You know those friends who are always the life of the party, and seem to have a knack for making everyone feel comfortable? That’s Ashley Park to a T. It’s been observed by many, but the Emily in Paris actor basically confirmed it herself over a recent Zoom call with TZR, explaining how her apartment became the hangout hub during filming for the Netflix show. “By the end of season one, there were people over every night,” she laughs. In fact, Park could be considered somewhat of an entertaining guru — which is why the most recent announcement of Park’s partnership with Ketel One Botanical makes perfect sense.
The vodka brand recently unveiled a campaign featuring the Broadway star, but the union didn’t exactly come about because of Park’s mixology skills. Though she shares that she does love hosting, she admits that she’s “not the best” at making cocktails. Rather, she loves the ease that the Ketel One Botanical varietals and spritzes provide.
Park notes that she also loves the fact that the campaign was all about soaking up the end of summer and spending time with friends. That’s in part because, between COVID-19 and her never-ending stream of projects, she hasn’t been able to do much of that at all. Park spent the summer filming the second season of Emily in Paris, and she tells me she hasn’t seen nearly any of her friends outside the show since April. At the moment, she’s relishing in the fact that she’s able to kick back for at least a few days with them before she moves onto her next project.
As we discuss her new partnership and her many endeavors, though, Park does explain that despite the obstacles, spending time with friends and hosting remains a priority on her list — these days, it just looks a little different. After all, she says, quality time is “definitely” one of her love languages.
“Now, I get even more excited if I'm going to have a soirée or inviting a few people over,” she shares. “Because I really think we all cherish those moments now. I don't think there should be any sort of bad feelings about not having that time. It's only about positive, great vibes that we're able to do those things when we're able to do them.”
Ahead, she shares the entertaining tips she relies on to ensure the good vibes are flowing — no matter what.
Never Underestimate A Great Spread
As you’d expect, Park picked up more than a few hosting skills during her time in Paris. Most important, she notes, is the power of a good spread. “I got this epic cheese board one day in Paris,” she recalls. “I just realized if you have really great fruit, and really great breads, meats, and cheeses, that's all people need. Really good cocktails and a nice spread.”
Now she says, she doesn’t feel like she’s truly hosting unless she has one out for her guests. “And you know everyone's like, Oh my gosh, this is so Paris of you. But honestly, it makes me so excited when I know I'm going to have people over.”
Always Have Good Beverages
Though parties often need to be smaller (or even virtual) these days, Park says having the right beverages on hand will ensure any event is still just as much fun. That said, she notes that the type of drinks you serve will inevitably determine the vibe — which is one reason why she’s such a fan of Ketel One Botanical. Thanks to their taste and elevated packaging, she says, it “already sets the tone for the evening in a way” and provides a fun and bright energy that she aims to have when hosting.
While this is a key part of being a super host, Park also explains that it goes both ways. In other words, guests should take just as much responsibility for providing good beverages as the person throwing the party. “Whenever I have a soirée in Paris, without fail, [people] will bring a bottle of wine,” she shares. “So now I will never go empty handed.”
There’s an art form to bringing new people together successfully — and for Park, that means playing a sort of matchmaker. “Our job as actors is to kind of put ourselves in the shoes of our characters and to empathize what they're going through in order to portray it honestly,” she explains. “And so my favorite thing to do is, before any sort of gathering, I imagine every single person who's coming having a one-on-one conversation with everyone else. That's when the magic happens. When I'm like, this person doesn't know this person at all, but I bet you if they get in a corner they'll have this to talk about.”