Diana Bang – Entanglement
By: Kelly Kearney
Q) You star in the quirky new rom-com Entanglement. Can you tell the fans a little about your character Tabby and how she fits into the film?
Diana: Tabby is Ben’s neighbor/friend/potential love interest and she helps Ben (Thomas Middleditch) along on his journey and sort of is the one the gives him a reality check throughout the whole film. She’s the one who is kind of his rock and sort of his grounding force in this movie because the other character, Hannah (Jess Weixler) the adoptive sister, sort of represents chaos. So, Tabby is more about order and control. Throughout the movie, Tabby helps Ben and wants to be seen because she feels kind of unseen and unheard by Ben and she wants to be acknowledged by him as a person and recognized as a friend. That’s Tabby’s journey within the film.
Q) The film is an interesting take on mental illness and Ben’s search to find a connection in the world was funny and heartwarming. What was it about this film that made you want to sign on to the project?
Diana: There were a multitude of reasons. Being in a romcom was a bucket list item for me so that was exciting. Also, when I read the script I was like, “Ok, this is typical indie romcom,” but then there’s that twist and I was like, “WOW! Now I get it and understand. It goes deeper into the issues of mental illness.” It’s just deeper and I found it very exciting. I’m one of those that didn’t see the twist coming so when I read it I was like, “Oh! Wow! Ok! This is amazing I love this!” Another reason that I was drawn to this was for me, as an Asian Canadian actor, when I get offered roles (usually a substantial role where I’m the lead or supporting lead) often my characters are sadly accented or I’ve been asked to have an accent. I don’t mind doing that if it makes sense for the film, but I’ve been asked when it doesn’t make sense. If those are the kinds of the roles I’m offered consistently and only, that’s kind of problematic. So, when I was offered this role and it wasn’t an issue, I jumped on board.
Q) What was your audition process like?
Diana: Yeah, I did audition and I think I went in twice. The first time I went in with this idea and then the second round I auditioned with Jason [James], the director, and we just played around. He let me cut loose and let me try it different ways. I remember just playing around with the character and doing all sorts of different things with her. It was a really fun process and pretty easy going because Jason is very easy going.
Q) Speaking of the director, what was it like working with Jason James and did you learn anything from this experience that you will take with you to other projects?
Diana: The cool thing about Jason is that for every scene he gave us a take to do for ourselves. So, that was really generous, especially on an indie film that has time restrictions and a strict budget. He would be like, “Oh, do one for you and another for you,” and I really felt very free to play around more and I think he tried to keep that energy throughout the shoot. Another thing I learned is that I come from sketch comedy and the movie is a little bit more subdued tonally so, when we first started shooting he would have to tell me to be a little less because I guess I was much bigger and a little too sketch comedy. That’s was something I realized, and it was good to know.
Q) What were some of your most memorable moments from filming Entanglement?
Diana: What surprised me and made me laugh a lot was Thomas. He’s an improvising genius. There was a scene in the car and it’s in the film, he yells in the middle of a line, “TOP OF THE TITS, TAB!” I was like, “What?! Who says that?” I wasn’t able to keep it together for that. I mean, who says that? [laughs] Jason kept it in so we did it a couple of times and by then I was able to hold myself together. So, that was cool because he totally got me. I couldn’t stop laughing.
Q) There are so many great films out right now, what is it about Entanglement that sets it apart from the rest?
Diana: The performances were all really great and Thomas really inhabited that melancholy and funny character. He brought depth, but also levity to the character and I was drawn in when I saw it. Obviously, Jess. She was this bright spot and fantasy version of what someone wants a woman to be or whatever and she really embodied that. So, I enjoyed the performances, but the twist – I don’t want to give it away, but that really floored me. When I read the script at first, I thought it was a typical romcom and then that twist comes and I was like, “Oh my God, so much deeper and more meaningful.” That, to me, was very, very exciting.
Q) You also starred in one of my personal favorite shows “Bates Motel.” The writing, directing and acting on that show was phenomenal and I, like many fans, wanted to see Jiao survive her encounter with Shelby. What was it like working with such incredible talent like Kerry Ehrin, Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga?
Diana: It was awesome and, if you caught that Easter egg in the final episode, she did survive! She was the realtor and it was kind of a running joke on set that Jiao would one day pop up out of a trunk of a car because it wasn’t clear what happened to her and if she survived. Everyone kept asking if she was coming back or if she died and what happened to her. So, apparently it was a running joke about where she would pop up. I was very honored that I was asked back for the finale and I think a lot of fans didn’t catch that, but that was her in the end. I never got to meet Kerry Ehrin, but the rest of the actors were great and so professional. They were so lovely. Like, Vera Farmiga, I was a huge fan before I got the job and I was kind of fangirling over her and I couldn’t talk to her because I was star struck. I mean, I get to work with all these famous and talented people and I kind of went nuts over her. She was just very generous and I loved her even more after working with her. I was like, “I’m your number one fan for life!” [laughs]
Q) Can you talk a little bit about your involvement in “The Lady Show,” what it is and how it’s empowering female comics and actresses in Vancouver?
Diana: “The Lady Show” is a feminist comedy show and our thing is “putting the joy in feminist killjoy.” Basically, there are four of us: me, Fatima Dhowre, Katie-Ellen Humphries and Morgan Braytin and we all come from sketch comedy or standup and we use to do a monthly show but now it’s bi-monthly. Our next show is on International Women’s Day and we ask different people from Vancouver or other people passing through to come be on the show. We’re just there to make people laugh in different ways. It’s kind of a comedy/variety show and our political leanings are definitely left. It’s just an empowering show with a bunch of funny, strong women doing their thing, whatever that might be. Whether its surreal stuff or characters or stand-up, it’s just a place for us to play and have fun. It’s great to be a part of and support and create a community for women. I mean, female comedians have been around forever and I find it funny that people don’t know that women can even be comedians, but yes, we are here and been around forever. [laughs]
Q) What’s next for you? Besides Entanglement, do you have any other projects the fans can keep an eye out for?
Diana: I have another film coming out in May called The Master Cleanse and that’s with Johnny Galecki and Anna Friel. It’s another indie film shot in Vancouver and it was fun to be a part of so definitely look out for that.
Entanglement Is In Theaters and On Demand / Digital HD February 9th!
Watch The Trailer: