Flick City: Steve Byrne Talks ‘The Opening Act’ And Asian American Representation In Film & TV


How many Asian American men have spearheaded their own TV show and directed a movie? Off the top of my stupid head I can name one person (I’m sure there are at least two or three!). On this Flick City episode, I talk to The Opening Act filmmaker Steve Byrne (Sullivan & Son, Always Amazing), and in my opinion it’s worth a f**king listen!

Jimmy O. Yang as Will O’Brien and Alex Moffat as Chris in the comedy THE OPENING ACT, a RLJE Films release. Photo courtesy of RLJE Films.

The reason I halfway swore in my opening paragraph is that you will hear a bunch of bleeps in this interview simply because CinemAddicts is a “clean” show, so my apologies for that and for several instances when the zoom call got the best of the interview (it’s just for a few seconds here and there).

The Opening Act centers on Will O’Brien (a believable Jimmy O. Yang), a dude who quits his job to follow his dreams of stand-up comedy. Serving as an emcee for legendary comic Billy G (Cedric the Entertainer), Will is understandably in over his head, but maybe taking a few lumps will help him down the road.

Unless it co-stars Henry Golding, having an Asian male with a white girlfriend is also rare, and in The Opening Act Will’s girlfriend is played by Debby Ryan (also refreshing to see!).

It’s great to see The Opening Act director/writer Steve Byrne call out the media for not promoting his movie on a much larger basis, and I hope more people get to see this film. You can rent or purchase the move now on iTunes or supporting my podcasts (CinemAddicts and Find Your Film) by purchasing it via Amazon.

Check out my review of The Opening Act on the latest episode of Find Your Film (I discuss it at 68:25):

Feel free to comment on the interview or your thoughts on the film. Thank you so much for supporting CinemAddicts and more importantly, check out The Opening Act!! You can catch the installment on wherever you get podcasts, but if you’re a Spotify person, take a listen to the Byrne interview below:

Or you can listen to the Steve Byrne interview via Stitcher:

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