Michelle Krusiec

"What makes Alice Wu's debut so pleasurable is its easy rhythms, its sly juxtapositions, and its relaxed but funny performances. A generous straight man, Krusiec gives the film emotional heft...."---Slate

Race relations: Fast Five and LA Asian Pacific Film Festival
Friday, April 29, 2011

I attended the opening night film of Fast and Furious 5 last at the Los Angeles Pacific Film Festival. Hosts Danny Pudi and Parvesh Cheena give James Franco and Anne Hathaway a run for their money. In attendance were basically the who's who of Asian celebs, lots of film go-ers, fans, current and up and coming filmmakers and this one creepy white dude who is always stalking the Asian ladies at every gathering I attend. I know there are a lot of you lovers out there, but seriously we see you Asia-philes coming a mile away. There's something in the committed way you say hello, the dry glaze of your iris, the sensual handshake that says, "I know your people. I drink tea and I wear an Asian bathrobe to bed." We see you. IT'S VERY OBVIOUS. I'm not saying I don't appreciate your appreciation, I'm just sayin' simmer down with your funky chicken dance.

Anyhoo, Fast 5 was -- can we just say -- pimp daddy fun can I get a what what? I'm obviously still affected by it because I'm writing over-enthusiastically today. I sat in the audience and whooped more at this film than at Lord of the Rings because I just whooped in my head for that one. This film invites audience participation so be prepared for that because it's signature Justin Lin, the director, who I hear has been offered Terminator?! (One of my fave films is T2, see blog post Hanna is no Montana.)

Fast 5 had race and then it had race. Lots of cars, yes, but I actually heard NPR discussing the racial mix in this cast. I was gettin' down with how much brown there was onscreen. It's true this is a Hollywood franchise cast that has race without talking about race and it happens NO WHERE ELSE. The Rock is just masterful. I want him to body check me. Where's that Asia-phile, we're sitting next to each other now. For all of you actors out there, the ensemble cast is just teeming with personality so check out what happens when you give your role some swerve. Except for the ladies, they're more curve than swerve but what do you expect from a guy writer in this genre, right? It's the guys who get all the fun moments. Sung Kang who I recently worked with in the upcoming film THE COOLER reprises his role as Han from FF Tokyo Drift. The festival screened the short CAR TALK (2) starring Sung prior to the feature and let me say that someone needs to give Sung a comedy. He's being miscast! Hot and funny? That's a killer.

Check out this photo of us doin' our red carpet poses. Be sure to join in all the reindeer games and support upcoming talent in 180 films at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. You'll be inspired like I was. My next contribution can be seen at the festival in Erin Li's short LA COFFIN SCHOOL.

Doing the robot with Dani and Parvesh

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Posted by Michelle @ 4/29/2011 07:16:00 PM

HANNA is no Montana
Wednesday, April 27, 2011

You probably don't know this about me, but sometimes when I watch a good film, I just burst into tears. I'm a combustible mess. It's ridiculous! I cry at weird things, like at the end of Terminator 2 when Arnold is getting dunked into the vat of acid. Hard core, man. He went in feet first and then his thumbs up hands were the last to go. Heartbreaking. Well, I let out a guttural sob yesterday when I caught a matinee showing of Hanna. I see films like this and I'm reminded of why I'm in "the biz," I guess it's relief. I also saw it at one of the best movie theaters in Los Angeles, the Vista. They've taken out every other row, so space and comfort are non issues in this art deco theater and watching a film here is truly special. Hanna has been out for awhile so check it out before it leaves. This is definitely one to experience on the big screen. I hadn't seen any reviews or trailers prior to watching it, I'd only heard good word of mouth. I somehow thought it was like a Bourne Ultimatum with a young girl, turns out I wasn't completely off the mark but it's a lot less produced and is very simply a girl assassin grows up.

As an actor in Hollywood, these are the kinds of films that you PRAY someone will write and make. They fully realize and utilize actors. We're not just appendages to the story and we haven't been hired to act cinematic landscaping. Director Joe Wright and cinematographer Alwin H. Kuckler truly do not waste a single frame. Their first 20 minutes are so finely crafted, I felt like I had been bitch slapped. The Chemical Brothers score makes you feel like you can scale walls, kick major ass and makes good ol' hand to hand combat look exciting again. Honestly, when it comes to Chem Bros, I really wonder how much drugs these guys have done because if you wanna know what it feels like to be supercharged on an upper (no admissions on my end here) just experience this score and stay out of your car. And -- I'm not a person who sanctions violence (or drugs!), but if I ever need to kick ass, when you see me humming in your face, it's gonna be to Chem Bros.

Hanna impressed me because it's a perfectly written script and should be a cue for other beginning screenwriters (including myself). It takes a supposed metaphorical "what if" and allows you the joyride of that hypothesis while losing none of the humanity. It explores key universal themes that almost anyone can relate to, coming of age and archetypal mother - daughter, father - daughter relationships. Most women have rough relationships with their mothers, that's the theme of my solo show, Made in Taiwan, I get that one. It was the father - daughter storyline that interested me.

I grew up in Va Beach, Va, a mostly suburban city next to the beach. There wasn't much to do there and I grew up watching movies every weekend with my Dad. Pop was your typical non-communicator and every weekend we'd go to the local video store and rent about 10 videos that were mostly action adventure, fantasy, thriller and definitely science fiction, his favorite. The first film he took me to see that I recall was Alien, I was like a super toddler - I mean - I think my spine had just started to form - and while I was completely HORRIFIED by the dude/alien birth scene, sci fi is now my favorite genre and I'm numb to aliens and milk. Dad was my buddy. I learned how to be troubled and silent with him. Our communication was non-verbal and seeing as how my brothers have difficulty communicating, I realize now that it's the Dad who passes on all the brooding and checking out and the mother who passes on all the emotional frustrations of having to deal with that. Well, Pop and I were pretty close eating our popcorn and being repressed together until I reached a certain age and suddenly one day, when I turned 18, while my Mom held onto me for dear life, my Pop just simply...let go.

Me and my Pop!

If you want to see an engaging film that makes you feel both invincible and human, check out Hanna. It's simply told, wrought with a strong and talented cast and gives you enough fodder for childhood reflections.

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Posted by Michelle @ 4/27/2011 10:15:00 AM

Monday, April 25, 2011

Since the world celebrated Easter whether they believed in bunnies laying eggs or not, I thought this would be as good of a day as any to announce that I'm actually reviving my limpity blog with my newly found vigor for the ongoing life of the modern day actor. Welcome - back - Krusiec.

So what's happening in my world? I'm currently adapting Made in Taiwan into a half hour sitcom which has been shaping up quite nicely. Yes, I said SITCOM, eat your food. I finally came to the realization that NO ONE was going to be able to write my point of view, so I had to get in the hot seat as it were and write the damn thing. Although, I don't sit when I write, I stand and take a lot of showers as it turns out. Something about the hot water on my skin...I digress. In conjunction with the TV pilot, I will most likely be bringing MIT out to the west coast later this year with a few college performances sprinkled here and there. The college scene makes a lot of sense since I wrote the piece when I was in college sleep deprived and eating ramen every night. So it kinda speaks to the college years of emotional numbness, drive, liberation and occasional pelvic gyrations. I just heard that Prince needs 2 hip replacements by the way. I guess these things sadly happen.

I just made a very fun debut on Community and thought the only problem was that there just wasn't enough of me.

So, I'll have to put the SECRET in my DVD player and follow the instructions for talking to the universe. But the real truth is that I actually liked my interview for the episode more than anything else (aside from my true love of Ken Jeong who makes me pee my pants) because it's so rare for me to actually see a press interview where I don't look like I'm answering questions from an encyclopedia. My dear friend Ollie Stone once told me when I auditioned for him to be a street girl that I was just "too smart." Too smart! I was so hurt. Anyhow, watch this interview because I'm actually having fun.

Now watch an old Saving Face interview and you'll see the great gulf between someone having fun and someone trying to get answers right. I should stress that the cast and crew of Community truly made that set an environment where you can go in and be funny. Being funny in a comedy is some difficult birdie turd. I often associate it with like, Dirty Harry holding a gun up my nostrils and grunting out, "Are ya feelin' funny punk?"

Ok. So this brings me to final point. The RED BALL. It's time to play.

I've been channeling a 21 year old Chilean Surfer in my dreams. Apparently, he's my animus. Look it up. He's like an embodiment of my masculine soul, errrr somethin' like that. You know you can tell a lot from your dreams, especially if you pay someone a rear-end-load of money. You could also read the book, Inner Work, and try and piece the messages of your subconscious together for a lot cheaper than a Jungian psychologist. Well, anyway, I was given a red ball in one of my dreams and I'm starting to see all the messages now. The interview on NBC for Community had me in a RED top. I just came back from a speaking engagement at a huge college conference where I was reminded of what it's like to be 21 again --- are you following me? Ollie Stone who I met when I was in COLLEGE said, I was too smart! PRINCE NEEDS NEW HIPS!

I'm being reborn like JC! Resurrected from the ashes and now I need to bounce them balls! Well, ok, what this means is that I'm gonna try and revivify this blog...stay tuned I've got stuff to say.


Whoever made this - has some strange fixation for girls with biceps!


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Posted by Michelle @ 4/25/2011 12:18:00 AM