Photo courtesy of Twitter
By The Twins of Media
The highly-anticipated new season of “Iron Fist” is set to premiere Friday, September, 7th on Netflix. We recently spoke with actress Christine Toy Johnson for an exclusive interview to discuss her role in season 2.
You are set to star in the sophomore season of Netflix’s hit Marvel series “Iron Fist.” Tell how this role came about and how would you describe your character “Sherry Yang”?
Unfortunately, I can’t really disclose anything about the character until it starts streaming on September 7th because I signed all kinds of things that said I would not (laughs), but I kind of need to tease that I really love playing her and she has a fierce wardrobe… I can tell you that (laughs).
How the role came about. My agents called me one day and said the casting people from the show (they didn’t even tell me what show it was because they’re very secretive at Marvel) want to see you. This was two days in advance and they were sending over the audition scene which had code names. You could tell the names of the characters had been written in to protect the identity so I didn’t know anything about the show until after I got the job. I really didn’t know how to prepare other than what I usually do when I’m looking at a character. I just try to access what the objectives or obstacles are in a scene and sort of get a sense of what drives the character. It’s a challenge when you don’t have a lot of the information available, but kind of fun too. I took a look at some of the other Marvel shows to get a sense of the tone. It also helped that my husband was into the show and comic books. He gave me a little bit of his sense of the marvel universe and what kind of show it might be. I was asked to come back and work with the casting director, Julie Schubert who gave me a little more information…not much, but a little (laughs). I found out I got the job a couple of days later, but honestly, it was not until I got the script and I was actually going to shoot. Also, the wardrobe people know everything and reached out to me to have a fitting right away. I found out it was for Iron Fist, but it was not until then (laughs). I was really excited to join the cast. They had already shot the first episode and I’m introduced episode two.
What do you like most about working with the cast of “Iron Fist”?
You know…they are all such wonderful actors and really a generous set. You become a family of sorts because you are with each other— often working long hours and late nights. The show is shot a lot at night and during the winter months. I had one call at 1 am because it was the time I was expected to be on set. You weather (no pun intended) the extreme conditions with the goal to make the best TV show you can so you bond really quickly. I mostly worked with Jessica Henwick and Finn Jones— who play Colleen and Danny. I have such respect for them and really love them as people and we had a great time working together.
Do you most enjoy acting or directing. Why?
Actually, I have only directed a little bit. I am really a writer and actor. Most of the directing I have done has been through my own work. A lot of times, I tell people I love them both for different reasons. For me, it is the balance of being both an interpretive artist—doing other peoples plays, musicals and written work and being a generative artist—telling my own story through plays, musicals and screenplays. It’s a great balance because I feel like no matter what else is going on in the world; I make sure I am creatively fulfilled and that’s an amazing gift to have. There is not a lot of diversity and inclusion in the entertainment industry and my answer is 100% acting, writing and advocacy. It’s the way my life is and I love it! It’s a privilege to be able to create things and enjoy my family.
What other projects are you working on?
I’m actually calling from my lunch break right now from the first national tour of “Come From Away.” This beautiful musical is currently on Broadway, but we’re also taking it on tour. We are in New York rehearsing for four weeks because we open in Seattle in October. The show (it’s a 9/12 story) is inspired by the real events that happened in the Canadian town of Gander, NL where thirty-eight different planes were diverted on 9/11 because the American airspace was closed. I play Diane Marson—a real life person who lives in Houston so it’s funny you called me from the place where she lives. The musical is a beautiful show written by a husband and wife team; Irene Sankoff and David Hein. It has been playing on Broadway a little over a year and I am about to embark on this tour. Unfortunately, it’s a North American tour and we don’t get to travel to Texas, only to the Pacific North West. I’m very excited!
Last (best) place traveled?
The last best place I traveled…In July I went on a cruise to Bermuda (which I love) with my husband. We’ve been there a lot of times and love it because it’s a gorgeous place. I feel so happy when I can look at the water and see the beautiful expanse. The view is symbolic of breathing in all of the possibilities and letting go of any worries. I can sit and look at the ocean for hours (laughs)…so that’s where we go whenever we are feeling stressed out.
Favorite social media handle where our readers can follow you?
You can find me on Twitter and Instagram under @CToyJ—a combination of both parts of my name. Thank you. I look forward to connecting with people.
Keep Up With Christine Toy Johnson
Photo courtesy of The Anderson Group
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