Interview with Michelle Krusiec and Lynn Chen of “Saving Face”

 
 

AE: Did either of you watch the movie with your parents, and was that weird?
LC: I haven’t seen it much with my parents at all yet. They were going to come to Sundance but it got too complicated. They'll see it later on.
I think the only thing that's going to be weird is the love scene, just because my mother never wanted me to do that. I've been acting since I was really young, and she was always like"don’t ever pose nude!" That was ingrained in my head.
MK: My mother said, "If you are going to pose nude, get
a lot of money!" (laughs)
LC: I was so scared to tell my mom that I had done a nude scene,
and when I finally told her she was like, "Oh my God, Oh my God. Okay."
Then, like a week later, I was talking to someone else and I had mentioned I
did a nude scene, and my mom acted like she didn’t know and went, "Oh my
god, oh my god." I said, "Mom, you knew this." She like, "I
know, I know." I feel like when we actually see, she will freak out initially.

AE: Did it make a difference that it was with a women or was it just the nudity?
LC: It’s just the nudity.
My
parents don’t care about the lesbian part. Actually, when they describe the
movie to people, my Mom is so proud, she says, "This is my daughter, she
is going to be in a movie. She’s a lesbian."
MK:
The nudity part I was actually okay with, I trusted Alice. It’s funny [turns to Lynn], the most vulnerable moment I find in the movie was when you touched my lip. Every time you do that, I feel so raw and very opened, because it’s not so much the nudity and it’s not being with a women. I felt that that moment really captured intimacy. Whenever I see that, I always kind of giggle and I am like "Oh, there it is, right there." Even more so then just Lynn and I being naked kissing.

AE: Had you two worked with each other long before you had to do that scene?
MK: Like a week or two.
LC: It was at the end of the first week.
MK: Really?
LC: Yes, it was the first week of shooting. We had been doing like non-stop crazy days.
Remember, because that first kiss was the first time we actually kissed?
MK: Hmm. I can’t remember. She has nice lips though.
LC: (laughs) We didn’t kiss in rehearsal at all. The first time we actually kissed, it was very genuine. Alice shot that part in sequence–like our first kiss came first, before jumping into bed together and having to do any other sort of intimate stuff.

AE: What do you think about the fact that there haven’t been any Asian American lesbian couples in a U.S. theatrical release, that Wil and Vivian are the first?
LC: In general, I feel like there is very few Asian American
couples period on screen. They are usually older men and women from the old
country or something like that, but rarely do you see two young Asian people,
even heterosexual couples, in a relationship. At least not as main characters.
The fact that we are the first lesbian ones… When you said that [on the panel
at Sundance] I was like, "Cool."
MK: I didn’t know we were the first.
LC: I didn’t know that either.
MK: Today was my first day and all of a sudden it hit me that maybe this movie would be ground-breaking in a more sociopolitical way then I ever imagined. I have the tendency to be intellectual when it comes to work, so when I get into my process I try and take the knowledge out of it. Now that it is done and it exists in its form now, I realize that it actually does represent, not a movement, but it does represent something that has not ever been done before, and that to me is quite exciting. I never really acknowledged that. Like you were saying before about finally finding your representation on the screen…It’s like people for some reason don’t think something exists unless they see it. Sometimes people don’t feel validated until they see a representation of themselves. Thinking about that and all of the gay Asian women who exist who will see this film is really exciting.

AE: Do you think you are going to suddenly get offers for more lesbian parts after this movie?
LC: Do you know what, my first five auditions right after wrapping, when no one knew about the movie, were all lesbian parts! It had nothing to do with the movie, it just happened that way and I was like, "Wow that is really weird.’
MK: (to Lynn) Actually there is one project you auditioned for that I auditioned for as well, which was playing a lesbian role. I love it!
LC: And I want to be on the The
L Word
! (both laughing) Bring Will and Vivian on!

AE: (laughing) I'll put in a word for you.
LC: (laughing) Okay, thank you very much.

For more on the movie, go to our Saving Face section

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