Cassandra James is an American-Canadian actress born in Pasadena, California and raised in Vancouver.
Her maternal grandparents were from Shanghai and her mother from Hong Kong, while her paternal family is of German descent. The bilingual actress, who speaks English, French, and Cantonese, was active in ABC’s Pride month promotion for awareness and recently was featured in EW.
Currently, James can be seen on ABC’s General Hospital and is the first transgender woman in a major role on daytime television. Her other credits include Diggstown and A Christmas Sunset. And coming up she has a role in the new HBO Max series, Sort Of. It premieres this Fall on HBO Max, CBC Gem, and CBC TV in Canada, and is making its North American debut at TIFF.
The half-hour comedy follows a gender fluid millennial, Sabi Mehboob, who straddles various identities–from sexy bartender at an LGBTQ bookstore/bar to the youngest child in a large Pakistani family to the de factor parent of a downtown hipster tribe. Sabi feels like they’re in transition in every aspect of their life, from gender to love to sexuality to family to career. A coming-of-age story, Sort Of exposes the labels we once poured ourselves into as no longer applicable… to anyone. Cassandra plays Olympia, a trans woman who enters Sabi’s life and shows them that you can be happy.
Chilled had the opportunity to speak with Cassandra and learn about her favorite drinks, food, bars/restaurants, and more.
Tell us about the projects you are working on.
I’m so excited for everyone to see “Sort Of,” which is a new series premiering on HBOMAX here in the states. I play Olympia, a sexy and successful woman who blows into town to liven things up and help shift some perspectives.
With your busy schedule, what do you like to do with your downtime?
If I’m not keeping up with the amazing film and TV my industry is putting out, I’m probably in the kitchen cooking or FaceTiming my family and friends.
When you go out to eat, where do you like to dine?
Give me beautifully plated tapas on a lush patio and I’ll be happy. But don’t skimp on the portions. If I’m dining out, I don’t want to raid my pantry for snacks as soon as I get home. My latest obsession is Nic’s on Beverly.
What types of dishes do you typically order?
I don’t eat much red meat so I’m probably gravitating to the fish or chicken entrees. And I try to eat vegetarian, or vegan a couple times a week.
Any favorite bars?
My favorite bar in LA is probably The 3rd Stop. It’s in my neighborhood and you can always find a table. The beer selection is amazing, and the food is yummy. Casual and a great place to bring a date or friends if you like a low-key vibe that’s great for conversation.
What drinks do you order when out? Favorite drink?
I always want to try the cocktails on the menu of whatever spot I’m at and I almost always choose the tequila one. My favorite drink is probably a pineapple margarita, salt rim with a splash of tropical red bull.
Do you prepare drinks at home?
If I’m drinking at all at home I’m probably trying to make some variation of my favorite drink. Tropical juice with tequila and lime and some club soda to give things a little fizz.
Tell us about your home bar. What is it stocked with?
If I’m being honest my home bar isn’t well stocked. I probably have more booze for cooking than I do for drinking. I buy as needed depending on who’s coming over.
Have you ever been a bartender?
I haven’t had the pleasure of slinging drinks behind a bar.
If you could share a drink with anyone, who would it be?
If we were allowed to talk about work I’d love to have drinks with Emily Blunt. If not, then get me a table with Lady Gaga. That woman’s creative spirit is infectious, and I think we could have a lot of fun over drinks.