Published Aug 24, 2020As seen on the Exclaim! Experience page
Just a few months ago, Josie Ho was gearing up for a busy slate of new projects in 2020. The Hong Kong actor/musician was planning three new films, plus a set of recordings with her band Josie & the Uni Boys. Instead, her year has turned into something resembling a scene from Contagion — the 2011 pandemic thriller that she herself appeared in. She calls this ironic turn of events "surreal," but Ho is taking it all in stride.
"There's not much you can do in a lockdown, so we just improvised and adapted," she says. "We were lucky we were in the development stage for the films we were working on. We were just meeting company heads, so doing this in a small group was no problem. Some things just had to be done over the phone."
Her projects include co-starring in Rajah, based on the life of 19th century British adventurer Sir James Brooke, alongside Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors, Mission: Impossible III) and Dominic Monaghan (The Lord of the Rings, Lost), plus producing and directing the inspiring documentary Finding Bliss: Fire and Ice.
Her company, 852 Films, is also co-producing Habit, about a party girl who poses as a nun to get out of a drug deal gone wrong; Ho acts in the film alongside an all-star cast including Bella Thorne, Paris Jackson, Gavin Rossdale, and both members of the Kills (Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince).
"We got to keep on developing films during this period in time," Ho enthuses, pointing out that lockdown has a silver lining: "I actually get a lot more done from home! Seriously, that's the cool part."
As if all those films weren't enough, Ho hasn't forgotten about her music career; Josie & the Uni Boys are looking to unite cultures with upcoming projects including English-language songs and Japanese covers. "The band is looking to record some songs for Japan," she explains. "We'll release some of our previous songs in English for our English fans, and cover some classic Japanese songs."
So even if 2020 hasn't panned out like Ho intended, she can still chalk it up as a successful stage in her ever-busy career.
"Rest, work, family matters. I also got some reading, singing, drawing and a little exercise done," she says of her past few months. "The lockdown actually gave us more time, and more time is always good."