In the Mind of Actress Jennifer Field (Interview)
A San Francisco Bay Area native, Jennifer was born and raised in San Jose, California. She graduated from prestigious Santa Clara University, with a B.A in Theatre Arts. Miss Field also studied Philosophy during her career at SCU. Her ethnicity is half Korean, half English/Irish/German; her mother hails from Seoul, South Korea, and her father was born in Roswell, New Mexico.
Jennifer Field holds the title of Miss Asian America 2007 and recently made the move to Los Angeles. Miss Field has been working on transferring her stage skills to film and television. Her current projects include Caribe Road, a cutting-edge action webseries produced by Louise Wu of Helu Entertainment, and a voiceover appearance on Robot Chicken, Seth Green’s Emmy-award winning animated series on Cartoon Network.
Exclusive Interview with Jennifer Field
Word on the street is that you were born and raised in San Jose. Is that true?
Yes! I’m San Jose born and raised. No Cupertino or Los Gatos around here, straight up San Jo, you know!
What type of music are you in to?
Hip hop. I love love love music. I listen to it all day long in my house, in my car, I actually ignore phone calls and texts because I’d rather listen to my music uninterrupted than be distracted by my phone. I love the backpacker indie stuff like Atmosphere and Living Legends, to the harder, colder Mobb Deep, to the mainstream Grammy friendly Eminem.
Growing up in a Korean household, what would you say was the biggest speed bump in your path?
The biggest speed bump for me was my mother trying to be American and assimilating, yet deep down ingrained in her is the culture of our motherland. She is an immigrant who lived in Seoul until her early 30s and spent her entire young adult life there. So her adjusting to American culture with open arms, you can imagine the clashes of Eastern culture versus Western. She thinks she’s raising her kids in an American upbringing, when really she is subconsciously mothering us like she would in Korea, a lot of the time.
One example, is how respect for elders is a major part of Korean culture, so paramount that it is even incorporated into our language. Linguistics professors would know about this. The grammar is completely different to say, may I have a glass of water, to your friend, versus may I have a glass of water to your grandmother. It’s not about politeness or manners, it is varying levels of grammatical structure dependent upon the status of who you are talking to. It’s a grammar thing, not niceties. Point being, my mom always wanted me to hang with the white kids (even though I grew up in an area with 40% Asians and 40% Latins) and she never taught me the language fully because I was in America…yet she wanted me to respect her because she was my elder. Always listen to what she said, never talk back…I, for that matter, was an individual to the fullest. No follow the leader here.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A series regular on a television series, sci-fi or thriller. Â Having my best friends’ children call me Auntie Jenn and watch me at their local movie theater when I let them know a feature I’m in is having a theatrical release. Finally owning my own pet…I want an Alaskan Malamute but hear it’s too warm in LA for those beauties, maybe I’d have to live in Pacific Palisades or something. I’d like to have gone to the national parks and wildlife reserves in Africa. South Africa, the Congo Basin, I want to have traveled, I been dreaming of safaris for years.
What do you do to prepare for an audition or set?
When I go into a casting call, I just try to be in the place emotionally of the character, the scene. But I will admit, it’s hard, because when you enter that audition room, you have to be cordial and introduce yourself, say hi, smile. So I have to be a professional, then all of a sudden camera is rolling and I have to be back in my place of the scene/character. I get nervous because it throws me off to be Jennifer Field the actor, and then Jennifer Field the character at the snap of a finger. It’s a work in progress, it is why I’m continually expanding my craft and continually working. I’ll tell you what though, once you throw me on set, I’ll knock it out of the ballpark. I bring that scene HOME. Sets are very safe places, audition rooms are another beast.
Being from Los Angeles, there must be a wide selection of food and restaurants. What type of foods do you enjoy eating?
Korean! I’m not a huge KBBQ girl, although I love it of course. I’m more into the kimchis, the spicy squid (ohjinguh bokkum), the dubu (tofu), all banchan (side dishes, lots of vegetable plates). I love seafood all around. An ideal dinner date would include a chilled seafood platter with a variety of oysters on the half shell. I like scallops, abalone, wild salmon, oh goodness. I am a big vegan and raw food eater as well… Lots of visits to the natural markets and vegan restaurants around Los Angeles. Cafe Gratitude is my staple (first one was in San Francisco).
A pretty girl like you must get hit on a lot. What’s the worst pickup line you ever heard?
How about the best pickup line a guy gave me? He said, excuse me, but did you get a nose job? It was one of the most flattering and unique compliments I ever received. Baby got my number that night.
Soju or Sake?
Both! Soju is stronger, so I usually will choose sake because it has lower alcohol content. But when in Rome! (I live in Koreatown where Soju is king.)
Who are some actresses you look up to in Hollywood?
I admire Angelina Jolie. She plays roles that were written for men (Salt). She is rumored to donate one third of her money to charity, one third for living, one third for saving…the girl is a role model. Her charity work is reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s selflessness…I love people who use their power for greater good. I certainly respect Kim Kardashian’s success but wish she would spend more time and money on giving back, making a dent on her brothers and sisters who live polar opposite lives from her. To each his own though, it’s her life. It’s no wonder Brad Pitt, arguably the hottest man in Hollywood fell for Miss Jolie. Another aspect I respect is how she started out in dramatic roles and only then went action. She is the ultimate actress, can do the Oscar-worthy work yet also milk the Hollywood movie machine and go commercial. Perfect career. On top of all this, did I mention how drop dead sexy and stunning she is? Hands down, the hottest woman in contemporary cinema.