In Prestige Online’s Getting to Know series, we ask our favourite personalities what they’re like outside of work — and get a little more personal.
You might know her from popular reality TV show Terrace House, or the character Switch in the third season of Marvel’s TV series Legion, but who exactly is the Asian-American beauty named Lauren Tsai? We went behind the scenes to check in with the rising star and find out more about her off-camera life.
What are you doing this weekend?
Oh my God, I haven’t even thought about that yet, it’s been so crazy. I hope this weekend I can see some friends for dinner. It’s actually been a while since I’ve hung out with friends and I hope to watch another episode of Pose [a drama set in 1980s and 1990s New York], which is a wonderful show on FX.
What was the last meal you had?
Let me think… what did I have today? I had a salad for lunch which is probably the most basic LA answer, but some days are like this.
What’s on your playlist right now?
I’ve been working on a painting recently, so I’ve been listening to this Studio Ghibli YouTube video, a live concert performance of all their music by Joe Hisaishi. I’ve been listening to this instrumental track a lot. And on my normal playlist I have Tyler The Creator’s new album because I just love it!
What are you most likely to order at a bar?
I spend a lot of time in Japan and there’s a strong whisky culture there. I am a big fan of whisky, so usually I like to order whisky on the rocks. Japanese whisky is my favourite! But since coming to LA, actually I’ve been influenced a lot by their tastes and preferences, so nowadays I’d probably get a vodka soda.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
I don’t know what’s guilty — I love pancakes. To be honest, that’s my favourite food. But I don’t know if that’s guilty, it’s just the beauty of life. My guilty pleasure is probably Twitter, I spend too much time on Twitter and probably shouldn’t, but I just love it. It’s rough, its natural, it’s a space where people share what they want to and it’s a great way for me to turn my brain off at the end of the day.
Tell us something that not too many people know about you.
I went to boarding school in Massachusetts for my freshman year of high school. That’s probably something people don’t really know about me. Looking back, I really enjoyed it. It was very emotional at times, being a 14-year-old kid living amongst other kids is kind of a crazy situation, but I loved it. I had many great adventures that year.
Who was the last person you called?
The last person I called was my mum actually. I talk to my mum basically as much as I can everyday.
Have you ever had a fan-girl moment? If so, who was it?
Yes, I’ve had a couple. My first fan-girl moment I remember as bright as day. I was at LAX on summer vacation a long time ago. I think I was transiting there because growing up in Hawaii, LAX is the mid-point [to Asia]. I saw Rainn Wilson, who played Dwight Schrute on The Office. I was getting my nails done at the airport salon, and I saw him in sunglasses and a hat walking into the salon. [The reception] asked for his name and he said “Rainn” and that’s when I knew it really was him. I freaked out! I was absolutely silent, like a deer in the headlights. I really didn’t want to bother him so I said nothing. But then after that I walked around the airport hoping I would bump into him again.
What does playing Switch on Legion have in common with playing yourself on Terrace House: Aloha State?
Interesting question. Well, Switch is a scripted character and being on a reality show is like playing myself. Because you are being yourself, you are aware that you are being filmed, so there is this wall of caution before you and everything you say. I think what’s similar is that Switch and I are both awkward at times, so we have that in common. Switch is very much in her head, and I think I’m like that on Terrace House, too, because I was quite nervous, so we also have that in common.
Travel plans? Where are you off to next?
Next, I am going back to New York. I just got back from New York recently as there’s been a lot of work there, but I love it. New York is my second favourite city, very close to Tokyo, but Tokyo has to be number one. So yeah, I’m excited for that.
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What projects do you have coming up in 2019?
I wish I could say! I’m working on a very exciting project with a musician — I think that’s about the extent of what I can say right now, but that’s something I’m very excited for. I’m also working on another [art] project which is entirely my own creation featuring my own world of characters. I’m looking forward to building more with my art and I can’t wait to see where it goes.