A Quickie With Cathy Shim

All photos by Russell Baer

Asian-American actor Cathy Shim is not only a trained performer with
improv experience from the Upright Citizens Brigade and the Groundlings, she is
a classical pianist who’s proficient in martial arts, can do her own sword
stunts, ride a motorcycle and sing perfect-pitch soprano. And because she’s an
overachiever, she can do them all at the same time. While speaking Korean.

With film credits that include Reno 911!: Miami and Balls of Fury, as well as recurring roles on the TV shows Reno 911! and MADtv, Shim has formidable comedic street cred. But although she co-starred in
(and associate produced) the award
-winning film The Gymnast, it took the
web series 3Way
to get Shim her first on-screen kiss with a woman.

Shim spoke to AfterEllen.com recently about her role as Roxie on 3Way (which wraps up its first season
today), her first real-life kiss, and
how Jill Bennett
smells like rose petals.

AfterEllen.com: 3Way just finished its first season. How
was that?
Cathy Shim:
It’s been an incredible
ride. I’m so grateful to all the fans, to everyone who’s been supportive, and
everyone on AfterEllen. When they first approached me with the project they
were like, “Oh, we’re just going to shoot this little pilot and see how it
goes — maybe see if we get any sort of interest.” And here we are. It’s
been the best project that I’ve worked on up to this point in my career. It’s
been awesome.

AE: Working with Nancylee Myatt, Paige Bernhardt and their
all-girl band must have been a gas.
Yeah. It feels like one big, happy
family. We always say it — I know Maeve [Quinlan] always says — it’s magic in a
bottle or something like that. But it is kind of odd. When I first came on board,
I was the odd man out.

AE: I remember your name
being tossed about very early on. You were on their radar earlier than you
might realize.
Yeah. I knew absolutely nobody.
The only connection was that Maile [Flanagan] had done Reno 911! … that [led to] being introduced to
Maeve and Nancylee and Paige.

Coming into the table read, I was like, “Oh my God, I hope I’m not a
complete, befuddling idiot.” And they welcomed me with open arms. From the
very beginning, they made me feel right at home … I think fate works in very
odd ways, and this project came around at a very special and opportune time. It
has improved my life in such a way that I never thought was possible.

AE: So, it is “magic
in a bottle,” or lightning in a bottle. I don’t know which, but it’s definitely
something in a bottle. Probably tequila.
I’d say it’s like a mix of
tequila … and whiskey all wrapped up in some big bottle that doesn’t give you a
hangover the next morning.