Talking about Spring Tiding with Shavvon Lin
Updated: May 23
By: Darida Rose
Darida Rose, Phoenix Journal (PJ): First off, what attracted you to this part?
Shavvon Lin (SL): After reading the script, I fell in love with the story. I shared Yiru’s experience, feelings and the need to seek validation from my mother.
(PJ): This was such a powerful part and I really felt for Yiru, who seems unappreciated by her mother. Could you tell us how you prepared for this challenging role?
(SL): The director and I had lengthy conversations about the story and my character before we started rehearsing. Then I wrote a character analysis for “Yiru,” in which I described in details who I think she is and how she would react to different scenes in the film. From there, I started to write little notes, here and there, on my script. We then moved on to rehearsals with Leann, who plays my mother in the film.
(PJ): The ending, I thought, was somewhat ambiguous. We’re not entirely sure what went on between Jia and Yiru, but we do get the sense that Jia realized that she was neglecting Yiru and that that was more important than searching for Mei. Would you agree?
(SL): I agree. The ending is a subtle. I remember discussing with my director regarding whether audience would prefer a clearer message in the end but we decided to stick to the original ending. In the end, Jia finally realizes that it has been hard for Yiru in this searching journey, and that Yiru might fear that Stephanie would replace her in the family. Jia then lied to Yiru that she thought the girl in the church was not Stephanie. Yiru was surprised by this and therefore blasted into tears in guilt.
(PJ): I loved the scene in the empty pool. What do you think Yiru was thinking in that scene?
(SL): Thank you. I love that scene too. Visually it is very beautiful, isn’t it? We shot in the Pink hotel and I thought the color palette represents California very well.
At the beginning of the scene, Yiru felt a bit guilty about lying to mom but also felt angry toward mom. She felt a sense of betrayal during the entire journey of searching for Stephanie. However, after hearing “it’s not her” from Jia, Yiru was at shock first and quickly realized that mom is lying to her to make her feel better. She then thought “how come I lied to mom like that in the church” and cried in guilt. This was my thought process when I played Yiru in that last scene.
(PJ): It seems like the scene where Yiru takes communion from Mei is the turning point in the film. What do you think went through Yiru’s mind after meeting her sister for the first time?
(SL): I love this question. It’s more of a feeling than a thought, I think. Or maybe a chain of thoughts exploded in her mind at once. Yiru was already overwhelmed by all the ritual and the beautiful, epic church. She has never seen anything like this. It was a bigger-than-life feeling. Seeing Stephanie and thought that this girl could have been my sister, that this girl in front of me could have lived with her biological parents in another country, that this girl was abandoned by my, and her parents, that this girl could have replaced her and caused her not to come to this world in the first place, Yiru felt overwhelmed, puzzled and even jealous, but she also felt connected to her sister at that moment.
(PJ): The chemistry between you and Leann Lei was really amazing. What was it like working with her?
(SL): It was really amazing working with Leann. I felt connected to her right away. It felt very natural playing her daughter. She is so talented and kind too.
(PJ): Were there any surprises or interesting stories from shooting the film?
(SL): I love our crew so much. I did not expect to have such a close relationship with everyone on set but I did still feel very attached to almost everyone after we wrapped.
(PJ): Can you tell us about any future projects?
(SL): I’ve actually been writing a lot! I’m working on two original stories. They are both 12-episode limited series. One is about a diverse group of young people building an Inn together, and the other is a sci-fi story centered on a mother-daughter relationship.