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Arden Cho learned how to speak up: 'I was taught not to waver'

About five years ago, Arden Cho started saying no to the script. It started with Kira Yukimura as her only female character of color on MTV’s hit series, Teen Wolf , abruptly cut from the final season of 2016. She decided to stick to the next right project — and that meant finding roles she thought she would never see as a Korean-American raised in Texas. “I should tell a story at least once in my life that a girl can watch and inspire,” she told THR. In May of this year, when she turned down the movie reboot of Teen Wolf; about what she got Reports of the salary (apparently less than half of what her white co-stars earn) surfaced, and the story went viral. Cho said her decision was not only based on her career, “but for the next generation, the next Asian American girl, she thinks it’s probably the best you can get.”

Cho was ready to wait decades for another gig, but an ideal role soon emerged in the form of Ingrid Yun, a young woman looking for the top job in New York Law Firm on Partner Track , coming to Netflix in August . Here, she opens up about the importance of serial performance on and off the camera.

How does it feel to work on a series led by an Asian American woman?

To be able to have a conversation [with showrunner Georgia Lee] about Ingrid as a woman of color That’s great. Even the little things like who kisses first – the women chosen on this show are really special. Whether Ingrid’s choice is right or wrong, she’s doing it.

Can you describe what is special about your character?

She’s not the typical shy, submissive Asian girl one might expect. She is bold. I think in these cruel [corporate] worlds a lot of women try to hide their feminine side to gain respect, but if Ingrid wanted to wear pink, she would wear pink.

In Partner Track, Alexandra Turshen as Rachel Friedman and Arden Cho as Ingrid Yun , Bradley Gibson as Tyler Robinson.

Vanessa Cliff Dayton/Netflix

In the first episode, someone mistook Ingrid for a paralegal, and she corrected them without hesitation.

As an Asian woman, I was taught not to waver. What I learned in s Something is important in certain situations to stand up for yourself, even if it’s just a simple “hey, that’s not cool”.

What does being Asian American mean to you?

I was born and raised in Texas, went to high school in Minnesota, and was usually the only the minority. I’ve been called every slur in the book and I’m ashamed of being Asian American. Then, in college, I met international students. I had boba and pho for the first time. Now I am the most girl in Asia and I am very proud of it.

Interview edited for length and clarity.

This story first appeared in August. The Hollywood Reporter Magazine’s question. 450Click here to subscribe.

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