Apr 282004
Authors: Jeremy Anderson

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

it forever.”

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.

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