Chair, A new TV series will premiere on Netflix on August 20th, about Professor Jin Jiyun becoming the first woman and the first woman of color to lead the famous New England liberal arts college and the fictional Pembroke University English department. .
It will not be so hot.
Kim, played by the charming Sandra Oh, is determined to protect her team and steer troubled departments away from irrelevant ones. “I want to make this promise to you,” King said at her inaugural teacher meeting. “I won’t allow this department to be ransacked.” But she has to face a group of dissatisfied senior scholars, a dean whose balance sheet is the top priority, and a student body—Dang Jin’s professors and close friends in class When making a controversial gesture on the board-ask him and the department to be held accountable. Things went off the rails. “I think I arrived at the party after the last call,” Kim said in one of the six episodes.
The series is co-written and co-produced by actress Amanda Peet and is a drama. Once, actor David Duchovny played a cameo, playing an arrogant self, and told Kim, “At this point, I can’t see skin color or race, or even face. I only see atmosphere and aura.”
But the series also delves into serious topics, such as the sticky nature of being a friend’s boss, and the feeling of being the “first” of anything in an environment where you think you are progressing but may be nothing.Oh, the most famous is her role in the medical drama Grey Intern And thrillers Kill Eve, Recently through Zoom and chronicle Regarding her relationship with Ji-Yoon Kim. For the sake of space and clarity, this interview has been edited.
I want to ask why you want to take this role. I heard that you come from a very academically minded family. At one point You say that you are the only person in your family who doesn’t have a master’s degree in something. I am curious if this is part of the appeal of playing Ji-Yoon.
[Laughs.] I must tell you that when you can play these roles but don’t have to be them, I will be very satisfied. you know what I mean? [Laughs.] My parents have a doctor, and now they have a professor, he is another doctor. But yes, it is true. My family and in-laws are well educated. I did not follow the same path, because my path is strictly art and performance. But I always wanted to go to college. I just pretend that I belong there. Amanda’s choice of this setting, I think, is a very rich choice, because if you do nothing, you already have a generation gap. Especially my position as chairman. She is basically a manager. You are already very nervous, because this role will never satisfy anyone. Second, I like Amanda’s work. I think I really understand her voice. I think I know what she wants to do. I think I can do it.
I read in the news materials of the show that you said Ji Yoon is one of the characters you have played closest to yourself. In what ways are you similar or different?
The same way [long pause] A method that is similar in terms of humor and then similar in terms of a deeper understanding of the conditions required for change. You will see that Ji-Yoon is hopeful and ready to change the status quo at the beginning. She believes that she can achieve her goals for Yaz because she hopes that Professor McKay will get her tenure. [Yasmin McKay is a talented, untenured Black female professor in the department whom Ji-Yoon tries to support.] You just saw her learn the difficulty of trying to make changes in the organization. I think I feel very close to this point, when you are in a white patriarchal system that does not specifically include your views, and you have a deeper and broader understanding of what it is to try and make changes. That is not necessarily wise. But I have felt this in my career.
The university environment is already suitable for such conflicts. You have these people and students, they are hopeful, they are just instigating change. Then you will see these very old institutions, which are terrible at navigating change. I think this is indeed a theme in the show, especially in the dialogue between Ji-Yoon and Yaz. As the series progressed, Yaz did not doubt Ji Yoon’s intentions. But she also somewhat thinks that Ji-Yoon may be a cog in the larger academic system. I find it very charming.
I am glad you learned about this, because there are subtle generational differences between Professor Kim and Professor McKay. From my point of view, I am still very young, and many of my intentions for doing what I do have not really changed.But if you can continue to engage in any career you want and you will become mature, then what do you think about it will Change. You just know more.So even if what Yaz said [complaining to Ji-Yoon about another professor, Elliot Rentz, who resents Yaz’s connection with her students] It’s like “he has only ruled this industry in the past 40 years”… This is completely correct, but when you enter these leadership positions, it is not black and white at all. The way you need to navigate to keep all the parts together and keep all the parts working properly is an ongoing challenge.
In Ji-Yoon, you will see a very capable person who has achieved great success in his career, driving under the circumstances that she puts out all these small fires. At different times, she was expected to become a nanny, confidant, supervisor, and goal setter. It is this situation that sets up all these barriers in front of a very capable person, and I find it very interesting to observe.
Yes, I hope it has profound relevance. I don’t have a wise life. My life as an artist is its own business. But what I feel very much is that I don’t know how many women are doing this. This is difficult. It is difficult to move on and spend your day while you are still trying to be a good enough mother, daughter, boss, and friend. This is human. So when you see a person trying to navigate it, hope that the audience can tap into their own humanity, for example, “I will make the same mistake. I have encountered the same situation.”
I also think this is the reason for a fascinating show.Ji Yoon’s decision — It’s like you can’t look back at it, “Oh, maybe don’t do that.” Everything has meaning in the moment—
However it will be upgraded. This is too attractive to me. Based on my experience in reporting on higher education, sometimes things only escalate, even if it involves people with the best or at least decent intentions, things are still a bit out of control or out of control.
correct. Yes. very fast.
Yes Yes. very fast. I’m curious if you knew anything about the life of teachers before filming this drama?
Not really. I will let you into this secret that I find very interesting. In the early days, we photographed a lot of things with all the professors and the whole department. As it happens, all our guest actors know each other. They are all acting teachers at different universities in Pittsburgh. I thought, “This is great.” This is one of them, what is that word? Not Simpatico. What is it? When is it a spontaneous, special and synchronous? It’s like, “Oh, you are already professors, so you don’t have to do anything. You already have a relationship.” Those things are great gifts.
In academia, people are hired as tenured professors for these positions, and then they stay, sometimes for decades. For better or worse, you have established long-term and close relationships with people in your department. It can cause bad blood, or it can lead to incredible intimacy. How do you build this rapport and intimacy?
I have to tell you that filming this show was really difficult because it was at the peak of the pandemic. We did it in Pittsburgh in January, February and the end of March 2022. So the vaccine has not yet come out. The set is very tight, because everyone is very nervous and trying to overcome it. The things you usually have as an actor to build connections and relationships, we don’t have because we don’t even have actors sitting together. That’s how you are bound. This is how you create chemistry. But all the members of our company are so experienced and high-level. Everyone has so many skills. I think everyone just moves inward based on their most keen intuition. So I remember one time, Nana Mensa—she played Professor McKay—she came in, everyone was wearing a mask, this was the second day of filming, and this was a banana. I haven’t seen her. I only met her on Zoom. Yaz has a relationship with Ji Yun.It’s like [Oh draws one finger back and forth between her face and the screen], “Well, look at me. Just look at me. We’re just sitting here.” Then we can create some type of intimacy.
There will be many women, especially women of color in leadership roles, and they will watch this show. There is a passage in the trailer. How was it before? “I think I was given a time bomb” —
-They just want to make sure there is a woman holding it when it goes out.
Yes. This seems to resonate strongly on Twitter. For those viewers, what do you want them to get from the show?
I just hope they take a break from what they are doing, and they like it. If this is what they feel is seen or represented, it is the bonus bonus. Honestly, it is just for people to enjoy. However, its launch is beyond my control. I hope it can indeed resonate with people in a deeper way.
If you have a college-age child, do you want them to go to Pembroke?
I have some nieces who are very close in age, you know, it’s funny because—and they are Canadian. My father is a very old school.It’s just like [lowers her voice to imitate her dad], “I want to take you to lunch. I want to talk to you about your future,” My niece is only 17 years old now. But she came. He was like, “Go to an American school,” do you know what I mean? He very much believes that going to an Ivy League school in the United States means X, Y, and Z. No matter what choice my niece wants, I will support her. But I also think that children are under such a lot of pressure, and there is a heavy belief system around this in the entire academic world. In the end, I think this is not very good for some children. The weight of expectations — and the weight of belief that this is the only way — I don’t think it’s effective, and certainly not particularly creative. I think the setting itself is very innovative. You just have to cram a group of children together and something creative will happen. The more diverse it is, the more you will meet people from Ghana, then people from Seattle, then people from Toronto, and they all meet at a university. This is a great thing.
I believe in education. I actually advise young actors to do this, and they will say, “What should I do? What do I want to do?” I said, “Go to drama school.” It will not necessarily teach you to be a better actor. That’s not it. I went to the National Academy of Drama of Canada.My experience is—actually what Ji-Yoon said in some ways—this is just a moment in this place, three to four years of a person’s life, maybe longer, where you should be free fail. You should have the freedom to try. Because this is what they are doing. Young people are trying to figure out how to be. This freedom is a release. You also begin to realize that, potentially, the belief systems and systems you really oppose, you need to try to figure out yourself. So exploring the value of safety, I believe.