Known for her her role in “The Interview,” Canadian actress Diana Bang is now appearing in “Entanglement”, an indie rom-com and drama that came out this Friday, Feb. 9.
Bang plays Tabby Song, the best friend and neighbor of Ben Layten, the main character and a recent divorcee played by Thomas Middleditch, most well known for his role on the show “Silicon Valley”. In “Entanglement,” Tabby helps Ben in his journey of finding his adopted sister.
“I’m kind of the one who sort of is [Ben’s] best friend and I really try to help him along in his journey,” Bang said. “He asks for Tabby’s help, but at the end of the day he doesn’t really appreciate her or see her. Tabby is really the one who sees he’s in a lot of pain.”
For Bang, her favorite thing about her role is that her character is an actual person and doesn’t rely on an Asian accent to be offensively funny, since “Entanglement” had more colorblind casting.
“I personally feel like she’s the heart of the movie in that she’s the most real and grounded,” Bang said. “There’s a little bit of reality checking, but a little bit of jealousy as well. She’s kind of his rock.”
On the other hand, her well-known role as North Korean chief propagandist Sook in “The Interview” required her to use an exaggerated Asian accent.
“For me personally, whenever I get offered a lead role or a more substantial role, I normally get cast as someone who has some kind of Asian accent, or I’m asked for the character to have an accent for no reason,” Bang said. “It’s fine if the character has an accent if it makes sense to the film and script. If you’re pigeon-holed in that way, it’s kind of a problem.”
In addition, being in a rom-com has always been a bucket list item for Bang, and “Entanglement” falls under that realm. She grew up watching rom-coms like “You’ve Got Mail” and notes that she rarely sees Asian leads in romantic comedies. She recalls that when she saw John Cho in the ABC comedy show “Selfie,” it was a “watershed moment.”
“Just the fact that I was cast as one of the leads was kind of a big deal,” Bang said. “I’m just excited to see more and have roles open up more for Asian Americans and Asian comedians.”
During the movie process, director Jason James let the actors do a take for each scene.
“It feels like we got to exercise that scene by letting us do whichever way we want to do it,” Bang said. “For an indie film, I don’t know how often that happens. For me, I found it very very exciting and super fun to do.”
It’s similar to what Bang does in live shows. While she’s not acting in movies, Bang does sketch comedy with a feminist show called “The Lady’s Show.”
As for those who plan on seeing “Entanglement,” Bang has this message for viewers – “You think one thing when you watch the movie, and then it twists. It’s so much richer than you thought the movie was. Expect the unexpected.”