Doralynn Mui is an actress from Vancouver, Canada. Her first television experience was a guest-starring role in APTN’s pilot episode of Skye and Chang. Since then, she has been working steadily in film and TV, with recurring and guest star roles on SyFy’s Deadly Class, CBC’s acclaimed series, The Romeo Section, and CW’s hit series, The 100. Actress Doralynn Mui pushes her boundaries on The CW series Riverdale in her role as Joan Berkeley. ‘Joan’ is one of the most talented students at the elite Stonewall Prep, and a member of the exclusive Quill and Skull literary society. Along with her privileged clique, she isn’t afraid to push boundaries to mess with Jughead (Cole Sprouse) and those closest to him. Doralynn is thrilled to be part of the extremely talented cast in this recurring role.
1. For the people who might not know you, could you introduce yourself?
Hi, I’m Doralynn! I’m a Vancouver-based actor who loves garage sales, board games, and chocolate.
2. What sparked your interest in pursuing a career in the entertainment industry and how did you get started?
I remember being in Grade 7 and being given the 2-line role of “Servant” in the school play. I felt like I was on top of the world. That was one of my first acting experiences and it gave me such a rush, but I didn’t think acting was a career that normal people could pursue. After high school, I started auditioning for indie projects “just for fun,” but I realized that acting was what I wanted to do with my life. I finally went for it, and I’m happy to say that I’m still here doing it!
3. You are currently starring on Riverdale. What can you tell us about your character and how does it feel like to be a part of this show?
I play Joan, who is part of the elite Stonewall prep crew that Jughead gets entangled with. She is Preppy with a capital P, she knows how to play the privileged game and definitely enjoys messing with Jughead and his universe. Being on Riverdale has been a blast so far! I get blown away just walking through the studio and seeing all the different sets. Sometimes I can’t believe that I get to be part of that world.
4. Who would you love working with on a project and why?
Winona Ryder, Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Gong Li, and my talented friends here in Vancouver. They just give off the best vibes, and in their work, they can be so subtle yet fully packed with emotion and intention. Honestly, I’m just excited to get to work with anyone who brings a big heart to their work.
5. What do you hope to achieve through your art?
Growing up as an Asian-Canadian in Vancouver, I used to pray that I would wake up one day with blue eyes and blond hair, because of, you know, the good guys on TV and Disney princesses and Baby Spice! I didn’t really get to see people like me in significant roles in the media, and as a kid that really gives you a sense that you’re unwanted. Through my art, if I can help just one person feel comfortable as they are, then I’ll feel like I’ve achieved something.
6. What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
Being the sickest I’ve ever been on set and still getting through all the fight scene choreography on SyFy’s Deadly Class. That experience reminds me that I can get through almost any challenge! I also came onto the show near the end of the season, and most of the main cast had been training for months, so the fight scenes seemed to come really naturally to them. I was overwhelmed, to say the least. In one take, I forgot to turn my head at the right time, so the side of my face got smoked. Actually, that’s my biggest accomplishment so far: getting hit in the face by Lana Condor.
7. Which artists influenced you, and how did they influence your thinking and career path?
Peter Bryant was one of my first acting coaches when I was first starting out, and it really made an impact on me just how kind and positive and egoless he was! He showed me that hard work and staying grounded are some of the keys to staying sane on this path. Building off of a previous question – I admire so many aspects of different artists. For Winona Ryder, I love the way that she balances her softness with that dangerous edge. The subtle performances that Cillian Murphy brings. The complete freedom Tom Hardy has when he’s acting. The intensity that Gong Li brings, especially in Curse of the Golden Flower… These people are just flawless.
8. What is the best vs. the worst thing about the entertainment industry?
Ooh, that feeling when you’ve really affected someone when you’ve been able to follow your impulses and be really free in the character – those are the moments that give me such a high. Even if it happens when I’m in an audition that no one will ever see again, or in an acting class, it really makes me stop and think how lucky I am to get to play pretend for REAL LIFE MONEY. The hardest part about being in the entertainment industry (for me) is dealing with my social anxiety. You’re constantly meeting new people on sets or industry events, and even though it’s exciting, it can also be mildly terrifying for me. I’m still trying to find ways to cope with this so I can bring my full self to any situation.
9. What is one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?
Dear little Doralynn: Don’t be afraid to look like you’re trying. Also, stop killing your skin, you don’t need that tan!
10. How do you deal with the stress of the entertainment industry?
I need lots of cuddles and minute-long hugs! Also, I eat a lot of ice cream.
11. What is one philosophy that you live by?
Don’t be an asshole! You hold the power to affect someone’s day, year, life, etc. – why not make it a little better?
12. Do you have any advice for people who want to get started in the industry?
Be ready to face lots of intense ups and downs. Be open to learning from as many people as possible – you don’t have to agree with them, but listen and consider first. And take acting classes!
13. What plans do you have in mind for the future?
Plans schplams. I never have any idea what’s going on, and I’m coming to terms with that. I do hope to one day write and direct something for myself, and eventually, I’d like to acquire a yellow car. We’ll see what else happens.
14. What are some causes that are dear to your heart and hope to bring awareness to in the future?
As I mentioned, I am really passionate about diverse representation on screen. So much of society is shaped by what we see in the media, on a conscious and subconscious level. We need to see some fresh stories and perspectives! I am also a feminist, and I think it’s important that we don’t shy away from that word. We are miles away from equal opportunity and treatment for women and men, and the first step to growing in the right direction is to acknowledge that.
Photo credit: Karolina Turek Photography