The all-female reboot stars Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter and Rihanna.
Awkwafina has discussed her transition from YouTube star to film star.
Starring alongside the likes of Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter and Rihanna in the upcoming Oceans reboot, Awkwafina has certainly come a long way from her YouTube days rapping about her genitals.
Back in 2013, ‘My Vag’ – Awkwafina’s parody of Mickey Avalon’s ‘My Dick’ – quickly became a viral video on YouTube. “I never even expected to be popular on YouTube,” the humble rapper says. “I’ve got a lot of people telling me: ‘Oh my God, you’re going to be so famous,’ but people have been telling me that since I had, like, 300 views on YouTube. It’s all subjective …”
Awkwafina goes on to explain that the song was not intended to be a political one. “I didn’t mean ‘My Vag’ to be a feminist message. I was just rapping about my own genitalia.”
Nonetheless, the 29-year-old believes that being one of the first Asian American women to appear on YouTube had a strong impact on the community. “The existence of someone like me, especially from my earlier videos, when YouTube was a landscape where not a lot of people saw an Asian-American woman being entirely unashamed – save for Cho – is in itself provocative,” she says.
Awkwafina is also a star of Crazy Rich Asians‘ all-Asian cast. For her, Asian-American representation is extremely important. “These are Asian-American stories – just as American as anything else,” she says. “I’m an Asian-American kid who didn’t have that when I was growing up.”
Discussing the film, Awkwafina recently said that Crazy Rich Asians will “set some kind of precedent” and that it will “literally define how minorities are represented in the future.”
In 2018 Awkwafina will appear on the big screen in Ocean’s 8. Being cast in the film alongside Hollywood A-listers was certainly a shock for the YouTuber and for others too. “There are definitely people who are confused that I was cast – I was confused,” she said. Discussing her fellow co-stars, Awkwafina added, “They are a group of idols. But we got along swimmingly.”
Ocean’s 8 will be released on 8 June 2018.