Exclusive: An Interview With Lily Gao From “The Love Club: Sydney” A W Network Original Four-Part Movie Event


Kat Harlton

Media: Corus Entertainment

Lily Gao, Brittany Bristow, Chantel Riley, and Camille Stopps star in “The Love Club” a W Network Original that will air as a four-part movie special event on Fridays at 8 p.m. ET/PT beginning February 10 on W Network and STACKTV.

You can follow the lives of The Love Club by watching the four-part movie event sequentially or as stand-alone movies, in which each woman is the lead in her own romantic journey, helped by the rest of her friends to find their one true love.

At a New Year’s Eve college party, four women – Nicole (Bristow), Sydney (Gao), Lauren (Riley), and Tara (Stopps) – each dealing with their own dating disaster, take a vow to call on one another if they are ever in romantic crisis again. This vow has them resurrecting their “Love Club” ten years later as each of them search for their unique happily ever after.

Lily stars in “The Love Club: Sydney“, a former star track athlete, Sydney is now a successful food blogger who still holds a flame for her college boyfriend whom she hasn’t seen in ten years… until now. After bumping into him over street food, she discovers he’s entered the Valentine Half Marathon. Despite being out of marathon shape, she quickly signs up for the run then recruits The Love Club to come help. Knowing Sydney has never let go of her toxic ex, The Love Club hires a trainer to distract her, a plan that backfires when Sydney is paired with running buddy Theo, chef and owner of a struggling restaurant which Sydney poorly reviewed.

Though they clash over their different ‘tastes’, it becomes apparent to The Love Club that Theo is the man for Sydney, even if she does not realize it and is still convinced she should give her ex another chance. With The Love Club’s support, Sydney finally embraces the romantic prospects that wait for her at the finish line. 

Filmed in the Hamilton, ON area, The Love Club also stars Canadians Marcus RosnerJesse HutchAndrew Bushell, and Brett Donahue.

Photo: Corus Entertainment

I had the opportunity to chat with Lily about her role, what she hopes the audience connects with and what’s next.

Kat: You’re in an exciting new W Network Original Movie “The Love Club”, how did you prepare for the role? Did you find any similarities between yourself and your character?

Lily: This was my first time leading a movie, and we had such a wonderful crew, that any doubt or nerves I had, vanished the minute I stepped onto set. Since my movie is set during Valentine’s Day, I pitched the idea of also incorporating Chinese New Years, as it typically falls between January/February, and I hadn’t seen it celebrated in many movies before. I was able to wear my personal jade bracelet, which grounded me every moment, and our amazing art team provided tea sets, New Years decorations, and slippers for my character’s home. Alongside Sydney’s pride in sharing Chinese food with the people in her life, these details all contributed to an authentic representation of a Chinese immigrant woman living in North America. So yes, I felt very close to Sydney.  

Kat: Was there anything about your role that was particularly challenging?

Lily: I would say, the running stunts were a little difficult. I had sprained my ankle two weeks before we began shooting, so it was challenging at times. My costar, Jesse Hutch, was really helpful though, and walked me through some of the more challenging scenes. He’s wonderful. 

Kat: What were some of your favorite scenes to shoot and why?

Lily: Oh, so many! We had a lot of laughs on this. I loved shooting the scene of me welcoming the gals into my home. Preparing food for my loved ones is something both Sydney and I love, plus it was Valentine’s Day, AND Chinese New Years! 

Kat: Feel-good movies are more popular now than ever, what message do you hope fans take away from these types of movies?

Lily: My goal is always to connect with the audience, through the character. As cheesy as this may sound, I think love is a universal language, and whether with a partner, a friend, family member, or a stranger, when expressed with an open heart, I think, it’s worth sharing. It wasn’t until recently that I saw myself represented on North American screens as the romantic lead. I think every genre of movie should be relatable to all audiences, so I hope Asian feel-good movie fans out there can laugh, and feel love, through someone they can relate to.  

Kat: What’s next?

Lily: There is a very cool show I was fortunate enough to be a part of, called Slip, coming out on Roku this spring. The creator, director, writer, and lead actress, Zoe Lister-Jones, is as talented as she is kind. I also got to work with the incredible Kristoffer Borgli in his feature with A24, Dream Scenario. And lastly, an exciting project is coming out early summer which is a secret… for now.

Premiere Dates:

  • The Love Club: Nicole airs Friday, February 10 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on W Network and STACKTV
  • The Love Club: Sydney airs Friday, February 17 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on W Network and STACKTV
  • The Love Club: Lauren airs Friday, February 24 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on W Network and STACKTV
  • The Love Club: Tara airs Friday, March 3 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on W Network and STACKTV

Connect with Lily on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lilygao1

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