Brandon Soo Hoo Actor, Martial Artist, Restaurateur, and Insect Enthusiast

Interview on the Jason Hennessey Podcast 08-31-2022 - Episode 36
Brandon Soo Hoo

How Brandon Soo Hoo Harnesses His Family’s Hollywood Heritage

Today in the studio, we have the privilege of interviewing young actor, martial artist, and dumpling enthusiast, Brandon Soo Hoo.
After acting in Toys “R” Us commercial, Brandon caught his big break at just 11 years old, starring in the mega hit film, Tropic Thunder. He shares with us what it’s like to play the iconic role of Tran, the contentious young cartel leader, and spend months living in Kauai, acting sparring alongside comedy legends, Ben Stiller and Jack Black.
He also shares tales from his crazy life journey involving opulent royal weddings in Cambodia, a new anime series on Netflix, and an exciting and unexpected new oversea venture.
Tune in as we play a rousing game of “New Phone, Who Dis?” And hear all about how Brandon harnesses and embraces his eccentricities, including his deep-rooted fascination with Cantonese cuisine, reptiles, insects, and the Mantis shrimp.

In this Episode

[01:30] Jason begins by crediting Yoo-hoo for pronouncing Brandon’s last name correctly. Brandon starts by summarizing his recent trip to Cambodia to attend a wedding that was Crazy Rich Asians-esque.

[04:51] Jason acknowledges Brandon’s success as a child actor and shares how his son was pursuing the same dream at a similar age. Brandon describes his family’s Hollywood history, and recalls his initial roles in a Toys “R” Us commercial and Tropic Thunder.

[11:28] Brandon shares how filming Tropic Thunder in Kauai shaped his future passions in the culinary world and extreme martial arts. He also tells us a couple behind-the-scenes stories involving Jack Black and Ben Stiller.

[16:08] Jason asks Brandon about what it takes to make it in Hollywood. Brandon runs down topics ranging from memorizing lines, continuing the auditioning and acting grind, and preparing for a premiere.

[21:59] Brandon recollects growing up as a normal nerdy kid in the San Gabriel Valley and how he began to get recognized in public at school and the grocery store. He lays out how he continued to execute and build on his success as a young actor.

[25:00] Brandon and Jason play a game of “New Phone, Who Dis?”. Jason selects a person from Brandon’s contact list that he’ll have to send a prank text to.

[30:24] Jason invites Brandon to give us an update on the newer projects he’s working on. Brandon lays out how COVID changed the auditioning process, and how he was able to book a couple big roles on an anime for Netflix and a movie for Paramount.

[34:02] Brandon goes into detail about his fascination with insects, the variety of pets he’s had, his favorite sushi styles, and dishes he can cook. He also gives us his moral reasons for abstaining from eating certain types of animals.

[45:54] Jason confirms the rumor that Brandon is in the process of developing an In-N-Out inspired “Stacks” burger and restaurant in Cambodia. He tells the tale of its chaotic origins, which stemmed from his recent trip to Southeast Asia.

[52:25] Before Jason and Brandon begin our signature segment of “Hennessey Heart-to-Heart,” Brandon sends the “New Phone, Who Dis?” prank text to a second friend. Afterwards, he reveals what makes him laugh, the kind of animal he’d be, his emotional development goals, and much more.

[01:02:04] Brandon and Jason wrap up today’s conversation as Brandon reads the “New Phone, Who Dis?” responses he received from his friend, and also tells us that we can keep up with his latest projects on Instagram and TikTok.

Transcript

Jason Hennessey: Brandon Soo Hoo.

Brandon Soo Hoo: Yes. I’m really stoked you said that correctly because I get a lot of “So-ho.”

That’s what I thought.

People switch it up like a “Soo Ho.”

You’ve had that your whole life.

You nailed it.

See. I was a big Yoo-hoo drinker and it reminds me of that.

I get the yoo-hoos, the choo-choos, all those.

So, you’re not new to our studio. That’s how we met. 

You came out here. You guys were looking at this for a possible shoot, and lo and behold, you had a very interesting background and I wanted to bring you back to be on the show.

So, thanks for coming down to Hennessey Studios.

Thanks for having me back. It’s good to see this amazing setup again, and you guys. Thanks for inviting me.

So, I hear that you have been doing a little bit of traveling since the last time that we met.

Yes.

So, tell me a little bit more about a trip that you took recently.

I did go to Southeast Asia. And it’s a funny story because it’s my friend’s cousin who told him he could bring out whoever he wants to go out there.

And he is like, “Hey, my cousin’s pretty well connected in Cambodia, but don’t have too crazy of expectations. It might be a little bit like- It’s a pretty extravagant wedding, but don’t think of it too much.”

And I pulled up to Cambodia. And have you seen the movie Crazy Rich Asians?

Yes.

That’s the easiest, like, anecdote that I could point to, but it was straight up Crazy Rich Asians.

Oh really?

I think it was more extravagant than the movie.

Wow.

I don’t want to hype him up too much because I don’t know how much he wants me to talk about his personal stuff, but he picked us up in a crazy car that he just bought just for that day so he could pick us up in it.

It was a Rolls-Royce because his other Rolls-Royce wasn’t big enough to fit all of us. So, he got another one just to pick us up at the airport.

And this is your cousin?

My friend’s cousin.

Oh your friend’s cousin. Okay.

And so, my friend was like, “Yeah, don’t think of it too much. Just pull up and don’t have any expectations.”

That was the first thing I saw. So, I was like, “This is going to be a crazy wedding.”

Did they have everything from Cambodian music to Cambodian food?

Yeah.

It was so cultural, then the wedding, huh?

Yeah. The Cambodian equivalent of, like, Boyz II Men was playing. They’re like, “Oh this is some famous R&B group from the early 2000s.”

And they were live streaming the wedding for the country. The prime minister was there. There was a bunch of celebrities. I don’t know Cambodian pop culture, but apparently everyone who’s cool in Cambodia was at this wedding.

So, is your friend’s cousin a well known Cambodian star or something or what?

Apparently he is because everywhere that we would go, we would get really special treatment.

Really? Okay.

Yeah, I almost felt like every street that we turned down into, the cars would part like the Red Seas and we would just be able to just no traffic, just pass right through.

Wow.

It was crazy. I’ve never experienced that level of special treatment before.

That’s cool. So, how long were you there for?

Two weeks?

Two weeks.

One week there. And then I spent one week in Thailand afterwards.

Ooh, that’s beautiful. I love Thai food.

Have you been there?

No. I’ve got friends that live there and so I’m so jealous when they’re posting photos of their lifestyle, living in Thailand.

Oh, Southeast Asia’s so much fun, man. Food is great. Everything is very affordable.

It is. Yeah.

I love being out there. It’s cool.

So, it’s interesting that you’re here because you are the definition of success when we first came out here. 

I’ve mentioned this on some of my other shows where we brought my son out here and he wanted to be an actor, child actor, and he was 11 years old when he got into it.

That’s an early age.

It was an early age, and it’s a whole different world than most kids are used to living. 

And so, I wanted to know your story because you were a child actor. You’re still young. I think you’re our youngest guest on the show up until this point. 

How old are you?

I’m 26.

Twenty-six. Okay. Well, let’s talk about this journey into acting. 

I know you’re in martial arts. Was it martial arts first that got you into acting? Was it acting that got you interested in martial arts?

I wouldn’t say that martial arts necessarily got me into acting, but it just so happened to be that my first role that I did included martial arts in it, so that was incorporated into the audition process. They wanted to see me do martial arts.

Okay, and how long have you been doing martial arts before you got that audition?

I was 7 when I started training, and my first role, I was 11. So, I was training for maybe 3, 4 years before my first gig.

Three, four years. Okay. Got it.

I could move a bit. I wasn’t a prodigy or a master by any means, but I could move decently and I definitely showcased that in the audition process.

Okay, so, before that though, you don’t just get an audition. 

First, you need to get a headshot. There’s a whole strategy to this. You got to get headshots, you got to get an agent, you got to get a manager, you got to get acting classes. There’s all these different layers. 

Sometimes kids get lucky and they’re just recognized in CVS and it’s like, “You have the-“

“You’re the next Leonardo DiCaprio.”

Yeah. That’s what every kid’s dream is. I still walk into CVS hoping that I get recognized.

I would. You could sell. I would put you in front of a Porsche. This gentleman, you are the new face of sports automobiles.

[laughs] There it is.

You just got scouted. [laughs]

Somebody had to say, “I want to be an actor.” And then you go get the head shots and you go on that journey.

So, how did your journey begin?

Well, I was a magical unicorn baby in the sense that I was born with a business strategy right away. I was like, “I know exactly what I got to do.”

As a 10 year old, I called my own reps. I negotiated the contracts, all myself. Perfect English.

[laughs]

No, it was all my parents, man. I had no idea what a headshot was, what reps were, Roth IRA or whatever, the Coogan accounts.

Coogan. Yes.

Any of those things, I had no consciousness of any of that stuff. I guess it started from way, way back. My grandpa was an actor.

He was? Okay.

Yeah. So, when he was a kid, he started off as a child actor as well. He actually had series regulars, some speaking roles. He was a pretty prolific actor, especially for Chinese Americans. He was one of the first in the ‘40s.

What was his name?

Walter Soo Hoo, my late grandfather. He created that legacy of Hollywood in the family.

You should check out his IMDb actually. It’s pretty impressive.

I’m going to. We’ll link to it from the show notes here for sure.

Oh my gosh. That’s my grandpa.

But then his family was in the industry, some of his brothers and sisters. My dad was in entertainment. Some of my cousins were in entertainment. So, this is all before I was even a thought in anyone’s head.

When I became a younger kid in infanthood, my parents saw potential in me. They’re like, “This kid seems like he has enough energy to perform.”

So, they got me the same reps as my cousin, and because they had that familial recognition, they started sending me out to auditions. They got me the head shots and they just started sending me out.

And how old were you at the time?

I started getting sent out, I think my first thing that I ever did, I think I was 10 years old. It was a Toys “R” Us commercial. And then I started going out for speaking roles and the first role that I booked was Tropic Thunder at 11.

The first role that I booked was Tropic Thunder at 11.

Wow. Talk about catching lightning in a bottle.

Crazy.

That’s not normal, right?

Yeah. And I think as a kid, I was definitely blessed with the capacity to express rage because that character was a pretty feisty kid. He was the villain, the drug leader, and I had no idea what drugs were at that age. I just knew that I got to boss around adults and I thought that was hilarious.

I just remember in the audition process, just getting full free reign to just be a little demon, and I remember finding that really fun.

And then at a certain point, as the rounds go on, I got the callbacks and the callbacks and I think round three, I saw Ben Stiller. And he was the one that was reading with me.

And I didn’t really have an idea of what celebrity was, what fame was, but I knew who he was. I was like, “Oh, I’ve seen you in-”

Zoolander probably.

Yeah. Something. Zoolander. I recognized him. And I was like, “Oh, you’re that guy.”

And he asked me to do some martial arts form because they needed that role. And I did whatever little brown belt form I had at Taekwondo, little kicks. They loved it and they’re like, “Wow, this kid’s scrappy. He can move.”

And next thing I knew, I got shipped out to Hawaii.

Wow.

That’s where we shot Tropic.

Is that right?

Yeah. And I had school out there and everything. It was crazy.

Your whole life changes. It’s like, “Hey mom, hey dad, we’re going to go to Hawaii now. And now it’s my career and you guys-“

Well, “Hey mom,” because dad stayed at home.

Okay.

Sorry, Bob.

Now she’s a full-time mommy manager, right?

Momager, dude.

Yeah.

And she had the similar sentiments of what you see in a Chinese American or Chinese tiger mom type of stereotypes, I guess. But that sentiment was just embedded in entertainment.

So, she became a tiger momager.

Okay. Got it. I see.

That was the trajectory that I got set on at a very young age.

So, now this is cool because you went through all the auditions. It’s like, “Congratulations. We want you.” That’s a big deal when you land a role. And I know it was only your second role since doing a Toys “R” Us commercial, but every kid auditioning that’s the goal is to get the yes. 

And so, now flying to Hawaii, you’re going to be working on a movie and what was going through your head as a young kid?

Not a whole lot.

No?

As the depth of thought of a 11 year old is just like, “This is cool. Those are some loud explosions,” and, “Whoa, is that a real gun?”

That’s the depth of how I’m thinking about things. And I’m like, “Whoa, all this food is free?”

Yeah. They spoil you.

Yeah. The catering on set, still to this day, I’ve been on a bunch of productions, and I think the catering on Tropic Thunder was still to this day, the best.

It was local, Hawaiian catering chefs. And they were serving seafood every day.

Wow.

I was getting like lobster tail and stuff. I was a child. And to this day, I still think that production spoiled me because I eat good man. I need to eat good food, and I blame this production because I had per diem.

So they’re giving me the daily food allowance and man, I was spending it on food because I got a taste of what good food tastes like.

Sure, sure, sure. So, how long did it take to film the movie then?

I was there for five months I think. And then another month and a half in Los Angeles.

In Los Angeles. Okay, but you were living in Los Angeles when you booked this?

I was, yeah. I’m from Los Angeles. So, I was living in LA. I booked it. They flew me out to Kauai, is the island that we’re shooting for five months.

And then I came back home to shoot for another month, month-and-a-half.

And you worked with some big names on this movie. Who were some of the stars? Ben Stiller obviously.

Ben, Robert Downey Jr. Tom Cruise had a really funny role in that.

Was he there?

I saw him during the wrap party and I saw him in LA with- for the premier and stuff, but he wasn’t in Hawaii.

He wasn’t? Okay.

I think I met Matthew McConaughey. I met Jack Black.

Well, you got into a fight with Jack Black.

Yeah. I spent a lot of time with Jack Black because our fight scene, that was a very, very involved scene. So, I think we spent at least a couple weeks just shooting that scene.

Sure, sure, a couple weeks. 

And now, did you have, like, a stunt double?

Yeah.

You did.

I did have a stunt double for some of the more advanced movements. There was a part where I do a flip and catch the gun.

At that time, I wasn’t able to do that move so my stunt double did moves like that, things that were more acrobatic, but stuff that was very basic just hand to hand combat stuff, I could manage that stuff.

But more acrobatic stuff, the jumpy flippy stuff, Evan Kay. He was my stunt guy. He did a great job.

And how old was Evan? A man playing a kid’s role?

No, he was my age.

He was your age?

Oh, so the martial arts that he was trained in, I ended up training in too. It’s called XMA.

And the kids that start off in XMA, they start off usually pretty young and they’re extremely acrobatic. They’re mad gifted athletes.

Okay.

They’ll double back flip, jump off the walls.

So, was XMA, they had a studio here and the Power Ranger?

Yeah, Mike Chat.

Yes. Okay.

Yeah. I trained with Mike.

You did? Okay.

My coach was Matt Mullins. So, him and Mike were pretty close. He had his own school, but Mike was I think one of the founders of this style.

Got it. Okay.

Yeah XMA. That’s Mike Chat.

Cool. Okay. So, you have all these amazing stories. 

Did anything go wrong or anything? Any horror stories on set?

From Tropic or just in general?

Just, I guess, in general.

Oh man. Throughout my life, I could think of a bunch of things that didn’t go the way they should have gone.

At least on Tropic Thunder, one thing that I remembered was there’s a scene where I’m hitting him with a stick and under the shirt they put a pad so I could go off on it, so I could just hit him with, it was a whip essentially, bamboo switch.

And they said “Just wail on him. Hit this part.”

And so, we’re rolling. And I’m whipping, whipping, whipping, whipping, whipping. I’m hitting for a good 40 seconds. I hit him at least 40 times.

And then they cut and then Ben, he’s rubbing his arm. And then one of the production assistants comes up to me, the stunt coordinator comes up to me. He’s like, “Hey Brandon, you were aiming a little high. That’s actually not where the pad was.”

Ooh.

“So, on the next take, try to hit the pad.”

I was just hitting the same spot on his arm over and over again with this whip. And I didn’t see what it looked like under, but it was probably all welted because I was giving it to him.

Sure, sure.

So, that was one thing.

That’s awesome.

There’s all kinds of stuff that goes wrong on sets.

No, I bet. 

Part of the job is memorizing lines. Were you pretty good at that or did it take a lot of training?

Memorizing lines, I guess memory works in different ways.

For example, like with math, I can’t memorize a formula to save my life, with chemistry, math, anything that required things like that. I couldn’t really memorize them, but for some reason, dialogue, the style of reading back and forth, knowing your cues and getting context clues, that was really easy for me.

So, that type of memory, getting my lines down, was a lot easier for me than other memory stuff for school and studying.

Sure, sure. 

So, when I was a kid in school, I did really bad on tests and for whatever reason, I just couldn’t remember things. I don’t know why. 

But then one of my teachers said, “All right here. This is what I want you to do. It’s a different technique. You’re going to write the question on a little, like, index card and then you’re going to write the answer on the back. You write it.”

And so, that’s just the perfect way that I was able to memorize things. As I write the question, I flip it over, I highlighted it orange or whatever. And that was my own mental way where I could remember. 

And then I started doing better on tests. I guess everybody’s got their own way of doing it, but that’s the shitty part about being into the acting industry because I see my son all the time. You get an audition and they send over an 8-page, 12-page script.

Oh, that grinds my gears.

Oh right. And then like, “Hey, you’ve got to record. You gotta do a self tape or you have to be there.”

I figured out a trick for that.

I built a teleprompter and I put it right next to the camera so I never have to memorize for auditions.

Well, that’s good for now, when you’re doing self tapes and stuff or auditions, but when you had to go in.

In person. Oh, you can’t use them.

No, you can’t use it.

I’m so blessed.

Because my son was doing that too. He was definitely- 

He found all the angles. He auditioned for Stranger Things, all these big shows and stuff like that. And they give you an 8-page script and you gotta memorize all these monologues and stuff.

Yeah, if you’re not paying me to memorize over six pages, it’s inconsiderate.

It really is.

And they- It’s because, honestly, a lot of times, like, it doesn’t really cost casting much to send you the 10 pages. But like, they just have more stuff to look at, even though they’re only going to look at you reading the first page of the audition.

To them, they don’t really see the flip side of it and it doesn’t cost them anything to ask for more.

Oh, I felt so bad. My son would go into his room and lock himself in there and memorize his lines.

Just stressing.

Yeah. Stressing. And that’s when acting becomes not fun. And then if you’re on top of that, because your story is unique. You booked something not pretty big, really big, quickly. 

Most kids, they go for 6 years. They book a commercial here and there. And maybe they’re on a show as not an extra, but a cameo, whatever else. 

But yeah, people give up.

Yeah it’s a grind, man.

It is a grind. Yeah.

You have to develop such a thick skin and such a determination for it. And you’ve got to just be the most persistent, unstoppable force to continue on sometimes because a lot of times, even I had thoughts, I’m just like, “This is really hard.”

You’ve got to just be the most persistent, unstoppable force to continue on.

By no means, is it something that I would just say to anyone. I would just be like, “Oh yeah, fine. Just do it.” Do it, but it’s work. You got to push. And you got to, like, be okay with having a thick skin and going through the doldrums of just like, “Okay, when’s the next gig?”

These are all very common things.

They are.

Even for someone don’t be mistaken that just because maybe sometimes there would be good amounts of work, but also there’s periods where it’s hard.

So, thankfully my life is blessed enough that I can sustain and that I’ve been given the opportunities to be able to pay my bills, to be able to do what I love to do, but there’s hard moments.

Oh, there’s downsides. There’s definitely the upsides. Like you said, all the catering while you’re in Hawaii, that’s the best part, like craft services.

You’ve got to really indulge in those moments because you’re like, “Am I going to get lobster tails every day like this?” Yeah, man.

So, now walk me through the movie shot. They’re editing it. You’ve got the premiere. You went to the premiere. That must have been a cool experience because it’s your first premiere. 

Where did they do that at?

I think at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

Is that right? Okay.

I think that’s where they did the premiere.

Okay. And that must have been cool, walking the red carpet, people taking your photos. That was a new experience for you probably?

Crazy.

Everyone’s just flashing lights and I put on a little suit, like the smallest I could find at Macy’s and that people were just hyping me up. And I just felt like the shit. As essentially a baby with everyone telling you’re just like the shit.

I’m just like, “Man.” I was just eating it up. I was just absorbing all of that.

Of course.

And just becoming just like this little like, “Yeah I’m the shit. I’m the shit.” Which I know must have been very strange for development.

Well, you were the shit, not just you, but everybody that knew you, you were the shit, right?

Yeah.

Okay. So, you did the red carpet and then the movie came out. And so, did you take all your friends to go see it in the theater or what?

I don’t think I took them to go see it in the theater, but people- Because I don’t even think they were allowed to go watch that movie because it was rated R. Tropic was rated R.

Oh, right.

But because I was missing so much school, just working on gigs and whatnot, people generally in my hometown, I lived in the suburbs word gets around really quick in the suburbs.

Everyone in my area knew that I was like, “Oh that’s the actor guy.”

Yeah. And in school probably too, right?

Yeah. Exactly.

It was probably different. You were a different kid. And did you go to just a public school or what?

I went to public school.

So, you’re just in a public school. So, you went away and then you came back.

For months at a time, I would just disappear.

And then you came back and you were the kid.

Yeah. That guy is the movie guy, whatever.

The movie guy.

Then at that point I was also doing some more content that they would’ve seen, which is some Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network type of stuff.

Oh. So, you were now moving onto other things and stuff?

Yeah. So, at a certain point then people actually started watching this stuff that I was in. They could actually see it.

That was also a very interesting school experience too because I was a pretty weird kid. I was pretty nerdy and I didn’t really have a lot of friends actually growing up. I was a weird little kid.

But then after all these things started happening, I definitely got more eyeballs on me in school. People let my eccentricity slide a bit more.

Sure. And so, were you getting recognized in the public too?

Yeah.

You were? Well, you were the shit. Of course I’m getting recognized at the grocery store.

It’s a small town.

So, what part of LA were you in? Where’d you grow up?

The San Gabriel Valley.

Okay.

Six-two-six.

So, Pasadena or what?

Little further east than Pasadena. So, Pasadena is SGB but the part of the SGB that I was in was China. Straight up, that’s the “Far East.”

I see.

You can’t go down the street without running into a noodle shop or dumpling shop.

Is that right?

All my friends growing up were Chinese pretty much because San Gabriel Valley, the 626 is all Chinese or Vietnamese.

I see. Okay. Got it. 

Now you said you’re doing stuff for Nickelodeon. You’re probably doing commercials too. You’re probably booking a lot more than most kids because you already have something big under your belt. 

Is that how it works or what? You have a competitive advantage I guess.

I guess once you have a resume, it builds on itself. The momentum almost snowballs a bit. And if you’re able to capitalize on that, that’s how that works.

Once you get one thing, then you open your door up to a few more things. Then if you capitalize on those, that opens a couple more things, but the opportunities come up and you gotta be able to capitalize. They don’t just appear. I mean, sometimes they do, but for the most part, you get opportunities and you still got to execute, execute, execute.

The opportunities come up and you gotta be able to capitalize. They don’t just appear.

Got it. Okay.

All you get more is just more eyeballs. Those are more doorways.

Got it. Well, I want to hear because that-

Whoa, I just shrunk. The chair shrunk me.

Again, you were a child actor, you’re not a child anymore. And there’s a lot more to talk about. I want to talk, but we’re going to play a game. We’re going to stop and play a game right now. 

So, this is a game that is called “New Phone, Who Dis?

Love that.

I’m sure you’ve heard of it, right?

New phone. I know of that phrase, but I don’t know of the game.

Okay. So, “New Phone, Who Dis?,” not “who this” and we change the game a little bit. I’m going to allow you to pick three people from your phone. 

Where’s your phone?

It’s right here. It’s on airplane mode because I’m a good podcast guest.

Okay. Who are the three people from your phone that you want to pick? You can just give me any three people.

Well, do I not get context of what’s going to happen to these people?

Okay. So, basically we’ve got five cards that are sitting there in front of you. One of three people, and I’m going to tell you which one out of the three. 

And then you’re just going to pick one of the cards and you’re going to have to send them a text message.

And it’s so scary.

It’s nothing that’ll get you into-

Is this gonna be rated R stuff?

Not really, no. Nothing that’s going to get you into too much trouble.

“What color are you wearing right now?”

[both laugh]

Nothing like that. And then we’ll just wait for their response.

Okay. Yeah. Sure. All right. So, I’m going to say, I’m trusting you with my contact.

[laughs] I’m making this easy for you.

The last time we did- Jenna is looking at me like, “You’re making this easy,” because the last time I did this with a guest, I randomly scrolled through and I-

Terrifying.

Somebody and it happened to be his ex-girlfriend from 12 years ago.

Oh no!

That was a little awkward. So, we’re not going to do that this time. I’ll allow you to pick three people that will play along here.

All right. Well, I chose three people that pretty much no matter what I say to them should slide.

Okay. There you go. All right. So, what are their names?

I’m playing it real safe. I chose my mom.

Your mom.

Most things would slide with her.

Of course.

And some of my best friends.

Okay.

One of them’s name is Kevin-

Kevin. Okay.

He’s at Adidas. He does a lot of stuff in the music industry.

And Marlin, who is a pop and YouTube star. And he’s also quite the entrepreneur himself.

There we go. 

So, let’s pick one of the five cards and don’t flip it over yet. So, that’s the one that you want?

Yes.

Okay. So, let’s read the other four that you didn’t pick. Okay. So, that one that you’re going to send-

I hope these are all the most devious ones.

“Want to come over and split a 30-rack and play Bop It?”

[laughs]

Yes. My friends would definitely think I’m tripping. They’re like, “What?”

Okay. 

All right. Word.

“Why’d you lick my fingers after we high fived? Be honest.”

Would you?

Would I lick my friends’ fingers after we high five?

Yes.

When do we not? That’s standard practice in my group. If my friends don’t lick my fingers, I feel like they’re being passive aggressive.

All right. Let’s see. “Hey, I wanted to apologize for being a dick. I was watching Bridget Jones’s Diary and feeling real emotional.”

[laughs]

Okay. Yeah. Yeah.

I was hoping you picked that one.

[laughs]

My friends are all actually mad empathetic people. So, they’d be like, “Yeah, you want to talk about it?”

You want to talk about it?

They would be so cute about it.

What was the last one?

What is this one?

It says, “I can’t sleep without knowing who your favorite ‘Ninja Turtle’ is. It’s eating me away. Please respond ASAP.”

Please respond ASAP.

It’s urgent.

It’s urgent.

I feel like I should know this, but he’s got the swords, he’s got the sides. Is that Leonardo?

I think that is Leonardo.

That Leonardo?

I think so. Yes.

I like that weapon, so that’s my ninja circle.

All right, so I’m going to say you’re going to text your YouTube friend.

Okay. Oh, so you’re allowed to choose? Okay.

Yes. So, we’re going to text your YouTube friend, but let’s see, what are we texting him? Marlin?

Marlin.

“Did you give my number to a pimp named Raphael?”

[laughs]

Okay. You know the odds that he did that is actually, there’s a potential there. We’ve gotten into some mischief. Yeah.

He’s like, “His name wasn’t Raphael.”

All right. So, go ahead, text him.

Oh yeah. Verbatim, with the same exclamation. Yeah. Okay.

Let’s do it.

So, I’ll send him that. And eventually let’s-

Let’s see what he responds.

So, do we just continue the conversation until he responds?

Yeah, exactly. So, I’m assuming that he’ll probably be like, “What the F?”

Raphael? Question, question, question.

[laughs]

Got it. Yeah. We hit each other with pretty, like, random messages.

Yeah. Okay.

He might give a fun response to that.

Well, thanks for playing along. Let’s see what he responds with.

I’m glad these are fun.

They are fun.

They’re not actually relationship ending.

No, no, no. We would never.

These could be real devious.

If I wrote a set of these, they could, they could get real, real bloody.

Of course. Yeah. No, I totally agree. 

All right. So, what have you been up to? First of all, are you still acting?

I’m still acting.

You still are. Okay.

Still on the old horse.

So, what are some of the projects that you’ve worked on, I guess?

COVID probably slowed things down a little bit, but where do you find yourself auditioning for what roles? What are some of the projects that you’ve been working on?

COVID did actually slow down a lot of stuff. A lot of live projects, stuff that’s actually in front of a camera. A lot of those productions were pretty difficult to shoot with guidelines and regulations during the peak of the pandemic.

It was tough. No one wanted to shoot stuff.

Sure.

In-person auditions stopped completely. So, now we’re sending in tapes, which is such a blessing.

Don’t have to drive and sit in traffic.

Don’t have to drive and find parking, sit in that little room with everyone that’s dressed like you. It’s all awkward.

It is awkward. Yeah.

Looking at everyone, just like, “Oh, I recognize that guy. Oh, what’s up man. Yo, what’s good. What’s good?”

[both laugh]

No, we’re all very cordial. I’ve been doing a lot of voice stuff because that, you could work by yourself.

That’s cool.

In a little recording booth like this one, not as nice though. So, I’ve been doing a lot of voiceover stuff.

I booked a leading role in an anime. We’re going to Netflix.

Cool.

Called Mech Cadet Yu. And I play Stanford U. I’m the cadet. I play a giant robot. Well, I’m driving a giant robot in the pilot of it, and that’s coming to Netflix this year.

And I also got the leading voice of a movie called Tiger’s Apprentice. That’s got like Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, all of these iconic Asian actors and stars in Hollywood.

Wow. Congrats, man.

Thank you.

That’s exciting stuff.

That’s from Paramount and that’s going to be in theaters. It’s supposed to come out next year, but it got pushed. So, it might be a little bit later.

So, forget I even said that because you’re never going to see it apparently, but it’s going to come out, just later on down the line.

Yep. Do you enjoy doing the voiceover stuff?

Yeah. I love doing voice stuff man.

Because you don’t have to memorize lines anymore. It’s there in front of you.

I’m not going to say it’s easier. It’s easier.

I’m not going to say, but it is easier.

It’s easier in terms of just I get to really isolate and focus on a single instrument, one part of acting, which is just the inflection and the speaking part.

I don’t gotta worry about- I guess a lot of the other things like being aware of my light, being aware of my marks, making sure I don’t stain my wardrobe, getting lunch at crafty or whatever.

I just get to sit here and bust out all of my stuff right now. It’s very efficient. And I get to really just fall into the role and fall into performing. I love that.

I get to really just fall into the role and fall into performing. I love that.

And I like playing with my voice. It’s something that I really enjoy doing.

Have you done any auditions for video games? I know that’s a big part of voiceover acting.

I don’t go out for a lot of video games, but I would like to do more video games. Maybe do some of the mocap stuff. Get to utilize some of my action experience. Put little dots on me.

My son was a big fan of the game “Uncharted.”

Oh yeah.

And so, he got an audition for that as a voiceover actor, and it was the dream thing. He didn’t book it, but it’s still cool to say that he had that audition.

Absolutely.

So, other interests. 

First of all, you said you were a nerd growing up and I want to hear a little bit more because I hear that you had a thing with insects.

Yeah, yeah.

I didn’t even know that was a thing. So, tell me more.

Not a lot of people are in that camp, but growing up, like I said, I spent a lot of time just on my own, just a little kid playing in the backyard.

And were you an only child or what?

I have an older sister.

You had an older sister. Okay.

We both were pretty nerdy kids, but we both actually were into insects, me and my sister. But aside from her in the house, my only friends were the things that I found in the backyard, whether that be like rollie pollies or spiders.

My only friends were the things that I found in the backyard, whether that be like rollie pollies or spiders.

I loved the spiders.

You loved the spiders. Okay.

To any Stranger Things fans, I was like little Chinese Vecna before he grew the vascularity and stuff.

I would just dig holes and see what I could find, like grubs, larvae.

I would make little shrines to ants, put a chicken nugget and see how they all just do little- Just watch how they dissect and dismantle this nugget. And I’d watch that for days.

I’d be like, “Okay, this is like day two. The nugget is around 30% diminished. And wow they’ve created little camps around it so they could really partition it out and really separate the work between them.”

And I would just watch them, just do things like that. And I would just stare for hours and I would collect certain insects and feed them to spiders to watch how different species of spiders would hunt and take down their prey because that was fascinating to me.

Some are very tentative. They would hang back in. They’d make a funnel of webs and hide in the back.

And then some created these wide flat webs where they could catch a bunch of larger insects. It was really cool to see how they individually would package up their food and store it for later.

What they do is they inject it with the venom and they melt all the insides and they drink it out.

Man.

And when they’re done with it, they cut it loose from the web. The shell of an insect just drops out.

I’d just watch all of this.

See, as you’re saying this, it is pretty nerdy, first of all, but it is fascinating. 

When you see a spider making this massive web and how much time and how much detail goes into it.

How much geometry goes into it.

Seriously.

Architecture of it.

When you think about it from that perspective. Most people just walk into it and be like, “Ah!” And just wipe their face.

But they’re masters of what they do.

They really are. When you think about it from that perspective. 

I’ll have to go and watch some YouTube videos on slow motion spiders making a web because you never see them making it. It’s just done.

I really like jumping spiders because they don’t make webs, but the way they hunt is they pounce on their prey. But their moves are so twitchy and so quick that it looks like you’re watching a laggy video.

They’re moving in 20 FPS or something because it’s such a fast motion. It looks like it’s glitching.

Wow.

It’s like little twitchy motions, but the way they hunt is they jump on their prey.

Interesting stuff.

Yeah. I don’t know if anyone’s as into bugs as I am, but that stuff, love it. I could watch that all day.

I don’t know if anyone’s as into bugs as I am, but that stuff, love it. I could watch that all day.

So, did you have pets? Did you have, like, a pet gecko or snake or were you into those kinds of things?

Yeah all of those things.

Really?

Yeah.

You were.

Of course the bug kid would have a snake and a lizard. I had hermit crabs. I had a lizard that was a bearded dragon. I had a ball python.

The ball python, he had problems though. I got him adopted. He was already an adult when I got him. So, he had all kinds of trauma from growing up in captivity. When I got him, he was just really hard to take care of.

Oh wow.

I’m not going to get into him though, but I had dogs also growing up my whole life.

Okay. Dogs too. What kind of dogs?

Usually labs. I had two labs in the family and my more recent family dog is a Maltipoo. It’s the first indoor dog we’ve had.

That’s pretty cool.

Did you have pets and stuff too?

So, I was scared as crap of snakes. 

I seen a snake in my backyard when I was a kid. I was literally just sitting there in some leaves and stuff. I don’t know, maybe 7 years old, and it’s probably just a garden snake or something.

Man, he was scared of you.

He was slithering through. He was scared of me, right?

Most definitely.

I was like, “What?” 

We had two dogs and it was a miniature Schnauzer and a little poodle. And so, then the poodle died and then we just had the miniature Schnauzer. And then once you get, like you said, I had Labs. We had miniature Schnauzers. 

You just replace the one after it passes, you gotta get another one. 

And so, we had three miniature Schnauzers growing up and I got a miniature Schnauzer now. I still keep on that legacy, I guess.

It’s the dog that you grew up with.

It is the dog you grew up with. Yep.

Dog’s family to you.

Sure is. Yep.

I think the fear of snakes is really interesting because it’s embedded. It’s like one of the most common fears for human beings is the fear of snakes.

And I think someone said that it’s because evolutionary-wise we’re from monkeys and monkeys don’t have a lot of natural predators, but they would be eagles and snakes.

Those are the things that kill monkeys the most would be eagles, pick them out of the tree, and snakes.

So, if we evolved from monkeys, maybe that fear of snakes traveled on with us because we don’t really have any reason to be scared of snakes. They don’t prey on humans.

No.

But monkeys, they did for monkeys. If evolution’s your thing.

That could be onto something here. 

So, other things, so you’re a foodie, you talked about that a little bit earlier. We blame Tropic Thunder for that. Craft services lobster every day. 

What are some of your favorite types of food?

Oh man. My love for food is definitely attributed to my mom and she was the foodie of the family for sure. And she just introduced me to everything and she really loves good food and she was a really amazing chef.

So, starting off, I guess my first love would be Cantonese food because that’s what my mom made.

But then also she really loved good sushi. Sushi was always something that she would reward me with because it’s a more pricey dinner. But if I was being a good boy, I would get nigiri or whatever. I started off with the safer bets like tuna, yellow tail, salmon, stuff like that.

And then I started getting more adventurous, started venturing into like, amaebi, uni, ikura, the weirder sushi. Sushi I could get really specific with, what country the fish is from and what part of year you’re getting certain seafood.

Wow.

Even where the rice is from. I get really nerdy about my sushi.

Really? So, what’s the best sushi place in LA?

You know what? Considering how much I love sushi. I don’t think I’ve tried that many crazy good sushi places in LA. Some of my favorite go-to spots, if I want just nice, consistently good casual sushi at a good price is Sushi Gen in Little Tokyo.

I don’t know if your- any of your viewers have seen it, but I’m even hesitant to say it because the lines are already long enough. Do you know Sushi Gen? Yeah. You see it’s already busy enough. I guess at that point, everyone knows Sushi Gen then yeah.

Enya is also a good spot. They have one in Little Tokyo, one in Pasadena. I just ate at Sushi Yuzu, which is in Studio City.

So, these are all good, medium-level sushi restaurants that are not cheap by any means, but they’re approachable.

So yeah, Gen, Enya, and Yuzu and for a nicer experience, Asanebo is also really nice.

Where’s that at?

I think that’s all Studio City.

Is it? okay.

Jenna knows it. She loves her sushi. I could tell.

Yeah, she’s a foodie for sure. Yeah.

So, they have a good Omakase.

So, what’s the dish that you see on the menu and you’re going to get it probably in most cases?

My favorite pairing is uni-ikura because Uni is sea urchin and you don’t want to acknowledge it too much while you’re eating it, but you’re eating the reproductive organs of the sea urchin.

Wow.

And if you ever looked at a sea urchin, it’s not a very pretty animal, but man, the only edible part of it is this yellow custardy part of the inside of the sea urchin.

And it’s a sweet- it tastes a little bit like seaweed, a little bit oceanic, and it’s creamy almost like a mousse. It has the texture of mousse, when you bite into it, it melts in your mouth and it melts over the rice.

Wow.

And it makes a seafood risotto in your mouth as you’re eating it. And then I like that because that’s this rich and creamy, savory bite. And I think it pairs really well with ikura, especially cured ikura.

And ikura is salmon eggs. Salmon eggs are oily. You’ve got this nice omega-3 fatty acids in it. So, it’s really good for you. And it’s briny because it’s very salty.

So, I think that paired with the creamy uni is my favorite combination.

Hmm. I see.

But it’s definitely a more acquired taste. I wouldn’t say it’s for the super sushi uninitiated, but aside from that, I always love a good white fish, like sea bream. Snapper’s really good. I like yellowtail, which is kampachi, which I think is baby yellow tail.

Yep. Those are all really nice for me too.

That’s the go-to at, like, Nobu, that and the black cod fish.

The black Cod, the one where they marinate it with miso. I make that dish

Do you?

Yeah. Yeah. I can recreate that.

So, you are a chef then, you like to cook then too?

I can fend for myself in the kitchen. If you give me recipes, I can generally do well.

That’s what I was going to ask you. Are you the follow-the-recipe guy or are you the-wing-it guy?

Both.

Both. Okay.

So, if it’s something that I’m not super familiar with, like trying out a new type of pasta, I’ll find a recipe for it. A new method of, like, baking something, I’ll find a recipe.

But for me, Chinese food, I got- I could do it. I could do a stir fry, sleeping. Fried rice, I could do that asleep, stuff like that.

So, is there any food that for no amount of money you wouldn’t eat? Anything that’s on the no way list?

Certain things.

Yeah?

Yeah. I have a very adventurous palette and almost none of these things are because of flavor. I want to taste everything. Even the things that shouldn’t be consumed. I want to know what it tastes like.

I want to taste everything. Even the things that shouldn’t be consumed. I want to know what it tastes like.

I’m very curious about everything, but most of what I wouldn’t eat is for moral and ethical reasons. Whether it be if it’s endangered or if humans have some kind of a social attachment to these species, I wouldn’t eat them.

I see what you’re saying.

Like dogs and cats, those are familial things.

Things that are hyper intelligent and have an idea of what consciousness is, who have an awareness of life and death or mortality. I’m hesitant to eat those things because it gives me the heebie-jeebies, like a monkey.

I understand that, but do you think a fish, do they have that? Do they even have-

They haven’t demonstrated a lot of evidence that they have the same level of consciousness as something like a dolphin or something like, even an octopus, I’m hesitant to eat interest because they have very complex social structures.

But something like a fish, there’s almost no fish that I’ve seen that have complex social structures that have any even semblance of a more advanced memory. We’ve studied these, I think, and we haven’t really found very intelligent fish.

I agree.

I’m like, you know what? That’s a food animal. It deserves to be consumed, but I just feel as guilty because it doesn’t have the same mortal fear that we have.

Now are you opening a restaurant, did I hear?

Yeah.

That’s true. Okay.

The rumor that you’ve heard is correct.

Cool. So, tell me more.

Actually ties into the trip that I went on recently.

The funny thing about that was I wasn’t there for business. I was there to go to a wedding. And the gentleman that was getting married was- he’s a pretty well connected person, as I told you before. I think he’s lived in Los Angeles before in Southern California.

So, he knows what In-N-Out is. He misses In-N-Out ‘cause he lives in Cambodia now. So, my friend, as a wedding gift, brought him packets of In-N-Out spread for the burgers.

As a wedding gift. Great wedding gift too.

Oh, he was stoked.

I bet he was.

He hasn’t had In-N-Out for years. He said, “Oh my effing God, I’ve been missing In-N-Out.”

So what we were going to do for him is we’re going to go back to his pad and make him recreate the “Double-Double.” Recreate the burger that he’s been missing for X amount of years.

And he didn’t have any of the equipment that I need to make a burger and they don’t have American groceries, but there’s one grocery store in Cambodia that has American Kraft slices. They sell the ground beef and they sell hamburger buns.

It was one store. And it was like, “Thank God it was open 24 hours.” It was like a 7-Eleven.

And he didn’t have a griddle. He didn’t have anything to press it. And the kitchen that his helpers, they’re the only ones that use the kitchen and they live outside. So, the kitchen that I was in was not like anything like an American kitchen.

There were bugs. I was getting attacked by mosquitoes.

Wow.

And it was a hundred degrees and it was past midnight. By the time we got back to the crib, it was past midnight, like one in the morning.

And it was a hundred degrees outside Fahrenheit.

I’m sweating. I’m taking off all my clothes outside the very outdoors kitchen. Animals out there.

And as I’m cooking, I’m knocking roaches away from the stove and mise en place, I’m doing all the prep to make a bunch of burgers for the whole house because a bunch of people at the house. I was going to make a bunch.

And so, I prepped enough for maybe 20 burgers, and it’s a shit show. The pan that I had to buy was melting to the stove.

Ooh.

Because it was a really cheap pan. It was the only pan I could find.

So, every time I try to flip a patty, pick it up, the whole stove came up with it. I was picking up the stove every time I tried to pick up the pan. Every time I’d try to flip the burger, the spatula would melt into the pan.

So, I was picking out melted plastic from the pan, as I was cooking these burgers while I was getting attacked, while I was sweating my ass off.

And every time I wanted to grab new ingredients, the kitchen was four flights of stairs up from the fridge. And there was no tables downstairs to put all the shit on. Otherwise, one, it would go bad. The bugs would get to it. So, it had to stay in the fridge.

So, I was running up and down four flights of stairs, naked, wearing dress slacks.

In the heat.

Yeah, and then I was eventually like, I got all the shit set up. And I had a friend that was with me that was supposed to help. They were supposed to help like my sous chef. Yep.

But he had an emergency, a family emergency. He had to leave. So, it was just me in this kitchen. Kitchen was this narrow. So, I’m cramped. It almost feels like this kitchen’s falling apart on me.

And by the time I actually finish all the mise en place and I get to the actual frying portion, the stove runs out of gas.

So, I have enough prep for 15 burgers. I’m only able to complete one.

Ooh.

I have the caramelized onions. I have the spread. I have the American cheese. I was able to smash two patties, toast two buns, which should be easy, but because of the setup that I had, it was one of the hardest fucking meals I’ve ever had to make.

It sounds like it.

Running up and down the fucking flights. I felt like it was a war zone, dude. It was crazy. And I was delirious. I was off two Red Bulls.

And by the time I finished all the prep and made the burger, it was an hour or two hours in.

So, now it’s 3 in the morning and I wake up my friend who’s got married.

And I bang on the bedroom door, I’m like, “Get out here. I made the burger.” And I’m like, “You’re going to fucking love this burger. You’re going to eat this burger.”

And he is like, “Well, dude, you look like shit. You’re sweating like an animal and your hat,” my hat’s all askew.

And I’m just like, it’s a mess, but he takes a bite of the burger and he puts it in.

He’s like, “Oh my God, this is the best burger I’ve ever had, at least in Cambodia. They don’t have burgers out here like this.”

See? Mission accomplished

With the proper tech. I feel like you transported me back to In-N-Out.

He’s like, “You know what? How would you feel if you brought this same flavor to Cambodia as a business?”

Ooh.

And I was just like, “What do you mean? That’s silly.”

He’s like, “No, for real. I think you could make this big, I feel like Cambodia needs this flavor. I was like, “All right, what are you talking about?” And I didn’t realize how serious he was.

So, the next day he’s like, “Come to my office tomorrow.”

The next day he calls me and my friend, the guy who brought me to the wedding, he calls us to the wedding and he calls us to his office and there’s already paperwork, contracts that we are now opening up this corporation.

He calls us to his office and there’s already paperwork, contracts that we are now opening up this corporation.

We are this new burger corporation.

So, you’re basically building a Cambodian In-N-Out.

Yes.

[laughs]

He’s talking about how he’s going to franchise it out with us. He’s going to work on the construction and the development side, and me and my friend are going to work on the actual personality, the flavor, the recipes.

Nice.

The company culture.

I love it.

That’s what we’re in charge of, the marketing. That’s what we’re in charge of.

Okay.

So, he’s going to handle a lot of the heavier load, which I think is the development. I have no idea how that works. Building out the structures, the COO stuff.

But for me, he’s like, “You are handling creative. You’re handling the flavors,” which is what I think is fun.

That’s awesome, dude.

So, I’m going back to Cambodia in a few weeks and our grand opening’s in September.

All right. Well, let me know. Maybe I’ll come out for it.

To Cambodia? Actually.

Yeah, dude. I might come out for it.

Amazing. Please come to Cambodia for our grand opening.

I will. Okay.

It would be the funniest thing because I’m not expecting any of my American homies to be out there, so if you guys want burgers in Cambodia.

Dude, I will come out to Cambodia for a burger. Yes.

“Stacks.” The burger is called “Stacks,” and that’s going to be the first smash burger in Southeast Asia.

@bsoohoo we’re all going to be professional chefs after quarantine👨🏻‍🍳 #burger #cooking #recipe #tutorial #foodie #fyp #cheese ♬ food court – potsu

Hmm. I love it.

And if not the first, the best.

All right. Well, did he get back to you yet?

He didn’t respond. [laughs]

He didn’t respond. [laughs]

He probably thinks I’m messing with him or something. He definitely thinks I’m messing with him.

I’m going to send it. I’m going to send it to a different friend. I said, Kevin. I’m going to send it to Kevin.

“Did you give my number to a pimp named Raphael?” Question, question, question. Exclamation.

But him, if he responds, it’ll be something more like, “What?”

[both laugh]

That’s what I’m guessing.

It’s all fun. 

All right, so, we’re going to play something called “Hennessey Heart-to-Heart,” the most simple part of the show. It’s where I just ask a question and then whatever comes to your mind, you just shout it out.

Got it.

You don’t really have to give it much thought.

This is why I wanted to sit closer so we could really heart-mend.

To heart. Yes.

Heart bond.

What’s a country or city that you’re itching to visit?

The only country that I care about is America. I’m exactly where I want to be.

The first that came to my head was Mongolia. I want to sleep in a yurt. I want to live in the planes and eat a bunch of meals made of yak milk and yak butter.

Got it.

And I want one of those lambs pulled out of a dirt pit barbecued. I want to go to Mongolia for that.

Mongolia. All right. 

What makes you laugh?

I also am just curious to see what’s happening in North Korea.

In North Korea.

Not for a super long time, but I’m just curious, like what’s going on there?

Maybe if I had a Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak, just put me in the capital for maybe a few days, just so I could walk around. Yeah.

And then I’d be like, “All right, I’m good. Get me out of here.”

Got it.

Sorry. That was it.

What makes you laugh the hardest?

My friends. My friends make me laugh the hardest.

I guess also just what is some of the silliest stuff that I see on the Internet? I really like seeing really candid, raw reactions from good pranks. I like a good prank.

I’m a big fan of pranks too.

I’m not a fan of, like, reality TV per se, but when I see, like, real goofy characters in real life, just being candidly strange, that’s some of my favorite stuff. Characters that are unabashedly just giving no shit. When I see that type of content, I really like it.

Okay. If you were an animal, what animal would you be?

It’s one of the animals that I wouldn’t eat. I personally identify with the mantis shrimp.

The mantis shrimp.

It’s one of my favorite marine creatures…

That’s a first.

…in my mental animal Rolodex.

Can I tell you what it does?

What does it do?

The mantis shrimp is a crustacean. It’s a type of shrimp and it’s around yay long and it comes in all types of different colors.

I really like the peacock mantis shrimp because it has this beautiful translucent, or not translucent. It’s not the word. An opalescent rainbow sheen on its shell, but it’s a really intelligent shrimp and it’s able to problem solve. It’s a really skilled predator and its eyes are these triple layered eyeballs. It has on stalks and each eye has three eyes attached to it. And it’s able to see a spectrum of color that human beings can’t even perceive.

Really?

So, if humans could see maybe 12 different colors, they could see 50. So, think of a color you can’t even think of. That’s what they can see in.

That’s what they can see in. Okay.

And also my favorite part about them is the way they hunt. There’s the spear ones that could stab things, but the ones that I like, they punch.

So, the mantis shrimp has these rock hard fists that they use to smash shells. So, the punch of a mantis shrimp is almost equivalent to a 22-caliber bullet, like a gunshot underwater.

Oh my God. Okay.

And it cocks back like this, like a cinch, and it releases it and it creates a cavitation bubble. It hits so hard. The water boils around its fist it hits so hard.

I love how detailed he is with his answers.

But dude, it’s like a science fiction thing. It doesn’t even sound real, but imagine hitting so hard that the water around your hand boils, it’s so hard.

Oh my God.

It’s awesome.

That’s an interesting animal that you want to be.

Yeah, man.

“Moose.”

“Bear.”

Most people say, “A monkey.”

We’re already monkeys.

Yes, that’s true.

Why would I want to downgrade? I want a mantis shrimp.

Let’s see here. What is something that you are working on yourself right now?

A personal development type of working-on?

Yeah.

Being present, working on presence. I try on and off. I have phases where I’ll meditate, but it’s hard, man. Meditation’s tricky.

It is.

I’m getting better at communicating boundaries and needs and stuff like that because the big part of life is the relationships that we build around us. And relationships are built upon communication.

The big part of life is the relationships that we build around us.

I’m working on just different basic communication skills that aren’t really taught to you by school or your family.

True.

So, just learning about that stuff.

Is there anything that makes you angry?

Everything. My blood pressure is constantly at a boiling point. No.

Petty things, man, like road rage. That gets me mad.

Oh yeah.

Menus that are too long.

I hate it when I’m looking at a menu and they sell pizza, dumplings, and Pad Thai. I’m just like, “Dude, your menu’s having a whole ass identity crisis. Just sell me one country’s food and be good at that first.”

What else makes me mad?

People that talk during movies, but the commentary isn’t good or relevant. You could make a comment every once in a while, if it’s good and it better be good, but if what you’re saying doesn’t add to my experience, shut up.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I believe that too.

I give a real hard glare in theaters. If the person is speaking behind me, I’ll give them one of these.

I’m like, “Dude, I paid for this.”

Yes. Yes. I don’t want to hear your commentary. 

What’s something that you’re going to pass on to your kids, some kind of a lesson?

Generational trauma.

[both laugh]

Oh man. The classic children of immigrant trauma. No, man. No, my parents, I love my parents did a great job. Mom and dad, I love you guys.

No, I want to instill love, security, individualism, independence, the ability to want to grow. I want them to love the process of going somewhere as opposed to just getting to a goal. I want them to love learning and I want them to love the grind. I want them to love this and I want them to be comfortable with themself.

I don’t want them to feel like they have a deficit in their ego because people find weird ways to fill in those deficits. So, I want them to feel whole, complete, loved. Loved is so important, man.

I want them to feel comfortable pursuing what they want to do.

Nice.

Yeah, man.

That’s good. Deep. 

And then the last question here. So, you have so much life ahead of you.

Hope so.

What is one dream that you wish to accomplish?

One dream that I wish to accomplish?

You know what? I feel like this answer changes…

It’s supposed to change.

…all the time.

I guess right now my goals are- What do I want to accomplish?

I got my career goals. I want this restaurant to have 10 franchises open next year. I have an invention that I’m working on. I want this to be in every fitness store. I want them to be all over online. So, those are career goals.

I have relationship goals. I want to be supported and loving and feel like I’m a teammate with my partner. I want to feel like we can celebrate the highs and lows together, eventually have a family that I feel like we’re our own little team, we’re our own little unit.

Spiritually, I want to feel like I’m happy where I am. I want to feel like I could love every moment that I’m in and really even cherish the losses and take them for what they are as lessons.

I wish to just keep on learning. Always I want to be like the best version of myself. I don’t want to leave any stone unturned. I want to feel like I’ve taken on everything and conquered not all my fears, but that one scary thing that I’ve always been too hesitant to try.

I want to feel like I’ve taken on everything and conquered not all my fears, but that one scary thing that I’ve always been too hesitant to try.

I want to eventually say, “You know what? At least I gave it a shot.” And I don’t want to look back on my life and be like, “I feel like I wasted my time or I feel like I didn’t love enough.”

So, I guess that’s a multi-pronged thing that I want to accomplish. Everything, man.

You’re a deep thinker. I love it. I really do, man. Yep.

Thank you.

I appreciate you coming down to this studio. It’s been so nice getting to know you knowing more about your background, about where your future is headed. 

No response from your friend, first of all?

Oh, hey, he hit me with four texts.

Okay.

First he responded with “Haha.” Then he said, “Guilty.” And then he said, “No, what the fuck? Lol. A pimp named Raphael?”

And I’m not going to respond to this. He’s going to be at his work just-

Questioning.

With this face on.

Oh, well thanks for enlightening me.

I’m going to take a photo of this just to give him context.

There you go. 

Here let me hold it.

Yeah, yeah. This man is the culprit. Yeah, turn it around.

There it goes.

Yep. It’s “New Phone, Who Dis?” There it is.

That’s awesome.

That sounds like such a fun game.

Oh, it is. Especially the way we play it here.

I want to write my own.

Yeah, we need to.

Some real devious ones.

I totally agree.

Well, for those that want to keep up with you. I know that you’re got a pretty big following on TikTok, but maybe give all your social media profiles.

Yeah. TikTok, I’m doing silly stuff. “BSooHoo” is my handle on there if you want to catch me making skits, comedy content, stuff like that.

I’m looking at the camera because now I’m talking to the audience.

That’s right.

And also on Instagram you could catch up to just what I’m doing in my life, I post a lot of my stories updating and posting cute selfies every once in a while.

Those are where I’m most active would be Instagram and TikTok.

Awesome.

My business email’s on there if y’all want to hit me up.

There it is. 

Well, again, thank you, Brandon. Appreciate you coming down. Look forward to seeing a lot of these projects come to fruition in the theaters and on TV, and going to Cambodia and eating that burger that you work so hard to create.

Come on by. Yeah.

First one’s on me, but second one you got to pay for it.

Thank you my friend.

Thank you for having me, man. It’s been a pleasure.

Pleasure.

Important Links

Brandon Soo Hoo’s  IMDb Page

Brandon Soo Hoo on TikTok

Brandon Soo Hoo on Instagram

Brandon Soo Hoo on Twitter

Brandon Soo Hoo on Facebook

Mech Cadets on Netflix Coming Soon

Buy “New Phone, Who Dis?” on Amazon