HIFF: Interview with Tamlyn Tomita

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When I received my media pass for this year’s Hawaii International Film Festival, the first thing I did was ask HIFF Publicity Director Jake Anderson if it would be possible to interview some of the stars scheduled to attend. He very cordially asked me to send him my wish list, and No. 1 on my list was Tamlyn Tomita, star of “The Karate Kid, Part II,” who would be attending the festival to help celebrate the film’s 25th anniversary.

After receiving an initial email from Jake saying she would be open to interviews, I started to get nervous. What do I know about interviewing a celebrity, especially one who was probably the crush of every teenage boy in Hawaii when that film came out? I’ve never done a formal interview before, except for a job interview. What questions would I ask? What did I get myself into?

When Jake called me to let me know the interview was on, I was on my way out the door to go watch “Knots.” As I sat in the theater, I could hardly concentrate on the film. My heart was racing as if I had just downed a six pack of Red Bull.

Luckily, all my fears were unfounded. Tamlyn made it easy and comfortable for me. In fact, Ed Morita (who shot the video) and I stayed to talk story with her for a good hour after the interview. I was really amazed at how much of a local girl she is — speaking pidgin, busting out a shaka and talking about foodie places that only locals would know.

Here’s my interview with her as we discuss the film, her experiences of being an Asian-American actress in Hollywood and even the finer points of Filipino food. Thanks, Tamlyn for making it so easy. I’ll never forget mt first.

 

8 comments
808marv
808marv

Great interview! Wow she still looks great, has it really been 25 years since KKII? Yes for every girl screaming over Ralph Macchio back then there was a guy swooning over Tamlyn. Her and Kelly Hu were like the 80s teen crushes lol. I remember a female classmate got time off from school to be an extra on KKII, that was a big deal since KK was the hot film of the timel. OK I'm gonna play some Peter Cetera now...

nonstopmari
nonstopmari moderator

u're a natural!! we need more myong choi interviews.

tamlyn was good too. she may know more abt local food than some locals :)

Melissa808
Melissa808 moderator

That was great—I laughed out loud, Myong! I played the video for all the ladies at my hair salon.

MoOgooGuypAN
MoOgooGuypAN

Great interview Myong! You did look really nervous and stiff. Hahahaha! I would have been too. Talk about young boy crush. She did seem really down to earth which isn't always the case when it comes to people that find fame.

MyongChoi
MyongChoi

@808marv Thanks! Yeah, I was tempted to tell her I'd be the man to fight for her honor and that she's been dreaming of. LOL

MyongChoi
MyongChoi

@nonstopmari Hahaha, don't know about that Mari, but thanks! And yeah, she definitely knows her way around town.

MyongChoi
MyongChoi

I know, when I saw the video I thought I was doing an impression of Chris Farley in those SNL skits where he interviews celebrities and has no idea what to say so just smiles like an idiot the whole time. LOL

And yeah, she is very cool and such a foodie too! We spent most of our conversation after the interview talking about food!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Upon arriving at the theater though, I found myself in the center of a vortex of Asian actresses. Grace Park, Kelly Hu, Traci Toguchi and Tamlyn Tomita were all within five feet of each other. People were clamoring to talk to the actresses and get their picture taken with them. I was standing in the center of the crowd that had gathered knowing that I had to somehow get a photo of the four of them. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get them all together. Park and Toguchi left and Hu had to go into the “Almost Perfect” screening. After doing a quick greeting in the “Karate Kid II” screening, Tomita came out for Myong’s interview. [...]