8mm Review: ‘American Factory’

I forgot how I came across this Netflix documentary, ‘American Factory,’ but after my brother saw the film and mentioned it, I knew I had to watch it. The film is about:

“In 2014, Fuyao bought part of a closed General Motors assembly plant in Ohio and created thousands of jobs, revitalizing a local industrial sector that had fallen on desperately hard times when GM left town during the 2008 recession. American Factory charts the wave of exultation that greeted the arrival of Fuyao, followed by culture clashes, growing pains, and eventually forms of internal and external pushback that had been largely unknown to the company.  …

When Fuyao comes to Ohio, the company brings with it several hundred Chinese employees who have experience in running a large-scale glass-making operation. They’re there to help train the 2,000 new American hires, many of whom are former GM employees, on the intricacies of industrial glass production. The breadth of footage that Bognar and Reichert capture over the next few years is staggering and includes intense labor on the factory floor, boardroom negotiations, and a unionization battle that ripples through each layer of the company. As the Chinese employees are told, in the United States you can freely mock the president and “follow your heart.” But the conditions the Fuyao workers face are challenging, and the locals’ initial friendliness toward the company curdles into something more complex as the United Automobile Workers begin to organize the factory.”

The film reminded me of the stories I would read about in the 1980s about the Japanese auto manufacturers coming to the United States to setup production in America’s heartland, including the ficitional film (and later the ill fated TV series, ‘Gung Ho’):

This documentary also happens to be the first film backed by former President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama:

“Steve Bognar and Julia Reichert have been making social issue documentaries for decades. But the Dayton, Ohio-based filmmaking duo (and couple) got the shock of their careers at Sundance this year, when they learned that Barack and Michelle Obama had seen their latest film, American Factory, and wanted it to be the first release from the former president and the first lady’s new Netflix-based production company, Higher Ground.

Bognar and Reichert had been nominated for an Oscar for their short 2009 documentary The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant, about the shuttering of an auto plant in Dayton. When China-based auto-glass manufacturing company Fuyao purchased that factory in 2014, Bognar and Reichert returned with their cameras to document what they hoped would be an historic story about capitalism, globalization and a co-mingling of wildly different cultures.”

You can see the Obamas talking with the Bognar and Reichert below:

What is really amazing about the documentary is the level of access the filmmakers had – they had carte blanche access from the Chinese billionaire founder/chairman Cao Dewang of Fuyao. This interview with some of the filmmakers and some of the factory workers durig the 2019 Sundance film festival discuss how the film was made.

I liked how the documentary covered the perspectives of both sides – the American workers as well as Chinese workers. The documentary definitely shows various opinions and thoughts by both Americans and Chinese. Interestingly, pirated copies of the documentary have been making the rounds in China, with of course, a wide range of opinions as well.

If you’re interested in learning more about the differences between Chinese and American workers and management styles, at least in a manufacturing context, you should definitely see this film.

 

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8mm Review: Ulam: Main Dish

I originally was planning to write about whether or not Filipino food is becoming mainstream American, but when researching the subject, I encountered a movie Ulam:  Main Dish, that seemed to cover that territory.  Having never heard of it before, I decided to see it first before doing any writing on the subject.  I am delighted that I did.

The movie covers a number of Filipino American restaurants and chefs that are gaining notoriety and fame for their work.  Why is this of any interest?  Filipino Americans are third largest Asian American group (as of the 2010 Census), but Filipino food is not remotely close to being the third most numerous type of Asian restaurants in the US.  Given the long history of Filipinos in the US and as an American colony, it would seem surprising that the food has not been well known.

A theme running through the movie is how many people didn’t think that a Filipino food restaurant could thrive.  Sadly, many naysayers were other Filipino Americans.  Restaurant co-owner Nicole Ponseca talked about the crab mentality, how Filipinos often criticize and to drag each other down and criticize each other rather than being supportive.  A few weeks after her and partner/chef/fiancee Miguel Trinidad‘s restaurant Maharlika opened, it would have two month waits for a reservation.  Maharlika is still around, almost nine years later, and its sister restaurant, Jeepney, has been operating for over six years.

Overall,  the stories of successful Filipino restaurants and chefs inspired me.  We have talked before about why there have been relatively few Filipino entrepreneurs, so seeing Filipinos breaking this mold made my day.  I liked how the film talked about the crab mentality issue and how Filipinos are sometimes their own biggest obstacles. On what I think could have been better in the movie, covering only success stories seems limiting.  Often the best lessons on success come from failures.

You can see Ulam:  Main Dish  on Amazon Prime Video or Hulu, or if a screening comes around to your area.

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8Books: “A Team of Their Own” by Seth Berkman

A Team of Their Own: How an International Sisterhood Made Olympic History is a feel-good sports book–okay, a feel-good hockey book to be more precise. But it’s also a story about a group of young women learning who they are and how they will be in the world. Seth Berkman’s new book recounts the journey of the 2018 Korean women’s hockey team. And if you didn’t follow it at the time (hi, me), it’s an engrossing tale. And if you don’t know much about hockey (hi, still me), it’s still a worthy read.

So here’s how it goes: the South Korean women’s hockey team had long been underfunded and under appreciated. Its team members had sacrificed a lot purely for their love of being on the ice. Come the Olympics. In order to qualify, the country’s hockey organization looks to add new players from Canada and the United States — the “imports.” Among the imports are adoptees and mixed race players. The women train and grow together for four years. Then two weeks before the opening ceremony of the Olympics, the South Korean women’s team is thrust into the world stage. North Korean players are being added and they will play as a Unified team. North Korean cheerleaders, hoards of international press, prominent political figures crowd their games.

That’s the plot. And the international implications and the truly amazing thing that these players pulled off is a great story, but it’s not what I like most about this book. What kept me turning the pages was the stories of the individual women on the team and the story of how the team became a family. Thrust onto the international geopolitical stage by political leaders, it was the team that made the “Peace Olympics” a reality and their camaraderie is inspiring. From So-jung, the team’s inimitable goalie and veteran player, to Marissa Brandt, an adoptee from Minnesota, we get to watch each of players, and even the coaches, grow, struggle, and persevere. We see the imports explore their heritage, we see the South Korean players finding their voice, we see players overcome their skepticism of each other. And Berkman has incorporated excerpts from scores of interviews, so we get to hear it from the players, their family, and friends. In the end, it’s about young Asian and Asian American women, and their spirit beams through.

So it’s a feel-good story, period.

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Bowen Yang’s Historic ‘Saturday Night Live’ Debut

On Saturday, September 28th, comedian Bowen Yang made history by becoming the first Asian American cast member of NBC’s iconic ‘Saturday Night Live’ in its 45-year history (see him in the opening sequence of ths show here).

This season of SNL has not been without controversy even before the season started:

“Following news that Gillis would be joining newcomers Chloe Fineman and Bowen Yang — the show’s first Chinese-American castmember and third openly gay male cast member — multiple clips surfaced of some of Gillis’ old podcast episodes. In a since-deleted video from 2018, which was shared on Twitter by writer Seth Simons, Gillis made racist jokes about Chinese people and made offensive racial slurs.

After a public apology from Gillis that many felt was half-heartedSaturday Night Live decided to cut ties with him.”

Yang first appeared in the ‘cold open’ as North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un.

And later, as Democratic presidential candiate, Andrew Yang which was part of an overall parody of  a DNC Townhall debate, where I thought  Maya Rudolph did a great impression of Senator Kamala Harris’ debate performance. Yang tweeted his impression:

 

Best of luck to Bowen Yang this season!

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Asian American Commercial Watch: GEICO’s ‘This Bowler Knows How to Strike a Pose’

I was recently watching TV, and I saw this GEICO television commercial and literally Laughed Out Loud – so I definitely needed to blog about it.

Assuming the YouTube upload date matches around the television debut of the ad, I’m shocked I had not seen it before, since this commercial has gotten over *17 million* YouTube views since January 2019. That’s pretty crazy for a commercial.

Someone noted in the YouTube comments that the actor is Christopher Chen, which seems to be the case according to IMDB. Best of luck to Chen in his acting career – I hope he gets residuals for YouTube views!

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Paget Kagy – #YangGang YouTuber & ‘Kat Loves LA’ (Season 2) Available

‘Kat Loves LA,’ Season 2.

I first came across writer, producer, actor, creator Paget Kagy when I started seeing YouTube recommended videos about her vlogging about Andrew Yang (her first video starting July 3rd).

As you know, I’ve often complained about Asian Americans not being politically involved since the very beginnings of 8Asians.com. Asian American women are especially not very politically engaged (based on voter registration, voting rates, and from my observations attending political events in the San Francisco Bay Area and nationally).

So I was quite surpirsed to see an Asian American woman like Paget vlogging so passionately about her support for Democratic Presidential candidate Andrew Yang, and consistently on her YouTube channel.

I haven’t watched all her videos on Yang nor have I watched the ones I have watched end-to-end (some are fairly lengthy), but I knew that she was based in Los Angeles and was an actress. It was only when Paget had posted her video that I learned more about her challenging entertainment career as well as her YouTube series ‘Kat Love L.A.’

Only after doing more research did I find that 8Asians.com actually had a guest blog post about her series back in January 2018 for the debut of the YouTube series. I felt really stupid that I hadn’t been already aware of her YouTube series!

So I decided to bing watch both Season 1 (8 episodes) and Season 2 of ‘Kat Loves LA’ over 24 hours (it was easy – the episodes are all less than your typical sitcom), and overall enjoyed both seasons. The series is:

Kat Loves LA is a modern-day romantic comedy series told from the Asian American female perspective set against the multicultural backdrop of Los Angeles. It will challenge cultural norms while living in the familiar constructs of romance, relationships, identity, a pre-mid-life criss and personal discovery from the lens of Kat Park, a Korean American actress who is barely surviving an industry that isn’t always welcoming.”

The production values are high, and in Season 1, Paget definitely confronts your typical issues around Asian American dating. What I also found interesting was the difference between the persona of Paget, who comes across as a fiercely passionate #YangGang supporter and her character Kat in her YouTube series, which is more of a uncertain wallflower – which only reinforced to me that Paget is really an actress.

I had commented on her YouTube videos, reached out to her via LinkedIn and afterwards, email, to make some further comments after doing more research on her background. One thing I had discovered, and was amazed, was that her father, a successful lawyer, published Transpacific Magazine, one of the first Asian American magazines in the U.S., in the late 1980s. I had SUBSCRIBED to Transpacific Magazine. I was in college back then and was shocked to see such a glossy magazine exist (I had also subscribed to ‘A Magazine,’ which was much less “glossy.”)

In a follow-up email, I definitely encouraged Paget to keep on her political #YangGang vlogging and wished her the best of luck in her acting career. She had mentioned she hadn’t done as much promotion about Season 2 of ‘Kat Loves LA,’ so I thought I’d also promote Season 2 when I blogged about her.

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Meeting DNC Vice Chair & Congressmember Grace Meng

I’ve been following Congressmember Grace Meng since 2012 when she was first running for Congress – and when she when she won, she was the first Asian American to be elected to Congress from New York.

Meng was in San Francisco in August for the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC)August meeting and there was a fundraiser for her that I got invited to. Meng is also DNC Vice Chair. I’ve seen Meng speak at the 2016 DNC convention on the main stage, AAPI luncheon and APIAVote – Briefing & Kick-off Reception – but this was the first time I think I had an actual chance to chat with her.

In her “speech,” Meng talked about – to a heavily Asian American crowd – her interest in establishing an Asian American museum much like the National Museum of African American History and Culture and had recently introduced a bill to study the effort; as well as talked about the upcoming 2020 census. Meng also talked about coalition building across communities that helped bring voters to the polls in elections since 2016 that have brought out more voters and helped turn the House Democratic in November 2018, and how Trump in the long term, may be the best thing that happened to bring lasting Democratic majorities in the future.

It was great to hear Meng speak in a more intimate and less hectic setting. Having been born-and-raised in the Northeast (Massachusetts), it’s great to see an East Coast Asian American representative in Congress!

 

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8mm Review: ‘One Child Nation’ Documentary on China’s ‘One Child Policy’

I first heard of One Child Nation after seeing a Facebook posting by Vox about the documentary:

“Documentarian Nanfu Wang grew up in rural China under the country’s “one child” policy, which lasted from 1979 to 2015. Her own parents had two children, since the law made an exception for families living in rural areas, as long as the children were at least five years apart — but not until after her mother narrowly escaped involuntary sterilization. Many other women were not so lucky. The policy’s mental, physical, and emotional toll on the country, especially its women, was tremendous.

To enforce such an invasive policy on a population as large as China’s required more than just strict policing — it required self-policing, especially in rural areas, far away from more densely populated urban centers. So, as One Child Nation shows, the Chinese government blanketed the country with propaganda intended to convince citizens to keep their family sizes within the allowed limit, and to report on their neighbors if they suspected anyone wasn’t following the rules. Along with forced abortions and sterilizations, the propaganda effort ensured that most of the population would abide by the policy, seeing it as a necessary and good measure for the health of their families and their future.”

I had, of course, heard of China’s One Child Policy, and certainly knew academically that forced abortions were part of the Chinese Communist Party’s enforcement of the law, as well as its consequences of selective gender (girl) abortions, which has lead to the imbalance of men-to-women. But Wang’s interviews with her family members and village members were very personal and shocking. To hear the stories of abandoned babies and other practices – it made you realize how truly horrific the policy was.

It was interesting to see also all the government propaganda there was promoting the policy.

I’m amazed is that the filmmaker Wang had made her first film, Hooligan Sparrow, which showed corruption at Chinese local government level that didn’t show China in a the best light, yet she or her family in China didn’t suffer any observable consequences. One Child Nation definitely does not depict the policy in a positive light.

The Chinese government eliminated the One Child Policy in 2015 (the policy was from 1979–2015). Now China is encouraging families to have two children, because of a declining population … and supporting propaganda following – which is very ironic to see at the end of the documentary.

If you really want to see the human cost of the policy, I highly recommend you seeing the documentary – though it might be challenging to see until its available online (the documentary was only playing in San Francisco and Berkeley in the San Francisco Bay Area).

After reading about Wang’s background and how she was making these award winning documentaries and really made me think how I should have been a film major in college. I think if I won the lottery, one of the things I would do is make documentaries.

 

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8mm Review: ‘Abominable’

Abominable is a new animated film coming out on September 27, 2019 from Dreamworks Animation and Pearl Studio, set in China.  Dreamworks labels this the first animated film to feature a modern Chinese family.  The movie is voiced by an Asian American cast that includes Chloe BennetTenzing Norgay Trainor and Albert Tsai as the voiceover actors for the three main characters, Yi, Jin and Peng. Rounding out the Asian American cast are Michelle Wong as Yi’s mom and Tsai Chin as Yi’s grandmother.  Eddie Izzard and Sarah Paulson finish out the cast voicing Burnish and Dr. Zara, the movie’s primary antagonists.

The lead is of course “Abominable” the yeti, or “Everest” as he’s named by Yi, the Chinese teenager who discovers him.  She names him after seeing Everest look longingly at a travel billboard of Mt. Everest.  Yi discovers Everest on the rooftop of her apartment building in present day Shanghai, and the movie details their cross-China adventures with her neighbors Jin and Peng, trying to get Everest home.

Some of the best are  Yi’s interaction with her mom and her grandmother, with whom she shares the apartment in Shanghai.  With a Chinese grandmother you expect Chinese food being pushed all the time, and Yi’s nai-nai (奶奶) does not disappoint.  Yi is a moody teenager, especially after the recent death of her father.

Yi’s interaction with her family reminded me at times of my own interactions with my teenage daughter, including my daughter’s reluctance to join me at the preview showing of “Abominable.”

If the producing studio seems familiar, it’s because it’s from Dreamworks, and they last collaborated with Pearl Studio (formerly Oriental Dreamworks) on Kung Fu Panda 3.

The film is a fun ride, if a bit formulaic, and definitely worth a viewing, even more so if you’ve got a little one who would enjoy an animated film.  The film is rated PG, though, so it may not be for the smallest ones.

Note: The author and the family of the author were provided complimentary tickets to a preview showing of Abominable.
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8mm Review: 8 Reasons to Watch ‘Hustlers’

 

Here are 8 reasons Hustlers is the must-see movie of the summer:

  1. Fantastic (Female) Four
    Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinheart — four of the women who make up the savvy group turning the tables on their Wall Street clients. If this list of powerhouse females doesn’t convince you, then I should also list that Lizzo, Cardi B and Julia Stiles are also part of the film. Who runs the world? GIRLS.
  2. We all need some lovin’!
    This movie goes beyond the cookie-cutter mold in portraying the harsh realities of our world. “Hustlers” doesn’t just scratch the surface, they bring you to the very core and root of it all.The movie focuses on the Wall Street crash in 2008. This affected so many lives, and this film takes you back to that time — the irrational choices these women make to get by have you rooting for them.Ramona, played by Jennifer Lopez, and Destiny, played by Constance Wu, have an unbreakable bond many of us can relate to. We all have or had a Ramona in our lives, a confident, intelligent, spontaneous friend. Maybe we are the Ramona! But others can relate to Destiny, also brilliant, but logical and strategical. While their relationship is complicated, their friendship speaks to the fact that we humans need love and support above all material things.
  3. Lorde, oh Lorde
    The emotions you feel throughout the movie are enhanced by its soundtrack. The songs are chosen with a fine-toothed comb. Every song, every lyric that made the cut was placed to cause a reaction from the audience, and it works.Toward the end of the film, there is a perfect example of the use of lyrics. “Royals” by Lorde plays, and the song fades in and out, but the two lines that stick out are

    We didn’t come from money.
    Let me live that fantasy.

    The songs and their lyrics, like this one, combined with the powerful script and acting is a piece of work worth watching.

    Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez star in HUSTLERS

  4. Sisterhood
    How many movies have you seen with a full female cast? Not many.This movie isn’t just about strippers. It’s more than that. Life lessons, friendships, and pay gaps, just to name a few. The film recognizes the complexities we have as human beings, and how we are all just trying to get by. Moreso, “Hustlers” focuses on the multitude of female perspectives, one that isn’t given much time in the spotlight. The cast genuinely represents our society — women of color. It’s quite refreshing to see the spectrum of color on screen. The industry is slowly catching on, and it’s because of producers and directors acknowledging that these stories need to be told. What better way than to have females writing, directing, and acting them? That’s what “Hustlers” brings to the table.
  5. Angles, angles, angles
    The scenes are shot from all points of view. There are moments where you catch an angle from up top, from scenes inside the strip club alluding to the male gaze, for example. These shots, though subtle, are still compelling. The ladies’ feelings of helplessness in these moments transcended across the screen.
  6. Not just a backdrop!
    The lights, set, and costumes all bring the film to life. Anyone who watches will see that the production team had a vision, one that consisted of so much research.You feel like you’re at the center of it all. Production designer Jane Musky’s goal is “to help the audience experience the world of these women’s lives, their journey, and level of sophistication, through the design of the sets and color palette.”
  7. LOL
    While the movie will have you feeling a slew of emotion, one thing’s for sure: you’ll laugh. These women’s chemistry adds to the dynamic of each character. If you’ve seen their previous work, you’ll know that each actress has so much to offer.

    Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez star in HUSTLERS

  8. All about the HUSTLE
    Last, but definitely not least. The theme of this movie will resonate among all ages, backgrounds, and genders because we all know some way or another what it means to hustle. Regardless of the circumstance, obstacles have tested us past our breaking points.

    This city, this whole country, is a strip club. You’ve got people tossing the money, and people doing the dance.

    This is, by far, my favorite line in the movie. One underlying theme in this whole film is that we live in a country of immigrants; those who came here to seek a better life. We see this woven through Destiny’s story, her life as the daughter of immigrants. The movie follows her journey and all its intricacies setting her back, but one lesson she learns is, “When you’re part of a broken system, you must hustle or be hustled.”

    ***

    Decerry Donato was born and raised in San Gabriel Valley where she’s often seen with a camera in one hand and a boba drink in another. She graduated from UC Irvine with a Bachelor’s in Literary Journalism and minor in Asian American Studies. She frequents thrift stores and is an avid traveler.  Twitter: @deardeezy  Instagram: @intodeeseyes

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8Books Review: ‘SWIM’ by Eric C. Wat

There’s a column series on 8Asians, called “How to Be a Bad Asian”.  I myself wrote one in the series, called “How to Be a Bad Asian: Turning Out Gay”.  But, if there’s one way you can be a worse Asian than turning out gay, it’s to also to be a drug addict at the same time.  The main character, Carson Chow in Eric C. Wat’s new book SWIM is a gay Chinese drug addict.  Carson has also just found his mother has died, and he needs to plan his mother’s funeral.  With that intriguing premise, how could you go wrong?  Add to that, I’m the ideal target audience for this book, I mean, I’m gay, I’m Chinese, and I dealt with planning my mother’s funeral (although that was 10 years ago), but luckily I’m not a drug addict.

In my “How to be a Bad Asian” article I talked about how I was actually a really good Asian son in every way possible, in my own subconscious effort to over come being the really bad Asian in my parent’s eyes by being gay.  Carson, in SWIM, behaves similarly, striving to be the good son, the one who brings his family together, and handles all their problems.  It’s fascinating to watch his misguided belief that he’s succeeding at this as his control over his own life comes crashing down as his meth addiction manages to subvert his daily activities and interactions with his family.

While Carson’s drug addiction provides fodder for some epic failures on Carson’s part, the really interesting parts of the book are Carson’s interactions with his relatives, including his dad, a complicated typical Chinese son-dad relationship with little outright conversation, instead conversing through mutual understanding and facial gestures.  Carson’s also taken it upon himself to be the caretaker for his mother’s mother, his Por Por, now that his mother is gone.  Por Por is almost 100 years old, and has significant memory issues.  But Carson’s drug addiction, causes him to be absent from his family’s crises, and forcing them to take over responsibilities like Por Por’s care, and the eventual planning of his mother’s funeral.

Reading about Carson’s failures due to drug addiction is cringe-worthy, but as I said earlier, the real gem of this book is watching Carson’s interaction with his family unfold, the ones previously mentioned and his interactions with his Young Aunt, his cousin Artie, and his older sister Jolie.

As expected with a drug addict, Carson has to hit rock bottom before he realizes he’s got a problem, and that he needs help.  That’s not the surprise in this book, it’s the support he continually gets from his family, even in the face of all his failures due to his drug addiction.  But that’s also a sign of a Chinese family, that family is more important than anything else, and you’re always there for your family.

There were a couple of areas in the book I thought didn’t flow quite right due to vocabulary, like when Carson includes the word “exigencies” in a normal conversation.  I mean, who uses that word in normal conversation?  There were a couple of those, like a word was plucked from a dictionary, rather than using a similar word that was more common.  That’s my nit-pick for this book.

Finally I can’t finish a review of this book without a nod to the title, SWIM, which you don’t really understand, until it’s explained later in the book.  I won’t spoil that for you, but know it’s a great title, and it’s very appropriate for this intriguing first time novel from Eric C. Wat.

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Constance Wu in ‘Hustlers’ – Opening September 13th

I last saw Constance Wu in ‘Crazy Rich Asians,’ which I thoroughly enjoyed. I had heard she was going to be in the upcoming film Hustlers but didn’t realize it was coming out September 13th:

“Hustlers follows a crew of savvy former strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients. The film is inspired by the article published by New York Magazine entitled “The Hustlers at Scores” written by Jessica Pressler.”

The film features not just Constance Wu but is filled with stars like Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Lizzo, Mercedes Ruehl, Cardi B, Madeline Brewer, Trace Lysette, and Mette Towley. And yes, the film is rated ‘R’ …

I’m hoping the best for the film – as I do for all films I want to see. I was already interested in the premise of Wall Street scumbags getting screwed over.  Not a huge fan of Jennifer Lopez, but I did like her in ‘Maid in Manhattan’.

It was really interesting to read Wu’s Los Angeles Times’ interview, since it sounded like she really, really wanted the role:

But Wu, 37, wanted the role so strongly she put herself on tape for writer-director Lorene Scafaria, to the mild bewilderment of her own agents. …  There was something else she was looking for too. After zooming into the spotlight as a rising Hollywood star and the anchor of two groundbreaking Asian American hit projects, she was on the hunt for roles that were multidimensional, human, complex.

“In every project I choose, I want a character that gets to run the gamut of a full spectrum of an arc,” said Wu, whose “Hustlers” character, like the women around her, contains multitudes: The daughter of immigrants and a single mother herself, she’s a ladyboss in the making — until she’s left holding the designer bag. “Destiny has moments where she’s really funny, and moments when she’s really sad. Moments where she’s irresponsible, moments where she’s the only one who is responsible. That complexity is what I seek in any role, and this script really afforded her that journey.”

“I am grateful for my entire career,” she said. “But the fact that my career has been historic shouldn’t necessarily be a call [to say to] me, ‘You should be so lucky’ — it should be a call to pay attention to the fact that this kind of thing shouldn’t have been historic. Me getting to play a fully human experience as an Asian American, that shouldn’t be historic. But it is. Let’s talk about the system, not whether or not I deserve to be in it and how I need to feel about it.”

I really liked that last paragraph. Wu has had a historic role as an Asian American actor in both television AND film, but her goal is to be recognized like any other actor in America. I’ll be sure to watch the film and review it.

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