How Tia Carrere made the big move to Hollywood after being discovered in a supermarket.
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week earlier in a photographer's studio Carrere had been timid,
annoyingly unresponsive to the few questions directed at her. In a cheerless
ensemble of a plaid shirt, biking pants and a pair of huge, imposing army
boots, Carrere had sat curled quietly in a chair. Not until the stylist had
blended color onto her eyelids and traced her lips with red had Carrere come
to life, burning with pure attitude. Shifting to the edge of her chair, she had
traded faces with the mirror. For a while she had settled on a sexy, flippant
pout, the same one she often throws to the camera as a fashion model, and
more recently, as the part-starlet, part-harlot Venus Poon in James Clavell's
mini-series Noble House.
Today the Tia Carrere greeting us at an L.A. cafe is dressed to the nines,
costumed in a white linen outfit picked up in Madrid. Her long black tresses
are pulled atop her head in a tail, and silver earrings are swinging from her
lobes. Inexplicably, Carrere has blossomed into a paragon of confidence,
personality and enthusiasm. She is here to deliver a performance.
Since her arrival in Los Angeles in 1985 this Filipino, Chinese and Spanish girl
from Hawaii has landed many of the choicest roles available to Asian
American actresses of her generation. She's most recognizable for her role as
Jade Soong on the enduringly popular soap General Hospital. But she
has also been seen in many national commercials, including ones for
MacDonalds and Pepsi, and in a number of television series like A-Team,
MacGyver and Love American Style.