Jon M. Chu applauds decision to postpone release of In the Heights

Director Jon M. Chu has praised the decision to postpone the release of In the Heights.The silver screen adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit Broadway musical was set to be released on 26 June, but studio executives at Warner Bros. announced on Tuesd…

Director Jon M. Chu has praised the decision to postpone the release of In the Heights.

The silver screen adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit Broadway musical was set to be released on 26 June, but studio executives at Warner Bros. announced on Tuesday that it would be delayed, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We had the best summer of our lives filming In the Heights movie last year,” Miranda told his followers on Twitter. “We couldn’t wait to share it with you. But we’re going to have to wait a little longer. When we can safely gather again, flags in hand, we will be there, enjoying this movie in theatres.”

And in an interview with Insider, Chu revealed he was relieved the film had been postponed, as he felt it needed to be shown in a crowded cinema, something that would be impossible now with the closures of movie theatres around the world.

“We want people to have (that) experience,” he explained. “And with it being a musical, if you look back at history, that kind of movie has always brought people together at the worst times to celebrate life. And now we need that even more so.”

While the Crazy Rich Asians filmmaker was frustrated at being just 20 days from completing the film, he wants In the Heights to bring people together once the world begins to recover from the Covid-19 outbreak.

“I think it’s going to give a lot of people that light they need,” Chu shared. “The big thing is we get this movie on the big screen when people are in the right place in their lives to enjoy it. When people are coming out of the darkness and the light can come in.”

He also took to Twitter to share the same touching sentiment, and told his followers: “We will have a big friggin’ party when we get to see it on the big screen! And we will all be together again dancing in the aisles!! Stay healthy and take care of your family in the meantime.”

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Hollywood stars celebrate Parasite’s historic Best Picture win at 2020 Oscars

Celebrities including Ava DuVernay, Sandra Oh, and Priyanka Chopra took to social media on Sunday night to celebrate Parasite becoming the first foreign language film to win the Oscar for Best Picture. Bong Joon Ho’s South Korean thriller was the under…

Celebrities including Ava DuVernay, Sandra Oh, and Priyanka Chopra took to social media on Sunday night to celebrate Parasite becoming the first foreign language film to win the Oscar for Best Picture.

Bong Joon Ho’s South Korean thriller was the underdog going into the ceremony and wasn’t expected to win much more than the Best International Feature Film category, but ended up sweeping the event with four wins, also including Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, and the night’s coveted Best Picture prize, which had been widely expected to go to 1917.

Social media users and celebrities alike were thrilled with the surprising and historic wins, with director DuVernay tweeting, “MASSIVE! HISTORIC! LANDMARK! PARASITE! The world is big and it is beautiful and films from everywhere deserve to be on that stage winning @TheAcademy’s highest honour. This is wonderful and right. #Oscars.”

Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu wrote, “Parasite Parasite Parasite Parasite!!!! Oh my gawwwdddd Parasite did it (sic)!!!! Director Bong did it!! The whole insanely talented cast did it!! South Korea did it. History made. Heading out to celebrate all night!!!” while Killing Eve star Oh posted, “Congratulations @ParasiteMovie So so proud to be Korean.”

Indian actress Chopra added, “Wow! It’s so emotional to see an international film like Parasite, in Korean with English subtitles, not only receive such a warm embrace from audiences around the world, but also this kind of recognition from one of the most prestigious film academy’s (sic) in the world… Congratulations to the entire film for shattering the glass ceiling and making history as the first non-English film to win Best Picture.”

South Korean President Moon Jae-in also offered up his congratulations on social media, thanking Joon Ho for giving “pride and courage” to the country’s people.

Earlier in the night, as the filmmaker accepted the Best Director prize, he told the audience, “After winning Best International Feature, I thought I was done for the day and was ready to relax. Thank you so much… I never thought I would win.”

He let other members of the Parasite team speak following the Best Picture win but told reporters backstage that the film’s Oscars haul was “really f**king crazy”.

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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 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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Marc Anthony joins film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights

Marc Anthony is taking on a “pivotal role” in the film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical In the Heights.The Hamilton creator and former star announced the big casting news via Twitter on Thursday, revealing Anthony will play the fathe…

Marc Anthony is taking on a “pivotal role” in the film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical In the Heights.

The Hamilton creator and former star announced the big casting news via Twitter on Thursday, revealing Anthony will play the father of Sonny (Gregory Diaz IV) in the movie.

“Okay I actually can’t hold it in anymore,” he shared. “Sonny’s father will be played by @MarcAnthony. It’s a brief but pivotal role… And I still can’t believe it.”

Earlier in the day, Miranda teased his followers about the major addition to the flick.

“Might tell you who’s playing Sonny’s father if you do something nice for someone today,” the 39-year-old commented. “I’ll give you a hint. The character of Sonny’s father does not sing in #InTheHeightsMovie (though the actor playing him is a fine singer, and criminally underrated as an actor).”

While recognised around the world for his music, the You Sang to Me hitmaker has appeared in several films, including 2004’s Man on Fire and 1999’s Bringing Out the Dead. He was also in the original cast of musical play The Capeman, in which he portrayed a young Salvador Agron.

In addition to Anthony and Diaz, the rest of the cast includes theatre veteran Daphne Rubin-Vega, Orange Is the New Black star Dascha Polanco, Vida actress Melissa Barrera and Stephanie Beatriz.

Directed by Crazy Rich Asians filmmaker Jon M. Chu, the screen version of the beloved multi-Tony Award-winning production is set to hit theatres in summer 2020.

In the Heights, which was written by Miranda and playwright Quiara Alegria Hudes, debuted on stage in 2005. Miranda serves as one of the film’s producers.

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Constance Wu empowered by yellow

Constance Wu has found a new lucky colour – yellow. The Crazy Rich Asians star wowed at the Academy Awards on Sunday (24Feb19) in a stunning canary yellow Versace gown and on Monday night she shared the deep meaning behind her style choice, explaining…

Constance Wu has found a new lucky colour – yellow.

The Crazy Rich Asians star wowed at the Academy Awards on Sunday (24Feb19) in a stunning canary yellow Versace gown and on Monday night she shared the deep meaning behind her style choice, explaining it was a nod to the Coldplay track, Yellow, which features in her hit film.

The actress posted an image of herself in the dress on Oscar night, along with part of a letter the film’s director Jon M. Chu wrote to the British band during production, seeking permission to include the song in the romantic comedy.

Chu explained he had always had a “complicated relationship” with the colour – as it is often used as a slur to poke fun at Asians.

“For the first time in my life, it described the color in the most beautiful, magical ways I had ever heard: the color of the stars, her skin, the love,” Chu wrote in the letter addressed to Chris Martin and his bandmates. “It was an incredible image of attraction and aspiration that it made me rethink my own self image…

“It immediately became an anthem for me and my friends and gave us a new sense of pride we never felt before. We could reclaim the color for ourselves and it has stuck with me for the majority of my life.”

Chu decided to include the song during the film’s conclusion, when Wu’s character Rachel begins to appreciate her heritage in a new way.

“It would be such an honor to use your song that gave me so much strength throughout the years, to underscore this final part of our film,” the director’s letter continues. “(This movie) will give a whole generation of Asian-Americans, and others, the same sense of pride I got when I heard your song. I want all of them to have an anthem that makes them feel as beautiful as your words and melody made me feel when I needed it most.”

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Michelle Yeoh brought passion for jewellery to Crazy Rich Asians role

Actress Michelle Yeoh brought her love of fine jewellery to her role in Crazy Rich Asians. The star, who features as family matriarch Eleanor in the hit comedy, has been passionate about collecting accessories since spending time in Hong Kong. “I lov…

Actress Michelle Yeoh brought her love of fine jewellery to her role in Crazy Rich Asians.

The star, who features as family matriarch Eleanor in the hit comedy, has been passionate about collecting accessories since spending time in Hong Kong.

“I love my jewels,” she tells Elle. “When I used to live in Hong Kong, my friends and I would play Mahjong (the Chinese table game that factors into a crucial scene during the film’s climax) and we would wear all our rings, all our bracelets.”

Yeoh even lent a stone from her own collection to serve as her character’s engagement ring, despite director Jon M. Chu initially setting his sights on another gem. The filmmaker had chosen a ring inspired by one specially designed by U.S. President John F. Kennedy for First Lady Jackie Kennedy, but Yeoh had ideas of her own.

“She just took two seconds,” Chu tells the publication. “And she said, ‘No, that’s not the ring.'”

The 56 year old provided Chu with a treasured large emerald ring of her own, which she has since worn to several events to promote the ensemble film, including the Golden Globe awards earlier this year (19).

“I felt like this was the Eleanor piece,” Yeoh says. “It’s recognisable, but it’s so simple. It’s not a big name, it doesn’t come from a particular brand.”

“I believe in treating yourself,” she adds. “I believe that things should speak to you, and when I saw that stone, it was like love at first sight.”

The fact that the piece had such sentimental value made those on set extra cautious.

“The producers were more worried than I was,” she recalls. “I said, ‘It’s already insured, don’t worry.'”

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Awkwafina: ‘Diversity is not a trend’

Awkwafina asserted that diversity is not a trend after her film Crazy Rich Asians received a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award nod.Jon M. Chu’s summer smash has been nominated for the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, and will go u…

Awkwafina asserted that diversity is not a trend after her film Crazy Rich Asians received a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award nod.

Jon M. Chu’s summer smash has been nominated for the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, and will go up against the cast of A Star is Born, BlacKkKlansman, Black Panther and Bohemian Rhapsody at the 2019 awards in January.

The film also received two Golden Globe nominations, for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Actress – Musical or Comedy for Constance Wu, and while Awkwafina is enjoying the movie’s success, she hopes it’s not short-lived.

“Diversity is not a trend,” she stated, reports Variety. “It’s not something that’s hot this year and goes away. It has to be something that is here to stay and if we send the message out that these movies are being watched and there is a market for them and they’re appreciated then it should only continue.”

The 29-year-old had the honour of reading out the SAG nominations on Wednesday morning (12dec18) along with Laverne Cox.

And Laverne, who has previously bagged two SAG Awards for Orange Is the New Black, shared some advice with her co-host.

“I just told her to have fun,” she shared with ET. “You only get this awards season for the first time once, so have a blast. And I know you will. The SAG (Awards) are a really good place to start. We always have fun and there’s alcohol.”

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Crazy Rich Asians writer: ‘One mainstream Asian film every 25 years is not enough’

Crazy Rich Asians writer Kevin Kwan has told Hollywood it still has a long way to go when it comes to Asian representation.The Singapore-born novelist’s book was given the big screen treatment earlier this year (18) by director Jon M. Chu, with the fil…

Crazy Rich Asians writer Kevin Kwan has told Hollywood it still has a long way to go when it comes to Asian representation.

The Singapore-born novelist’s book was given the big screen treatment earlier this year (18) by director Jon M. Chu, with the film going on to become one of the smash hits of the summer.

Kwan, who also served as executive producer on the flick, was feted with the Vanguard award along with the rest of the cast and crew at Kore Asian Media’s Unforgettable Awards in Los Angeles on Saturday (08Dec18), and while he is basking in the film’s success, he says more need to be done when it comes to mainstream Asian cinema.

“One movie every 25 years is just not f**king enough,” he said, reports Variety, referencing 1993’s The Joy Luck Club.

Kwan also opened up about what prompted him to write the 2013 novel.

“I feel like compared to all of you I’ve been a really bad Asian. Seriously, because I never felt like I was in any way was going to represent my community,” he said. “So I did all these things never wanting to express this little secret part of me until one day my father died, and I realised I had a story I wanted to tell.”

Other winners at the 17th annual awards show included Sandra Oh for TV series Killing Eve, John Cho, who went home with the Actor in Film prize, and Queer Eye’s Tan France, who won the Changemaker gong.

And filmmaker Chu enjoyed a double win after also being crowned Director of the year.

“I am proud to say the state of our union is strong and getting stronger because this movement is making waves… and it’s not someone else doing it; it’s us,” Chu said during his acceptance speech. “Our community is power, and we are powerful. We don’t need affirmation ever again, and I didn’t do that. Our movie didn’t do that. Truly, our movie is a result of this room.”

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