I have interviewed many actors over the past couple of years and they each bring their own sense of individuality to the conversation. My recent interview with Justin Chon was no different. Justin, who plays Eric Yorkie in the Twillight and New Moon movies, is smart, well balanced and most of all down to earth
Naturally Savvy Guide (Andrea Donsky): What positive environmental changes have you made in your life?
Justin Chon: To me the most important thing I can do for the environment is to be mindful and not wasteful. As an actor, I’m always printing paper for a script and/or auditions, so I make sure to use the back of them for scrap paper and then recycle them. I keep my thermostat at 75 instead (unlike some of my friends who put it down to 60 because it is really hot out and they want to cool down their places quickly). I take one shower a day and if I can walk somewhere I will.
Naturally Savvy Guide (Andrea Donsky): As a younger actor, do you find your colleagues are taking the environment seriously and trying to make a difference?
Justin Chon: Many of my friends and colleagues are attempting to do something to help the environment. For example, a lot of people I know drive energy efficient cars. It’s easier in California because being green and conscious is more mainstream than perhaps in other cities in the U.S.
Naturally Savvy Guide (Andrea Donsky): What healthy lifestyle choices do you embrace?
Justin Chon: I try to keep fit. I surf a lot and I do a lot of aerobic activity to keep my heart healthy. I also use my own body weight instead of actual weights which works really well at keeping me in shape.
I rarely eat fast food and I try to keep a balanced diet as much as possible. I love red meat but I limit it and substitute fish instead on many occasions.
Unfortunately when filming, I don’t get to exercise. We work very long days – sometimes 15 hours a day depending on production – so by the end of the day I am pretty tired and all I want to do is have dinner and go to bed. As for eating, Kraft Services (the on-set catering company) does offer healthy options for those who want to eat healthy. My weakness on set is “pasta”. I’m not the biggest vegetable lover, but I always try to put some greens on my plate because I know how important it is.
Naturally Savvy Guide (Andrea Donsky): What, in your opinion, is one of the reasons Twillight has become such a phenomenon with both young and older people?
Justin Chon: Definitely because of the book! It had such a strong following before the movie even came out. The books provide mental relief and an escape from reality. They are also easy reads – you don’t have to think too much, which people really like. People relate well to Bella because she’s a normal girl who falls in love and lives a fantasy life because she meets a hot vampire who sweeps her off her feet.
The movie has a team appeal. As a young cast and relatively unknown when we first started, young teenagers could relate to the story and to the actors. Older people like it because there’s action, suspense and it has a great story behind it.
Naturally Savvy Guide (Andrea Donsky): Have you met Stephanie Meyer?
Justin Chon: Yes. She was on the set quite a bit. She is a very nice lady and very sweet. She also has a great family.
Naturally Savvy Guide (Andrea Donsky): Did you read the books before auditioning for the part?
Justin Chon: I heard of them but didn’t read them entirely until after I was cast (I read a little bit to get a feel for what they were). Once I got the part, I had to read them!
Naturally Savvy Guide (Andrea Donsky): Are you involved in any charitable work?
Justin Chon: I don’t have a specific charity I am passionate about so I do whatever comes up. I recently went to a benefit for lupus and I donate a lot of my time to a church for troubled youth children called “Step off Ministry”.
Naturally Savvy Guide (Andrea Donsky): How do you maintain balance in your life?
Justin Chon: I own retail stores called “Attic” where we sell limited edition Nike shoes, contemporary street wear and local brands from LA and Orange County. We have two locations – one in Buena Park and one in San Diego. The stores keep me busy when I’m not filming a movie.
I’m always in my home town Irvine CA. I go to the same restaurants and hang out with my same friends as I always did. I try to keep in perspective that ‘work is work’ and ‘life is life’. I try not to bring work home with me and I try to keep a level head and not let the hype get to me. To be honest, in the end, all that matters is if I’m happy.
We are all the same and there is no need to be pretentious. I am happy things are going well for me.
Naturally Savvy Guide (Andrea Donsky): So are we Justin!
To check out Justin’s stores, visit: www.attic2zoo.com and to see Justin in Twillight’s sequel -- New Moon -- look for it in theatre’s November 20th!
Justin Chon (Twilight, Twilight Saga: New Moon) will be honored with the 2009 Nova Award at the Diversity Awards from the Multicultural Motion Picture Association on Sunday, November 22nd at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Previous winners of this Award include Will Smith, John Cho, Sean William Scott and Nick Cannon.
Congratulations Justin...way to go! We wish you the best of luck.
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