We held our second annual “Rally For Rose” during San Diego Comic-Con on July 20. Even though we were competing with Marvel Studios’ Hall H panel, we were able to turn out several supporters and raise some money for both Alliance San Diego and the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. The rally — which, this year, consisted of a march (or a “Rose Parade,” if you will) that started at the IMDboat and made its way to the Hilton Bayfront and was covered by Variety and NPR. All the while drawing attention to the importance of representation for all marginalized communities.
In a time where representation is such a hot topic in Hollywood, Netflix’s The OA does something few have done: cast an actual Asian transgender teenage boy as an Asian transgender teenage boy. Vietnamese-American teen Ian Alexander is one of multiple Asian actors in The OA’s main cast alongside Filipino/Puerto Rican-American Brandon Perea and British Pakistani Riz Ahmed (in a recurring role). Continuing the spotlight from his response to a viral anti-trans photo, Ian makes his on-screen acting debut as Buck Vu in the newly-released show having been cast from an online open casting call in 2015.
Growing up in places including Japan, Hawai’i, and D.C. have helped shape Ian. The fifteen-year-old high school junior has had more experiences than most teenagers his age, and his passion knows no bounds. He’s politically vocal, a huge admirer of actors and filmmakers like Jen Richards (Her Story) and Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black) and relentless as a Marvel fanboy (he’s “Team Bucky” for those who are curious). Ian had time to sit down and talk about his upbringing and the show (don’t worry, there are no spoilers here).