"You’re finally getting to see stories that you were robbed of when you were young"
Kaling, best known for The Mindy Project and most recently 2019’s Late Night, asked Wu about her latest film Hustlers.
Wu, who revealed that she hadn’t even seen the film said she didn’t really process how much the film made after Kaling said it “just crossed $100 million.”
“My agent emailed me, and everybody on the chain was like, “It’s so great.” I was like, “Cool. What does this mean?” I don’t really think about numbers. I’m learning about this stuff. Hustlers is only the second studio movie I’ve done. The first was Crazy Rich Asians.” Wu said.
Kaling then brought up the fact that both their recent films “had female directors,” which “made a huge difference.”
“Lorene [Scafaria] wrote it and had a clear vision of what she wanted to do. She doesn’t come from a place of “Let’s humanize this woman.” She already does that. She already understands that,” Wu responded.
Kaling went on to say that her character in Late Night was based “a lot on the way that I was when I started The Office.”
“Which was what percentage of men to women?” Wu asked.
“I was the only person of color and the only woman in a staff of seven. That was 2004. Now, that would be absolutely insane. But when I was a writer there, if I had a bad day or said something lame or unfunny, I was like, oh, this is what they think Indian women are like,” Kaling replied.
For Wu, females in the film industry don’t diminish men’s experiences but instead benefit them.
“I know a lot of guys, male writers, who are like, “Oh, it’s a great time for women, and I’m not getting as many jobs.” I’m like, “It’s a great time for men, too, because you’re finally getting to see stories that you were robbed of when you were young.” It’s like if you had fried chicken every day of your life, which is great, but then all of a sudden you get to try pizza. What’s bad about that?” She said.
Elsewhere in the interview, Wu told Kaling about a term called “rep sweats”.
“I think it was coined around the time Fresh off the Boat came out. You’re sweating because you have to rep, but you’re just one story. There’s no possible way that you could rep every single person who looks kind of like you,” Wu said.
“As an actor, you can’t win them all. If you try, it just waters everything down, and then the content isn’t as good. You just have to be truthful to your character and hopefully that spurs on more projects so we don’t just have the one representative,” she continued.
In other news Wu was recently mocked after the cancellation of Fresh Off The Boat was announced.