Jadyn Wong Talks ‘Scorpion’, Auditioning and Working with Robert Duvall
“When I do not “jump and play” in the room, it is difficult to leave the audition in the room” – Jadyn Wong
Jadyn Wong plays Happy Quinn, a mechanical prodigy on CBS’ Scorpion. The show, now in its second season, is about a Walter O’Brien (Robert Patrick) and his team of brilliant misfits (Wong, Katharine McPhee, Elyes Gabel, Eddie Kaye Thomas and Ari Stidham) who make up the last line of defense against complex, high-tech threats of the new modern age.
I chatted with Wong via email recently about her role on the show, working opposite Robert Duvall for her first acting role and sneaking into auditions while in college.
‘Scorpion’ airs on Mondays at 9/8c on CBS.
Follow her on Twitter @jadynjwong
How did you get your role on the show?
Jadyn Wong: I initially put myself on tape, and then went in to read for Denise Chamian who did the casting for the pilot.
Your character is a genius. Are there times when you read the script and you have no idea what she is talking about?
Jadyn Wong: All the time. There are a lot of terms and ideas pertaining not only to her area of expertise in mechanical engineering, but technological concepts infused in the overall show that are foreign to me.
What’s changed most about your life now that you’re on a hit show?
Jadyn Wong: I get to make a living doing what I love to do.
I read where you used to sneak into auditions for the theatre department when you were in college?
Jadyn Wong: Yes, I had started business school, and had always been drawn to performance art.
I wanted to get my feet wet somehow and since most of the roles were restricted to theatre majors, it seemed like a doable option. I always got caught during the callback stage, so I did not feel too bad pretending.
Your first acting role was opposite Robert Duvall. I interviewed him last year and just to be in his presence was amazing. What was it like to work with him? Did you learn anything from him acting-wise that you still use to this day?
Jadyn Wong: Bobby was extremely kind, generous, and played somewhat of a grandfather to the other girls and myself. At the time, it was my introduction to working professionally and I was not able to understand or appreciate the caliber of talent that was exposed to me. I am very grateful for that experience, it has influenced and shaped how I approach acting.
There was no hint of acting with him. And when I asked about the craft he did not seem to like to intellectualize the process. His response was acting is talking and listening. It was about keeping it simple and authentic. He studied with Sanford Meisner, and I was very drawn to the truth that he brought to the work, so it led me to eventually study Meisner.
What’s one of the worst auditions you’ve ever had?
Jadyn Wong: In general, when I do not “jump and play” in the room, it is difficult to leave the audition in the room, and that is not a great feeling for me. When I first started, a lot of that was derived from my lack of preparation. And now even, allowing a distraction, whether it’s the energy in the room or any internal distraction, to take priority over doing my job in the room doesn’t feel good.