When I first began researching for this article, I noticed a couple things about the statistics. In charts with age 18 or older Asian Americans, most Asian Americans felt significantly better than non-Hispanic White Americans.
Hi! I’m Jade Ma. I’m an English actress currently based in Vancouver.
You are in Netflix’s newest teen show, centered around ice skating, “Zero Chill,” which just premiered! Who do you play in “Zero Chill” and how was the experience of making the show?
I play Sky Tyler, a figure skater who is a kindred spirit to Kayla and has a very sweet puppy-love style blossoming relationship with Mac. She’s quirky, a little sassy, very strong-willed and cares deeply about those around her.
I had such a great time making the show. The cast had 9 weeks of training leading up to filming, so we had time to really bond — we definitely formed some lasting friendships! The cast and crew were a stellar group of humans, everyone made our time in Sheffield the most fun.
What was your experience ice-skating before this? How was the experience of skating for Zero Chill?
I started figure skating at 3 years old and absolutely fell in love with it. I skated competitively for the first part of my childhood. I was training hard almost every day, but by 11 or 12 years old, I realised that I was losing my love for the sport. I made the decision to quit and move on to other things.
Having the opportunity to revisit skating for Zero Chill was really exciting for me. There was always a part of me that missed the ice, a small voice in the back of my head asking “what if you’d continued?” It was a big part of my childhood and I’ve always had a special place in my heart for it, so having the chance to combine my loves of skating and acting was truly special.
You are also appearing in the upcoming MCU movie, Black Widow. I know much of this is still under wraps, but how was your experience working in the Marvel universe?
It was a surreal experience. The people that we had the chance to work with were incredible and I’m so grateful to have been a part of something so major. I’m excited for the world to see it!
What inspires you? Do you have any role models?
My dad passed away as I was heading into my final year at drama school. Since then, with everything I do I just hope he’d be proud of me.
Is there anything you wish you knew when you were beginning to pursue performing? Is there any piece of advice you’d want to share with other aspiring young Asian performers just starting out?
There is space for you in the industry. I was always worried that I’d be forever stuck in stereotypical roles as an Asian woman – either the submissive, docile, domestic type, or the emotionless warrior. But seeing the recent changes in the industry has certainly inspired hope. It’s an absolute joy to see Asians represented more on screen, not just as two dimensional tropes, but as wholly realised, multidimensional characters.
This time of COVID-19 and the rise of anti-Asian hate has been difficult for the whole Overachiever community. How have you been coping with this time?
Activism and speaking up are such important things. So much of the racism towards Asians goes unnoticed — whether it be from lack of media coverage or just the “keep your head down” attitude — so seeing the recent increase in attention towards it has been validating. That being said, seeing the media coverage can be incredibly overwhelming: it’s hard not to see yourself or a family member when you see the videos of violence. It’s essential that you protect your mental health amidst all of this. When things get too much, there is nothing wrong with allowing yourself to take a step back and give yourself a break from it.
Here are some rapid-fire questions:
Your go-to coffee shop order?
From Starbucks, an iced chai latte with oat milk, 2 pumps of vanilla syrup & sweet cream cold foam. Otherwise, an oat milk latte.
What item(s) can you not leave your house without?
Any good films/TV shows you’re watching right now?
Currently rewatching Kakeguri — I’m slowly introducing my partner to the joys of anime.
Ultimate comfort food?
What has been the highlight of your day today?
Spending time with my partner and puppy!
Jade Ma is an English actress based in Vancouver. She was born in Hong Kong to a British father and Chinese mother. She made her professional TV acting debut in the 2018 Christmas comedy film Surviving Christmas with the Relatives as Soon while also rehearsing for the UK/International Tour of Miss Saigon. In 2019, she was cast in the upcoming film Black Widow. She also stars as Sky Tyler in the Netflix series Zero Chill.
Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.
Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.
We have grown since then, putting out bimonthly issues (we are contributor powered: apply to write for our next one!), and weekly reviews of culture, and news that is important to us.
You can find announcements, more news, and get to know our staff on social media: give us a follow, and learn how you can get involved today!
We do not claim to speak for all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. We are just here to give them a place to speak for themselves.