‘Fresh Off The Boat’ dad Randall Park has never been happier to work

November 6, 2015
Randall Park (Photo courtesy of Kyle Espeleta)

Randall Park (Photo courtesy of Kyle Espeleta)

By Christine Ha

Randall Park, 41, has never been happier to work.

It’s been 12 years since his first project, and 20 since he began acting, but it wasn’t until his casting as the father of ABC’s “Fresh Off The Boat” family, and his portrayal of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the controversial film “The Interview,” that his name hit headlines.

Park, who will receive the Royal Salute Mark of Respect honor at this year’s Unforgettable Gala for Asian American awards next month, told the Korea Times he’s thankful to be working at a time when diversity and a changing entertainment industry has allowed him to find a place as an Asian actor.

“Fresh” was renewed for a second season in May.

Park plays Louis Huang, a Taiwanese American who runs a steak restaurant in Orlando.

The show is the first series depicting an Asian family at its center since the Margaret Cho-starring “All-American Girl,” which aired for one season in 1994.

“That we’re heading into a second season means the show is good,” Park said. “Although it may have a bit to do with viewers’ curiosity regarding what Asian American families are like, we have great humor and a different perspective.”

Park is a Los Angeles native who received both his undergraduate and master’s degrees — the latter for Asian American studies — from UCLA.

“The film ‘The Interview’ was a huge turning point for me, but even before it was released, I had been cast for the series,” he said.

“In the past I thought of being an actor as just a job and something I had to keep doing. But from some point, I started to really enjoy working. It’s fun, and I want to do better, and I want to show audiences a better me in films and in acting projects.”