Young Actor Andrew Kai Talks About His Shift Into Acting, His Projects and His Love for Sports

JUMPING SHIP – A seasoned model from his youth, Andrew Kai brought his lifelong professionalism into the world of acting

Jacket by Soulstar, shirt by Mitchell Evan

Even if it has a similar glitz and glam look for us peasants, but modelling and acting is actually very different. Just
ask the up and rising Andrew Kai. The young actor have been a model almost all his life (he was raised by a couple of them as well), but just recently jumped ship in front of another camera, doing something that challenged him more on an emotional level. It’s true that not all models can act, and not all actors can model. But after two years and a few films on his resume, Andrew seem to be having the time of his life.

DA MAN: Hi Andrew. For starters, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Andrew Kai: I was born in New York yet I love anything to do with the ocean from spearfishing to surfing. Maybe because I grew up an only child with parents who were both models so I was very fortunate to travel with them on their business trips all around the world. I continue to travel often today and just love meeting new people. I love trying new foods. I like waking up in the morning when everyone is still asleep and watch the sunrise.

DA MAN: How did you start in the modelling industry?
Andrew Kai: As I mentioned, both my parents (Tom Tripodi and Fabienne Heymans) were models and my mom still is actually. So I got into modeling extremely young. I think I was 3 months old when I got my first check for a modeling job.

DA MAN: And then, how did you get into acting after modelling?
Andrew Kai: I started to get into theatre when I was 10 years old and really enjoyed it but as I got older I think I decided I wanted to be a cool kid, and in my eyes at the time that was being the quarterback of the football team. Since that moment acting didn’t resurface in my life until almost three years ago when I realized I was missing something and that was my passion for acting. So I came to LA with no plan and quickly fell into a career.

Jacket by Mitchell Evan, shirt by A.Tiziano, jeans by Levi’s, shoes by Adidas, sunglasses by Tommy Hilfiger
Jacket by Soulstar, sweater by A.Tiziano, jeans by Soulstar

DA MAN: What was it like – your first experience acting in a movie?
Andrew Kai: The first movie that I acted in was this movie called “Valley Girl” which was actually a remake of a film from 1983. It’s set to be released early next year. I can’t even explain how much fun it was to work on this film. Since it’s a musical, we had dance rehearsals and rollerblading rehearsals. Another cool thing, the movie is set in the 80s’ so my hair and costume was incredible. Definitely grateful for this project and can’t wait to see it soon.

DA MAN: What attracted you to this project in the first place?
Andrew Kai: Besides working for an amazing studio with an amazing cast it was the role that I played. The character was super cool and was kind of that older guy who talks to all the younger girls but everyone likes. A cool cat.

DA MAN: You have several projects in post-production right now. Anything you want to share about them?
Andrew Kai: The movie “All About Nina” just came out in theatres this past week which I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of. This film has such a powerful message that is so prevalent in the #metoo era going on right now. The story is based off the director’s real life and speaks out against sexual abuse and a lot of other common struggles that women have to face and often are overlooked. I also just finished a project called “The Never List” where I play a misunderstood teenager who battles with the loss of his father and trying to escape his past. The movie is about this young girl, who I end up falling in love with, and her journey coping with the loss of her best friend. The characters
had so much depth to them and couldn’t have been brought to life by a better cast. I am very excited for this project to be released.

Jacket by Mitchell Evan, shirt by Soulstar, jeans by Levi’s
Jacket by Michael Kors, crewneck by Calvin Klein, jeans by Soulstar, shoes by Adidas

DA MAN: Can you tell us the best and worst things about modeling and acting?
Andrew Kai: I feel like it’s easy to say that the worst thing about modeling is the pressure and how much competition there is. Meanwhile, I don’t believe that there is more competition as an actor than there is in trying to be a successful lawyer or doctor. I honestly don’t have much to complain about in the business. I absolutely love every part of it and that’s, maybe because I’ve only been working for a couple of years so far. My favorite thing is delving into a character and learning about myself through that process. These two years have been so insightful and introspective. I’ve learned a lot about my fears and dreams and have become extremely in touch with my emotions.

DA MAN: Professionally, what kind of roles or genre that you wish to play in the future?
Andrew Kai: I want to get into some very dark roles. Someone with a drug problem or who is abused. I eventually want to play The Joker one day – that clown has always been my favorite character.

DA MAN: Also, is there any big star actors or directors you want to work with?
Andrew Kai: I want to work with Johnny Depp in something crazy dark. I also want to work with the director Mike Cahill. His movie “I.Origins” is my favorite at the moment.

Jacket and shirt by Mitchell Evan, jeans by Soulstar
Jacket by Soulstar, shirt by Mitchell Evan, jeans by Levi’s, shoes by Adidas

DA MAN: We noticed on your photoshoot that you also skateboard. How much do you enjoy it and are there any other pastime activities you love?
Andrew Kai: I love to skate. I used to do it a lot growing up in New York. Basically it’s the extreme but fun sports for me; I surf a lot in Malibu and I am also a big snowskiier. Oh, also, you can find me in the mountains every chance I can get during the winter.

Photography Jalen Turner
Styling Ty Headlee
USA Creative Director Mitchell Nguyen McCormack
Groomer Amanda