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INTERVIEW – ‘Zero Chill’ and ‘Black Widow’ Actress Jade Ma

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Jade Ma, star of Netflix’s Zero Chill, was born and raised in Hong Kong to a British father and Chinese mother, Jade moved to the UK at 17 years old to attend the Guildford School of Acting. She has had an affinity for the arts for as long as she can remember, focusing mostly on dance through the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation until she was cast as Val at 15 years old in A Chorus Line directed by Lindsey McAlister. Soon after moving to the UK she was cast in Miss Saigon for the UK/International Tour.

Jade’s first role was in the Christmas comedy film Surviving Christmas and shortly after that she landed a role in Marvel Studios’ upcoming film Black Widow starring Scarlett Johansson. In Zero Chill, the latest Netflix project from Lime Pictures, the team behind double Emmy award-winning Free Rein, Jade plays the leading role of Sky Tyler. For Jade’s role as Sky, she got to embrace her love for dance and figure skating.

I had the opportunity to interview Jade via email about how she got into acting, her experience as the lead in Netflix’s Zero Chill, and her love of cooking.

Be sure to follow Jade Ma on Instagram and catch her in Zero Chill, streaming now on Netflix, and in Marvel Studios’ Black Widow premiering July 9th!

Jade Ma Photo credit: Noah Asanias
Jade Ma
Photo credit: Noah Asanias

POC Culture: I understand that you love to cook. What is the dish you would prepare if you really had to impress someone?

JADE MA: I’m not sure how impressive it would be, but I love home cooked Asian food. I love making Pad Kara Pao (Thai pork and basil stir-fry), dumplings, fried rice, kimchi-jjigae…the list goes on.

POC Culture: What made you want to pursue acting?

JADE MA: I almost accidentally discovered my love for acting. I grew up wanting to be a doctor, but my mum talked me out of it when I was around 14. At the time, I was spending a lot of my time in dance classes or working on dance projects, and in 2013 the opportunity to audition for HKYAF’s (Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation) yearly musical, A Chorus Line, came up.

Between my dance teacher/mentor, Giselle Liu, and the director, Lindsey McAlister, they convinced me to audition. I ended up being cast as Val, and in the process fell in love with the acting side of performing. I decided to apply to drama schools in the UK, and I was fortunate enough to secure a place at the Guildford School of Acting.

Jade Ma Photo credit: Noah Asanias
Jade Ma
Photo credit: Noah Asanias

POC Culture: Zero Chill seems like a uniquely challenging project because of the ice skating and dance elements. How strong of an ice skater and dancer were you before this project and what did you do to prepare for this role?

JADE MA: I grew up skating between the ages of 3-12, and I danced from then until university. It was really special to be able to revisit a sport that I grew up with and always missed.

POC Culture: What was it about the role of Sky Tyler that you found most interesting?

JADE MA: Her compassion and patience.

POC Culture: Marvel might be the biggest brand in entertainment right now. How does it feel to join such a major franchise?

JADE MA: Pretty surreal. To be a part of something so big is incredible, and I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to work with so many amazing people.

POC Culture: What’s next for you and what would be your dream project?

JADE MA: I’m not sure I have a “dream project” per say. At this point, I’m open to whatever comes my way, and I’m honestly excited to see where my career takes me.

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Ron is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of POC Culture.  He is a big believer in the power and impact of pop culture and the importance of representation in media.

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