Jon M. Chu finds it ‘hard to accept’ success of Crazy Rich Asians

Jon M. Chu finds it “hard to actually accept” the huge success of his 2018 romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians.The movie, which starred Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Awkwafina and Michelle Yeoh, was praised by critics upon its release and went…

Jon M. Chu finds it “hard to actually accept” the huge success of his 2018 romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians.

The movie, which starred Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Awkwafina and Michelle Yeoh, was praised by critics upon its release and went on to gross more than $238 million (£194 million) at the worldwide box office.

However, the 40-year-old director is still struggling to accept just how successful the groundbreaking rom-com was, because he faced brutal receptions for his previous films, including Step Up 2: The Streets, Jem and the Holograms, and the Justin Bieber documentary, Never Say Never.

“They all get s**t on,” Chu told Variety’s #REPRESENT: Success Stories series. “It’s why it was hard to actually accept its success, because I had already decided in my own life that I wasn’t going to depend on the critics, and I wasn’t going to depend on the box office.”

He explained that he chose to focus on his next projects and pay no attention to the film’s reception in an effort to stay unaffected by the critics and box office takings.

“I was just going to make the thing, and I was going to focus on my next thing,” Chu shared. “Only recently am I really able to actually sort of recognise it, but I still can’t enjoy it, because I already made a decision in my life not to let that part give me satisfaction, I guess.”

The next project Chu has been focussing on is the feature adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical In the Heights. He was in the middle of post-production when the coronavirus pandemic hit and forced it to shut down, so the movie’s release has been pushed back until June 2021.

He is also developing two Crazy Rich Asians sequels, based on the follow-up novels China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems.

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Lorene Scafaria fired Hustlers extras for ‘ogling’ the strippers

Director Lorene Scafaria reportedly fired a number of male extras on the set of her film Hustlers for “ogling” the strippers.Oscar-winning actress Mercedes Ruehl played Mama in the 2019 crime drama, which starred Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu and fol…

Director Lorene Scafaria reportedly fired a number of male extras on the set of her film Hustlers for “ogling” the strippers.

Oscar-winning actress Mercedes Ruehl played Mama in the 2019 crime drama, which starred Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu and followed a group of women working at a strip club who drugged and robbed their customers to make money.

Numerous scenes in the drama featured the stars, including Lili Reinhart, and female performers wearing racy ensembles, and Ruehl has revealed that several of the extras were punished for eyeing them up.

“I was very impressed by the young writer/director (Scafaria). She knew her stuff. It was interesting to me to see a young woman. Very attractive, very open, friendly,” the Big star told News on Media. “Obviously it was a lot of strippers and a lot of T and A (t*ts and a*s) and everything, and boy, did she rule with an iron hand.”

“There was nobody on that set who was anything but entirely respectful of all the women,” the 72-year-old explained, noting that some of the men refused to look at the dancers. “They didn’t even want to get caught ogling because there were a number of extras who were fired, whether it was remarks that they made or just ogling the girls.”

The Fisher King actress said she was relieved to be working in such a safe environment for women, especially after the allegations surrounding the inappropriate behaviour of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and other high-profile men in Hollywood.

“It was my first post-Harvey experience, and it was really interesting because this young woman kept a tight grasp on respect for the actresses,” Ruehl shared.

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Jon M. Chu ‘disgusted’ by Crazy Rich Asians casting scam

Jon M. Chu has called out a “disgusting” casting scam targeting actors interested in his Crazy Rich Asians sequels. The filmmaker is currently working on two follow-ups to his smash hit 2018 romantic comedy, but the projects are yet to have scripts an…

Jon M. Chu has called out a “disgusting” casting scam targeting actors interested in his Crazy Rich Asians sequels.

The filmmaker is currently working on two follow-ups to his smash hit 2018 romantic comedy, but the projects are yet to have scripts and aren’t near the casting stage.

On Wednesday, he took to Twitter to express his dismay after discovering that a user named Alan Baltes, who claimed to be an actor and casting associate, posted a phony casting notice announcing that “live Zoom auditions” were being held to find new leads for the sequels. The advertisement claimed Asian actors aged between 20 to 40 as well as Caucasian women aged between 25 and 35 should apply, and those who wanted to be considered should pay Baltes a $99 ($79) “submission fee”.

“I kept reading it, and when it said $99 I was like, ‘This is f**ked up,'” Chu told Variety. “There’s so many scams like that in L.A. anyway and to actually target, specifically, Asian actors, was very frustrating.”

Chu first discovered the scam when he was tagged in a tweet and he subsequently notified Twitter bosses and the legal team at Warner Bros. Baltes’ account has since been deactivated.

“Asian American actors finally get the opportunity or the hope that there are roles and parts out there. People have this light inside of them to pursue this dream that they never thought was possible before, and to take advantage of that and know that you can take $99 for a fake audition is just disgusting,” he continued.

Baltes responded to the publication, insisting that “someone” who claimed to be with casting sent him the “false information” and that no money had been paid.

According to Variety, this isn’t the first time Baltes has tried to solicit money for fake auditions. In 2018, he posted a similar scam for Jurassic World: Dominion and director Colin Trevorrow tweeted: “Anyone who requests money for an audition isn’t on the level.”

Crazy Rich Asians, based on the novel by Kevin Kwan, starred Constance Wu and Henry Golding. The sequels will be based on the follow-up novels, China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems.

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Awkwafina makes history with Golden Globes win

Awkwafina made history when she won the Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy prize at the 2020 Golden Globes on Sunday night. The Crazy Rich Asians actress, real name Nora Lum, beat Knives Out’s Ana de Armas, Booksmart’s Beanie Feldstein, Late Night’s …

Awkwafina made history when she won the Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy prize at the 2020 Golden Globes on Sunday night.

The Crazy Rich Asians actress, real name Nora Lum, beat Knives Out’s Ana de Armas, Booksmart’s Beanie Feldstein, Late Night’s Emma Thompson, and Cate Blanchett for Where’d You Go, Bernadette to win the Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical prize for her role in The Farewell.

With her win, the 31-year-old became the first person of Asian descent to win that category and win a lead actress Golden Globe for a film.

No Asian woman had ever been nominated in the category until last year, when her Crazy Rich Asians co-star Constance Wu landed on the shortlist and was subsequently beaten by Olivia Colman for The Favourite. At the 2019 awards ceremony, Sandra Oh became the first Asian to win Best Actress in a TV show for Killing Eve.

First-time nominee Awkwafina, whose father is Chinese-American and late mother was South Korean, acknowledged her historic win backstage by saying, “I just heard that fact and it was pretty mind-blowing. There’s also this other feeling that you want there to be more, and I hope this is just the beginning.”

In her acceptance speech, Awkwafina joked to the star-studded audience at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles, “This is great. If I ever fall on hard times, I’m gonna sell this, so that’s great.

“I’ve never been to the Golden Globes, so I’m here now and it’s this and it’s great. Most importantly, to Lulu Wang, our incredible director. You gave me this chance, this chance of a lifetime and taught me so much.”

She dedicated the award to her father, praised her paternal grandmother, whom she described as her “best friend”, and thanked her late mum, commenting that she “always hoped was watching from somewhere above and I hope she’s watching now.”

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Gemma Chan felt like Cinderella in elegant Crazy Rich Asians outfits

Gemma Chan had a Cinderella moment each time she donned her wardrobe for Crazy Rich Asians.The British actress portrayed Astrid Leong-Teo in Jon M. Chu’s hit 2018 romantic comedy, with the kind-hearted character sporting many impressive designer outfit…

Gemma Chan had a Cinderella moment each time she donned her wardrobe for Crazy Rich Asians.

The British actress portrayed Astrid Leong-Teo in Jon M. Chu’s hit 2018 romantic comedy, with the kind-hearted character sporting many impressive designer outfits, including a beautiful rose-pink dress with cowl neck from Dior.

But while Gemma had a ball dressing up to play one of Singapore’s most fashionable faces, in a chat with The Allure Podcast, she explained that she didn’t get to keep any of the outfits.

“Astrid, she’s kind of meant to be the equivalent of royalty…in Singapore. So, you know, I tried to channel that kinda old school…glamour, kind of an Audrey Hepburn-ish, Grace Kelly, that kind of vibe,” she explained, adding that she wished she had such a stunning collection of garments.

“It was like being Cinderella. I had to give everything straight back. But, you know, I felt so lucky to even be wearing some of those outfits.”

Costume designer Mary E. Vogt was tasked with putting the outfits together for the entire Crazy Rich Asians cast, including Henry Golding and Constance Wu.

But as Gemma noted, it wasn’t just the costumes that allowed her to tap into the elegant vibe required of her for the role, but the hairstyle too.

“Well, in terms of my work, in terms of my acting, it’s an intrinsic part of getting into character,” the 37-year-old added. “And whether it’s just a particular thing, a particular way your hair is styled, having my hair up when I was playing Astrid, that kind of thing immediately changes your posture and the feeling of having your neck exposed… And, yeah, it’s a big part for me of getting into character.”

Two sequels to Crazy Rich Asians are currently in the works.

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Jennifer Lopez fights back tears as she reacts to first-ever SAG Awards nomination

Jennifer Lopez was overcome with emotion after receiving her first-ever nomination for the 2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards on Wednesday.The singer/actress was shortlisted for the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role prize for …

Jennifer Lopez was overcome with emotion after receiving her first-ever nomination for the 2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards on Wednesday.

The singer/actress was shortlisted for the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role prize for her performance as Ramona in box office hit Hustlers, and the star took to Twitter on Wednesday to thank the organisation for the recognition.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been nominated for a SAG award before,” she said in a video, while working out at the gym.

Holding back tears, the star added: “So excited and so humble to be recognised by my fellow actors out there. You know, acting was my first love along with dancing and I just can’t believe all of this is happening.

“To all the struggling actors out there, don’t give up! It could happen. It’s happening. Thank you so much. I feel like I already won, thank you.”

Also nominated in the category is Laura Dern for Marriage Story, Scarlett Johansson for Jojo Rabbit, and Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie for Bombshell.

It’s been a successful week for the Love Don’t Cost A Thing hitmaker, who was also shortlisted for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture at the 2020 Golden Globes – her first Globes nod in 20 years – for her celebrated performance in the critically-acclaimed film, which also stars Constance Wu, Keke Palmer, and Lili Reinhart.

“I’m just waking up and I just heard that I got nominated,” she said in a video shared on social media. “Oh my god, it’s been 20 years since Selena. I just want to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for this incredible honour. I am humbled and so excited to be recognised for this role as Ramona in Hustlers and I’ll see you at the Globes!”

The Golden Globes take place 5 January, while the SAG Awards are held 19 January.

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Mindy Kaling based her Late Night character on her early days on The Office

Mindy Kaling based her Late Night character on her own early days as a writer on The Office.The actress starred in and co-wrote many of the episodes of the U.S. comedy series, which was based on Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s hit U.K. show of the…

Mindy Kaling based her Late Night character on her own early days as a writer on The Office.

The actress starred in and co-wrote many of the episodes of the U.S. comedy series, which was based on Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s hit U.K. show of the same name.

Kaling first worked as a staff writer on the NBC show back in 2004, and she revealed that budding writer Molly Patel, who she plays in her recent comedy Late Night, was based on her own experiences in the all-male writers’ room.

“The character is based a lot on the way that I was when I started The Office,” she told Constance Wu in a chat for Variety’s Actors on Actors series. “I was the only person of colour 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.'”

When asked by the Crazy Rich Asians star if the working atmosphere on The Office changed, Kaling noted that it significantly improved.

“It did. Every year, there were small changes. Now, there’s so much more financial incentive to hire people of colour. There’s way more scrutiny, in a good way, on our staffs,” she explained.

Elsewhere in the discussion, the 40-year-old confessed that she struggled to pitch Late Night to directors and studios, because it focused on the ambition of two women.

“Stories about women and ambition are tricky because ambition is such a stereotypically masculine trait. It’s not considered attractive,” Kaling shared. “This movie is about two women who are incredibly ambitious about their career. I wanted to find someone who had loving feelings toward ambition in women and thought of it as a beautiful thing.”

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Constance Wu won’t watch Hustlers

Constance Wu has no interest in watching her hit stripper movie Hustlers because she fears it will make her too “self-conscious” for future projects.The Crazy Rich Asians star features alongside Jennifer Lopez in the film, which tells of a real-life gr…

Constance Wu has no interest in watching her hit stripper movie Hustlers because she fears it will make her too “self-conscious” for future projects.

The Crazy Rich Asians star features alongside Jennifer Lopez in the film, which tells of a real-life group of exotic dancers who con their wealthy broker clients.

While Hustlers is being tipped for big things during the upcoming Hollywood awards season, Wu has now admitted that she is yet to see the finished product, and she doubts she ever will.

In a new interview for Variety’s Actors on Actors series, she was asked by Mindy Kaling if she will ever see her own movie, and she replied, “Probably not. It’s not that I don’t watch all my projects, it’s a case-by-case basis. If it’s going to help my work to watch something, I’ll watch it, but if I think it’s just going to make me self-conscious about my work in the future and damage my work, then I don’t.”

Wu went on to explain that her decision has nothing to do with the quality of the movie.

“I think Destiny (her Hustlers character) is in such a vulnerable (place)… She has such a huge arc, she changes from beginning, middle to end,” the 37-year-old explained. “I feel like if I watch that too much, I’ll get analytical and self-conscious and it’ll affect my performance in the future. But I’m so glad people are enjoying it, and I had the best time doing it.”

Hustlers, which also co-stars Julia Stiles and Cardi B, is based on a New York Magazine article that went viral in 2015.

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Jennifer Lopez ‘didn’t get paid’ for her acting role in Hustlers

Jennifer Lopez has claimed she took on her role as stripper Ramona in Hustlers “for free”.The singer/actress stars in the movie as the “savage” performer, and also produced the flick, which was a box office smash over the summer and also featured Cardi…

Jennifer Lopez has claimed she took on her role as stripper Ramona in Hustlers “for free”.

The singer/actress stars in the movie as the “savage” performer, and also produced the flick, which was a box office smash over the summer and also featured Cardi B, Lizzo, Constance Wu, and Lili Reinhart.

Despite the film’s success, the Waiting For Tonight singer has now told GQ magazine as their Icon of the Year for their annual Men of the Year issue that she didn’t get paid for her involvement.

“I do things because I love them. I didn’t get paid a whole bunch of money for Hustlers,” she shared. “I did it for free and produced it. I bank on myself. That’s the Jenny from the Block. I do what I want, I do what I love.”

Jennifer went on to explain how the financial arrangement helped her to engage with her character’s independent mindset.

“Whether she was doing great things or bad things, she was very clear about what she wanted and what her goals were. And that she could do it on her own

“For me, who grew up with my sister sleeping in the same bed, and then went from one relationship to the other, playing that character, and having to be that independent and in charge, I was just like, ‘God, this is so empowering,'” the 50-year-old mused, adding: “It was fun when I was playing it. It was scary when I was watching it.”

Elsewhere, Jennifer insisted that she’s very proud of Hustlers, calling the movie a “moment” for women everywhere.

“This is our movie where we run s**t. They know it’s all women producers, women director, women writer, all women starring in it,” she added. “And they kind of took ownership of that. We’ve been watching men take advantage of women in movies a long time. And so it was a fun kind of ride to see the tables turn.”

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Constance Wu goes to acting classes on her days off

Constance Wu goes to acting classes on her days off because that’s where she feels the “most free”.The 37-year-old started acting in a community theatre in her hometown of Richmond, Virginia, at the age of 12 before training at the Lee Strasberg …

Constance Wu goes to acting classes on her days off because that’s where she feels the “most free”.

The 37-year-old started acting in a community theatre in her hometown of Richmond, Virginia, at the age of 12 before training at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute.

She has since found success with hit sitcom Fresh Off the Boat and movies like Crazy Rich Asians and Hustlers, but the Golden Globe-nominated actress loves her job so much that she even goes to acting classes on her days off.

“I love what I do. It’s more fun for me than going to a party,” she told Britain’s Guardian newspaper. “When I have a day off, I go to acting class. I’m there with all the other actors who are struggling and waiting tables and trying to become actors, just because it’s fun. It’s where I feel most free.”

She also opened up about the early days of her career, and recalled a time when she was living in New York during her early 20s and was juggling her job as a waitress with auditions. While deciding whether to retrain as a speech therapist or to focus on her acting career, she decided to ditch her acting dream because of a “pathetic reason”.

“I had a boyfriend I was in love with, who wasn’t too psyched with the idea of being with an actress, because it wasn’t stable. He wasn’t like: ‘I don’t want to be with an actress,’ but he said: ‘I just want a partner with a stable job.’ I tried it. It didn’t work for me. And that relationship did not end up working out,” Wu explained.

Elsewhere in the interview, Wu teased the latest developments for the two follow-up movies to last year’s smash hit, Crazy Rich Asians.

“I’m still friends with Jon M. Chu (the director). Last I talked to him, they were still working on the scripts,” she stated.

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