360 Degress of Jolie Chi
Los Angeles based actor Jolie Chi moved to the United States at the age of sixteen to pursue an acting career. A native of Taiwan, she has caught the attention of audiences in both the United States and Asia. Her talent and versatility has led to coveted roles in feature films, national commercials, stage plays, television series, and music videos. Ms. Chi’s strong commercial presence in the US includes campaigns for the California Lottery and similarly in China with Momo (a Chinese instant-messaging service) with features on billboards and at movie theatres across the country. Her witty stage presence and charisma has opened doors to performances at top comedy clubs including the Laugh Factory (widely recognized as the #1 comedy club in the United States), Flappers, The Ice House, and The Comedy Store. Ms. Chi was also cast as the character of Ming Ling on Tru TV’s new series television series Laff Mobb's Laff Tracks and is featured in its most popular episode to date. She will star as the character of Amy Tsai opposite award-winning actors Denise Richards and Joey Lawrence in the family adventure film Destined to Ride (distributed by Sony Pictures) currently in post-production.
Included in the aforementioned cast of Destined to Ride is Madeline Carroll (I Can Only Imagine, Resident Evil: Extinction, The Spy Next Door) in the lead role of Lily Davidson. With such a notable cast, the competition for the coveted role of Amy Tsai was fierce. Jolie’s audition propelled her above the more than one-hundred actors vying for the role. Amy is a pivotal character for the story as she sets a baseline for Lily’s perception of what’s important. Amy is from a wealthy family, somewhat spoiled, and one of Lily’s best friends. She is fun-loving and innocent. These two friends travel in the same social circle and take part in extra-curricular activities like the cheerleading squad. Amy’s family relationship is something which makes a huge contrast to Lily’s.
Chi reveled in the opportunity to present a younger/more naïve version of herself as Amy. She relates, “As an actress, you use the emotions you have felt at different points in your life to reference and bring life to a character. When I was working on the dance choreography with Madeline [Carroll] we had a bonding experience that translated on film. I take care when I’m going through experiences in present day, even like making this film, to catalogue those first time experiences I have so that I can use them all at some other point in my career.” The award-winning director of Destined to Ride, Anna Elizabeth James, reveals, “It was obvious to me from the minute she auditioned that Jolie was the perfect choice to play Amy. She brings a joyful quality and natural energy to the scenes. We were excited to have this beautiful Asian actress who’s able to bring more color and diversity to the screen.”
One of the major reasons for Jolie’s notoriety is her ability to vacillate between serious roles and comedy. In Tru TV’s new comedy show Laff Mobb, Chi appears as Ming Ling; a ditsy, non- English speaking Korean woman. It was Chi’s command of different accents that cinched the audition for her. The role requires consummate improvisational skills. Jolie recalls, “We didn’t have any scripts during production but referenced the comedy skit of Yamaneika Saunders (a comedian at Comedy Central). We just recreated the whole story. It was my first time just getting directed right on the spot but I already knew how to present Ming Ling. She’s young, ditsy, funny, dramatic…a lot like me except she has no idea how to speak English at all. English isn’t my native language so I understand the behavior of people who aren’t fluent. So taken from experience, it was easy for me the play Ming Ling.”
While some may notice the ethnic diversity that is unavoidable in Jolie Chi’s appearance, it’s the diverse range of her ability to simultaneously infuse moments of comedy and drama in her performance (when called upon) which is so prominent. An actress with one foot in each culture who uses this ability to appeal to both and somehow create her own personal identity; Jolie Chi is many things to many productions, which is why she finds herself so in demand globally.
Author: Kelly King