Who is caught up with Season 2 of Orange is the New Black (OITNB) on Netflix? I devoured the whole season in less than week, watching this show religiously everyday after dinner. What gets me into this dramedy are the unique characters of each inmate, and what their backstory is. All the usual suspects are back, with Piper Chapman, Pennsatucky, Red, Crazy Eyes, Nicky and Lorna, just to name a few. A couple of newcomers came to join the cast this season, with Vee and of course Brook Soso.
I got the chance to interview the beautiful and ethereal Kimiko Glenn who plays Brook Soso from the new season. She was refreshing to watch, yet at some points, I was wincing because.. well.. why don’t you watch the show? I loved to dislike her character Brook Soso, but at some points, I loved her. Kimiko Glenn nailed the role, and it was so good to see her representing. May I also add, she got to sing with The Flaming Lips, this is one cool woman!
How do you feel to be a part of such a successful show?
It was kind of a whirlwind, because I was cast pretty quickly and then immediately started shooting. I didn’t have very much time to think about it! Throughout shooting, I did put a bit of pressure on myself because I knew it was such a popular show, but everyone was so supportive and helpful. It has been such a blessing!
The women are so diverse, did you imagine your role was going to become so big in the show?
I had a vague idea coming into it what the function of my character would be. I knew she would be recurring, but I had no idea to what extent. I was so flattered by the amount of material and the content of material they gave me!
How did you enjoy playing Brook Soso?
I love that Brook is such an unlikely candidate to be in a prison setting. She is somewhat like Piper coming in, wide-eyed, frightened, and out of place. Unfortunately, Brook lacks the street-smarts and isn’t as quick to adapt, and that’s where a lot of the comedy comes from. She’s annoying, but you love to hate her. I think a lot of people see themselves in Brook.
How did you get into character?
I did a lot of research and I actually experimented (during the episode where I am supposed to smell) with deodorant alternatives. I used lemon juice, I tried natural deodorant, and lavender oil. I felt so smelly for a couple of weeks! For some of the more intense scenes, it would take a lot of focus to stay in that emotional space. But for scenes like the sing along, we just sang Lisa Loeb all day!
How did you prepare for the saucy sex scene? I have to say it was pretty hot to watch!
I honestly couldn’t do much other than memorize my lines because I had no idea what to expect. I will say that it was far more awkward watching it than it was filming it! When we shot it, they closed the set and the executive producer, Lisa Vinnecour, made sure I wasn’t doing anything I wasn’t comfortable with. We maybe got 3-4 takes, and we were done!
The show is quite ethnically diverse, how do you feel about playing 1 of 2 Asian women?
I am so happy to be representing! It is really refreshing to be cast in a role that is not an Asian stereotype. Jenji Kohan knows what she’s doing.
Do you think more Asians are getting more roles now?
I have been noticing that the world of casting has been growing far more conscious on the diversity front and that audiences are so pleased when they see Asian-Americans represented in media. This show for example: A show with primarily women at the helm, and almost all of the women on screen are considered, by Hollywood standards, “character actresses”. Formulaically, this show should not be a hit. But it just goes to show that, first of all, real talent is appreciated, and also that people want to see diversity. They want to see someone they can actually relate to, not some Hollywood portrayal of a human experience. Things are slowly improving and I would love to see it be commonplace where meatier, more developed roles were given to actors of Asian descent.
I know you are not full Asian, can you indulge us on what your background is?
I am half-Japanese, part German, Scottish, and Irish!
True or false, are you and the OITNB cast one big happy family?
True! We are so lucky!
Do you give yourself a pep talk before every audition?
Usually, I do a quick 1-2 minute meditation before I go in to the room. I don’t think I will ever stop getting nervous!
I loved that you revived the 90’s music era by doing your sing-a-long.. But did you actually know those songs growing up?
I had definitely heard the songs, but I didn’t know them by heart like Brook does! I didn’t really listen to the radio very much when I was growing up. I was always listening to musicals and Celine Dion!
So there you have it! Tune into Netflix’s Orange is the New Black Season 2, and tell us your opinion on it.