Interview with Actor Peter Loung
Photographer: Tristan Alexander @shotbyxander_
Male Model: Peter Loung @The Characters Talent Agency @peterloung
Hey Peter! Great to speak to you, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
First of all, I would like to thank the entire team at Intra Magazine for this honour!
My name is Peter Loung and I have always been a performer. I started playing the guitar at the tender age of five years culminating in the eventual achievement of my ARCT in guitar performance. I was also an internationally touring acrobat performing for myriad companies, residencies and corporate events; I am still training to this day. Along with acrobatics I studied martial arts, specifically the Wing Chun and Shaolin systems of Gung Fu, affording me the honour of traveling to the Shaolin temple in China. Lastly, I am an actor who has had the opportunity to grace both the large and small screens, sharing them with the likes of: Robin Williams, Christian Bale, Tom Berenger, Kat Macnamara, Christian Keyes and a litany of other noteworthy performers.
1. Who do you look up to when it comes to the pursuit of acting?
It is easy to get lost in the allure and glamour of “A list” actors, becoming blinded by their fame and fortune. It is also easy to succumb to the throws of the Green Eyed Monster, subjecting your will to a barrage of debilitating desire. However, I do not revel in, or entertain, such thoughts. The people in which I look up to are not those who have reached the pinnacle of their given professions, rather it is those individuals who possess an iron will, and a fortified work ethic, who earn my praise. So, with that being said, I look up to the working actor, those performers who grind out the nuances of their craft on a daily basis and those who do not give heed to the statistical hyperbole surrounding the failure rate of an artistic path, or adhere to the importance and efficacy of a mainstream career.
2. Why did you choose to start acting?
As aforementioned, I have always been a performer, from playing recital halls in my youth, to flying under the Big Top in my adolescence, performance is “in my blood.” As such, acting is something intrinsic to my makeup. The desire to perform is so inculcated into my psyche that there is, without conceit or ego, nothing I would rather do. From the first time I walked onto a film set (and every time thereafter) I felt something divine, a force outside of myself beckoning attention, unabashedly showing me my path. So to answer the question, I chose acting because acting chose me.
3. How do you balance personal life with acting?
William Shakespeare once wrote, “all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” Though the context of this quotation has nothing to do with the balance between professional and personal life, it does hold an innate wisdom. As psychologically damaging as this may appear, my personal life revolves around my profession. To clarify, all of my long lasting relationships have been made through the industry and my day-to-day endeavours revolve around the pursuit of my “impossible” dream. The concept of the world being a stage holds not only truth in my reality, but empowers and emboldens my spirit. I am cognizant of how mentally unhealthy that this sounds, however, I assure you that, to me, this is the strict definition of wellness!
4. What does a typical day look like for you?
If I am not on a show and have a bit of “downtime,” my days are filled with training and artistic endeavours. I have never been one to lay back on my laurels, or take a lackadaisical attitude towards life and as such I am “always doing something”; in fact, if you were to speak to anyone who knows me and ask them, “what is Peter up to?”, they would say something very similar, if not those exact words, to describe my current state. More specifically, my day typically consists of two training sessions, work, research and food. I pride myself in being a hard-worker who is in perpetual motion, ever evolving and growing, both as a person and as a contributing member to the global artistic community.
5. If your friends had to describe you, what would they say?
As previously asserted, I consider myself a “hard-worker” who is, “always doing something” and I believe that, if asked, those notions would be towards the top, if not the peak of the list, of character traits in which my friends would assign me. Along with that, I believe that they would use words like: driven, passionate, loyal and talented. These adjectives are ones in which I would use to describe them and as your friends are a direct reflection of your innermost desires and traits, I postulate that they would reciprocate those sentiments. So if my assertion holds any weight at all, then I believe that is what they would say about me.
6. How do you keep up with happiness, health and fitness?
It is oftentimes a sobering experience when gazing into the mirror of truth and though I do consider myself a positive person, I am not immune to the infection of despondence and depression. With that being said, I am aware of my mental states and actively keep a positive disposition, holding myself accountable for my thoughts; life is hard enough as it is without adding the unease and hindrance of negativity to the equation. So to expedite said positivity, I am always working on something creative, such as photoshoots or musical endeavours, along with acting auditions and jobs. As per health and fitness, I have always been an athlete and as such training is an integral part of my everyday life, however, it was not until the advent of Covid-19, and the subsequent lockdown thereof, that I realized just how much of my mental stability was broached by training. To coalesce these random thoughts into a succinct statement I draw upon the adage of idol hands, I stay happy by keeping my mind and body active.
7. Tell us about a favourite project of yours.
I am currently one of the leads on a television show entitled “Rising Suns,” if I had to choose a favourite project it would be this one. The fact that I was awarded a leading role on a show does inherently tip the proverbial scales, however that is not why I chose this project to extrapolate on. I am of mixed decent, a melting pot of cultures and creeds, all wrapped up into what the world knows as Peter Loung. Growing up I experienced xenophobia and apprehension from all sides, rendering me a cultural bastard and vagabond. I was not Chinese enough to hang out with the Asians, nor did my semi-slanted eyes allow me to be fully accepted by the Caucasian community, my Guyanese heritage was lost in translation, etc. Fast forward many years and the world has become a much smaller place however, unfortunately, xenophobia is still ubiquitous and rampant, obstinately stubborn in its hold on society and with the advent of movements like BLM or Stop Asian Hate, a show entirely focused around a Chinese family in a marketplace where that is not the norm, is both refreshing and paramount. Moreover, Rising Suns is my favourite project because of what it means for the North American conscience.
8. What is your greatest accomplishment so far?
The term accomplishment is met with images of trophies and medals, abstract notions of fiscal reward and heartfelt fruitions. However, I am going to go against the grain and say that my greatest accomplishment has not directly rewarded me with financial stability, nor has it brought me to the apex of fame, but rather has given me solace and resilience. My greatest accomplishment is the fact that, through all of the peaks and valleys, “lean years” and heartbreaks, I have not given up on my dream. The reality of pursuing anything in the arts as a career is pockmarked with machinegun fire and riddled with landmines. However, for those of us who brave the unknown, the possible rewards far outweigh the statistical rhetoric of failure. Furthermore, it is the blind navigation within the miasmic void of rejection which gives such meaning and significance to staying the course. So to sum it up, my greatest accomplishment is never giving up.
9. If you could choose to work with anyone, who would you choose?
This is a loaded question as there are a litany of actors with whom I would love to share the screen or stage with, however, if I had to choose only one, it would be Johnny Depp. Johnny, in my humble opinion, is an actor with integrity and fortitude, he has forged his career by taking on jobs which he wanted to do and created characters which were odd, thought-provoking and, often times, terrifying to the producers and investors of the projects; an example of this would be his Captain Jack Sparrow. Johnny Depp embodies swagger and personifies style and like Frank Sinatra, did it his way; he is an actor who I truly admire.
10. If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
There are some unfortunate truths about the acting industry, one of which has to do with the audition process. This given is that you only hear back from casting if you book a role, leaving the actor in a state of oblivion the bulk of the time, lost in a fetid mire of self-doubt and uncertainty as to whether-or-not the performance was watched, let alone any good. So if there was one thing I could change in the industry, it would be the communication between casting and agent regarding rejection.
11. What is your plan for the rest of the year, anything exciting coming up? Are there any goals that you would like to hit?
Being as volatile and precarious as the acting world is, it is often difficult to plan a year in advance (unless you have already landed a contract and are waiting to go to camera). However, with that said, I am attached to a couple films which are slated to go in the coming months (both of which feature me in the leading role). There is definite excitement and anticipation surrounding these projects coupled with a sense of urgency. As for goals, I would like to get my O1 Visa for the States in the foreseeable future and start auditioning in Los Angeles, as opposed to me auditioning here in Canada for American projects.
12. Where can our readers find out more about you?
I am part of the cyber community and as such reside in the ether on Instagram and Facebook. You can follow my acting career on IMDB, and you can see me on your small screens in both streaming services and network television!
Thank you again to the entire team at Intra Magazine for this privilege!