If you hadn’t binge-watched Orange Is The New Black yet, then what are you waiting for? Season 2 of the Netflix hit series saw Kimiko Glenn come in as the character, Brook Soso. Blended Entertainment had the privilege of interviewing Kimiko. Enjoy this interview and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @BlendedEnt. You can always suggest who you’d like to see me interview next.
You talked about portraying these sort of asexual characters. So having to now simulate a scene in which sexual pleasure is being displayed must have been shocking. How did you mentally prep for your scene of simulating sex on screen?
There’s no real way to prepare yourself for something like a sex scene! I went into it very much like, “Oh God. What is this going to be like? Will I be so concerned with the logistics of the “sex” that I will forget to act? Will they make me do it a million times?? Oh God!!” But on the day of shooting it was very much a safe environment — it was a closed set — and Lisa Vinnecour, our executive producer, made it clear that I wasn’t about to do anything I wasn’t comfortable with. It wasn’t so bad!
In terms of preparing for that nude scene in which you are with Natasha Lyonne, how long did the filming process take?
It was very quick. I think no one wanted me to feel uncomfortable, they knew I was a newbie, so it was just a few takes, maybe a few shots and we were done!
What was it like on set filming for season 2? Were things going on in the background as filming was taking place? If you weren’t in a scene for a day, were you still on set?
It was a blast!! We have a great time together, but it is typically pretty focused. I am only called to set if I have a scene to shoot. I’ve never really popped in just for the heck of it. Maybe I will, if I’m ever in the neighborhood.
As far as season 3 is concerned, how far along are you all into the creative process? How is the atmosphere different from when you first came on for season 2?
We are working our butts off to make season 3 amazing! When I got cast in the show, season 1 had just come out and people were really digging it. I knew I was doing a hit series, but after season 2 aired, it is clear that we are part of a phenomenon. I think that is definitely felt on set and we are all so grateful and incredibly HAPPY to be working on such a groundbreaking, exciting, well-written show.
For OITNB, how did you go about getting the role? Did this involve any auditioning? Was the casting call specifically looking for an Asian actress?
I received an appointment for an audition through my agents. It was a relatively quick turnaround. I got the audition late in the day, read a few scenes with Jen Euston the next morning, got the call the following afternoon, and was on set at 6 a.m. the next day! I had never experienced anything quite like it. The breakdown for the role was pretty open at that point. I knew friends of all different ethnicities who went in for it as well.
Knowing that you did spend a little bit of time in my home city of Boston excites me. Did you get any time to enjoy the city? Did you notice any differences between Boston and Phoenix?
I love Boston! I did explore while I was there, but I was mainly preoccupied with school. Boston and Phoenix (my hometown) are wildly different; namely, the weather! Also, I never had to drive in Boston… I always walked or took the T. That is something you could never do in Phoenix. You need a car.
Seeing that you attended The Boston Conservatory, it is safe to say that you sort of always wanted to act. Was there a moment that made you say that you wanted to try out theater? Was acting a way of your parents just wanting to keep you busy?
I always loved performing from when I was a kid. I feel like I was never not performing. It was just something I naturally did and my parents just guided me there. They were always extremely supportive!
People have asked you plenty of times if you talked as much as Brook. With that being said, how would you describe yourself in terms of your personality and character?
I definitely don’t talk as much as Brook!! I am pretty shy at heart and it takes me a while to get to know someone to where I can talk a lot. That being said, I understand Brook in a lot of ways. I am very into natural health and wellness, and some would say I have hippie qualities. But I would not be as extreme as to live in a tree for extended periods of time.
We know that Brook is in prison because of some form of political protest. Do you ever come up with ideas in your head with what she was protesting and how she went about it? She was willing to starve herself so it seems she could definitely go to an extreme.
I used to make up ideas in my head about what she might have done or what happened with Meadow, but as I got the scripts every other week, I realized it was completely futile. The beauty of television is that information is revealed episode to episode, and the actor learns kind of with the audience in a way. The writers are incredible, they have a grand plan, and I grew to trust that.
Has your goals as an actress changed since joining the cast of OITNB, especially after seeing how highly regarded your character and this series is?
Well, thank you!! Nothing really has changed in regard to my goals. I’ve always, always, always wanted to be on Broadway. That is an absolute dream of mine. I started out on stage as a singer, and it has transitioned over the years to be more concentrated in acting. I never thought I would be in movies or television. It never really crossed my mind until I moved to NYC about 4 years ago! So I guess, if anything, I now see myself doing more on-camera work.
Is there a particular character(s) who you would want Brook to develop a strong bond with? Share more scenes with? Brook needs a partner in crime.
I think Brook needs to have more scenes with Yoga Jones! I am close with Connie off-set and I think it would only make sense for Brook to be bestie’s with a yogi!
Thank you Kimiko for this interview. Is there anything you would like to say to your fans and our readers? How can fans and readers find and interact with you?
Thank you so so so much for all your support and love!! It is because of YOU that we are able to do what we love and I can’t be more thankful! Please follow me on twitter @KimikoGlenn and instagram @ohlittleasianone! I love you all!!!