Coming off of his starring role in the critically acclaimed film Sake Bomb, Eugene joins the elite in comedy on Showtime’s Dice, an ensemble cast in the film Car Dogs and portrays 10 different characters for one job. The young actor seems to do it all… and well. Eugene Kim’s Twitter and Instagram. Photo By Teren Oddo.
Talking to actor Eugene Kim makes me hungry. Looking at Eugene’s selfie (see below) makes me NOT hungry. There’s only one thing to do about my predicament – but first, I must look up how to spell the word ‘predicament’.
When I was in college at SUNY Stony Brook around (cough), Andrew Dice Clay did his stand-up show at the student center. It was sold out in minutes. So you can imagine my delight when I found out about Showtime’s Dice!
Let’s see what Eugene Kim has to say for himself!
You play ‘David’ in Showtime’s new series, Dice, which premiered April 10. Tell us about the audition process.
It happened so quickly. I got the call at 10am to go in and audition at 2pm. As an actor, you have a choice to either freak out at the short amount of time you have to study, or you just tackle it. I did a little bit of both.
The casting director had me do it several times. Got to play with the material, which I love. My character, David, is a passionate gay man who marries into Dice’s family, so I went into the audition dressed well, attire that fit the scenes I read for.
The next day, I got the job. Flew to Las Vegas the following week and started filming.
Were you a fan of Andrew Dice Clay before you got the role? How was working with him? Any insight into ‘David’? Funny stories?
Dice is a Legend! There’s no one like him. While doing standup at the Comedy Store years ago, I got to watch him do his thing. He killed it. The audience loves him. I’m not the most social person when I perform, so I kept to myself.
Working with him on set was amazing. He’s a stellar guy and an extremely talented actor. Every actor wants to feel safe in their environment. I definitely felt that with him.
‘David’ represents all the men and women that judge Andrew based on his act, having only a two-dimensional view of who he is as a comedian, without knowing that behind the scenes, he is a loving father, partner and friend who’s often misunderstood. That’s where the comedy lies in the show. It’s poignant, articulate but hilarious.
After filming a scene, we were all talking. Andrew wanted a picture taken, so I moved out of the way. He called me out, and said he wanted the photo with me. So I stooped over and smiled for the photo.
He then said, “NO ON MY LAP!” It was hilarious. One of the producers actually made a poster of it with the words,”Hickory Dickory Dock” on it.
Tell us about your upcoming film Car Dogs with ensemble cast Octavia Spencer, Nia Vardalos, George Lopez and Dash Mihok.
The story unfolds over the course of a day. A car sales manager, (Patrick Adams, Suits) is given an intense deadline by his father (Chris Mulkey,Whiplash) also the owner of a car dealership. He must sell 35 cars by the end of the day.
We filmed in Arizona for a month. Shooting in Scottsdale, there was a lot to do. It was like we were back at summer camp. It was a blast.
I did go through many bottles of Visine though — it’s so dry out there.
Eugene Kim. Seriously, Eugene, what are you eating?
You’ve voiced several video games including World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, done motion capture on Batman: Arkham Origins. How does working on a video game differ from film/TV?
Voice-over work is a different beast. There’s something liberating in knowing an audience will hear only your voice. It’s like wearing a mask. It gives you the license to be whomever you want.
Doing a video game, you say each line three or four times and then you move on. At the end, you make a bunch of specific attack and wounded sounds. Its such a silly and unnatural thing to do but it’s a vital part. In contrast to film/TV, most of the time you’re not working opposite anyone in voice-over work which can be a little tricky.
I also just did my first Audiobook for the novel “The Walled City” by Ryan Graudin. Beautiful book. I portrayed 10 different characters. Voice-over relies so heavily on the imagination- was a great experience.
Is Eugene Kim your birth name? Are you named after anyone?
It is. My parent’s just liked the name Eugene… randomly. Conveniently, it translates to Yu-Jin, which is a girl’s name in Korea.
I just tell people it was very cold in the hospital where I was born. [AUTHOR’S NOTE: Haha! I get it! But not really…]
Your sister is a doctor and you studied child psychology. Why did you choose acting instead of psychology?
My sister is an MD PhD radiation oncologist at Duke. Her focus is on brain cancer. I tell people she got two Doctorates because there were supposed to be two doctors in the family.
Technically, I chose both acting and psychology. You need psychology in acting. You have to analyze your characters without judgment and understand their behavior patterns and defense mechanisms. I am an entertainer, and as trite as it may sound, acting chose me.
I think I can do both. I still want to work with kids and also homeless veterans. I’m just able to do that from a different place now.
What are you addicted to?
Are you a morning or evening person?
Were you really on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood?
No, I have no idea why that is on my IMDb. But hey! I’ll be your neighbor!
What are your thoughts on the Presidential election this year?
I feel like it’s become a big reality show.
If you were asked to break a mirror for a role, would you do it?
Yes. If I needed to break a mirror in a scene, I’m sure there would be a powerful meaning behind it. I’ll do anything to tell the story in the most poignant way… And I try not to give superstitions power.
What’s your favorite meal?
A juicy Bone-in Pork Chop served medium with an Apple Compote, side of Truffle Mac and Sautéed Kale. #gout
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