Fan video captures Asian American’s enthusiasm for upcoming blockbuster

Crazy Rich Asians. No matter where you stand on its cultural significance, there are droves of Asian American people—like me—who are beyond excited about the film. Do I feel like I’m seeing myself represented in a fun way for the first time? Yep. Is this a big deal to me? Hell yes it is.

And it’s a big deal to many of the creative Asian Americans and influencers I know. In fact, last weekend, I was invited to be a part of a short film called Crazy Rich Asians Be Like … by Garrett Taira and Jimmy Pope, collectively known as Krewski.

The film captures the raw energy and sense of fun that so many of us have about the Hollywood release itself, and I sat down with my friend Garrett to talk about what what it means to him.

Eliza Romero: It was such an honor to appear in your short film, “Crazy Rich Asians Be Like…” Now that it’s been released, it’s getting a lot of traction, especially since the actual movie opens nationwide in the U.S. tomorrow. Can you tell us a little about yourself and why you decided to create this short?

Garrett Taira: I am a Japanese/Chinese American actor, dancer and content creator. When I heard the film version of the novel Crazy Rich Asians was coming out, I actually auditioned for it. I didn’t get it, so I thought to myself, it just wasn’t the right timing. Even though the movie hadn’t yet been released, it really made me feel lucky to be alive and I wanted to take part in this historic moment. I first had the idea to do something for the movie when I was in the hospital for a few months due to a rare medical condition called Chronic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction.

It was just a joke at the time, but months after I got discharged, I brought it up to my creative partner, Jimmy Pope, and he really helped flesh the idea out. Our goal was to portray a very fun, lighthearted, “WE MADE IT!” vibe.

Eliza: Can you tell our readers more about your YouTube channel and Krewski?

Garrett: Jimmy and I work together to produce content for Krewski, a YouTube channel based in Baltimore, Maryland. Krewski is a multicultural team of content creators striving to spread love and fun through comedy.  As a crew, we write, produce, dance, direct, and act in comedy sketches and short films. Many of our projects are large scale with no budget, so we tend to collect our friends and throw a party to thank them or at least feed them… but not this time…sorry friends!

Eliza: I love your content! It’s so clever how you weave together humor and social commentary. How did you guys meet and end up working together?

Garrett: I met Jimmy after doing an Ellen DeGeneres Dance Dare Video that went viral and was even featured on ELLEN. Later in 2014, Jimmy somehow went viral for dancing in his underwear. Soon after, the Krewski team threw a one-take music video party that I attended and acted in. Jimmy pulled me on the Krewski team later that year.

Eliza: So back to “Crazy Rich Asians Be Like…”

Garrett:  Yeah, as we brainstormed ideas, we quickly realized this was going to be a big project, so we scrambled to collect our friends!  Luckily, Rich Guy aka “Rich Black Guy”, another core member of Krewski, and Jasper Samson from Random Ish came in clutch to help make the cinematic vision a reality.  On top of that, you, Danny Nguyen aka Atomic Goofball and other friends and family came out to support our idea.  

Eliza: There has been a lot said about how Crazy Rich Asians is a watershed moment for Asian American media representation. What does this moment mean to you?

Garrett: The book and movie, Crazy Rich Asians, means a lot to all of us. It opens a path to new opportunities through representation and breaking old, damaging stereotypes. The idea behind our short film was to promote the idea of a new inclusive way of succeeding.

This video was created in our own neighbourhood. My wish is that everyone takes the jokes lightly while enjoying the comedy, drama, and suspense.

We created this film in hopes that the new movie coming out will help create a new perception of equality for people of all races within the entertainment industry. It’s like a rising tide lifting up ALL the boats. Just like Black Panther did to promote a sense of pride in culture, we are all very excited for the upcoming movie Crazy Rich Asians and anticipate many more to come.

Love and positivity have always been a constant with all our friends, family, and team. Living in a world where things are changing for the better everyday how could we not be excited for what’s to come.

Be sure to follow Garret on Instagram and Facebook, as well as Krewski on YouTube.

Eliza Romero is a Filipina American style blogger and founder of Aesthetic Distance. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram.