[EXCLUSIVE] Alex Landi On Playing Dr Nico Kim On Grey’s Anatomy
Images Courtesy of Alex Landi
Let’s hear it from the back — how many gay male surgeon characters have we seen in Hollywood, that are played by an Asian actor? Alex Landi is taking the conversation to the forefront by playing Dr Nico Kim on Grey’s Anatomy. He’s a new fan favourite for die-hards and his popularity has been surging day by day. While reshaping what the industry looks like, the half-Korean, half-Italian actor who’s from New York City spoke to #TeamCLEO about how it all began (it happened in a week!), where Dr Nico Kim is going, and about his newest project that hints to his flipside.
“Where I turn the corner in slow motion was a great introduction to my character and it was really amazing to see myself on TV.”
Can you tell us what the audition process was like for the role of Dr Nico Kim?
The audition process was very interesting. I had a self-tape from New York and submitted it on a Thursday and heard back from casting that same day asking about a callback. They said they could wait till Monday for me to come to LA, but I chose to take the first red-eye that night so I could get there on Friday morning. I met with the casting director and showrunner Friday afternoon. I came with just a backpack, nothing else, with a one-way ticket and I booked the role that day. I ended up shooting the following week.
What was it like when you received the news that you got the role?
I was staying at my Aunt’s and Uncle’s house in LA and I didn’t have time to go back to New York and say goodbye to my family and friends. I didn’t know it was going to happen that quickly. I felt very fortunate and grateful for that opportunity and was super-excited. As soon as I got the news, I called my family and they were pumped. It was definitely the greatest piece of news I’ve received in my life so far.
What’s your favourite thing about your character, Dr Kim?
Dr Nico Kim is a very interesting character. He is over-confident and very smooth. He knows what he wants, he speaks his mind and is very straightforward. At the end of last season, fans finally saw a different, more sensitive side of Dr Kim.
What inspired your love for acting?
I went to Lee Strasberg Film and Theatre Institute for two years and it was the most transformative years of my life. Before acting school, I was a bit of a shy kid. I’m introverted and acting school opened me up to being more outgoing and becoming more comfortable in front of the camera. I’m still introverted, but it helped change my personality in a positive way. I’m forever grateful for the teachers and students I met there. When I go back to 15th and Union Square, I always have good memories.
What’s your most memorable filming moment so far?
My first episode filming Grey’s Anatomy. In Season 15, Episode 1 where I turn the corner in slow motion was a great introduction to my character and it was really amazing to see myself on TV.
If you didn’t have to work, what would you be doing?
During my time off I play tennis. I wanted to be a professional tennis player when I was younger so I still play with friends in my spare time. I also go to the gym five to six times a week. A busy schedule makes it very hard to have much free time so spending it with family and friends is important to me.
What’s in the pipeline for you in the coming months?
I’m also in Season 2 of Netflix’s dark comedy, Insatiable. It’s a very different character than what I play on Grey’s Anatomy and I’m super excited. I can’t wait for everyone to see what I’m doing because it’s a fun ride and fans will be surprised to see the other side of Alex Landi. I can’t give out details about ‘Henry Lee’, but anyone who has watched Season 1 will know it’s totally different than a medical drama!
Grey’s Anatomy Season 16 is showing on ABC now.