If you want to gauge an actor’s popularity, mention his name and see how quickly people cite his credits. For Randall Park it took but a moment for a few college students to start calling out: Veep, The Interview and Fresh Off the Boat, ABC’s Tuesday night sitcom on which Park plays the father. No one was googling; he’s that famous now.
The Los Angeles native has been working as an actor for 15 years, though Park initially envisioned himself a writer. At UCLA he earned an undergraduate degree in creative writing and English and a master’s in Asian-American studies. There, he and his pals formed Lapu, the Coyote That Cares Theatre Company, which is still in existence. And he’s still writing. A screenplay he and his college friend Ali Wong wrote for Netflix shoots this summer. In between juggling Fresh Off the Boat, now in its fourth season, and raising his daughter with his wife, actress Jae Suh Park, Park answered our “5 Questions.”
- If your TV had only three networks or shows, what would you be watching?
Fresh Off the Boat because it is a great show. There is a show on Comedy Central that I am crazy for, Nathan for You. I have always been a huge SNL fan, and I still watch SNL.
- What three things do you have to have in your fridge or pantry at all times?
I have to have kimchi because I am Korean and you have to have kimchi in your fridge. It is just the rule! It’s usually in a separate refrigerator, as it invades all the other foods. And I always have ice cream in the freezer. I love ice cream, and my daughter loves ice cream, usually just plain vanilla because we like to keep it simple. And apple juice. She is 5 years old. That is always in the fridge, and if we don’t have it, we run straight to the store.
- Tell us about a time when you were starstruck.
I don’t get starstruck that often. I only have two photos with famous people where I actually stopped them and asked if I could have a photo. Richard Simmons, and Tommy Wiseau from The Room. I am a big fan of The Room. It is the strangest thing I have ever seen. He is the strangest person. I am so fascinated by him and saw him at a midnight screening and said, “I have to take a photo with this guy.”
- If you weren’t an actor, what would you be?
I think I would be an electrician. I am saying that because we needed an electrician numerous times, and it is very hard to get one. I just think I would be set for life — I would always have work. Aside from the dangerous aspect, I like working with my hands. It is the type of job that will never be replaced. There will always be work.
- What three celebrities, living or dead, would you invite to a dinner party?
Buster Keaton, Diane Keaton and Michael Keaton, and Alex P. Keaton from Family Ties.