Constance Wu initially turned down her role in hit film Crazy Rich Asians due to a scheduling conflict.
The actress also stars in U.S. TV series Fresh Off the Boat and she explains she was eager to appear in the movie, but after she met with director John M. Chu she learned her production schedule would be an issue.
“I actually let the part go, because I met with Jon and I was like, ‘I really want to do this, but I can’t, because I’m under contract with my show and we shoot in the fall’,” she said during a panel discussion at the Vulture Festival over the weekend (17-18Nov18). “I was like, ‘Cool, another actress will get that and I will be 100 per cent behind her, because I want there to be more Asian actors out there’. So I kind of let it go.”
However, after an encounter on a plane ride, Constance knew she had to do anything she could to book the role.
“(I) was sitting next to somebody (who made me think), ‘Wow, life is too precious right?’ So I wrote this email on the plane to (Chu),” she continued. “(I was like), ‘Listen, I know the schedules don’t work out, whoever you end up putting in the movie… I want to support you, but I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you what this means to me and why’.”
Wu was able to convince Chu to give her an audition for the role of Rachel Chu and although she was adamant she wanted the part, she was intimidated by taking on the lead and what it meant for Asian actors.
“Oh my God, I was threatened,” she said. “Asian-Americans don’t often get the opportunity to audition for a lead role, so that in itself is a setback because white actors have the opportunity to practice auditioning in charged situations. If they don’t get that part, they’ll probably audition next week. So it’s not as precious as somebody who gets to audition maybe once a year, maybe once in their lifetime.”
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