Ashley Park is busy. After four months in France filming season 2 of Emily in Paris, Park, 30, flew to Los Angeles for more work before she returned to her home in New York City for a week to pack for her next job, a movie with an all-Asian-woman cast in Vancouver. “I don’t even know what time zone I’m in,” she tells STYLECASTER.”
In Emily in Paris, Park plays Mindy Chen, a nanny and the best friend of Emily Cooper (Lily Collins), a 20-something American who moves to Paris for a job at the French luxury marketing firm, Savoir. The comedy series, which was nominated for two Golden Globes and two Emmys in the past year, will return for its second season on December 22, 2021.
“I definitely can say season 2 is even bigger and better than season 1,” Park says. “Emily and Mindy have this established friendship. It’s not getting to know each other anymore. Season 2 is much richer in stories and the relationships. At the end of season 1, Mindy moves in with Emily, so that makes for a lot more interactions too. It was also announced that we filmed in Saint-Tropez in the south of France, so be prepared for more amazing Paris locations and other locations.”
Park, who starred in the Off-Broadway musical KPOP and is a fan of acts like BTS and BLACKPINK, also teased a possible K-pop cover in a future project. “I’ve gone to a couple different K-pop concerts in New York since Fin.K.L. Hyori was my favorite. She was my K-pop Britney Spears,” Park says. “I won’t say much more, but I’m excited to have incorporated as much K-pop as I can into any project.”
Despite her busy schedule, Park still knows how to unwind. Her drink of choice is Ketel One Botanical’s Vodka Spritz, which comes in three flavors: Cucumber and Mint; Grapefruit and Rose; and Peach and Orange Blossom. “I spent all of my summer filming in Paris. This campaign came at a time when I was coming back to the U.S. for a bit to soak up the last bit of summer,” Park says. “I’m the kind of girl who loves sparking water. I love anything to do with La Croix. It didn’t taste to me like an alcoholic spritzer. It tasted very good.” Park is also a fan of Ketel One Botanical’s vodkas, which come in the same flavors. “You put a shot or two of the vodka with any kind of seltzer water, ice and any topping. I love a mint leaf or any slice of fruit, like berries, limes and lemons.. It makes for a really refreshing drink,” she says.
Ahead, Park talked to STYLECASTER about Emily in Paris season 2, whether she would reprise her role as Gretchen Wieners in the upcoming Mean Girls musical movie, and her friendship with Girls’ Generations’ Tiffany Young.
On her friendship with her Emily in Paris co-star Lily Collins
“In season 1, we saw Mindy being a support system for Emily. When Mindy starts to sing and that part starts to open up, we see Emily being there for her. That develops and progresses tenfold in the next season. Lily and I met at the first table read. It was very much like how Emily and Mindy first met. You just know these two were meant to be friends. When we were at our first table read, someone came up to us and was like, ‘Oh my God. How long have you guys known each other?’ We were like, ‘We met 45 minutes ago.’ She really has become one of my best friends. Beyond that, it’s very much like soul sisters. We’d be doing these scenes as Emily and Mindy on the set, and they’d yell ‘cut’ and we’d be talking as ourselves. Sometimes people would think we were either practicing the scene while we were talking as ourselves. Lily is like my older sister. A lot of the time, Mindy is telling Emily how things are. Lily is just as much a guide to me personally.”
On how Emily and Mindy go against the trope of a white lead and their friend of color
“What’s more important to me is elevating their friendship and being there for each other in that way. I think that trope only happens when you have a lead who treats themselves only as the protagonist, and I’m very lucky that Lily doesn’t do that. Mindy is the protagonist of her own story. This might be Emily in Paris, but she has Mindy in Paris going on too. I was never treated as less than by my scene partner, Lily. Of course, my purpose as a supporting actor is to do the best to propel the story of the protagonist forward and to bring different perspectives. But I also think this trope is why I’m so excited about this movie I’m filming in Vancouver. It’s going to be the first of its kind in Hollywood. The entire creative team is all Asian women. It’s written and directed by Asian women. I’m the lead in it, and the three supporting actors are all Asian women. That’s very, very exciting.”
On if she would play Gretchen Wieners again in the upcoming Mean Girls musical movie
“Oh gosh. I don’t know. I was supposed to do Thoroughly Modern Millie, and obviously due to the shutdown, that didn’t happen. All I know is that if a movie musical happens, I would be really excited for Tina [Fey] and Jeff [Richmond]. I’d be so excited to watch it. I had such a wonderful chapter playing that on Broadway. My version of Gretchen Wieners lived in that interpretation of how we fleshed her out on stage, so I don’t know if that’s something I would want to revisit but you never know.”
On what it was like to meet Lacey Chabert
“She was the best. I left the show after a year. She made it to my last week. We had reached out to each other, and we were Instagram DM buddies. She was always so supportive and lovely. When she found out I was in the show, she was like, ‘I have to come see you before you leave.’ Which was the coolest thing ever because when I grew up, that was my favorite movie. I knew every line to it. I knew her interpretation of it so well. It was really fun for us to both meet because she so loved and respected my interpretation of that character too. It’s like you share a baby together.”
On if she will return for Girls5Eva season 2
“Anything that Tina Fey and Jeff Richman do, I will break my back to be able to say yes. If I am invited back to season 2, I would of course love to do that. It was the first thing I did on set during the pandemic, I felt very taken care of. Renée [Elise Goldsberry], Busy [Philipps], Sara [Bareilles] and Paula [Pell] were the best big sisters. It’s configured in a way where I’m in the flashbacks. It was the most fun. Being in a ‘90s girl group was my dream growing up. Of course, I’d want to revisit that.”
On her friendship with Girls’ Generation’s Tiffany Young
“I had met Tiffany because she came to Mean Girls. She was like, ‘Oh my God. There’s a Korean American girl playing this.’ She had always dreamed of being on stage, and I was so proud of her. We talked when she was in the process of auditioning for Chicago that she opened in Korea. We never even met in person, but we were cheering each other on.”
On if she has plans to release her own music
“My dream had always been to be on Broadway and to do musical theatre. I grew up doing choir. I’ve always loved interpreting songs that already exist. I’ve recently worked with some incredible pop writers today for some original stuff. I don’t think I can say much more than that, but definitely keep your ears and eyes open for that.”
Emily in Paris is available to stream on Netflix.
Our mission at STYLECASTER is to bring style to the people, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.