Exclusive: Ashley Park Says It Was 'Important' For Her To Play Mindy On 'Emily In Paris': 'I Have Never Seen A Character' Like That
Even though Ashley Park has been in the Broadway world for quite some time, her career really blew up when she popped up on Netflix's hit show Emily in Paris. The star plays Mindy Chen, Emily Cooper's best friend (played by Lily Collins) who is also living in the City of Light, and she's quickly become a fan-favorite.
"I think it was important to me. First of all, I have never seen a character like Mindy who looks like me on the screen, and I think in terms of female friendship, I love how we get to represent a reflection of what me and Lily’s friendship is like," the 31-year-old, who recently teamed up with Starbucks to launch The Starbucks Coffee Break-away: an uplifting reminder to be more present with those who matter most, by tuning out the distractions and tuning into each other, inspired by Starbucks ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages, exclusively tells Morning Honey. "But I think just getting to represent what a supportive, empowering female friendship looks like is awesome. Then, for me, getting to have an Asian face on screen that is associated with warmth, friendship and safeness is essential. Mindy is somebody who is a pillar of support for Emily and having a lot of people come up to me and say, 'I wish I had a friend like Mindy' and having that be an Asian face, I am so happy to be able to have an Asian person be associated with all of these good things."
The California native admits that ever since the show debuted in 2020, her life has changed "in so many ways."
"I had never gone to Paris, so getting to travel and live and just be really immersed in their culture was great," she says. "I come from the Broadway world, I have been living in New York the past seven to eight years and I really got no time to travel. Also, being able to connect with people on a global level. Now when I travel, people recognize me, it’s really cool that they get a good piece of my heart. Lily is one of my best friends, just understanding how people can come into your life and stay there."
In addition to working with Collins, Park loves dressing up and performing on the show.
"That is definitely super special. I think costumes inform a character – who they are, what they are feeling, and so our costume team has just been lovely and really lets us collaborate and help with the language of it," she says. "Those fittings are so long and so fun."
As for what she hopes for her character, the brunette babe is simply just "happy that the show is happening again."
"I could have never imagined the storylines they gave to Mindy this past season," she notes. "I completely trust the writers. I mean, as long as I still get to have scenes in Paris with my friends, I am happy."
Park has already done so much in her career, and she doesn't take any of it for granted.
"I think I define success not by my credits. I have taken a lot of lifers with me, and so I think I have been very blessed in having a lot of different opportunities and working really, really hard for them," she explains. "I am in a place now in my life where I think I am just excited to keep doing whatever comes next and with the person that I am and that I am becoming. I think it’s more the person that I am that I never expected and really feeling settled in myself, but it’s so wild to me still. I am really humbled by everything — especially Emily in Paris and everything I have gotten to do and who I have gotten to work with on my team. It’s great!"
Despite being super busy these days, Park thought it was a no-brainer to team up with Starbucks for their latest campaign, as it fit perfectly into her life.
"It’s definitely one of the places I go every morning in New York City. I was really compelled by the campaign itself because I think that in the past few years, even in recent studies, three out of four people find it really difficult to be present in their daily lives, and I think our world has changed so much," she dishes.
"After the past couple of years, everyone is trying to catch up, everyone is super distracted, everybody is on their phones. For me and my friendships in my life, the idea of being present with the people that I am with has been incredibly important for me, and I think that comes from when I am acting on-stage or on-screen," she continues.
Additionally, in a new film, Park and Starbucks brought three sets of loved ones together for an unexpected day of togetherness. "We filmed at the American Museum of Natural History, which is so iconic. I was totally game!" she shares.
Enter for a chance to win your own Starbucks Coffee Break-away: a trip for two to New York City, including a special visit at The American Museum of Natural History, at CoffeeBreak-Away.com.