Awkwafina to star in gambling drama

Awkwafina is set to play the world’s greatest female gambler in The Baccarat Machine. The Crazy Rich Asians actress, who recently won a Golden Globe for her performance in The Farewell, will portray Cheung Yin ‘Kelly’ Sun, the most successful female ga…

Awkwafina is set to play the world’s greatest female gambler in The Baccarat Machine.

The Crazy Rich Asians actress, who recently won a Golden Globe for her performance in The Farewell, will portray Cheung Yin ‘Kelly’ Sun, the most successful female gambler in modern history.

Based on Michael Kaplan’s article The Baccarat Machine, which was published in Cigar Aficionado magazine, the film will follow young Chinese woman Sun as she painstakingly develops talent and an obsession for payback.

With major casinos conspiring to bar her from their properties, Sun partners with the international “King of Poker” Phil Ivey in order to take down the system through subterfuge, ingenuity, and pure daring, resulting in one of the most ingenious legal gambling runs ever documented.

John Penotti and Charlie Corwin from SK Global, which is financing and producing the project, made the announcement on Wednesday. They also revealed Andy Bellin will be writing the script and Jeffrey Sharp will be producing. They are still in talks with potential directors and additional actors.

“We can’t think of a better way to start this project than by announcing that our friend Awkwafina has come on board,” Penotti said in a statement, according to Deadline and Variety. “She is uniquely equipped to bring Kelly to life onscreen and will infuse the role with genuine humour and humanity. Along with our partners at Sharp, we’re thrilled to bring this unbelievable story to the screen.”

SK Global previously worked with Awkwafina on Crazy Rich Asians, one of her breakout roles in 2018, along with Ocean’s 8. The actress, real name Nora Lum, was recently seen in Jumanji: The Next Level and is starring in new TV comedy series Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens, which she co-created.

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Awkwafina: ‘I had to learn to love myself in a dress’

Awkwafina had to learn how to beat her insecurities and love herself in a dress.The Crazy Rich Asians star feels more comfortable wearing suits on the red carpet, but she is working hard to become confident while wearing gowns. “I think fittings for me…

Awkwafina had to learn how to beat her insecurities and love herself in a dress.

The Crazy Rich Asians star feels more comfortable wearing suits on the red carpet, but she is working hard to become confident while wearing gowns.

“I think fittings for me always start with insecurity, like, ‘I hate this part about me,'” the 31-year-old shared. “I love dresses, but I think I had to learn to love myself in a dress. I had to learn to look at myself and be like, ‘Don’t slouch; really stand up and feel proud that you’re in this beautiful dress.’ I had to teach myself that.”

Awkwafina, real name Nora Lum, prefers wearing glamorous two-piece suits because not only can she move better, it makes her feel powerful.

“The first time I really wore a suit to an event, I remember thinking, ‘I can move so well.’ But then there is (also) something about looking at yourself in a suit that does make you feel a sense of empowerment,” the Golden Globe Award-winning actress added. “I like suits because I grew up kind of more of a tomboy. So I live in them better.”

Awkwafina’s style has evolved with the help of stylist Erica Cloud, who is responsible for dressing the former YouTube rapper in a pale pink Dsquared2 sequinned suit for the 2019 Academy Awards, and now the actress feels like she can express herself on the red carpet.

“I always felt very unsure when it came to fashion, but what I learned from (working with a stylist) is that it is definitely an expression of who you are,” she said. “If you don’t (feel like) yourself in it, you’re not going to feel good in anything that you wear.”

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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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Brenda Song claims she ‘wasn’t Asian enough’ to audition for Crazy Rich Asians

Brenda Song has claimed she missed out on the chance to audition for Crazy Rich Asians because producers felt she was too American.In a new interview with Teen Vogue, the actress revealed that she didn’t get the opportunity to test for the hit 2018 rom…

Brenda Song has claimed she missed out on the chance to audition for Crazy Rich Asians because producers felt she was too American.

In a new interview with Teen Vogue, the actress revealed that she didn’t get the opportunity to test for the hit 2018 romantic comedy, which featured a largely Asian-American cast.

“A lot of people don’t know this, but I never got to read for Crazy Rich Asians, ever…,” the 31-year-old said. “Their reasoning behind that, what they said, was that my image was basically not Asian enough, in not so many words. It broke my heart.

“I said, ‘This character is in her late to mid-20s (sic), an Asian-American, and I can’t even audition for it? I’ve auditioned for Caucasian roles my entire career, but this specific role, you’re not going to let me do it?’ You’re going to fault me for having worked my whole life?’ I was like, ‘Where do I fit?'”

Brenda is best known for her TV roles in such shows as The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Dads, Scandal, New Girl, and her new series Dollface. She also played the love interest of Andrew Garfield’s character in David Fincher’s The Social Network.

Following Brenda’s interview, Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu responded on Twitter and furiously denied her accusations.

“Would these words ever come out of my mouth?” he tweeted. “Nope, makes no sense. I feel horrible she thinks this is the reason. The fact is I love Brenda Song and am a fan. I didn’t need her to audition because I already knew who she was!”

Crazy Rich Asians starred Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Awkwafina, Ken Jeong, and Michelle Yeoh. Two sequels are currently in the works.

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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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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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Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu ‘proud’ of Adele Lim over pay row

Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu is “proud” of screenwriter Adele Lim’s decision to walk away from the sequel after finding out her male co-writer was paid more.Peter Chiarelli, who co-wrote the 2018 original with Lim, was allegedly set to be paid…

Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu is “proud” of screenwriter Adele Lim’s decision to walk away from the sequel after finding out her male co-writer was paid more.

Peter Chiarelli, who co-wrote the 2018 original with Lim, was allegedly set to be paid a “significantly higher” fee than her for the follow-up, with reports that he stood to make between $800,000 (£645,000) and $1 million (£810,000) for the job, while Lim was offered in the region of $110,000 (£90,000).

Now Chu, who will also helm the second movie, has broken his silence on the scandal, insisting that while he and studio bosses couldn’t reach an agreement with Lim about her salary, he remains proud of her for having stood up for what she believes in.

“When I discovered she was unhappy with the initial offer, the producers, myself and studio executives leapt into action to ensure we got to a place of parity between the two writers at a significant number,” he wrote in an open letter posted to his Twitter account. “It was both educational and powerful to hear all facets of the debate.

“Unfortunately, by the time we came up with several different ways to satisfy everyone’s needs, a lot of time had passed and she declined the offer. These things happen in negotiations, and I’m proud that she was able to stand up for her own measure of worth and walk away when she felt like she was being undervalued.”

Chu urged fans not to go after Chiarelli, calling him “a good man” and a “creative force”, and concluded his post by claiming he is still leaving the door open for Lim to re-join the Crazy Rich Asians series.

“The door is always open for Adele and if there’s another shot at making it work, I know we are all for it but that’s a personal and private conversation between ourselves,” the 39-year-old finished.

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Crazy Rich Asians co-writer quits sequel due to pay disparity

Adele Lim has pulled out of the upcoming Crazy Rich Asians sequel after finding out her male co-writer was being paid a higher salary.Peter Chiarelli, who also co-wrote the first movie with Lim, was reportedly set to be paid a “significantly higher” …

Adele Lim has pulled out of the upcoming Crazy Rich Asians sequel after finding out her male co-writer was being paid a higher salary.

Peter Chiarelli, who also co-wrote the first movie with Lim, was reportedly set to be paid a “significantly higher” fee for the follow-up than Lim, who shared in a statement with The Hollywood Reporter: “Being evaluated that way can’t help but make you feel that is how they view my contributions.

“Pete has been nothing but incredibly gracious, but what I make shouldn’t be dependent on the generosity of the white-guy writer. If I couldn’t get pay equity after CRA, I can’t imagine what it would be like for anyone else, given that the standard for how much you’re worth is having established quotes from previous movies, which women of colour would never have been (hired for).

“There’s no realistic way to achieve true equity that way.”

Sources told the publication Chiarelli stood to make between $800,000 (£645,000) and $1 million (£810,000) for the job, while Lim was offered in the region of $110,000 (£90,000). And the writer, who was born in Malaysia, added that women and people of colour are often regarded as “soy sauce” in the film industry – implying they’re hired specifically to add culturally relevant details to a screenplay.

“There’s too much responsibility and too much precedent from the first movie that the last thing I want to do is just hit a date and release the movie,” she continued, reflecting on the cultural significance of the movie. “There’s still too much work to do. Our focus isn’t on the timeline, it’s on getting the story right.”

Crazy Rich Asians was released last year and became the highest-grossing romantic comedy in a decade. A release date has yet to be set for the sequel.

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Henry Golding in talks to play ninja in G.I. Joe spin-off movie

Crazy Rich Asians star Henry Golding is reportedly in talks to be the leading man in the G.I. Joe spin-off Snake Eyes.The 32-year-old is in negotiations to portray the titular character in the latest instalment of the action franchise, according to The…

Crazy Rich Asians star Henry Golding is reportedly in talks to be the leading man in the G.I. Joe spin-off Snake Eyes.

The 32-year-old is in negotiations to portray the titular character in the latest instalment of the action franchise, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Snake Eyes first appeared as part of the G.I. Joe toy line in the 1980s, and was the leader of a gang of military members fighting terrorism and his arch-enemy Storm Shadow, a ninja who is also his blood brother.

The character, who dressed all in black, never revealed his face and never spoke, and was played by stuntman Ray Park in the big-screen adventures starring Channing Tatum.

Snake Eyes will reportedly centre on his quest for revenge after his father’s death which sees him joining a ninja clan, beginning his journey to finding acceptance.

The Time Traveler’s Wife director Robert Schwentke will helm the new project, with Evan Spiliotopoulos penning the script, and Brian Goldner, from toy company Hasbro, and Lorenzo di Bonaventura among the producers.

The first film inspired by the popular Hasbro toys was 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, featuring Channing Tatum, Sienna Miller, Dennis Quaid and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, followed by 2013’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which also starred Tatum as well as Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis.

Golding made his feature film debut as Nick Young in last year’s Crazy Rich Asians and has gone on to land leading roles in upcoming romantic comedy Last Christmas, with Emilia Clarke and Emma Thompson, and Guy Ritchie’s crime thriller The Gentlemen, with Matthew McConaughey and Hugh Grant.

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