Arden Cho previews TEEN WOLF Season 5
Arden Cho plays Kira on TEEN WOLF and to get prepared for the two part season premiere (Monday and Tuesday), she and I spent some time talking about what comes next not only for her character (hint hint, more romance) but also what comes next for her, as she continues exploring the music world, engaging college students with her public speaking engagements, and finding her way in the fashion world with some friends. Read on to learn more!
I am excited to see what comes next on TEEN WOLF because it’s one of those shows, where just when you think they’re going to go one way, they go a completely different direction you didn’t even expect!
Oh yeah! [laughs]
When you get scripts, how fast do you jump through them? Do you ever know where it’s going to go, or as a cast, do you guess what could possibly come next?
We’re always guessing and we’re always wondering, asking “is this who we think it is? is that who we think it is?” They definitely keep us on our toes. We know as little as, sometimes, the audience does. When we get a script, I think a lot of times, we’re always like “WHOA” we did not expect that! It’s really fun. It really is exciting just to see, you know what I mean, where they get all of these ideas from [laughs],
When you first heard about Kira, and going out for the role – how much did you know about where we might end up at the end of Season 4? What was the initial character description?
I mean, it was really, really, really vague at that point. When we first came on, it was only really for a possible three episode commitment. It was written that she was a new kid, she just transferred in, and her dad humiliates her because of his job as the history teacher, and that she might find a friend in Scott, and that she might also possibly have a few tricks up her sleeve, but it was very vague. I remember there was a good time reading it, where I was like, is Kira evil? Is she going to be the bad guy, is that the twist? I mean, I had no idea! And really, as the season progressed, and they started doing more episodes, it was like, OH, ok! The writers kind of write as they’re going, and also, that season 3B, there were actors that no longer wanted to work on the show or couldn’t work on the show, and so they had to change their ideas as they were going as well, so there were a lot of changes to Season 3B, that I think affected that role as well.
Now here we are – Kira’s kind of in a good place. She’s knows at least a bit of what is going on with her, she’s just trying to get through Senior Year. What can you tease about what we’ll see as Season 5 / Senior year kicks off?
Well, you’re right. She has kind of found her place. She has her pack and her family now. Season 5, there is definitely some romance. There is a lot of really cute moments between her and Scott. I think that will be really nice; a nice break from all of the evil stuff [laughs]. There is also going to be a lot of struggle – dealing with her powers and trying to figure out what is really happening. That trickster spirit is a little bit confusing [laughs], I guess you could say. Or tricky!
And knowing about the Kitsune – it’s been pretty highly regarded in Japanese culture – did you have to do any research into that mythology to prepare?
Initially, when I heard that she’d be that, I definitely was reading up on that. Takes a little bit of background to understand the role. With TEEN WOLF, they do a really good job of taking something and making it work in the TEEN WOLF world.
Is it a collaborative set in that you could go to the writers and say “hey, here’s what I’m thinking Kira might be thinking,” or “I might say this here?”
I mean, definitely! They bring us in, to kind of chat what the plan was. To be honest, I’ve been really happy about the path that they’ve written and chosen for me. It has been a really comfortable environment.
You’ve been so busy, with acting, music, the new watch line, you name it – do you get down time to spend time in front of the TV catching up on things?
Oh definitely! I need it! [laughs] I like CASTLE, LAW & ORDER: SVU, ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, and GAME OF THRONES are the few I’m catching up on right now.
I watched Season 3 of OITNB last weekend in one sitting!
Oh man! I’m only on episode 8 right now, so I have a few more to go [laughs].
Talking about how busy you’ve been – what is new with you in the music world / in that side of your career? Are you writing and performing?
Yeah, yeah! I’m working on music right now. I’m actually going to Signapore for a concert, so I’ll be going out there. We’re doing Singapore and Malaysia. Always working on new music and finding the time to do it [laughs].
One of the most interesting things you do, as I read this long bio, is that you go out on the road, talk to college kids about how it’s okay to be themselves. How did you get involved in this public speaking side of the world?
I initially got involved, because I think I’m older than people think I am. I play fairly young, but I did graduate from University, and did a lot of things that people think you either shouldn’t do if you want to go into entertainment, or you just don’t have time, but I guess for me, everyone’s different. There is no right or wrong way. I have friends who are successful billionaires who never went to school; and then I have friends who are investing, or doing their own things, you know what I mean? Then I have friends who go for 20 years, who are still in school, and still trying to figure it out. I feel like there is no right or wrong way. For me, I like to be able to share my experience and say that I’m still trying to figure it out. I talk a lot about not letting what everybody else says affect your opinion on what you want to do with your life. Obviously, your parents are going to have one opinion. Your teacher or your counselors are going to have another opinion. You really have to take [them] and then ask yourself what it is that you want to do. I mean, a lot of people say they want to do something, and I’ll ask them why, and they’ll say “because I want to make a lot of money.” But then, I always try to remind them that no job is secure – even a lawyer or a doctor, which people think are the more secure jobs, you can graduate school and have trouble find a job. And so it really comes down to doing something that you love and asking yourself – would you do it even if you didn’t get paid? Being in entertainment is one of those jobs, too – it looks so glamorous on the outside, but a lot of times, you don’t get paid. A lot of the work that we do is actually for free. That’s when you have to ask yourself, do you love this enough to do it for free, and for me, that’s something that’s fun to talk about because people don’t really talk about it that much, and I hope to encourage people if they are in school to really enjoy that time as well. I think that I regret a lot of times that when I was in college, all I was thinking about was getting out! And now that I’m out, I’m kind of like, man when I was in college, I should have made more use of this and that, and all of the opportunities. You have so many resources, and I think a lot of people don’t realize how many resources are right at their fingertips.
It sounds like you really have applied that theory – doing things that you want to be doing – music, acting, speaking – getting involved in the watch line with Leonard & Church – is there a chance that it’s going to expand? Do you have more ideas about how to cut out that middleman for say a clothing line?
Well! My next step is just making sure to keep it all together [laughs]. I feel like I am doing a lot of those things – it is exactly that. It’s because I want to do everything that I can. At the same time, I would love to work on a film; hopefully in the off-season of TEEN WOLF, assuming that we have a season 6. Hopefully Season 5 does well. We’d have a little break, and during that time I’d hope to work on another movie! Helping to develop the line, and being able to offer more than just watches, with that same sort of cost factor; cutting out the middleman and really bringing something that is fair, a fair price.
Why do you think now is the time to get involved in TEEN WOLF as Season 5 takes off?
The number one thing that I hear so often is that people see TEEN WOLF and think it’s a teenage show. I’m like, NO WAY! TEEN WOLF is dark and sophisticated and twisted. I mean, Jeff Davis created CRIMINAL MINDS. I feel like a lot of that plays into TEEN WOLF as well. It’s a smart show. In my opinion, we don’t get enough credit for how it’s shot, as well. It’s a beautiful show, and I think if people just sort of give it a shot, they’d be really surprised. It’s not a very teen-aged show. At the same time, I think the characters are all very unique and loveable and different. It’s nice to see so many different types of characters and people really developed friendships and lean on each other to be a team. TEEN WOLF really implements a lot of those things.
It’s relatable, too – just because we’re dealing with someone being a wolf, or a fox, or a hybrid – we’re relating to them on a human level.
Oh definitely! Especially with TEEN WOLF and Kira being a Kitsune, her greater struggles are not being a Kitsune, but being a teenage girl and liking a boy and wondering if he likes her back [laughs]. A lot of those issues are very real life issues. Even the struggles of “what are we doing after we graduate high school? Are we going to stay together? Are we moving, are we breaking up?” I think those sort of things that all of the characters deal with. And on top of that you have characters like Malia, whose finding out that maybe her parents aren’t who she thought they were, or people like Stiles, who lost his mother. I think everyone deals with something that is incredibly relatable. As we do these conventions, and meet the fans, that’s when I realize that, wow, people really relate to these characters, not for their supernatural aspect, but just in the very human way. I think, in a sense, being supernatural, being able to sort of have the window that gives you a bit of an out, kind of gives people hope as well. That’s what makes it fun; that’s what makes it TV!
TEEN WOLF premieres tonight, June 29, at 10/9c!