Tue, 26 Jan 2021

"Sometimes you just know your personality fits the role, but sadly the only thing that doesn't is the color of your skin," 24-year-old actress Megan Soo says. The Canadian born multiplatform creator and performer is from a unique cultural background of Korean, Chinese and Trinidadian, meaning that she, like many actors from diverse backgrounds, suffers from a lack of roles for multiracial people.

Megan Soo entered into the early stages of her professional life with the intention of going into the fitness and health industry, feeling an expectation from her parents to get a science degree. But when she noticed a casting call for background actors in the Vin Diesel movie xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage, Soo felt compelled to apply. Up until this point, she had never considered acting, and had even almost failed drama in high school. She got the role and knew that was the moment she wanted to pursue acting. She's now studying for a film and production degree at George Brown University while also working as an actress, singer, and multiplatform content creator.

However the further Soo has ventured into the industry, she noticed just how lacking multiracial Asian roles were, especially being based in Toronto. "It has definitely been more difficult than I would have imagined," she explains. "Being a person of color and mixed, I got a lot of 'ethnically ambiguous' one liners or small role auditions." She noticed especially that background roles were looking for "ethnic people" far more than lead or supporting roles. "In my head it just seemed like there was always the one token person of color role, and then they would throw in some 'color' in the background," she explains.

"The amount of times I've heard that I 'don't look enough of one race or too much of another' is quite disheartening...I remember seeing an audition that fit my personality and look to a T. They were looking for an 'Asian-Chinese' actress, and I thought 'great I'm part Chinese and I grew up with a lot of the culture'...then they got back to me stating I didn't look Chinese enough."

She adds: "I feel like many people just think, 'Oh cool! You're mixed, that's so exotic' but they don't realize that being multicultural, sometimes you feel like you have to explain yourself for being part whatever just because you 'don't look it'."

Feeling disillusioned with the current audition circuit, Soo was motivated to write her own TV role. "I believe the feeling of not belonging or feeling like you don't fit in is worth telling," she explains. She wrote herself into the main role of her upcoming TV series TALES, in which she stars as Isabelle, a mixed raced girl who is half human and half mermaid, with all other mermaid characters roles reserved for other multiracial actors. While Soo is mostly tight-lipped about TALES, she alludes to a plot about humans polluting the Earth and oceans, before marine creatures retaliate. Inspired by her own unique experience of growing up as someone from a mix of unique cultures, she channeled her feelings of "not belonging" in the script.

Soo does believe the industry is slowly changing, encouraged by more Asian lead castings across the entertainment industry, such as the 2018 film Crazy Rich Asians, but believes there is more work to be done. "As for multiracial actors like myself," she says, "I believe there is a slow change but still we need to push for more diverse multi-ethnic castings. There is no reason why a mixed actor cannot play the lead role."

Find out more about Megan Soo and keep updated about TALES on her website and Instagram.

Media Contact: MEGAN SOO - info@megansoo.co

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