Korean-Canadian actress Grace Park likes to keep things interesting. She got her start playing a teenage lesbian Christian in Canada, jumped into the international spotlight as a humanoid Cylon on Battlestar Galactica; and currently stars in A&E’s The Cleaner, a drama now in its second season about an unconventional team that gets addicts to hit rock bottom by any means necessary.
AfterEllen.com talked to Park about some of the extreme sports she enjoys, her very different acting roles, whether her race has been a barrier in her career, and working with The L Word‘s Mia Kirshner for this week’s episode of The Cleaner.
AfterEllen.com: You’ve been known to get into some extreme sports. What extreme sports are you into?
Grace Park: Nothing too extreme anymore. I like shark baiting and I’ll cut down some trees, but while you’re on them and you slide to the bottom before it falls. (beat) I’m kidding!! [huge laughter]
AE: I thought you were serious. I was ready to say ‘Wow! That’s really extreme!’
GP: It really was more like snowboarding, mountain biking, rock climbing and outdoor activities. Back then, though, any word with X in it was cool.
AE: But now I have this image stuck in my head of you wrapped around a tree!
GP: You can watch me on The Logging Show! [laughs]
AE: You made the Maxim Hot 100 in 2006 and last year’s AfterEllen’s annual Hot 100 list, so you obviously appeal to both straight men and queer women.
GP: Woo Hoo!
AE: Why do you think you and the characters you play appeal to lesbian and bi audiences?
GP: I’m not actually sure which character that means but in terms of Sharon [on Battlestar Galactica] and Akani, I think they both have different strengths about them. Sharon is strong, yet vulnerable and conflicted and a lot of people are going to connect with that.
With Akani, she has more of a stronger sexuality, I think a stronger presence and she has stuff going on beneath the surface that she doesn’t want to reveal because it’s private and I think that’s also very relatable. I don’t know. I’ll have to start my own poll. [laughs]