Élodie Yung

The Steady Evolution of Élodie Yung

Mixed Asian Media shares a short chat with 'The Cleaning Lady' herself

Élodie Yung

Lauren Nakao Winn

Mixed Asian Media: JoySauce is proud to present something very special—a partnership with the ultra talented team over at Mixed Asian Media. In JoySauce’s mission to cover stories from the Asian American and Pacific Islander diaspora, we’ve always considered it incredibly important to include mixed AA+PI perspectives. Since their team already has that piece on lock, we’re delighted they were willing to join forces to help us share even more fresh, funny, interesting, irreverent stories each week. Take it away, MAM!

Élodie Yung steps out of her car and is just stunning. Her grace immediately reminds me of a ballet dancer. She’s all business, but warm, and I was thrilled she agreed to a photoshoot for both Mixed Asian Media and our friends at JoySauce. I tried my best not to behave starstruck, and instead maintained the professional decorum expected from an editor-in-chief. The team and I have been fans of hers for years, and it’s always exciting to feature someone we admire.

As you view the amazing portraits of Élodie, I think it’s important to note that she helped curate which photos she wanted shown. Yung is creative and knows what angles work best for her. With the photos as proof, it was instantly made obvious that she knows her body. As expected, her schedule is always packed, and Élodie joined us for this intimate shoot right after a national TV interview but before heading to the airport, back to The Cleaning Lady set.

Chatting with Élodie, you’ll see she has no plans of slowing down as season two of The Cleaning Lady makes its debut. MAM got the chance to talk with her for a second time and dig deeper into her character, roots, experiences, and what’s next.

-Alex Chester-Iwata

Bri Ng Schwartz: How would you say your character, Thony, has grown between seasons one and two of The Cleaning Lady?

Élodie Yung: I feel that it’s been a steady evolution. At first she found herself thrown into this criminal world of Las Vegas, and her survival instinct kicked in to protect herself and her son. As she was pushed again and again into this world, she slowly learned the codes. In season two, we find a Thony who seems more in control of her environment.

BNS: What makes Thony different from other characters you have played in the past?

EY: She’s a resilient woman, and a mother who would go to the end of the world for her son and family. I don’t think I’ve had the opportunity to play a character like that in the past! To me she’s a very real woman, with her good qualities as well as her flaws.

BNS: What has been your favorite part about working on The Cleaning Lady these past two seasons?

EY: I get to explore this layered character every single day for a few months and work my acting muscles consistently! I’m very grateful for that.

Élodie Yung’s show “The Cleaning Lady” on Fox is in its second season.

Lauren Nakao Winn

BNS: What has the reception to the show been like among your peers, family, and friends?

EY: They genuinely love it, which is nice.

BNS: You have quite the background. You earned a black belt in your teens, a law degree, and now here you are acting. What brought you to acting after all of these experiences?

EY: I needed money (haha)! A friend of mine was doing commercials and told me all about it, so I made a fake resume and started that way!

BNS: Would you say that these past experiences have influenced your acting career at all? If so, how?

EY: Everything I do, and everything I am, influences my acting. But it is hard to give specifics on what has had the most profound impact on my career. It is one of life’s great mysteries.

BNS: You have covered a lot of genres over the course of your career, from action to network series, even video games! Are there any genres you haven’t tapped into that are on your bucket list?

EY: I would love to be on stage.

BNS: What’s next for you?

EY: There are some irons in the fire but nothing official just yet. One thing I would love to do is direct at some point in the near future.

Published on October 26, 2022

Words by Bri Ng Schwartz

Bri (she/her/hers) is an artist and administrator based in Brooklyn. She is committed to the dismantling of gatekeeping in arts and culture and uses her experience in community engagement and education to develop meaningful partnerships. Her current roles include education and community outreach manager at Primary Stages and is a teaching artist at Girl Be Heard. Having received a double major in dramaturgy/dramatic criticism and women's and gender studies from DePaul University, her early credits come from her time in Chicago, notably at Free Street Theater in various titles. Since relocating to New York, she has served in various administrative capacities at Dance/NYC, Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, National Queer Theater, JACK Arts, Theatre Communications Group and more. She has also written for publications such as HowlRound, American Theater Magazine and is a staff writer at Mixed Asian Media. http://www.bringschwartz.com

Words by Alex Chester-Iwata

Alex Chester-Iwata is the Editor-in-Chief of Mixed Asian Media. She's a boba-drinking cat lady who loves to travel. When not running MAM you might catch her on TV.

Photography by Lauren Nakao Winn

Lauren Winn is a pop culture whackjob who works in fashion. She is a sucker for genre-meshed aesthetics, a textbook workaholic, a bonafide digital media queen, and the sum of many rotating hyperfixations. If you want to get on her good side, greet her with a LaCroix or follow her on insta @laurennakaowinn.