Crazy Rich Asians film was nearly made by Wendi Deng, author reveals

Constance Wu

Constance Wu

CRA is the first major studio film set in modern times to feature an all-Asian cast since The Joy Luck Club in 1993, a feat Wu is still pinching herself over. Ultimately, of course, Netflix lost out on Crazy Rich Asians, but back in 2016, the streamer was so passionate about the film that it got into a heated bidding war with Warner Bros. over distribution rights.

But given both the concept of the story - Rachel, a Chinese-American woman, visits Singapore with her boyfriend only to discover he's one of the richest, most eligible bachelors in Asia - and its literal title, it feels especially damning. "I never dreamed I would get to star in one...because I had never seen that happen to someone who looked like me".

Wu also stars in the popular sitcom Fresh Off The Boat, which itself was the first United States network TV show about an Asian-American family since Margaret Cho's All-American Girl in 1994. Why hadn't anyone been talking about that lack before? "Today, Fresh Off the Boat is heading into its fifth season as the first network show starring Asian Americans to reach syndication", she wrote.

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"My friend Ava DuVernay says, 'I work in an industry that really has no regard for my voice and the voice of people like me and so, what do I do? Keep knocking on that door or build your own house?"

Indeed, a glance through the top 10 films in 2017 and 2018 reveal a trend in audiences showing up to watch movies that more closely represent America than the ones they grew up seeing. "I hope you help our movement". "We're not all the same, but we all have a story", she added.

Bestselling novel-turned-movie Crazy Rich Asians is readying for its big-screen debut in just two weeks, and no one could be more excited than the film's female lead, Constance Wu. He chronicles this in his book How to American: An Immigrant's Guide to Disappointing Your Parents and shared his story on New Hollywood. "They are what truly make America great".

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