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Jimmy O. Yang

On being unexpected


Words: Henry Wu @hello.henry

Photographer: Ted Sun @tedsun77

Stylist: Kimmy Erin @kimmyerin

Makeup Artist: Sonia Lee for Exclusive Artists using KMS @sonialeeartistry

Retouch: Crystal Retouch @crystal_retouch

Photo Assist: Ido Samuel @ido_samuel

Can you introduce yourself to people who may not know who Jimmy Yang is?

I'm Jimmy O. Yang, I'm an actor, a lover, and an occasional chef.

You've played many roles throughout your acting career. What roles would you like to portray in the future?

Anything that has a great story, and it would be really fun to do something unexpected. I think that's what I've always tried to do -- something different. Maybe an unlikely action hero, Rambo? Maybe more based on real-life people. I loved the Donut King documentary; maybe the Donut King? But I'm open to any great stories and characters.

We love that you got to work with two other Asian Americans in Love Hard. What was it like working with Harry Shum Jr. and Darren Barnett?

I've known Harry since Crazy Rich Asians; it was so great to have him on the same set. Every day, we ordered dim sum to our trailers for lunch. It's fun that Harry and I kind of do a role reversal from the characters we were used to playing. He's usually the heartthrob, and I've played a few big, loud party guys, but it's the other way around this time. I'm the romantic lead, and he's the dickhead brother, so that was fun.

It was my first time working with Darren. What can I say about Darren Barnet that hasn't been said about Julia Roberts? Beautiful, talented, and simply a star.

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suits-MAISON MARGIELA, shirt-DOUBLE RAINBOUU, shoes-BRUNELLO CUCINELLI
What is one of your favorite things about playing Josh Lin?

He's an underdog. He starts off by doing something pretty unlikable - catfishing someone because of his own insecurities. And he has to earn the trust of Natalie and the audience through this great arc in the film. It's the "learn to love yourself for who you are" thing that everyone, including myself, can really relate to. And if he can just work past those insecurities, he's actually a beautiful, kind, awesome guy.

I love seeing the transformation of Josh Lin in Love Hard. Why do you think people often feel the need to hide their true selves?

Everyone has their insecurities, so did I, and I still do. It's usually from things that have happened to us, and we've repeated a negative thought throughout the years. Whether it's something our parents said, something we failed at when we were young, or just a nagging negative self-talk, we all have it. And it often takes someone like Natalie's character to help turn the negativity into positivity.

What advice would you give people on embracing their whole self?

Nobody is perfect, and everyone should be and will be loved for who they are.

In Love Hard, the male characters challenge the traditional perceptions of masculinity. From your perspective, how has this perception changed in Hollywood, or how do you see this change taking place?

It's nice to see guys make candles. It's cool to see Josh keeping his candle-making a secret to finally telling his dad about it and finding acceptance. A lot of it is generational like I don't think my dad would understand, but I think my friends or people younger than me wouldn't think it's weird at all. That's the definition of progress, but we are still working on many things.

shirt-DOUBLE RAINBOUU, trousers-BASIC RIGHTS, shoes-JIMMY'S OWN, bracelet-KARMA & LUCK
Our second issue focuses on metamorphosis and how we embrace changes. How have your past relationships, personal or professional, changed you? What would you have done differently, if anything?

I don't think it does anything to dwell on regrets and wish to go back and change something. I always try to learn from past mistakes, take them as a positive lesson, and move on. I've learned a lot from good relationships and even more from bad ones. I never beat myself up over it. It's just life experiences. The main takeaway is very similar to Love Hard's theme - be honest, be true, not just to others, but even more importantly, to yourself.

What can we look forward to from you in the new year?

I'm ready to do more leading roles in all genres. I'm writing a couple of things that I'm very excited about. Also, more standup in 2022!

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