L.A. COFFIN SCHOOL Q&A with Michelle Krusiec / 楊雅慧


Michelle Krusiec

When I was growing up, any television show that I watched had to be pre-approved by my parents.  My dad in particular thought that the content on TV had too much sex and violence.  On the ‘approved’ list included: “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,” “Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?” and similar fare.  All very G-rated shows.  I envied my friends, who at the time, were absorbing Melrose Place and Beverly Hills, 90210 (vintage editions) and other scandalous content.  At one point, my dad also tried implementing a one-hour per week television watching limit but that didn’t last very long; I would always go over the limit.  I guess I just couldn’t get enough of it…hence my current occupation!

All kidding aside, another show that my Dad ok’d was “One World,” a Saturday morning sitcom featuring a group of diverse kids who were all adopted by the same family.  Michelle Krusiec’s character, Sui Blake, caught my attention because she was a ditzy jock, not the glasses-wearing-book-toting-math-genius representation of Asian Americans I was mostly accustomed to seeing on the tube, if I saw any Asian Americans on TV at all.

One World NBC TV show

Michelle Krusiec and the cast of “One World”

Some years later, I watched “Saving Face” and though I didn’t know it at the time, that was the film that would eventually make me want to work with Michelle.  Since then, I’ve seen Michelle in many more projects that showcases her wide comedic and dramatic range as an actor (most recently in David Henry Hwang’s play, “Chinglish”).

Here is a Proust questionnaire that Michelle answered when L.A. COFFIN SCHOOL first premiered in Los Angeles.  If you haven’t seen the film yet, you can catch L.A. COFFIN SCHOOL this weekend at the Busan West Film Festival (partner of the famed Busan International Film Festival in South Korea).  Enjoy!

Michelle Krusiec 2


Michelle Krusiec / 楊雅慧
Role in L.A. COFFIN SCHOOL: Bo / Coffin School Student

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
*Unconditional trust of the future.

What is your greatest fear?
*That eating anything can give you cancer or radiation or some disease and I’d have to become vegan or macrobiotic or whatever else sounds unappetizing.

Which living person do you most admire?

When and where were/are you most happiest?
*I’m the most happiest when I am working and traveling for work, especially if it’s in a destination I wouldn’t go to on my own.

If you died and came back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
*I think I’d come back as a wind chime, all I’d have to do is hang out and be perfectly still and the only job I’d need to do is windsurf and sing.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
*When you resort to violence as a way of communicating.

How would you like to die?

Who are your heroes in real life?
*The people at Center for Pacific Asian Family because they help women and families get out of bad situations and Disney Pixar because they always make me feel like a child again.


L.A. COFFIN SCHOOL screens at Busan West Film Festival this weekend:
– Sat. Mar. 9 at 3pm PT
– Sun. Mar. 10 at 12pm PT

If you can’t make the screenings, don’t fret – you can download a free copy of the film here.

L.A. COFFIN SCHOOL is about a once-renowned Chinese painter who is kicked out of her son’s home, prompting her to enroll in a controversial school that claims to teach people how to start life anew. The instructor and class exercises force her to re-evaluate life and what it is worth. This short film is currently being developed into a feature.

Michelle Krusiec in CHINGLISH

Michelle Krusiec in CHINGLISH

More about Michelle:

Michelle Krusiec (pronounced Kroozik) first found national and international critical acclaim in her starring role opposite Joan Chen in the romantic comedy Saving Face, directed by Alice Wu. Her award winning performance as an awkward, closeted lesbian garnered her a Best Actress nomination in the 2005 Golden Horse Ceremony, Asia’s equivalent to the Academy Award.

Krusiec’s reputation as an actor lives within her ability to move seamlessly between comedy and drama. Her countless roles in film, television and stage span from quirky characters to documentaries like “Nanking” in which she portrays a WWII survivor. With each successive role, Krusiec continues to shine in her versatility and artistry. As a writer, she continues to work on original material and perform her critically acclaimed solo show, “Made in Taiwan,” which premiered at the Aspen Comedy festival in 2002 and again in 2007 in its New York Off-Broadway premiere at the first annual Asian American Theater festival. She is currently touring with the cast of David Henry Hwang’s play, Chinglish, in the role of Xi Yian, at the Berkeley Repertory Theater, the South Coast Repertory, and finally the Hong Kong Arts Festival.

Check out Michelle’s blog. You can also find her on Twitter (@michellekrusiec) and Facebook.





About Busan West Film Festival:
Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts is pleased to partner with the Busan International Film Festival (considered by many to be the “Cannes” of Asia) to present BUSAN WEST. Over the course of three days, March 8-10, 2013, Dodge College will host a showcase of contemporary and classic films selected primarily from the Busan International Film Festival by Dodge College Professor Nam Lee, an expert in pan-Asian cinema.