Sara De Boer/startraksphoto.com
Patrick Gomez
September 04, 2015 01:00 PM

Constance Wu may play a strict, no-nonsense mom on Fresh Off the Boat, but in real life the actress is far more laid back.

“I’m a real outdoorsy person, so I like running, hiking and camping. I read a lot and I watch a lot of movies and spend time with friends,” Wu, 33, says in the latest issue of PEOPLE.

Unlike the matriarch she plays on the ABC sitcom based on chef Eddie Huang‘s life, Wu says her own parents (a genetics and biology professor and former computer programmer) have been supportive the award-nominated actress’ love of the arts.

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“I think they have a sense of pride – and also relief that I can pay my bills – that I’m able to do something that I love,” says Wu, who was raised in Richmond, Virgina until she went to college at State University of New York at Purchase’s Conservatory of Theatre Arts. “There are plenty of ways to pay bills, but to be able to do it doing something you’ve truly loved your whole life…I think that is something I am very blessed to have.”

Season 2 of Fresh Off the Boat premieres Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 8:30 ET on ABC.

For more from Wu, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now

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