Keiko Agena Talks Letting Go of Pressure Playing Lane Kim

Keiko Agena Talks Letting Go of Pressure Playing Lane Kim

Keiko Agena recently shared her thoughts on her iconic role as Lane Kim from the beloved early-2000s series “Gilmore Girls.” During a conversation with journalist Juliet Litman on the podcast “Dear Felicity,” Agena, now 50, reflected on her journey portraying the music-enthusiast best friend of Rory Gilmore across all seven seasons of the show.

Litman inquired about Agena’s experience playing a Korean American character, given that Agena herself is Japanese American. Agena acknowledged the unique circumstances of the time, noting that having a Korean American writer and actor would be more likely today. However, back in 2000, the landscape was different, and she wouldn’t have turned down the role.

Agena also discussed the lasting impact of Lane Kim on fans, especially young Asian viewers. She expressed a desire to honor the experience that the character provided for the audience, even though her personal experience was different. For Agena, playing Lane was more about survival and gratitude for the opportunity.

The actress revealed that she is now at a point in her life where she is letting go of the pressure to meet expectations. She wants to embrace the love fans have for Lane while also recognizing her own affection for the character. Agena appreciates the connection she feels with fans who adore Lane, acknowledging the shared love for the character.

Agena’s career has included roles in other popular shows like “Shameless,” “13 Reasons Why,” and “Better Call Saul.” She also appeared in three episodes of “Felicity” as Leila Foster, a character who inspired Felicity to lead a campus protest. Agena found it amusing that her character’s last name was Foster, despite her parents being Asian, highlighting the non-specific casting for the role.

Reflecting on her time on “Gilmore Girls,” Agena mentioned that she still keeps in touch with John Cabrera, who played Lane’s bandmate Brian, and Sean Gunn, who portrayed Kirk. Their friendships have evolved beyond the show, encompassing both nostalgia for their time on set and their personal lives.

Agena’s conversation with Litman provided a glimpse into her journey as an actress and her evolving perspective on her iconic role. Her reflections highlight the complexities of representation and the personal growth that comes with embracing one’s past experiences.

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