Hot off his lead role in the critically acclaimed 2003 film,
“Better Luck Tomorrow,” actor Parry Shen stopped by CSU last week.
Shen was on campus as part of CSU Asian Fest and spoke to students
last Thursday night in the Lory Student Center about the film and
his experiences as an Asian American. This 30-year-old actor,
originally from Queens, NY, performed in a CU theater company in
1996. He also held a small actors workshop last Thursday, and it
was after this event that I sat down with Parry Shen for an
JA: What advice would you give young actors trying to get into
the movie industry?
PS: Treat it like a business. Make yourself the best product.
Educate yourself and keep yourself in shape. Self-promotion. Ask
yourself, ‘Am I plateauing?’ Do one small thing a day toward your
career, (that’s) 365 things you’ve done in a year. Even if it’s
watching a movie or a DVD commentary, acting class or working
JA: Can you describe the moment you knew you’d made it in the
PS: “I don’t know if I’ve made it. No one really ever makes it
when they sit on their laurels. I used to use Photoshop to create
fake (magazine) articles for me. People (magazine) did a spread on
me once and when I compared the two, they were pretty similar.”
JA: There’s a strong sense of comfort among the cast of “Better
Luck Tomorrow.” Have you remained friends with any of them?
PS: “Yes, they’re my best friends. We talk every other day. They
were the groomsmen in my wedding.
JA: What do you do for fun in your free time?
PS: “I watch movies. I was just watching ’21 Grams.'”
JA: I read online that you were in the movie “Starship
Troopers.” What was your part?
PS: “I was in the beginning ten minutes. I was in a blue shirt
in a hallway giving a guy a noogie.”
JA: What kind of music do you like?
PS: I like a Top 40 sampling. Mostly rock right now; solo male
artists like Jason Mraz and John Mayer.”
JA: Would you say that “Better Luck Tomorrow” is the movie
you’re most proud of making?
PS: Yes. If I didn’t get another role ever again I’d be fine
with it. It spoiled me, but empowered me. I know I’ll always have
JA: What’s it like playing a high school student?
PS: I’m used to it now. Ninety percent of the roles I play are
high school or college (characters). I was a high school drama
teacher. Because I’ve gone through high school, I’m smarter. If we
had actual teen-agers playing the teen-age roles, they’d be
worrying about the things teen-agers worry about. They just don’t
have life experience.”
Parry Shen can be seen in the upcoming Katie Holmes movie,
“First Daughter.” He also told me that he is working with the
creators of “Better Luck Tomorrow” on a comedy. Shen also wrote a
screenplay that should go into production sometime in January.
Visit www.parryshen.com for more information on the actor.