Jacky Lai is a stunning beauty whose contagious smile and warm personality on and off-screen have landed her countless opportunities. Jacky took a leap of faith in 2014 to uproot her life in Toronto and move to Vancouver to pursue her dreams of acting. Jacky always knew her true calling was for the arts and her body of work in Film and Television since is a testament to her belief being more than just a hunch. Jacky’s upcoming leading role in Netflix’s vampire series“V-Wars” will continue to demonstrate her rising star power and enigmatic presence. Jacky is a Toronto native who had everything she needed on the east coast, supportive friends and family and a stable and growing career in developing small businesses. But she knew that her passion for acting was too great to set aside as a hobby. In the summer of 2014, Jacky made a quick and swift decision to move across the country to Vancouver, leaving everything and everyone she knew behind. Since relocating, Jacky has appeared in The CW’s “The Flash”, and CBS’s “Ransom” and had recurring roles on Freeform’s “Beyond”, “Shadowhunters” and ABC’s “Once Upon a Time”. Jacky has also appeared in the feature film SILENT HILL:
REVELATION. Jacky’s latest project, which will be released on December 5th, is already receiving a lot of buzz. Jacky co-stars alongside Ian Somerhalder of The CW’s “Vampire Diaries” fame and Adrian Holmes of Bravo’s “19-2” in Netflix’s horror, SciFi series “V-Wars” which will bring to life the beloved graphic novels by Jonathan Maberry and Alan Robinson.
1. For the people who might not know you, could you introduce yourself?
Hello beautiful people, my name is Jacky Lai, I am a storyteller, living in Vancouver, BC.
2. What sparked your interest in pursuing a career in the entertainment industry and how did you get started?
Growing up I’ve always loved to entertain, make jokes, tell stories… I used to draw and write as well when I was a kid. So with all of these creative juices, I knew that the arts were something living inside me. I didn’t exactly know that acting was going to be my career path. I was studying business at Ryerson, working as an assistant project manager for a consulting company, and after achieving these “grown-up”, practical goals, I found myself feeling so dissatisfied. Then a break up happened and I felt like I was being released into the world to explore something for me, not bound by anyone or anything, I felt this freedom to just jump! So I made the decision to move to Vancouver and give acting a try. It was the one thing that never escaped my ever-changing mind. So, one year, I said. If nothing perspires, I will return home and continue the business route. Five years later, I am still here, and happier than ever!
3. You are currently starring on the feature film “Fall Back Down”. What can you tell us about your character and how does it feel like to be a part of this film?
In Fall Back Down, I play Lizzie Reardon. She is a rebel with a cause who gets caught up in the trials of love and relationships. Being a part of Fall Back Down is truly a blessing. We had such a collaborative environment; it made everyone feel like they were a piece of the puzzle. It was so much more than just showing up to act, it was like a getting together of like-minded, loving, and passionate individuals.
4. Who would you love working with on a project and why?
I want to work with people who are known to work hard, love what they do, and have a good time doing it. I feel like Will Smith, Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, and Anne Hathaway fall into that category. They know how important it is to be good, professional and have fun! On a more serious note, I would love to share a scene with Leonardo DiCaprio, Julia Roberts, or Meryl Streep, I’d love to watch them work and see how they move in the world.
5. What do you hope to achieve through your art?
I hope to make people feel better and wiser. One of my favorite quotes is “touch the heart to teach the mind”. I think that is the core of art. To be a vessel, to share your experiences or in my case, the character’s experience, and allow the audience to learn from and grow with you. We, humans, learn and remember best through stories, so if I can get people to join my journey and learn something or feel something in the process, that would be the most fulfilling thing.
6. What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
I made a goal that I wanted to work on two projects simultaneously. I got that chance, twice – and it so happens that two are premiering on the same date! I was working on Shadowhunters when I got Fall Back Down, and while I was working on Fall Back Down, I booked V-Wars. So for most of the year, I was working on two projects at once, flying back from Vancouver to Toronto. It was an absolute dream come true. And all of the roles I received were my ideal roles, so truly, my biggest accomplishment so far is this moment right now, having achieved everything I’ve ever wanted and getting to share it all with you guys!
7. Which artists influenced you, and how did they influence your thinking and career path?
I really look up to Will Smith – I associate him with laughter, joy, and growth. He has so much humility with very little ego. He talks a lot about being the hardest worker and overcoming your fears. When he finally joined Instagram, he used his platform for good, always posting positive or funny videos. And so I really admire him and his entire family for what they represent.
8. What is the best vs. the worst thing about the entertainment industry?
I think the worst thing about the business is the constant high highs and low lows. You really have to have a strong self-care routine and a great support system to sustain yourself in this industry. The best thing about the entertainment industry is the impact, the power to change lives and the ability to make the world a better place. “With great power comes great responsibility.”
9. What is one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?
The advice I would give to my younger self would be “you can do and be whoever you want, if you put your mind to it, you can achieve it.”
10. How do you deal with the stress of the entertainment industry?
I’m a total homebody and I zen out a lot. Most of my time is spent at home, by myself. I do a lot of meditating, writing, and therapy. I think taking care of your mind is the key to a healthy and happy life.
11. What is one philosophy that you live by?
Win and learn, never lose.
12. Do you have any advice for people who want to get started in the industry?
Feel everything! Don’t shy away from being vulnerable, that is how you unlock your instrument as an actor. Then, take classes!
13. What plans do you have in mind for the future?
I just finished a screenwriting course and it was such an incredible experience! Watching the actors say your words and hearing the audiences’ reaction, it definitely sparked something inside of me. I want to finish this screenplay then put on my director’s hat and create something from scratch.
14. What are some causes that are dear to your heart and hope to bring awareness to in the future?
I have a soft spot for women and children. I organized an event in university for the
International Justice Mission after hearing about women and children being victims of sex trafficking. I donate money and supplies every year to women shelters here in Vancouver. And last year, I lead my first charity trip to Vietnam. We visited, cook for, and donated food and supplies to orphanages, centers that housed disabled children who were abandoned, seniors without family or friends, and those affected by or living with HIV and AIDS. I will continue to do what I can and plan on making my charity efforts an annual thing.
Thank you so much to Jacky for the interview. You can find more about her and her work on: