Why Teen Wolf’s Arden Cho Took the Partner Track at Netflix

Arden Cho talks entering the legal world as Ingrid Yun for the series Partner Track on Netflix.

Partner Track. Arden Cho as Ingrid Yun in episode 101 of Partner Track.
Photo: Netflix

This article contains spoilers for Partner Track.

In 2013, Helen Wan published the acclaimed novel Partner Track and Netflix has officially brought the words to life in a new series starring Arden Cho. All 10 episodes of the first season are now streaming. 

The story follows Ingrid Yun, a first-generation Korean American and the first lawyer in her family, and showcases the trials and tribulations of excelling at the prestigious (but old school) law firm, Parsons Valentine. Of course, her journey becomes even more complicated with love on the horizon. 

The actress is perhaps best known for her role as Kira Yukimura in Teen Wolf from season 3 to season 5. Now, she’s bringing this incredibly fierce, intelligent, and determined book character to the screen while portraying situations that many women will (unfortunately) relate to. 

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Den of Geek spoke with Arden about what she hopes viewers take away from the series, why the show needs a second season, and more. 

Den of Geek:  When you’re approaching a project like this, is there anything that’s super important to you when bringing this character to the screen for fans of the book and then for those who have not read it yet?

Arden Cho: Oh, definitely. I feel like there was a lot of pressure to make sure that I am true to the character and respectful of Ingrid. And yeah, I mean, I want to do it justice, especially for readers and fans of the book. I want to make sure that they watch this and say, “Oh, yes, this is exactly what I hoped Ingrid would be like.” 

Then, of course, from a show perspective, it’s different because we have some moments from the book that are really clear cut on screen and then there are moments that have been dramatized. Thankfully, we’ve had some great conversations with Helen (Wan), and she’s so excited and supportive of the show. I’m hearing she’s binge-watching it and so we love that.

As someone who has followed you and your career for a very long time, it made me really emotional to see the tweet you shared, “Who knew this little Asian girl would have billboards in Times Square & Hollywood, be the #1 on a Netflix show & get to tell the story of what life is like for girls like me here in America…” Talk to me a little bit about what that meant to you. 

Thank you so much. I mean, it feels like how you’re feeling. It feels like a dream. It feels so exciting. I cannot believe this is happening today, August 2022. It’s about time. I hope that this really is just the beginning of many, many more stories to be told and I am so thrilled to be a part of it, so thankful for this opportunity and honored that all the creatives behind this beautiful project trusted and believed in me. 

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To all the women out there who are afraid to take leaps or to take the risk, do not do that to yourself. You’ve got to take the shot. You’ve got to believe. All those failures, “no’s”, and doubts, it’s so normal and honestly, I feel like all of the hardships, trials, and tribulations helped shape who I am today to be able to be Ingrid or to tell this story. I don’t think I would have been able to tell this story 10 years ago. I don’t think I, as a person, would have understood what it felt like to be Ingrid if I hadn’t experienced these last 10, 15 years of my life, and so I feel like timing is everything. I always say luck is a mix of opportunity meeting preparation. And so, I am so thankful that all the stars aligned and we’re here, and this story is going to be at your fingertips soon.

The following question contains a spoiler for the end of Partner Track.

I have to ask you about the ending since we are kind of left with a little bit of a big reveal here finding out that the reason Ingrid did not make partner is that Jeff betrayed her. Are you down for season two and what would you hope happens next?

I might just fall over and die if there’s no season two. Are you serious? Ingrid– if her life ends there is just… I mean, she can’t sleep. She’s just made all the wrong choices. She’s like, “Why? Why did I pick that one?” What I hope is that it’s that ending moment where she’s like, “Oh, okay. Rewind, what is life really about, and what am I doing?” I mean, there’s like so many thoughts running through her mind in that moment, right? It can go in every different direction. 

We must have a season two and I’m hoping the viewers binge it all, and then tweet Netflix like, “Hello, must have a season two, we need to know what happens to Ingrid!” There are so many exciting things that I feel like could happen. I feel like I am so curious where the writers would take this because I’m definitely not a writer, and not as imaginative so I don’t know, but I feel like whichever way it went, I’d be so down.

Yeah, right? I’ll be tweeting with everyone at Netflix.

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That was one of my favorite things about this show. I knew when I read all the episodes and I couldn’t put them down that it was a good sign. The second they sent me all the episodes, I started reading and I had to cancel my dinner because I was like, “oh, no, no, no, I’m on episode five. Wait, wait, wait– okay, I’m on episode six. Oh, wait, wait, wait– she’s arrested? I gotta keep reading.” Brilliant, brilliant writers – I would never have even thought of that, but so good. Hopefully, onscreen, you know, we give it justice.

As a woman of color myself, I’m Latina, I feel like there are a lot of uncomfortable situations and unsettling feelings portrayed in this series that women, especially WOC, are going to easily relate to. What do you hope the takeaway is for them? And then what do you hope it teaches those who haven’t had to face that sort of thing in the workplace or in life?

I hope every woman feels seen. Maybe it’s just a glance at each other. Maybe it’s just women acknowledging each other. Maybe it’s a woman standing up and saying, “Hey, don’t apologize. Don’t say sorry for something you don’t need to be sorry for. Don’t feel the need to do someone else’s work.” It’s the idea of women starting to say, “hey, let me have your back,” and what’s amazing is I have friends like that in my life and I would not have made it this far in life without them, without them saying, “hey, Arden, boundaries girl.” Just being taken care of and looked after with that solidarity is very special. Also having men be aware: I have so many great men in my life, who see it. I have co-stars who are such great guys, who are very aware. 

I hope the people who are unaware, who have not seen it, are going to watch it and say, “Oh, wow. Oh, that’s really uncomfortable,” and “Oh, I’ve said that before, but that was not my intention.” Because that’s the other thing, sometimes I believe that people say microaggressions or they say things with no ill intent, but it is received, unfortunately, not well and sometimes it takes a little educating. A lot of times people are more receptive to it than we’d know. And of course, it’s not our duty to educate. It’s not our job, but it’s nice that on a platform like this that we can in a fun and dramatic way educate without really planning to. It’s a simple thing as seeing all the boys doing the boys’ thing and bonding in the office and you’re like, “Um, hi, can I be a part of this?” or “why am I not a part of this?” Even in that, it’s like, maybe you didn’t intend to leave us out, but you did. You didn’t invite us to beer and wings at the pub but maybe you should have.

There is so much opportunity for good to come out of this but also fun. It’s fun to hear from people who’ve seen the show saying, “It was tough to watch, but I loved it. I was like screaming and laughing at the same time and crying,” and I’m like, “Yay, I’m sorry, but also: right there with you.” Bradley (Gibson), who plays Tyler, and I had a lot of tough moments to film, and we would just be apologizing and hugging before and after scenes and obviously, giving each other a million looks being like, “I see you. I’m here. We’re here for each other. We’re gonna make it through.” But even as actors, I mean, you know it’s not real, but it’s still tough. It’s tough to go through it again and again, and again.

All 10 episodes of Partner Track are available to stream on Netflix now.

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