"With Fresh off the Boat it was the same situation"
Constance Wu has said she does not mind if people hate her new film Crazy Rich Asians.
Crazy Rich Asians – Hollywood’s first major all-Asian cast film since 1993’s The Joy Luck Club – is just around the corner and many are eagerly awaiting its release.
However, critics have already slammed the film prior to its release for casting half-Asian actor Henry Golding.
When asked about how she feels about the criticism towards her new film, Wu said that she had already experienced heavy criticism with Fresh Off The Boat.
“The thing is, I’ve gone through all this before on a smaller scale, because with Fresh off the Boat it was the same situation—it was the first TV show to centre on an Asian-American experience in over 20 years,” Wu said.
Because both Fresh Off The Boat and Crazy Rich Asians are first of their kinds, Wu says expectations are very high. “There was a lot of pressure because, obviously, one story can’t represent the whole,” the 36-year-old said. “People were anxious because of the way Hollywood has treated and portrayed us before. And before you even watch it, you’re defensive and ready to hate it and be offended. That’s a natural response to not being heard or respected your whole life.”
However, Wu isn’t phased if people don’t like her new film. “But I think it’s okay to hate my movie,” she said. “Maybe it makes somebody so pissed off that they make their own. You don’t think this movie or my TV show represents you? Then I want to see what represents you. I value your story even if Hollywood doesn’t.”
Nonetheless Wu still believes that the film will resonate with Asians around the world who want to see themselves on screen. “There are people for whom it means so much who relate to it, and that’s wonderful,” Wu said. “Because what does it say to a young woman if her face is never the centre of the narrative? She won’t ever think she’s meant to be the star of her own show.”
Crazy Rich Asians will be released on 15 August 2018.