Artist Spotlight: Mathilda Chua
We had a great time chatting with a recent drama graduate from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Mathilda Chua. Mathilda is an exciting artist hitting the ground running in NYC and across the US. Find out more about Mathilda in this exclusive interview.
Congratulations on all your success. What's next for you?
"Thank you! I’m doing “12 Angry Women” at the Producers Club next so I’m pretty psyched for that. Also a series that I wrote for, ‘”Soci Circle”, had its pilot premiere in LA earlier this summer and the rest of the episodes are coming out later this year."
What work can we do as audience members to encourage diversity on stage and screen?
"Support work that features diversity! Go see shows that have actors of colors or work that was directed or written by them. Or if you’re privileged enough to be in a position to create work, then have a diverse team, hire diverse actors, hire individuals from the LGBT community etc."
What do you find is your biggest challenge?
"Oof, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you about the perils of an actor’s life, but that’s stuff that I’m willing to put up with I guess? That’s the trade of being an actor, but I guess the stuff that will never be okay for me would be how actors of color are treated in the industry. The lack of opportunity is one thing, but it’s the mindset of so many casting directors and producers or just people in power in general that constantly stereotype us or whitewash roles, that’s something that is challenging because it restricts our abilities and chances. Two of the biggest projects of the summer, Crazy Rich Asians and To All the Boys I Loved Before, studio heads wanted to white-wash the lead roles. So stuff like this still happens, it’s just really sad. "
What strengths do you have in your arsenal to tackle those challenges?
"Surprisingly enough, I think my weakness also could be my biggest advantage? I had someone who I auditioned for before tell me that being an actor of color, my background, my ethnicity, all could be used to my advantage instead of holding me back. And that’s so true, so I’m really trying to focus on the positive aspects of it, yes these things make me different, my experiences make me different, and that is a valuable asset."
How was your experience at Tisch?
"I’m not gonna lie, it was tough. Being away from home, being in an entirely new environment. I was suddenly put in class with kids who had been acting since they were in the womb or something, I was really a small fish. But then one day I realized that that attitude was really unattractive, and I just really tried my best and ultimately I truly believe I got the most out of my training. I’m ten times the actor I was before going in, and I also discovered that I had a passion for writing while taking playwriting classes as well, which was a nice surprise because I had never written professionally before. Overall, it was a challenging experience, but also so enriching, and it made me both the actor and person that I am today."
What projects are you most excited about on the horizon?
"On a personal scale, I’m actually really excited about “Soci Circle”, the series that I wrote for, to come out in the fall. They had their premiere at a festival in LA which I couldn’t attend, but the feedback was so encouraging and the producers made it a point to have a very diverse team of writers, so everyone had the chance to tell their stories from all these different backgrounds, it was really touching to see all these people relating to a particular character, because they felt represented.
On a wider scale, I think the new season opening up on Broadway is gonna be amazing, I love Kenneth Lonergan so I’m very excited for Waverly Gallery. Also, American Son? I love Kerry Washington and I'm such a musical theatre freak, I stan Jeremy Jordan lol. Onscren, the awards season hype is happening, so definitely super psyched for that - Beautiful Boy, Boy Erased, A Star is Born omg there's so much stuff coming out I'm really excited."
Where do you see the future of diversity in the arts going?
"I definitely do think progress is happening, we’re getting somewhere. Crazy Rich Asians just made bank at the box office, the first Asian American Woman’s work was just staged on Broadway. We’re taking steps in the right direction. I just hope that people continue pushing for inclusion, not just for inclusion’s sake, but to also see that there is so much good work to be put on."
What excites you most about what you are working on?
"To see the impact that your work has on other people, that’s the whole reason that I want to be an actor. To reach out to other people, to see how they relate to what you put out there and how it matters to them. Honestly, just work with an important message, that's what's exciting to me about a project."
Where can we follow you on social?
"On Instagram! @ithunkirock
Also my website for updates about my work: "