Reggie Lee Quotes

  1. My dad is an ob-gyn – he’s retired now – and he wanted to come to the States to make a better life, for opportunity. My mom said that, on the plane ride here, I did not want to speak a word of English – I spoke Tagalog. And then, after the first day of school, I didn’t want to speak anything but English.
  2. How often, really, do you get a Filipino story line in a show? Not very often. I can’t think of any.
  3. I love being the character actor. I get to stretch my muscles a little more.
  4. There was a week where I was depressed with the rain, and people were telling me to get a light box. But I live on the 14th floor of an apartment complex, and I see the Broadway Bridge and Mount Hood, and it keeps me such company. And like true Oregonians, I don’t carry an umbrella anymore.
  5. When you’re a kid, you think ‘Oh, it’s so great. I’m going to go to Hollywood. I’m going to go to Broadway.’ For a long time, it was such a novelty.
  6. I think that one of my favorite movie roles has been a film that I did with Jason Statham that was out last year called ‘Safe.’ I played the main bad guy in that.
  7. The announcement that I was going to be an actor was made when was I was 10 years old. And that didn’t go down all that well, but I had a lot of years to butter up my parents. My parents have mellowed quite a bit, but, growing up, there was a sense that the only real professions were doctor, engineer, lawyer. Those were your choices.
  8. I always tell Asian actors, especially Filipinos wanting to break into Hollywood, to study, study and study and show their best. I haven’t stopped studying. There’s an abundance of roles, and all you have to do is prove to them that you are good for the role.
  9. I swear to God I was freaked out about the Aswang when I was a kid in the Philippines.
  10. I consider myself a fortunate working actor, but I really work at it all the time. If I have a couple of weeks off, I’m taking class. You never stop. I started when I was 10 years old in Cleveland, and I’ve never stopped working my butt off.
  11. I was made fun of in the Midwest – I was the only Asian in my graduating class of 200. Fortunately, I found my niche, and it was fine. But I wanted to be so white, you wouldn’t believe it. I was like, ‘I want to be white; I don’t want to be this anymore.’ But now I embrace it.
  12. I took the ‘Lee’ from my grandparents, who took care of me during the day while my mom was away working.
  13. There’s this list on Internet Movie Database that I’m on, and it’s called ‘Actors with High Body Counts.’ I’m always playing the bad guy.
  14. I have the biggest sweet tooth, and just recently a doughnut shop in Portland called Pip’s Original introduced a doughnut inspired by me called the ‘Dirty Wu.’ It is a cinnamon-sugar doughnut with sea salt, drizzled with honey and Nutella.
  15. I’m a quarter Chinese and three-quarter Filipino. I don’t look Filipino; I look more Chinese or Korean. It actually works in my favor: in terms of roles, it gives me a broader canvas.
  16. As actors, it’s so hard to get your hopes up about anything.
  17. When I was about 10, I saw Timothy Bottoms in a tele-movie called ‘A Shining Season,’ and it really moved me. I was maybe 8 or 9. Timothy played a runner who had cancer, and he defied the odds by coaching a girls’ team to victory.
  18. The acceptance to Harvard was more of trophy than a real possibility to me. I would have been miserable.
  19. I’m the type of actor that, if I’m not filming something, I’m in class.
  20. I don’t play a regular guy at all – never.
  21. I don’t fancy myself as a very sarcastic person in real life.
  22. For the working actor, there’s nothing more stable than a network television show.
  23. I would love to play a normal human being with a little bit of a comedic bend that had a love interest. I would love to explore comedy, like a half-hour kind of single-camera comedy. I think that would kind of suit me best.
  24. I speak Cantonese, and I speak Tagalog.
  25. You want something? Go get it with single-minded devotion.
  26. My parents have mellowed quite a bit, but, growing up, there was a sense that the only real professions were doctor, engineer, lawyer. Those were your choices.
  27. I cannot see myself sitting at a desk from nine to five!
  28. When I was growing up in the Philippines, the story that was read to me most was Pinocchio.
  29. The other day, a doughnut shop in Portland called Pip’s Originals tweeted me telling me that they named a doughnut after me called the ‘Dirty Wu.’ It is a cinnamon sugar doughnut drizzled with honey and Nutella. It was so good. I just won the Oscar in the sci-fi world.
  30. Definitely for myself, I find myself gravitating towards dramatic work. In terms of sitcoms, you know, I always tell my agent I don’t want to be seen.
  31. From the time I made my announcement that I was going to be an actor, I auditioned for community theater, did shows at Greenbrier, interned at the Cleveland Play House for a summer, took voice lessons, took ballet lessons. I did everything that Cleveland allowed me to do – everything that was available to me.
  32. I’ve played a lot of cops and a lot of bad guys, so I would like to play a regular person and just live a regular life with something interesting about it. I love the idea of television and kind of infiltrating that.
  33. Most of my background is Filipino and partly Chinese, but mostly Filipino.

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