“I just happen to love martial arts. I happen to be Asian."
Mike Moh has discussed stereotypes and the importance of representation in Deadline’s New Hollywood podcast,
Moh is playing Bruce Lee in Quentin Tarantino’s latest film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, which releases today.
For Moh, representation is important for this generation because his parents’ generation did not experience it.
“That’s why representation is so important, because our parents didn’t see people that were like us or that looked like us having that success,” Moh said. “So what would give them any idea that we could do it as well, if they didn’t see it? So now that all sorts of people are busting through, hopefully their parents can say, ‘Oh, Mike’s doing it, you can do it as well.’”
Reflecting on his own experiences with discrimination, the Korean American actor said has anger has lessened after having children.
“Now I look back and I’m like, wow, that was kind of messed up. People [would be] like, ‘Do you know Dr. Kim?’” said. “I used to have this anger that people are making this comment towards me because I’m Asian American. I used to get angry but now I look back and with my perspective as a father…. I feel more pity towards that than I do anger.”
With regards to stereotypes, Moh his role as Bruce Lee stemmed from a love of martial arts not stereotyping.
“I want to be a martial arts action guy and it’s not because I want to fall into a stereotype and that’s an easy thing I can get cast in,” Moh explained. “I just happen to love martial arts. I happen to be Asian. And yes, I do get upset when people just assume I know martial arts. But if there is something to be associated with Asians, I think it’s cool that it’s something so bad ass.”
In related news, Brad Pitt and Tarantino also recently discussed the Bruce Lee fight scene from Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.