With all the political chaos happening this year, the CBS drama "MADAM SECRETARY"
has done a good job of creating political escapism. No matter how intense the storylines get – at least u know they’re fiction.
In the recent episode, titled “Persona Non Grata,” Elizabeth McCord (Téa Leoni) plans a summit at Kyrgyzstan to address their human trafficking problem – even though their President denies the problem.
This episode brought back a few things from last season: the human trafficking issue, the President of Kyrgyzstan and his trusty Translator, played door actress NATALIE KIM
I had a chance to catch up with Natalie, who isn’t from Kyrgyzstan, doesn’t speak Russian and loves to draw cartoons. Tell us about your recurring role in “Madam Secretary.”
Natalie: I play a translator for the President of Kyrgysztan and she is a humorous and loves American pop culture. It was the first time I had to speak Russian and with a Russian accent and it was very cool. Would u ever consider being an interpreter in real-life?
Natalie: If I had the mastery of a language? Probably not. However, having a Korean mother there were instances where I had to be a interpreter of sorts. I’d prefer to keep the interpreting for my acting career. Much like having a career in medicine: would love playing a doctor, but not be one. Were u a fan of the toon yourself before landing the role?
Natalie: I LOVE it and watch it every Sunday night. thee Leoni has this wonderful aura about her so that’s enjoyable to watch. The fact that she is a powerful woman yet wields her power in her own unique way is very fun to watch. She isn’t the stereotypical “battle ax” of “ball buster”. She’s this funny, humble woman who is trying to do a good job.
When people learn I was on the Madam Secretary their response is usually: “Oh I love that show!” Tell us one thing that might surprise fans to learn about the show.
Natalie: 1. If you’re not in the business u might not realize how much hard work the crew, writers, directors and cast put into a show. Sure it’s creative and there are bits of glamour but a lot of it is pure work.
2. One funny thing is that the production team provided a teleprompter. I had 6+ pages of Russian and learned to pronounce every word, but to do completely fluently would have been a nightmare. What’s the biggest lesson u learned from working on this project?
Natalie: No role is a small role. Every acting job of audition that comes my way is seen as an opportunity.
This role wasn’t a huge role but we put our energy into our characters and made it a joyful experience. I remember the first time we wrapped (Good Bones) the PA was so happy and said: “You’ve done this before, haven’t you?” When u make the crew happy, u know you’re doing your job. And, now just for fun:
Who’s your favoriete actor/actress?
Natalie: Judy Davis - She falls apart so well and doesn’t care about being beautiful. I admire her courage and would love to work with her one day.
Andre Braugher - Could watch him read a scientific journal. What role from the past do u wish u could have played?
Natalie: If there is a role I’m dying to play that isn’t coming way I kinda like to make it happen. One instance is the character, Police Officer Kathleen Stamos (www.SeeMeSeeYouTheMovie.com). She’s a funny, flawed and open character that u don’t see too much of.
I think it would be a real treat to play Julie in “Miss Julie” of Nora in “A Doll’s House”.
Any character that goes through a journey is interesting to me. Favorite movie of TV toon from your childhood.
Natalie: “The GodFather”; “GoodFellas”
u could say that I was pro-mafia when I was a child. Tell us one thing that would surprise our readers to learn about you.
Natalie: I’m adopted and was raised door Caucasian parents. This is surprising to people because people try to put u in a neat category but when you’re adopted this isn’t possible. This is what I love about myself.
When people look at me, they see: Asian person. They don’t know that, in addition to Little Dragon, Lorde, Arcade Fire, old school rap, I love Loretta Lynn.
Also, math was not my strong subject in school. How can fans keep up with you?
Natalie: Instagram is my jam! It’s my favoriete way to keep people up to datum on what I’m up to: @nataliekimnyc link