Interview With Actress Jacky Lai

By Ruth on January 27, 2018 in Interview, movie, television

Last year, when I was watching the Hallmark film Like Cats and Dogs, I noticed an actress who was new to me (but definitely not new to acting). I reached out to Jacky Lai, and she agreed almost immediately to an interview. Due to her busy schedule, we were only recently able to make this interview a reality, and I am immensely excited that this young lady has joined Hallmark and is active in many more projects throughout the TV and film world!

RH: Why did you decide to become an actress? What kind of training have you received?

JL: I decided to become an actress because it scared the living heck out of me. Being vulnerable and expressive was so foreign to me, especially within the Asian culture. I train with various coaches from Toronto and Vancouver.  I’m starting to take dance and karate as well, in order to have better control and understanding of my body.

You made an appearance on CW’s The Flash. How did you get that role? What was that filming experience like, and what was the fan response to you?

For the role on CW’s The Flash, I auditioned here in Vancouver. I came into the room with an idea of how I wanted to play the part, but was redirected to do the complete opposite. I didn’t think I would book the role, but was pleasantly surprised when I got the call. The experience was incredible; we shut down a power plant, and I was working with stunts, cranes, wires, and special effects. Everything you would think working on a top-rated show would be. I’m not too sure how the fans responded…hopefully not too many “boos”. Haha!

Once Upon a Time fans were also able to see you. How did that role come about, and what is memorable about being on that show?

I remember watching Once Upon A Time and falling in love with all the characters – heroine or villain, the actors are incredible. So, of course, getting to meet Lana Parrilla, Robert Carlyle, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Keegan Connor Tracy was the most memorable part for me. They were gracious and so down-to-earth! I auditioned for the role with a casting director here in Vancouver and found out shortly after that I’d be playing the “Orange Fairy”.

You landed your first big recurring role on Beyond. How did you land this role, and what have you enjoyed about playing Riley?

After a long road of close calls, Beyond was my blessing. I auditioned for Beyond a few times, originally auditioned for Jamie and was called back for Riley. I love everything about playing Riley; she’s wild and smart, sweet but daring, loving and reckless. The show has allowed Riley to go on quite the ride and I am “Beyond” excited for Season two that just came out January 18th, 2018!

With Beyond recently returning for season two, can you say whether your character will come back or not?

Starting Jan 25th, you’ll be seeing more of Riley on Season two of Beyond.

You recently appeared on the show Ransom. What can you tell us about your part and your experience with this show?

Ransom was an emotional ride. I found out I was starring in the episode with one of my idols – Tzi Ma. We were block shooting the emotional scenes and I had to be mentally prepared to be in different mental states on the call of the director. This was one of the best challenges to my acting and I feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to test my limits.

Hallmark audiences were introduced to you in the Spring Fling movie last year called Like Cats and Dogs. How did you get that role, and what was the filming atmosphere like? Any behind-the-scenes memories from this one?

Copyright 2017 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: David Dolsen

The bridal party scene was epic with stunts and cameras trying to catch the dog and cat run through the party, but it wasn’t happening easily. Turned out to be one hilarious day! I went into the room twice for the role of Rose. After my first audition, I was asked to stay and read with another actor who would later be my on-screen husband {Nelson Wong}.

Copyright 2017 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: David Dolsen

Now that you have appeared in a Hallmark film, what would you say you like about working for Hallmark?

I love the idea of Hallmark movies; it’s a feel-good collection of films and I think that’s exactly what people look for when winding down. People can always count on Hallmark to end or start their day with a smile.

Any recent/upcoming works you can mention?

You can find me on Hallmark’s Love Struck Café, Lifetime’s Simone Biles Story: Courage to Soar which premieres February 3rd and of course, Beyond, which premiered January 18th on Freeform.

Any plans to eventually write/direct/produce?

I love the industry and the art of storytelling, so I don’t think writing or directing would be too far-fetched. Who knows what the future may bring?

As a young person in the industry today, what advice would you give to other young people who aspire to become actors?

I say be fearless, try and fail, and don’t be afraid to fail again. Keep learning about the craft and yourself. Love and passion will see you through as long as you’re willing to work for it. Nothing worth it comes easy.

Keeping with the pet theme from your first Hallmark movie, what would you consider the ideal pet if you could choose one for yourself?

I would love to have a Samoyed puppy. I fell in love with them when I first watched The Proposal. But truthfully the only pet I am capable of taking care of is a goldfish! Haha!

Thank you for the fun interview. Was a pleasure to get to talk about my journey and upcoming projects.

I am so pleased to see Hallmark featuring young, enterprising actresses like Jacky, and the fact that she is Asian makes it that much more exciting. Furthermore, the fact that she worked with Ron Oliver, Nelson Wong, Cassidy Gifford and more on her first Hallmark film definitely gave her a wonderful welcome to the network (and they must have liked her since they asked her back again last year). I am quite gratified with Jacky’s attitude about acting and the fact that she continues to motivate herself to step outside of her comfort zone. With her recurring role on Beyond, it would seem that she is finally getting some of the recognition that she has earned through her commitment to the craft and her undeniable talent. While her career is still somewhat in its infancy, there is no doubt that she is off to an impressive start with fantastic opportunities continuing to head her way as she applies herself and takes advantage of every occasion to hone her craft and gain valuable experience.

If you have not seen Love Struck Cafe or Like Cats and Dogs, I would advise you to watch for both films to replay on the Hallmark Channel. Both were fun rides, and I can only hope that more possibilities will be heading her way. Of course, Beyond fans are eagerly watching her role (I have to sit down and watch that show very soon), and I hope that they continue to bring her back on this intriguing and popular Freeform show. However, while we are awaiting her next appearance, I would invite you to look up the links I’ve listed below and discover some of her past works if you are so inclined. As she proceeds to follow her heart and her dreams, I can only hope that we fans will support her on every leg of her journey!





About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth
43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA Entertainment Writer Available For Interviews and Reviews Substitute Teacher


  1. denise January 27, 2018 Reply

    Loved her in Like Cats and Dogs.

    • Author
      Ruth January 27, 2018 Reply

      Agreed–she was amazing!

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