Malaysia-born actor Adrian Voo is starring in a Hollywood production slated for release this month. Voo, 31, has a supporting role in the teen comedy, Little B*****s, premiering on digital platforms on Jan 23.
The film, which stars iCarly’s Jennette McCurdy, Runaways’ Virginia Gardner and Angie Tribeca’s Kiersey Clemons, revolves around three high school friends spending their senior year party together before heading to college.
In an e-mail interview with Star2, Voo describes his character as an “an offbeat-eccentric-hipster mechanic”.
The Kuala Lumpur native, who first left to pursue a business degree in San Francisco and later moved to Los Angeles, talks about chasing after his Hollywood dreams despite it being a cutthroat industry.
“It is incredibly competitive but so is any other industry. You have to stay true to who you are, remembering your ultimate goal – for me, that’s being apart of fun storytelling and making people laugh.”
He has always harboured dreams of being an actor since he was a kid. “I grew up an only child so playing-pretend was my favourite game in the world. All I wanted to be was a power ranger,” he says.
Voo, who has been acting full-time for about five years now, says he misses Malaysia a lot: “I try to make at least two trips a year – one around my parents’ birthdays, which are a week apart. I miss family and friends most.”
1. You were born in KL. And you’re now trying your luck in Hollywood. Can you talk about your journey into acting?
I started exploring acting during my final year at San Francisco State University. The stage was my escape as I grew closer to entering the business world.
After graduation, I realised what truly excited me was not an offer to start interning at a certain internet giant, but performing in productions. That’s when I decided to give acting a real go and move to LA for film school (New York Film Academy).
Since then, I’ve been fortunate to have had what I believe to be a wide range of roles.
2. Take us through what a typical audition process in Hollywood is like. Do you have an agent? If not, how do you get started?
I’ve had many managers and agents over the years. You definitely have to find a team who shares the same goals as you.
Auditioning is a different beast, every single time. Every project has different demands of an actor. The typical process is your manager/agent first pitches you, then you’ll be asked to submit a video audition; if they like your video you are called for an in-person reading with the producers and director(s) which could be over several occasions.
My old mentor would say that every role you book is thanks to many people involved.
3. How did you come to be a part of Little B*****s?
I was pitched to Scott Aversano (the executive vice president of production at 20th Century Fox) who was putting together a new comedy after his success with That Awkward Moment starring Zac Efron, Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan.
He then introduced me to writer-director Nick Kreiss, who decided to come up with two ex-student characters (myself and Brianne Howey’s) who are eternal high-schooler’s to add to the world of Little B*****s.
4. You’re executive-producing and acting in a film which stars Michael Caine titled Dear Dictator. What was that experience like working with him?
It was very different from projects that I had worked on in the past. The writers/directors brought me in after we worked on 2016 comedy film Amateur Night. I was thrilled at the opportunity. The cast is just incredible.
Michael Caine is so gracious and giving as an actor (he has been in over 115 films!) I was blown away when I later found out that he praised me to the directors.
5. Have you had any memorable celebrity encounters in Hollywood? Do you ask them for advice?
I met Britney Spears for the first time in 2011. I’ve seen her a bunch since, but I was just floored during the first meeting. It was surreal. Jason Trawick, her fiancé then who had been an agent at (talent agency) William Morris Endeavor, became one of the people who pushed me to move to LA!
Her advice to me was, to not get consumed by the industry while pursuing my dreams.