The cast of “Crazy Rich Asians” had a chance to discuss how Hollywood’s relationship with stereotyping needs to change.
Constance Wu, when asked which stereotype she’d like to see completely retired in an interview with Variety, instead said that she doesn’t want stereotypes gotten rid of. Rather, she wants to see “the people who have been stereotyped given their own story.”
“The danger of a stereotype is that they’re one-dimensional,” she said. “I love that we have sexy Asian leading men, but I also want nerdy Asian men to feel that they are worthy of love, and the problem is when you make fun of them in the secondary role where you don’t explore their whole lives — that’s why I keep stressing this whole thing about being the center of the story.”
Michelle Yeoh remembered that when she first came to Hollywood, there always had to be a reason why someone in a project was Asian: “‘Oh, she comes from Chinatown; oh, she’s the waitress; oh, she’s from the laundromat or the takeout or something like this.’ Why do we have to be explained?”
Ken Jeong remarked that though many have commented on the fact that “Crazy Rich Asians” is the first film with a predominantly Asian cast in 25 years, ABC’s series “Fresh Off the Boat,” which also stars Wu, has been filling that gap for the past four years. Jeong said he believes “Fresh Off the Boat’s” continued success helped get “Crazy Rich Asians” made.
“I feel it’s a movement that’s continuing,” he said. “It’s not just out of nowhere, you have [‘Crazy Rich Asians’]. It doesn’t work that way.”