By Chloe Aiello
It's no secret that the romantic comedy "Crazy Rich Asians" has kicked off conversations about inclusiveness in Hollywood ー but it's also proven those conversations can be lucrative.
"Crazy Rich Asians" star Constance Wu, who now has a crazy big platform thanks to the film's runaway success, said she is glad to see Hollywood embracing narratives from a wider variety of backgrounds, even if it's partially due to the film's financial success.
"I am really glad that Hollywood seems to be reacting in a way that's embracing and fighting for under-served audiences or people from marginalized groups ー not just because it's important, but because I think they found it makes for great stories and is financially successful," Wu told Cheddar on Monday.
Based on a novel of the same name by Kevin Kwan, "Crazy Rich Asians" debuted in U.S. box offices in August 2018. It grossed more than $117 million in North America throughout the summer, according to Comscore and has since been called one of the most successful, studio romcoms of the past decade.
Wu joined Cheddar just as news broke that producer John Penotti said he hopes to shoot the film's sequel, based on Kwan's novel "China Rich Girlfriend," in Shanghai, China, Variety reported.
"What an amazing place to not just film in, but to visit. And I know the second book, a lot of it takes place there, so that's probably why," Wu told Cheddar.
Thanks to the film's viral success, Wu, who plays Chinese American heroine Rachel Chu, found herself a household name almost overnight. Even so, she said she doesn't feel undue pressure as a spokeswoman for Asian American representation.
"I spoke out a little more before because I thought nobody was talking about it, and sometimes you are not even aware of a problem until people have the courage to vocalize it," Wu said.
"Now that there are so many people who are talking about their experiences and why something like this matters to them and why representation equals possibility. It's just really been very heartening to me to see other people do it and to sort of get a sense of community from that," she added.
She called it "weird" and "awesome" to be at the center of a cultural phenomenon for Asian Americans. She stars in "Fresh Off the Boat," which is the first network TV show since 1994 to focus on Asian Americans, and since "The Joy Luck Club" 25 years ago, Hollywood hasn't focused a film on Asian Americans either. Wu attributes the film's success to the authenticity of its narrative and the enthusiasm of an audience that's not used to seeing themselves on Hollywood screens.
"I think when you make a story for an under-served audience and you tell it with authentic storytellers who understand the story, such as our director Jon M. Chu and our whole cast, I think that authenticity coupled with an under-served audience really gets people out there, because people are hungry for stories like this," she said.
For full interview click here.