Tuesday 15 August 2023

Interview with Yasmin Lee

Monika: It has been 8 years since my first interview with Yasmin Lee, an American entertainer and adult movie actress, TV celebrity, model, and make-up artist. So I am happy to reconnect with Yasmin to talk about what has happened in her life and professional career in recent years.
Hello Yasmin! I am an old woman now and you are still young and beautiful. How have you been doing this?
Yasmin: Wow, it really has been a while! As for staying young, I have no idea. I don’t go out much or drink heavily or do drugs. There’s only so much we can do. We came from nothing, created a life of our own and one day retreat back to dust, leaving a trail of faint memories until one day we are forgotten entirely.
Monika: When we did the first interview in 2015, you could already boast the roles of Kimmy in „The Hangover Part II” (2011) and The Succubus in „Red Ice” (2011), and you won the audition for the role of Ying in Promoted (2015). Are you happy about the way your acting career has progressed since then?
Yasmin: Acting had never really been my focus. It seems that all of the acting roles that came across my path seem to do so with a little luck. To that extent I am happy. So much has happened in my personal life that acting has never been my main priority. There are opportunities that piped up and some you just have to say no to.
For example, I was asked to take part in an orgy scene in Euphoria but the pay was insulting and I said no. The last acting I did was a small movie “Loves me, Loves me not”. It was fun being on set again. Throughout my working life, my main focus has always been the adult industry, and with the launch of my Onlyfans.com/tsyasmin a few years back. It’s so beautiful to see more and more people liberated and not suppressing their sexuality for society.
"I don’t go out much or drink heavily
or do drugs. There’s only so much
we can do."
Monika: In “Loves me, Loves me not” (2019) you played the character called Jazmine. Could you say a few words about your role and the movie itself?
Yasmin: This movie is about a woman searching for love and finding herself in many unimaginable situations. I had a small role. Originally there was a different name for the character but they changed it for me.
She is a beautiful, confident woman taking part in a love triangle. She was able to reveal a deeper compassionate side of her and helped the main character to see her in a new light in the trans experience.
Monika: In addition, in 2018 you took part in one of the episodes of Bloomers, a TV series created by Matt Palazzolo.
Yasmin: In Bloomers I think I was in several episodes and the character was in development to be a regular. Unfortunately, the series came to an end with the sudden traffic of Matt’s passing. I really enjoyed this role. I played a cop. She was powerful, compassionate, and always doing everything she could to help her community. This was my first role where I was not untangled with sex somehow. It was refreshing.
Monika: I guess it is not easy to get a role in Hollywood. Do you have an agent who helps you with movie auditions and casting calls?
Yasmin: I tried the agency with Anne for a minute but it just didn’t work out. Yes, it’s not easy to land a role but to be fully honest, I wasn’t really investing myself in it entirely. From the very beginning, I knew that the small roles here and there would never pay my bills. This industry likes to use and spit the talents.
Monika: There is a continuous new wave of young trans girls entering the adult industry. When you look at them, do you see more similarities or differences in the way you started your career?
Yasmin: It is so different now. There are so many opportunities and so many more roles. When I first started it was a whole different world just in the amount of times available alone. Yes, we are still being used now but definitely a lot more celebrated. The range of characters has definitely become more diverse. We are not just hookers and see objects.

"Acting had never really been my focus. It seems
that all of the acting roles that came across
my path seem to do so with a little luck."

Monika: Last year, I was asked to help a good friend of mine whose 12-year-old daughter is transgender. This girl was absolutely sure that she was a girl but her doctor denied her the right to start puberty blockers. I talked to the doctor, and I was helpless because I understood the horror of masculine puberty and what it would do to this girl but the doctor was adamant. What is your view on puberty blockers for children or teenagers?
Yasmin: I would say it’ll all up to individual cases but there needs to be full investment with the individual along with parental guidance and professional support. At 12, I personally couldn’t get a grasp on my sexuality and identity. I was also raised during a time when I was not exposed to the existence of trans experiences.
At the end of the day, we need to keep politics out of this decision process and focus on the individual with scientific facts in making and executing these decisions.
Monika: Has COVID-19 triggered some changes in the adult film business?
Yasmin: I’m not sure, to be honest. It does feel like the industry never really went anywhere. I remember also during the recession, it didn’t really affect us much. Except for the part where production companies were taking this opportunity to try and lower the pay for the talents. That is completely different now with all the talents being able to focus and making their own content. This is definitely an era where talents are also bosses now.
Monika: You were amazing during the COVID days when you decided to donate 50% of your tips to sex workers who were struggling during that time.
Yasmin: I try to help when I can. I understand that we live in a society that tends to cater more toward beauty privilege. I’m not oblivious to the fact that my continuing to be successful is not the norm for most of my sisters. I’m glad that I was able to rally up the guys to help support the girls in their time of need.

"Cambodia is a really rich and beautiful country
full of history. It’s home to one of the greatest
wonders of the world."

Monika: I looked at your Instagram. It is full of photos taken in different parts of the world. Do you like traveling? Do you have some favorite places?
Yasmin: I actually travel a lot and I’m horrible at taking pictures. What’s on Instagram is probably about 20% of my living. I love going to Southeast Asia and Europe. I have a home in Germany and a Villa in Cambodia. It makes it so easy to escape.
Monika: You have said that your second home country is Cambodia. It is not too known among tourists. What would you recommend to them in Cambodia?
Yasmin: Cambodia is a really rich and beautiful country full of history. It’s home to one of the greatest wonders of the world. Definitely, you have to visit Angkor Wat. These are ancient temple ruins, lost in the jungle for 100s and 100s of years. It is the biggest religious temple ever built. If anything, go for the food. Very similar to Thai but a little richer with my personal taste and opinion.
Monika: Do you like wearing traditional Cambodian dresses?
Yasmin: Not really, to be honest. I’m tall and athletic and the fit just doesn’t seem to work for me.
Monika: You are very active on social media. You have over 100 thousand followers on your Instagram! Do you get many questions from your followers? What do they ask for?
Yasmin: I’m actually not that active compared to most of my friends. I’m not very consistent with posting or responding. Questions from people vary from cordial politeness to very inappropriate questions. It’s hard to constantly answer people so I made a conscious decision to reply only via my onlyfans message board.

"I haven’t been playing with my looks that
much anymore."

Monika: Many popular social media celebrities have to deal with fake accounts. Do you experience the same?
Yasmin: Yes indeed and I’ve been dealing a lot with fake accounts too and it’s very tiresome. What sucks is knowing that there are people out there using it to scam my fans for money. I hope that there is a better system in the near future that can monitor all of these.
Monika: Do you often experiment with your look? Your photos with platinum blonde hair look cute.
Yasmin: I haven’t been playing with my looks that much anymore. And that platinum blonde, that was a fluke. I decided to go blue with my hair, and absolutely love it. I had to bleach my hair in order to have that color. However, after a year, I had to go natural to take my headshots. I had no option but to bleach my hair again to take out the blue.
Blonde is a cute fun look but my hair by that point was so damaged. No choice but to go black again. I don’t mind. It’s my best look.
Monika: Has anything changed in your personal life since our last talk? Any engagement ring or marriage? Have you met your Mr. Right?
Yasmin: I’m gonna keep my love life out. I did just lose my Mom to cancer and was dealing with that last year. This was the main reason why I have been putting off work and even turned down this cute independent movie offered. The covid era was hard. I lost my mom, nephew, great aunt, and uncle. I think I’m still numb. Only my close friends know.
Monika: I am so sorry! Last time when I asked you about writing a book, you said that you would love to share your stories but you rejected several offers, hoping that you could write it yourself. When can we expect it to be published?
Yasmin: All great in theory but I’m exhausted. It would be a beautiful opportunity for me to connect with myself and heal.

"I try to help when I can. I understand that we
live in a society that tends to cater more toward
beauty privilege."

Monika: Probably one chapter of your book would be dedicated to your mother and the extraordinary circumstances during which you were born, living in the jungle and mountains when she was pregnant.
Yasmin: More than a chapter. This woman was such a character. She had so many flaws and yet she was perfect!
Monika: Did you manage to establish a successful daughter-mother relationship with her? 
Yasmin: I did, thank you. We came from a family that didn’t talk and express our feelings much. The first time I heard her say I love you to me was only about 5 years ago or so. I loved seeing her coming around to understand me. Though I was never rejected from her life, I could see she was afraid of what people would think and say. It took some time but it slowly eased away and I could feel how proud she was of me as a human being.
Monika: You have also 6 lovely sisters. Do you keep in touch with them?
Yasmin: I don’t have very close relationships with all but that was kinda how we all grew up. They do show a lot of love and it’s always lovely when connecting with them.
Monika: Do you follow Miss Continental pageants? I saw your comments about them.
Yasmin: Only because it’s a beautiful system, showcasing fashion, brains, and talent. I don’t get to go to many shows anymore but still in awe of them.

"It’s so beautiful to see more and more people
liberated and not suppressing their sexuality
for society."

Monika: Are you working on any new projects?
Yasmin: No project. I was supposed to be shooting this month but I couldn’t bring myself to commit with everything going on in my life. Not sure if I care to focus on acting. If it’s there and the timing is right I wouldn’t object, but definitely not my priority. I wouldn’t mind small projects with friends only as a means to connect and experience life together.
Monika: Shall we have a follow-up interview in 10 years?
Yasmin: Sure, let's reconnect then!
Monika: Thank you so much for this opportunity to talk to you, Yasmin!
Yasmin: Thank you for having me, Monika.
All photos: courtesy of Yasmin Lee.
© 2023 - Monika Kowalska

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