we were dating, ‘Oh, it’s easy. It’s just like you’re an oppressed race.’ And that just really opened my eyes because Koreans have been oppressed in the past—not in Canada—but, you know, with the history of Japan and Korea. I took whatever I knew from stories I had heard from my cousins growing up and I applied that. And then all of a sudden, I felt totally rooted and grounded in what I was doing. I just felt like I really had something to stand for and I felt the fight. Koreans love to fight too, right?”

So are there plans for Grace and Phil to start their own brood of fighting, Korean Canucks? According to her, she’s open to it, but like many, her plans for motherhood are vague.

Given Grace’s success, it comes as a bit of a shock to hear that she’s contemplating leaving the profession. After a relatively short time in the industry, she has reached a particular crossroad. “Before, I was just so hungry to prove myself,” she muses. “I wanted to achieve something because I had tied my self-worth way too much to this industry and my success. It was both good and bad for my work. So now that I feel like I’ve kinda separated the two, I don’t have to act and book certain gigs and get bigger jobs. I don’t have to prove anything. No, actually I lie. A part of me still wants to do that. But I’m not 100 percent rooted in that anymore. I feel more open to exploring different things.”

Exactly what things, you might ask? The list (half-jokingly) includes: busking on the streets of Paris, attending silent meditation retreats, living in a shack on a deserted island, waiting for a flight at some weird airport in some random little city, and perhaps having kids. But the list also includes more acting classes and expanding her résumé to include a producer credit. She’s currently attached to produce and star in the indie film Deadmonton, which centers on Asian street culture in Edmonton, Canada, which has the highest rate of gang-related murders in the country. As far as other opportunities on the horizon are concerned, she says, “There’s a ton of projects out there, but why would I want to do something so excessively violent or why would I want to do something that represents women in that way?” She acknowledges that her agent and manager are often exasperated by her. But if a project doesn’t offer her a significant challenge or a new experience, if it isn’t something she really believes in, she’s not interested in doing it. Like her beauty, her convictions are also deceptively fierce.

It might sound like Grace Park doesn’t have a plan, but after talking with her you get the sense that she knows exactly what she’s doing.