We sat down with Diana Bang to chat about why she wanted to take on her latest role, working with Thomas Middleditch, and how a comedy group schooled her in the world of acting.
Finding the right kind of work for an actor can be a constant struggle. For Diana Bang, she jumped at the opportunity to take on a more serious role in the upcoming indie romantic comedy, Entanglement, where she plays the best friend to an angst-ridden Ben, played by Silicon Valley’s Thomas Middleditch. Known for her role as the North Korean propagandist and love interest opposite Seth Rogen in the film, The Interview, she sheds her comedic antics and accents to play a somewhat regular gal in her latest project.
Let’s talk about your film, Entanglement. Your character, Tabby, seems to be a bit more serious than the funny roles you’ve done in the past. What drew you to play this kind of character? DIANA BANG: To be in a film like that, that’s always been a bucket list kind of item for me because I love rom-com. You don’t see a lot of Asian faces in rom-com, so I was like yes, I’m down. In previous roles where I’ve had a substantial part, I’ve been kind of asked to have some sort of Asian accent or I had to for the part because it just made sense.For this part, they did not ask that of me at all so I was like, yes, please, let me play an Asian North American girl.
And working with Thomas Middleditch, what was it like being in so many scenes with him? DB: As a character, he was kind of in a dark place. He brought a lot of levity to it when he could. I did chat with him and we had that friendly rapport but I also didn’t want to bug him too much. Sometimes we’d do scenes, and I’m like, what, where is that line coming from? Huh? He’s very subtly funny. It kind of catches you off guard.
You’re also the founding member of a comedy group, correct? DB: Yea, Assaulted Fish, an Asian Canadian sketch comedy group. That’s where I kind of cut my teeth with acting and sort of learned how to even act, what it means to be funny or to have any sort of presence whatsoever. It was really an eye-opening, wonderful learning experience for me.
Are you still an active member? DB: We’ve slowed down a lot over the years. I think we’re going to try and do some internet videos or you know, do that kind of thing. I do [work with] another sketch comedy group called The Lady Show. It’s an all-women kind of comedy show… there’s stand-up, there’s sketch, there’s burlesque, just all sorts of different things. Sketch comedy has kind of kept me going in this business because it’s kind of a heart-breaking business. It’s been my outlet and just working with other people who are really woke, just funny and talented.
Any thoughts of ever getting behind the camera someday? DB: I don’t know about directing, I think writing and producing. Directing takes a certain kind of person with a really strong kind of vision. You know there’s the president, I’m the type of person who wants to be vice president. Like helping out, has some power, but is also under the direction of someone else. [Laughs] I’m kidding. But I do want to be a power lady of some kind.