The Uncontainable Jolie Chi

kkingme2003@yahoo.com
4 min readJun 30, 2018

Jolie Chi, a native of Taiwan who studied at the prestigious New York Film Academy, is globally known for her acting roles. A well-regarded actor of international acclaim, she will appear in the upcoming feature film Pistachio opposite award-winning actors Denise Richards and Joey Lawrence. Many have come to recognize Ms. Chi as she has been featured on billboards and in movie theatres throughout China in commercials for the Chinese instant-messaging service, Momo (NASDAQ: MOMO). A successful model as well, Jolie has competed in worldwide modeling competitions including the IMTA (International Models and Talents Association) Competition and the Miss Global Pageant, winning several titles including Miss Congeniality at the 2015 Miss Global Pageant and the 2014 IMTA Monologue Competition winner. Her latest work includes a performance on Foster the People’s music video “Sit Next To Me,” Justin Timberlake’s 2018 hit music video “Filthy,” a leading role on the TV series Laff Mobb’s Laff Tracks’ most popular episode (“Bikini Wax Horror Story,” as the character of Ming Ling), and the title role in the film My Lunatic Lucy.

My Lunatic Lucy is a film about how love can blind us to the behavior of others. When eighteen-year-old Josh brings his girlfriend home for Thanksgiving, her actions destroy the holiday with his family. The award winning director of the film, Wanyin Tang, wanted to create a character very different from the common nerdy stereotype available to many Asian actors. With thousands of submissions on lacasting and hundreds auditioning for the role of Lucy, it was Chi who was able to truly channel this frenetic character. The actress relates, “Playing this character was definitely one of the most memorable experiences because I actually felt like I became her during our shoot. Lucy is very childish. I became very emotional throughout the shoot and couldn’t control my feelings, adopting Lucy’s crazy mood swings. The cinematographer was actually a bit scared to tell to me to move sometimes because I looked so mad, even when I was unaware of it.” Lucy isn’t crazy, just extremely spoiled. One even gets the sense that Lucy doesn’t like being the way she is but is unable to control the emotional rollercoaster that is her life. Redeeming qualities like being studious and pretty are overshadowed by her short fuse and emotional tantrums. While being drawn to a very untraditional role for an Asian actress, Chi admits that the character was highly taxing for her. While it’s not a requirement to like the character you are playing, Jolie concedes, “This character gave me a cloud of depression while I was shooting. She’s extremely emotional and insanely spoiled; everything has to go her way. I tried my best to stay in character as much as I could but also get out of the character as fast as possible so the crew wouldn’t think I’m a bitch. I do feel like I’m leading a trend because this isn’t a typical Asian girl role. I wanted to prove to the world that we can play anything we want and present a spectrum of types. It doesn’t matter what color we are or what background we were born into, don’t stereotype people just by their looks. We are all humans; stop seeing and judging.”

Displaying her diversity in roles as well as choices, Jolie appeared in a commercial campaign for Momo. Momo is a social search and instant messaging mobile app. The app allows users to chat with nearby friends and others. Providing users with free instant messaging services through Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G, this uber popular Chinese company came to the US to find more energetic and outgoing Asian actresses to star in their commercials. As has become her calling card, Jolie was chosen from more than five hundred actresses who auditioned. Chi’s affinity for going against the grain in choosing/performing roles was well matched with the commercial’s director Tucker Walsh (known for directing numerous major brand commercials). When Walsh asked Chi to repeatedly make the ugliest faces possible, the actress confirms that she did so with great delight. Walsh relates, “We actually had some actresses who refused to make an ugly face. Jolie’s face is the first you see in the commercial and she is electric on screen, lighting things up. The reason for casting Asian actresses in America was to find someone exactly like Jolie. She’s attractive but she has that comedic thing; it’s not forced and it’s highly engaging.” Jolie Chi seems to be on a mission to single-handedly make a change in the industry and disrupt the common perception by peers and viewers, challenging their preconceived ideas of Asian personalities in general. With appearances that range from films to music videos and commercials, it’s highly likely that she will achieve her goal and further her own career at the same time. Jolie has recently been nominated for top 5 Best Actress for her role in My Lunatic Lucy at Top Shorts Film Festival. Top Shorts is an established and well-known festival and they receive a huge number of submissions, out of which approximately only 5 are nominated in each category. She has also just been nominated by The Actors Awards based on her Lucy’s performance for Best Actress and it seems like there will definitely be many more to come for Jolie!

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kkingme2003@yahoo.com

Kelly King writes for numerous popular online media outlets in addition to being a staff writer for NYC & LA based/internationally published Drumhead magazine.