Monday night’s episode of CBS comedy Two Broke Girls is a big one for Brooklyn diner owner Han, played by Matthew Moy. His character’s mother shows up from Korea wanting to meet the nonexistent girlfriend he’s lied about. Never a good idea. But the good idea: We get to see more of the diminutive 29-year-old, who often steals scenes from the title’s financially strapped roomies Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs.
We talked to the San Francisco-born star on the rise.
How did you first get interested in acting?
I used to do it in high school theater to be with my friends. But acting was a far off, laughable dream, so I went to college to study other things. Those things didn’t work out, though, so after college I went back to study acting. It was the best decision ever, because this time, I went to do it for myself. I was on my own, and my family supported me 100 percent. The dream suddenly became a lot more tangible.
What was your first break?
In the mid-2000s, I appeared on Mind of Mencia, a sketch/comedy show by Carlos Mencia. It was my first on-camera audition, and I booked it. I was thrilled. My line was, ‘I’m not a dwarf — I just have that Gary Coleman disease.’ But then I got cut from the final product because I didn’t know what the heck I was doing. That’s when I started thinking that acting classes would be a good idea.
If you weren’t acting what else would you do?
Building houses. Helping save wildlife. Teaching. Going on tour with a rock band would be the coolest!
What is the atmosphere like on the set of “Two Broke Girls?”
Nothing but love. The chemistry is so great here. Love and laughs with some of my favorite people. We work hard and laugh hard.
How do you think Han has evolved?
His relationship with everyone in the diner is a lot more dynamic. He stands up for himself a lot more, and he really cares about the girls.
What is it like being on a popular TV show?
Wonderful and weird. Strangers will give me the sweetest compliments, and then I feel awkward because I’m at Sizzler’s eating cheese bread.
What shows do you watch?
I love New Girl. That cast does such a good job. That new show Mom with Anna Faris is great and so beautifully shot. I’m also a huge nerd and used to watch Lost, Fringe and Adventure Time constantly.
Who is your dream costar?
I’ve always wanted to work with Michael Shannon. I just want to sit there with him in our diner, brooding over coffee. I love intense actors.
What other projects are you working on?
There’s a show on Cartoon Network at 8 p.m., a half hour before 2 Broke Girls on Mondays called Steven Universe. My voice is recurring as Lars the bully. The animation is gorgeous, plus people can get a double dose of me!