Lauren Tsai
Photo: Courtesy

Best known for her appearance in the reality TV series Terrace House: Aloha State, Lauren Tsai has joined the third season of the critically-acclaimed Legion, which is the first television series to be connected to the X-Men film series and is produced by FX Productions, in association with Marvel Television. Tsai joins the show in the role of Switch, described as a young mutant whose secret ability serves as the key to executing David Haller’s plan. BAZAAR spoke exclusively to the actress to find out what fans can expect from the new season, reality TV and her love of Japan.

What originally inspired you to go on the show Terrace House: Aloha State?
During my senior year at High School I actually decided not to go to college and move to Japan instead. I promised myself that I would try all of the opportunities that scared me and to do everything that I could to live life to the fullest and really push myself. I ended up seeing the audition for Terrace House on Facebook. I didn’t know it was Terrace House at the time but I knew it was for a reality show, and it seemed like the perfect thing for me. I knew it would be a great adventure, so I applied.

  • How accurate is reality TV in terms of what we as viewers see on screen?
    I think that in America at least, reality TV is definitely heavily edited and they choose very dramatic personalities. However, the producers on Terrace House really did care about the people who were on the show; and they do try their best to truly portray everything that happens as accurately as possible. Of course, when you add music and editing it does change how a situation is viewed, but I do think they try to stay true to what they saw in that moment.

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How different was it for you to play a character such as Switch in Legion as opposed to playing yourself?
I think the main difference was that when your acting it’s really a performance that you’re giving and you have the opportunity to bring to life something from the fantasy world, which is completely different to being on a reality show. It really pushed me as a creator and as a performer, whereas with a reality show you have to be more confident in who you are as a person.

What can viewers expect from season 3 of Legion?
A crazy ride, as always! I think in season 3 you’re going to get the opportunity to see these characters that you’ve seen in season 1 and 2 in a completely different light. You’re going to get to see different sides of these characters come out, and they’re going to continue to grow. Legion is special, I don’t think there’s anything else like it on TV, so I hope everyone enjoys.

You’re originally from America, what prompted your move to Tokyo?
I had always loved Japan growing up and when I was seven my family moved from Massachusetts to Hawaii where there’s surprisingly a lot of Japanese culture. I got exposed to a lot of Japanese food, and Japanese movies, even from my friends who were Japanese. I think that as I began to delve deeper into Japanese culture via the internet and discover more about Japanese animation, music and passion, I really fell in love with the country. I went on an exchange trip there when I was in High School, and that for me was it – that’s when I knew I wanted to live there.

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quick stop @ home. save game. continue

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Aside from acting, you’re also passionate about art. Is that something you want to focus on moving forward?
Yes, I think for me art is something that I’ve loved the most, ever since I was a young child. I think that if I could build a career pushing myself as an artist and truly bringing my vision to life that would really be the greatest thing I could hope for. Acting is something I’ve truly fallen in love with, but I think art is going to be the constant thing in my life that I’m always chasing.

If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?
One thing I’ve learnt from doing Legion and all the Marvel comics is that superpowers come at a price. But I think that it would be nice to be able to read minds, but I also know that would be absolutely terrible, because we all have thoughts we don’t want to be heard. I think the superpower that would make me the happiest would be to fly. I have a lot of dreams about flying, it’s a simple one but I think it would make me happy.

Legion season three premieres same-day-as US on Tuesday June 25 on FOX and FOX+ at 9:50pm HKT, 8:50pm JKT/VTN.

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