Written by Arden Cho

We got to #spendtime with John Harlan Kim

December 19 2018

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Here’s a name you’ll want to remember: John Harlan Kim. Years ago, John and I became friends when we worked on a pilot he wrote and created. We played brother and sister but now he’s like another brother to me in real life. Not only is he a fantastic writer, he’s also an incredible actor that you may recognize from “The Librarians.” He’s my favorite Korean Australian actor and I have no doubt in my mind that he’ll be yours as well if he isn’t already.

Where in Australia are you from?

I’m from Melbourne Victoria which is the South East pocket of Australia but I’m now based in Los Angeles California, which despite it being the cool thing to hate on, I absolutely LOVE.

What do you love about Los Angeles?

I love that I can eat food from dozens of different cultures all within 15 minutes of my place. Plus all of the coasts and hikes available are pretty neat as well. 

What are you up to these days?

Since ‘The Librarians’ finished up earlier this year, I’ve filmed my first American role on an indie flick called ‘Paper Tiger’ by Paul Kowalski. Up until now, most of my work has been in television, so it was nice to wet my feet in a different storytelling format while working on this feature film. Last week I wrapped filming my second indie flick, ‘The Code’ directed by Tony Aloupis which has easily been one of my favorite filming experiences to date. Both of them should be coming out sometime next year!

What keeps you going?

Honestly, just the thrill of the game. I take my acting seriously but I’m enjoying the fun components of filmmaking at the same time. There’s so much to learn beyond acting and to me it feels as though the whole storytelling process is just one massive unchartered territory for me to explore: pre-production, post-production, in front, and behind the camera, etc. That said, it’s always important to have multiple interests and I love that the ample free time being an actor affords me also allows me to focus on other interests outside of the television world.

How do you spend time?

I play basketball, I surf, I’m on a Disney softball team, I go out to eat a lot with friends, and whenever I get a spare moment away from writing or acting, I love partaking in all the events and things LA has to offer.

Would you change how you've spent your time?

Every minute I’ve spent on this planet has lead me to where I am right at this very moment so I can’t complain. I’m on a good path, I have great people in my life and I get to do something I love. I should probably call my mother more though…

What's your style?

An eclectic mix of skate and sports and also whatever my male model roommate tells me to wear. So a healthy mix of those three.

Do you have a favorite Leonard & Church watch?

Yes, I’m wearing it right now in fact. The Reddington. Simple and basic. Just like me. *laughs*

You're definitely far from basic John, are you a fan of other accessories?

Yeah, I also love bracelets. My one rule is, I have to pick something from every new town that I visit. 

Any advice for new actors?

Just act -- in any capacity you can. Local plays. School productions. Short films. Homemade iPhone videos. It all starts at the grassroots level. Even now when I think back on starting out as a young teenager, I was an extra over 50 times on these tiny low budget productions, I would PA on shockingly bad web series sets, I’d write some of the most basic scripts that would have Shakespeare rolling in his grave but the whole point of it was that I was getting better and for me, the only way to do that was to actually get up and do it.

Remember this handsome face and make sure to follow John Kim.

Thank you for spending time with us at Leonard & Church! Can't wait till we get to play brother & sister again. 

Photos by Luke Rieke
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