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NBC News – ‘That’s My Family’: ‘Andi Mack’ Actors Find ‘Authentic’ Roles in Disney Show

“Veteran actress Lauren Tom (“Futurama,” “Joy Luck Club”) felt similarly. Tom plays Celia, Andi’s strict biological grandmother who has raised Andi as her daughter — and whose tense relationship with Bex drives much of the conflict on the show.

“I was doing a little jig,” Tom told NBC News about the role. “I was just really proud that something like this was written. The showrunners are really engaged with what’s happening in the world in a more authentic sense, so kids can really relate to the show.'”

Click here to read the entire article on NBC News by

2017-06-21T01:52:04+00:00June 21st, 2017|General|

The Newsroom

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Reposted from

by Philiana Ng

Actress Lauren Tom will appear in multiple episodes of the Aaron Sorkin drama’s second season

HBO’s The Newsroom has enlisted a Supernatural and Futurama vet. Actress Lauren Tom, who recurred as Kevin’s mother on The CW drama and was part of the voice cast for the animated comedy, will be heading to Aaron Sorkin’s newsroom drama’s sophomore season, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.

Tom will play Kathy Ling, an expert working at the decision desk on election night. She will appear in two episodes. HBO released an extended preview of the return of the Jeff Daniels-led hourlong, introducing a season-long thread revolving around a wrongful termination lawsuit that jeopardizes the careers and reputations of Will (Daniels) and Charlie (Sam Waterston).

Marcia Gay Harden, Patton Oswalt, newcomer Joel Johnstone and Grace Gummer join the show this season, which co-stars Emily Mortimer, Olivia Munn, John Gallagher Jr., Alison Pill, Thomas Sadoski and Dev Patel.

Tom is repped by Gersh and Pop Art.

The Newsroom debuts season two at 10 p.m. July 14

2017-07-25T21:59:12+00:00May 14th, 2013|Television|

20th Anniversary of The Joy Luck Club

Joy Luck Club reunion

The “Joy Luck Club” reunion

We celebrated the 20th Anniversary of The Joy Luck Club at Ming Na Wen’s house today. Here are all the daughters: Me, Ming Na, Rosalind Chao, and Tamlyn Tomita, and two of the mothers, Tsai Chin, and Kieu Chinh.Joy Luck Club

2017-07-25T21:59:12+00:00March 24th, 2013|Movies|

Supernatural’ Lands ‘Men in Trees’ Actress for ‘Intense’ Role (Exclusive)

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Lauren Tom will appear in an episode on the new season of the CW drama, debuting in October

by Philiana Ng
View original article here.

Supernatural is adding to the season eight cast.

Men in Trees actress and Futurama voice regular Lauren Tom has booked an episode on the CW drama’s upcoming eighth season, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.

Though details are sketchy, Tom’s character — which could be become recurring — is described as an “intense” and “overbearing” mother to one of the characters on the show. Her introduction to the Supernatural world is said to be dramatic.

She is expected to begin filming in Vancouver in the next couple of days.

Repped by Gersh and Pop Art Management, Tom — known primarily for her voice work — recently wrapped season eight of Comedy Central’s Futurama. Other credits include Fox’s Napoleon Dynamite, King of the Hill and TNT’s Hawthorne.

Supernatural moves to 9 p.m. Wednesdays beginning Oct. 3 following Arrow.

2017-07-25T21:59:12+00:00July 27th, 2012|Television|

Lauren at Sundance – 1/2012

Just returned from the Sundance Film Festival, what a blast! Joseph Gordon-Levitt wrote and directed me in a short film called “The Blue Dildo” ( not nearly as raunchy as it sounds!) The film screened to a sold out house of 1300 people at The Eccles Theater in Park City, Utah. Pictured below are Joseph, me, producer Jared Geller, and Jamie Chung, who played my daughter.


2017-07-25T21:59:12+00:00January 27th, 2012|Live Appearance, Movies|

London Comicon Expo

Hi all,

I just returned from the London Comicon Expo!  We did a Futurama panel to a sold out crowd, it was so much fun.

The questions the audience asked were quite different from the ones asked in San Diego. They wanted to hear what it would sound like if one of our characters from Futurama had a conversation with a character that we voiced in another show.  To which Phil Lamarr replied, “Dance, monkey, dance!” We tried our best to come up with off the cuff dialogue. I had Numbah 3 from Kids Next Door talk to Amy from Futurama, and then threw a little Minh from King of the Hill into the mix.

I was taken with the fact that almost all of the staff (nearly 100 people) working the Comicon, were volunteers.  What a heck of alot of work, and clearly a labor of love.  We were very well taken care of. One of the staff members, James, gave my boys some light sabers from Star Wars and they haven’t stopped playing with them since.

And it was a blast to ride the Underground and check out Picadilly Circus.  We ate at a Chinese Restaurant called The Golden Dragon.  The little Cantonese I know was of no use when it came time to order since all the sentences I know involve cursing and some sort of punishment.  (I learned these from my parents, of course.)

Pictured here  in this photo from left to right are Phil Proctor, (who happened to be in London with his lovely wife and was invited to sit on our panel–he’s been in a million shows, Rugrats, etc.) me, Maurice Lamarche, Billy West, and Phil Lamarr.





2017-07-25T21:59:12+00:00May 30th, 2011|Live Appearance, Television|

2002 Harvard Crimson Article about Lauren Tom

Actress Dazzles With One-Woman Show
Published: Monday, November 18, 2002
The Harvard Crimson (original article can be viewed here.)

Actress Lauren Tom, best known as Lena in the film The Joy Luck Club and as Ross’ girlfriend Julie on the NBC series “Friends,” dazzled a Harvard crowd of about 100 on Saturday with excerpts from her new one-woman comedy show about her experience growing up as a Chinese-American.

Tom’s performance in Boylston Hall’s Fong Auditorium, coordinated by the Asian American Association (AAA), included portrayals of her parents, grandmother and former self drawn from her show 25 Psychics, and was followed by a question-and-answer session in which she advised a predominantly Asian American audience to be more active in the entertainment industry.

“We need to take a lead from the black community and be more vocal in show business,” Tom said.

Tom said her strategy for breaking into Hollywood was to never turn down a role because it was too stereotypically Asian—within reason.

“I’m not going to do something that says, ‘Oh yeah, we eat our dogs,’” she said. But she was ready to take on almost anything else, and soon reaped the benefits of her ethnicity.

“If I was blond and tall then I would have had 10 times the competition,” she said. “I auditioned steadily and performed for everyone who would hire me. Now I am in a position to pick and choose my roles.”

Now, Tom said, she receives offers to play parts originally written for white women.

Tom credited her family with supporting her in her career.

During a segment of her performance when she assumed the role of her old grandmother—a character she plays hunched over, with thick glasses and a heavy Chinese accent—she recalled a particular phrase that gave her confidence in her ethnic looks.

“Nothing to fix because nothing broken,” Tom said.

Tom said her struggle to find her niche as an Asian American in Hollywood started while she was growing up in a mostly white neighborhood in Illinois. She remembered feeling comfortable with her ethnicity, not realizing that she was different from other children.

“When kids would say ‘Ching Chong Chinaman,’ I thought they were talking to someone behind me,” Tom said. “I used to think I was a white Jewish girl named Rebecca or Rachel.”

When she discovered that she was a target of the teasing, she began to feel self-conscious of her “yellow skin.”

Tom said her worst experience with discrimination occurred in a Los Angeles parking lots, when a woman who she said “looked like a scarecrow on crack” angrily called her a “chink.”

She said that she wanted to yell back but feared her behavior would be “so unladylike, so un-Asian.”

Tom’s inner conflict between her American and Asian identities has driven her to seek spiritual guidance in almost every form—and has inspired the name of her show.

“I’ve been to 25 psychics so far,” Tom said with a laugh. “I’ve even gone to see a woman called ‘the mother’ who just hugs you.”

As she got older, Tom said she gained pride in her culture.

“What if everything I thought was wrong with me was actually right with me?” Tom said. “You have to have the courage to show who you are to the world.”

Tom held the attention throughout her performance, often having to pause to wait for the laughter to die down.

Jia Jia Liu ’05 said she expected a speech from Tom and was pleasantly surprised by her dramatic performance.

Candice Chiu ’04, co-vice president of AAA, praised Tom in her introduction for “developing an Asian American presence and voice” in the entertainment industry.

“We really wanted to bring someone here in pop culture and there are pretty few

[Asian American] faces out there,” Chiu said after the performance.

In addition to AAA, the Ann Radcliffe Trust and the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations also sponsored the event.

2017-07-25T21:59:12+00:00November 28th, 2010|Press|

It’s Official: ‘Futurama’ Is Reborn!

Courtesy of ew.com.

Jun 9, 2009, 05:20 PM | by Michael Ausiello

Holy Bender Bending Rodríguez!

Six years after getting axed by Fox, Futurama is being resurrected on Comedy Central.

A spokesperson for 20th Century Fox Television confirms that the cable net has ordered 26 new episodes of Matt Groening and David X. Cohen’s late, great animated series to air beginning in 2010. The studio cites Futurama‘s “blockbuster” performance on DVD and in reruns on Comedy Central as the reason for its rebirth.

Hmmm… sound familiar?

“When we brought back Family Guy several years ago, everyone said that it was a once in a lifetime thing — that canceled series stay canceled and cannot be revived,” 20th Century Fox TV Chairmen Gary Newman and Dana Walden said in a joint statement. “But Futurama was another series that fans simply demanded we bring back, and we couldn’t have been happier when Matt and David agreed that there were many more stories yet to tell.”

Adds Groening: “We’re thrilled Futurama is coming back. We now have only 25,766 episodes to make before we catch up with Bender and Fry in the year 3000.”

I have a hunch Groening isn’t the only one doing a happy dance. (That’s your cue to start filling up the comments section.)


2017-07-25T21:59:24+00:00June 10th, 2009|Television|

King of the Hill: Behind the Voices

We visit a recording session and speak to the cast, including Tom Petty, about bringing their characters to life.

by Eric Goldman

(Courtesy of IGN.com.)

September 20, 2007 – Going into an incredible 12th season this Sunday, King of the Hill continues to be the work horse of the FOX Sunday animation block, getting little of the attention of Family Guy and The Simpsons, but still delivering plenty of laughs. This summer I paid a visit to a recording session for the series, and got a very entertaining look at what goes on when the actors assemble to voice their familiar characters. Series co-creator Mike Judge records his role as Hank Hill from Texas, but there was still an impressive assemblage of talent from the show there that day, including Kathy Najimy (Peggy Hill), Pamela Adlon (Bobby Hill), Brittany Murphy (Luanne), Johnny Hardwick (Dale), Stephen Root (Bill), Lauren Tom (Minh/Connie), Breckin Meyer (Joseph) and an obscure voiceover actor named Tom Petty (Lucky).

Breckin Meyer didn’t join the show until a few seasons in, but sitting in the green room before he began his work for the day, he told me “It’s funny, whenever I tell people ‘I can’t man, I’ve got to go to King of the Hill today’, they say ‘You’ve been on that show forever!’ It’s the steadiest job I’ve had in my entire life! It really is, for all of us.”

Meyer also works as a writer and actor on Robot Chicken with his longtime friend Seth Green, and recalled that when he first came to audition for King of the Hill, “They were going to recast Joseph’s voice, because they wanted him to go through puberty. Brittany was doing it originally. I got a call to audition for Joseph; Seth Green and I actually both came in. I think we even came in together. I did the audition and I didn’t get it, and then they brought me back for another random kid voice, like a week later, like “Bobby’s Friend #3”, a Texas kid. Because I had the balls finally, because they hired me for that part, I said ‘Can I give that Joseph thing another thought?’ They were like “Okay,” and then I got it. It was so crazy, because it wasn’t the way it normally goes.”

Meyer noted that the hit film Clueless was one of about four times he and Murphy played boyfriend and girlfriend and said “It was funny taking over for her

[as Joseph]. I wasn’t sure what the hell his voice should be. If you ever hear the original Joseph that Brittany does, it’s f**king crazy! It’s just nuts! She does the weirdest Joseph. Luanne as well, but Joseph was just crazy. She had this weird voice where it was like her mouth was filled with popcorn and she was double fisting cigarettes. So when I came on, I was like ‘Well, I don’t know how to do that!’ So it took me about two months to realize what voice I was going to do for Joseph and then it slowly became what it is now.”

Meyer said King of the Hill was a great job, remarking “Where else am I going to get to work with [Stephen] Root for six years? He’s one of the funniest cats. Seriously, where else are you going to get that? It’s unbelievable. And Tom Petty is here! F**king A! This is crazy! The people who roll in, it’s just awesome. So it really is fun. That’s the really fun part about voiceovers.”

When I asked Lauren Tom if this was the longest job she’d ever had, she laughed and replied “I actually never stopped to think about that, but it absolutely has! And it’s my favorite all-time job too, I’d say.” Tom, a regular on Men in Trees, is a very busy voiceover actress, featured on shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender, Teen Titans and her role as Amy on Futurama. Tom noted that King of the Hill “sort of launched my whole second career; my parallel voiceover world, so I feel so grateful and indebted. Because once you’re sort of in the little loop, the little circle, you’re in and people kind of pass you around from show to show.”

For her role as Minh, Tom said her inspiration was her grandmother, though she had to pull back some of the gruffness she originally was doing, because King of the Hill co-creator Greg Daniels (now the showrunner on The Office) “Wanted the character to be really cutting, but in the sweetest possible way, so she wanted my voice to be higher and a much lighter touch, so I just had to make that adjustment in my head, to still channel [my grandmother]. Because my grandmother was very much like Minh, in the sense of being sort of materialistic and competitive. But she would do it in a much more direct way, like ‘You look fat!’ Instead of ‘Oh, what big shoes you have, Peggy Hill!’, it would be ‘Those are the biggest feet I ever saw!'”

As for her other role as Minh’s daughter Connie, Tom recalled reading for both that role and for Luanne. She noted that playing young Connie “I felt like I got my training here for little kid voices, because that’s mainly what I do now in my other shows. And so Greg Daniels was great working with me, because my voice is kind of naturally young sounding, so I just took it up a little higher, and then it got it to the right age. I was making it just a little bit too cute, but he was like ‘Just flatten it out a little bit, so it’s more real. Don’t try for anything other than how you speak, just make it a little higher.’ It was a great lesson – On the job training.”

I asked Tom if when she’s recording, she needs to have a conversation with herself, playing both Minh and Connie. “Oh, yeah!”, she replied, adding “Those are the best, when it’s the schizophrenia scenes! I actually like doing it back and forth like that, rather than doing my all my lines in one character, and then switching. It makes it fun and fresher for me.”

I then was able to watch as Adlon, Meyer and Tom film a scene from an upcoming episode called “Strangeness on a Train”, in which Bobby, Joseph and Connie get very excited by the prospect of having no adult supervision. While most of the cast would sometimes move their hands and make motions while recording their voice work, Meyer was particularly energetic, gesticulating and making a lot of big movements. This, coupled with the hysterical line readings he was giving to Joseph, who’s oh so excited by the ideas he’s coming up with, lead to Adlon, who was standing right next to him in the recording booth, continually breaking up and laughing when she looked at him, which in turn caused Meyer to laugh. Adlon’s solution was to finally just turn and face the other wall while Meyer spoke, in order to resist the urge to laugh. At one point Root decided to join them in the recording booth. Not actually part of the scene, he took a seat and watched the others record.

When the trio finished the scene, Tom was asked to do some material needed for previously worked on episodes that required some additional beats – a common practice on the show. This called for Tom to take turns saying anything from one word, to a gasp, to a longer line of dialogue. Seeing her switch from Connie’s voice to Minh’s was a very amusing and impressive thing to behold, as she went from the cute young girl to the very different sound of her judgmental mother within moments.

There was also the opportunity to watch Najimy and legendary rock star Petty record together, and it was especially funny to see Najimy improv a couple of lines onto the end of the scene, in which Peggy Hill makes some un-Peg like advances towards Petty’s character. On King of the Hill, the main cast often also voice other incidental characters, and so it was this day, with Petty pulling double duty and doing a very good job changing up his voice to play a character simply referred to as “Driver” in the script.

Petty then sat down with Adlon, Root and Hardwick, to talk about his surprising second job as a voice actor. He said it began simply enough, recalling “They called me and I came down and did a part for them. They liked the character and kept writing him in, and now he’s been going on three years.” Petty revealed “I loved the show long before I did it and it was a complete coincidence that I got called, because it was really one of my favorite shows.” He also said he felt comfortable with his character because “I know who Lucky is pretty well. Lucky is very philosophical. He’s a philosophical idiot.”

Petty had lots of praise for his costars, saying “they’re a fantastic cast.” The others all laughed when he said “It’s intimidating because they’re real actors,” because as Adlon put it “he’s Tom Petty and he comes in and he’s intimidated by us!” Added Petty, “They’re great people, and they made me feel at home. It’s a privilege to work with them.”

Joking aside, Adlon said she could understand Petty’s remark about being intimidated, noting “Everybody has a level of insecurity when they go into a room and you’re doing a voice. You kind of just want to say ‘Can you all just turn around? Don’t look at me! Let me just do it.’ Because you’re almost more exposed. Even though it’s just your voice, where you do it, in the room, it’s just raw, because people are looking at you saying ‘That’s so funny’, but you feel totally exposed. The point is that everybody feels that way. Everybody feels nervous and green, no matter how many jobs you do.”

The cast said they have definitely not gotten over having someone as iconic as Petty working with them, with Root saying “Are you kidding? It’s one of our biggest calling cards!” Hardwick revealed “I came home the other weekend and I said ‘I just sang with Tom Petty!'” Hardwick said this came about during “An episode where Dale’s doing a Queen ripoff, and Lucky got written into the scene as saying he was doing a great job.” Petty noted that the next thing they knew “We started [singing] together.”

Adlon said that Petty’s longevity on the series is “not because they knew what was gonna happen with Lucky. It was because he’s good. He came in and he was a really good actor. You were so good. If you sucked, then there would be no Lucky.” Before Petty had to leave, I asked him what his family felt about his role on King of the Hill. Everyone in the room laughed, as Petty replied “I think they’re more impressed by that than anything I’ve done. That gave me an incredible validation with the kids, you know? ‘Oh, That’s what he does! I get it!'”


King of the Hill: Season 12 premieres Sunday, September 23rd at 8:30 pm ET/PT on FOX, after The Simpsons.

2017-07-25T21:59:24+00:00September 22nd, 2007|Television|

Response to Some Questions I Received in the Guest Book

Greetings! I wanted to post an update in response to some questions I received in the Guest Book. If you’re looking to get started in the business, either on camera, or in voice over, here are some tips I offer up to you like a platter of sandwiches. If they don’t appeal to you, don’t take them, but these are some of the things I wish I had known when I was starting out:

1. Don’t take anything personally. There are many reasons why someone gets hired and someone doesn’t. Some of these decisions are made for political reasons, subjective reasons, you will never know, so don’t spend a lot of time ruminating over an audition. Do your best and let it go. Nothing is more of a turn off than an actor who comes across as desperate.

2. Study your craft so that you have something solid to offer. Become so good that producers have no choice but to hire you.

3. If you want to be in voice over, make a demo cd of all the voices you can do. Try to include as many different ages and ethnicities, as you can (as well as the opposite gender. ) Send it out to voice over agents and see what happens! You can also try taking a class in voice over technique at Kalmenson & Kalmenson. My manager says they offer excellent advice – http://www.kalmenson.com.

4. Work on your inner life, get to know yourself so that you can discern exactly what it is that is unique about you and what you have to offer that no one else has.

Hope that was helpful.

I’ll be starting to film the next season of “Men In Trees” this month. We will be on again in the fall on ABC on Friday nights at 8PM.

Lauren Tom

2017-07-25T21:59:24+00:00July 4th, 2007|General|

Eight Seconds to Glory

Published: Los Angeles Times – April 12, 2007

Eight seconds to glory
April 12, 2007

“Time?” my gym teacher, Miss Vaughn, asked.

I was 7 years old and had just run a 20-yard dash at my elementary school in Highland Park, Ill.

As we raced by, Miss Vaughn stood at the finish line shouting out our times. “Remember your time,” she told us. Later, she said she would record these on a big poster board.

“Eight seconds,” I heard her say as my foot touched down on the white line sprayed on the grass. I was panting so hard I started to cough. “Eight seconds,” I repeated to myself. I didn’t want to forget.

I was pretty sure I had beaten Debbie Miller, the smartest girl in second grade. Debbie was a good five inches taller than I was — blond hair, round tortoise shell glasses, and a very long neck, sort of what I imagined a giraffe in Sweden might look like. She was brave and could talk to anyone. Once she even told Joey Perlmutter to stop kicking her chair. I could never say something like that. I was short, squat and Chinese. I used to smile with my lips tucked in so I’d look less “Chinesey.” When I was young, my left foot turned in a bit so I had to wear a special shoe to straighten it out.

But by that day out on the track in second grade my legs had grown strong. I had “thunder thighs” as my father liked to say, and I could run a mean sprint.

Back in class I heard Miss Vaughn call on Debbie who shouted in a loud, clear voice, “Eight seconds!”

OK, so we tied, I thought. I watched Miss Vaughn draw a big 8 on the poster board with a blue magic marker. Debbie was in first place.

Then Miss Vaughn smiled and turned to me, the last girl to be called on.

My heart was thumping so hard in my chest I looked down to see if my shirt might be moving. I couldn’t wait to tell the whole class, that I, little Laurie Tom, had tied with the most popular, fabulous girl in the whole school. At the same time, I felt as if I had swallowed a large peach pit and it was caught in my not-so-long throat. I mustered the loudest voice I could find and squeaked, “Eight!”

“What?” Miss Vaughn asked, “I couldn’t hear you.”

Oh my God, I’ve got to say it again?

I took a deep breath and yelled, “Mine was eight too!”

“Got it that time,” she said.

I looked around the room with a triumphant smile on my face. I think I may have glanced extra long at Debbie. I had arrived.

Then, as if in slow motion, I watched Miss Vaughn’s hand reach toward the poster board and with her blue magic marker. She wrote, “8.2.”

Oh no, not 8.2, not 8.2, eight too. Oh my God, say something say something say something.

But I never did. Until now.

Lauren Tom plays the role of Mai on ABC’s “Men in Trees” on Thursdays at 10 p.m.

2016-06-28T20:20:10+00:00June 13th, 2007|General|