Jenna Chong: America’s Next Top Hand Model
by Ada Tseng
One of the fascinating Angelenos featured in L.A. Weekly’s People 2013 issue. Check out our entire People 2013 issue here.
When Jenna Chong books a hand-modeling gig, she often walks onto the set not knowing what the product is, or what she will be asked to do. She might be told to dip a french fry with just the right amount of ketchup, pour pills out of a bottle so that all the logos are facing up, or make a hamburger look happier.
Or even, once, pet a 500-pound African lion.
That assignment came in 2011 while she was hand doubling for Kirsten Dunst on a fragrance commercial. Chong’s fears were allayed by the lion’s trainers, who assured her that the animal would not do anything to harm her — as long as she wasn’t menstruating, and didn’t stare directly into the lion’s eyes. Oh, and no sudden movements.
“They said, ‘[The lion] may want to mark his territory and start urinating on you,’ ” she remembers. “ ’If that happens, just sit still until he’s done.’ ”