Actor, model, influencer, and TikToker, Abe Kim is too smart and too hot for us all. A quick gloss over his socials, you would think he’s just another Hollywood beefcake pretty face, but if you look closely, maybe at the caption, maybe in the corner, maybe if you watch the video just a little longer, you will notice that something is a little…different. Through his self-made platforms, he’s doing something much more interesting and playfully cynical than your average influencer. With little nuances and subtleties, he critiques the whole “exposure” system of how Hollywood operates, while ushering us viewers into his dark perfect world.
Check out our interview and JoySauce-exclusive photoshoot below, where we sit down with Kim and find out what’s it like being inside his mind:
Name: Abe Kim
Age: 24 (shhh, don’t tell anyone!)
Location: Los Angeles
Job/General title: Actor, model, writer
Astrological sign: Capricorn
Love language: What I give: acts of service; what I like to receive: questions about my life
What is your ethos and mission in life? Why did you choose this path?
My mission in life is to make people feel something, to make people cry and laugh and feel shitty about themselves. I don’t necessarily want people to feel good about themselves. I want them to feel something, maybe to even look within and realize that they’re not a good person. And sometimes I think I chose this path because I always knew I could do it, but I always could create content that could make people feel some type of way, viscerally. Maybe I want to do that for other people because I myself feel a lot of things...well, most of the time I feel nothing at all. I don’t know, I’m not sure why I chose this path, but I know that I’m good at it. This is a long-winded answer of me just saying I love creating, I love being creative, and I want people to see that.
What does your work aim to say?
I think my work aims to say that I am still searching to feel comfortable in my own skin. I think my whole life I’ve been suppressed from being who I really am. And I’ve been told multiple times that I’m a little weird or I’m a little different or that I should be this way or that I'm too basic...But I realize that I just have to be who I am when I’m alone...in front of the whole world, because that's when I’m my best self. And hopefully when people see what I do, that inspires them to be their radical self.
What emotions do you strive to evoke in others when they see your videos, selfies, or other works?
I hope when people see the stuff that I post or that I create that they got horny, happy, shitty, sad, or not alone.
What has brought you to this present moment in your life?
Drama, trauma, and my mama.
How do you stay inspired?
I stay inspired by looking outside of my own interests. I make sure that when I’m on social media that I go on my followers’ pages or people that I follow, and I look at the content that they like or that they post. Outside of social media, I tried to listen to music that I wouldn’t necessarily find interesting. In order to stay inspired you have to be constantly looking, searching.
What did you think you would be doing with your life before social media and the arts became part of your platform for creativity? Was there any particular moment that inspired the start of your platforms?
Before social media, I always wanted to become an actor. And I think that during the pandemic I finally made the leap to pursue acting. TikTok really helped me scope out the field in terms of acting, because I really needed the validation of other people to see and to know whether I was talented or not. And I think once I got positive feedback, that’s when I decided to take acting classes, find representation, and really dive into the acting world. So my passion for acting and filmmaking has always been there. I just felt like a pussy for the longest time.
Does social media still feel impactful or what has it become for you?
I used to be controlled by social media. I am a people pleaser. Which is a dangerous combination. I let the opinions and perceptions of other people define me. I have somewhat created a more healthy relationship with social media. But I am at this point in my life where I’m so secure in myself but the person that I am secure with is not necessarily the person that is presented online. I wish I could be more of myself online. I wish I had started as more of myself online. So I’m trying to slowly ease my genuine self into my social media presence.
Do you have any influences for the work you currently do?
The only influences that I have in my life are the people that are closest to me. I know that sounds so trite and corny, but I really admire the queer and trans people in my life. They have taught me so much about myself and about liberation from perception of the outside world. That sounded so weird and deep but I do feel like you can pull something from yourself, the identity that you suppressed for so long and actually just reveal it for the world and fall in love with it.
Top five social media accounts you love? Tiktok or IG
I’m going to be honest I don’t have a favorite or even top five social media accounts. I think when it comes to social media accounts maybe porn accounts? But beyond that I just like watching dog videos. Actually @wearerealdogs or @wearedogs on Instagram is the best one and that’s all I was saying.
What condiment describes you?
Oh my God, not this BuzzFeed-ass question...Anyways I think the condiment that best describes me is no I’m not answering this question because this is such a stupid question I’m not going to answer this question. Because what kind of question is this Howin? What kind of question are you asking? Are you trying to put me inside a box that I don’t want to be defined by? How dare you? How dare you, Howin?! How dare you ask me this stupid ass question. I am a serious artist! How dare you! I will not label myself as a condiment for your readers’ pleasure! How dare you.
What do you love about your parents?
What I love about my parents currently is that they actually support me in my dreams and my Endeavors. I think 10 years ago I would have never believed those words coming out of my mouth. But I think at this point in my life, I’m really excited that I have a close relationship with them; I won’t share all of my projects because some of them are not appropriate but I’ll share what I’m comfortable with.
What’s your favorite bulking meal?
I don’t believe in bulking or cutting. I think that is something that comes out of eating disorder culture. But one meal that is easy for me to eat is potatoes, seasoned of course, with cottage cheese. I would bake at 450 Fahrenheit degrees for one hour on parchment paper. Garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, salt, pepper...and yeah, that's it.
What’s your go-to karaoke jam?
“Part of Your World,” Little Mermaid. Or “Creep” by Radiohead.
This or that...
Slides or mules?
Daytime or nighttime?
Sweats or jeans?
Naps or gym?
Clubs or nature?
Any new stuff you’re working on that you’re excited about?
I’m working on my acting career. But I’m also working on a show. I’m not working on a show. I’m developing a show; I should clarify. It’s about a nine-tailed fox from Korean folklore. And it takes place in 2012 Los Angeles. That’s all I want to divulge about it, but I’m really excited, and I hope it comes to fruition because it’s a lot more interesting than the shows that are on right now to be honest. That sounds so arrogant, but being an Asian in Hollywood you kind of have to be. You have to stand up for yourself. If you don’t believe in the work that you’ve created, how are you going to sell that? How are you going to sell the dream that has always lived inside your mind if you don’t believe in it yourself. So that’s why I am cocky as fuck.
Published on December 7, 2022
Words by Howin Wong
Howin Wong is a LA-based brand strategist, DJ, and JoySauce's LA-based wearer of many hats. In addition to being JoySauce’s brand director, his new show 'RuleBreakers' will be debuting later this spring.
Photography by Francis Gum
Francis Gum is a multidisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles. His works appeared internationally in a large variety of media ranging from magazines/publications, artist covers, designer campaigns and galleries.