Ke Huy Quan says that Crazy Rich Asians drew him back into acting

Originally published at: Ke Huy Quan says that Crazy Rich Asians drew him back into acting | Boing Boing


This reminds me of one of the silliest critiques of that movie when it came out in 2018:

Despite generating a largely positive response among Asian Americans, the film has drawn some criticism. Some say it struggles to showcase diverse perspectives, falling short of adequately representing the wider Asian experience or what life is like in Singapore, where most of the movie takes place.

Imagine someone writing a review of Ant-Man and the Wasp in 2018 and ripping it apart by saying “it fell short of adequately representing the wider white experience or what life is like in San Francisco, where most of the movie takes place.”

No one movie can showcase the vast breadth of lived experiences for an entire racial or ethnic group, nor should it be expected to. Even Everything, Everywhere, All At Once didn’t attempt to do that and it was a movie that was literally set within an infinite multiverse.


I mean, FFS it may as well criticize the movie for not giving enough attention to the poors (even though “crazy rich” is literally right there in the title.)


I saw the movie earlier in the month and it’s amazing. It’s incredibly weird, and every turn the movie takes is confident in its weirdness and despite that it’s not a crutch. By the time you get to the end you’ll see that it has a ton of heart and sincerity, please watch it if you haven’t and it’ll be worth your time. Also the less you know of it the better :slight_smile: i vaguely knew the plot but really had no idea what was in store for me and i was constantly surprised and delighted when i saw it.


I believe the heroine is supposed to be “poor”. It is a extraordinarily materialistic novel.

Not exactly. She had humble upbringings (immigrant single mother), but was well-educated, teaches economics at NYU, and seems to live comfortably enough in NYC. It’s made clear that she’s successful in her field and only “poor” relative to the obscene and ostentatious wealth of her boyfriend’s “old money” 0.1%er family. (Which he largely chose to hide/downplay to her not wanting it to be a “thing” in their relationship.)


yeah yeah, I know. When I was in the mood to read it, the novel outlasted the mood, so I haven’t finished it.

I mean, sort of the whole point of representation is that a single actor or thing can hint at other, bigger stuff, right? I didn’t feel like I was being given an inadequate view of Chinese cuisine because Pixar’s Bao was overly focused on dumplings.


On the flip side, the dumb (retracted) stuff about Turning Red:

“I recognized the humor in the film, but connected with none of it. By rooting ‘Turning Red’ very specifically in the Asian community of Toronto, the film legitimately feels like it was made for Domee Shi’s friends and immediate family members,” O’Connell wrote. “Which is fine — but also, a tad limiting in its scope.”

I wonder how he relates to Middle Earth, Star Trek, etc, movies? “By situating it a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, it limited it in scope.”


Wow. “If it’s not a story about a white character set in a generic American city then I can’t relate to it” is an incredibly bad take.

I mean, I was able to find the story engaging and relatable and I don’t even have a uterus.


As some have pointed out, the guy did not have a similar take on Pixar’s earlier movie about talking automobiles. So he literally finds a living race car to be more relatable than an Asian-Canadian human girl.


Reading the interviews with him where he talks about why he left acting, it wasn’t so much a perception that there weren’t roles for him, it was a pretty undeniable lack of roles in general (and the few that existed weren’t worth having, e.g. “unnamed Viet Cong”). For more than a century, Hollywood really had no roles for Asian actors - up until recently, things weren’t really any better than the days when Anna May Wong went off to do movies in China because there weren’t parts for her here.

I like to think there’s a recent trend for more inclusive casting in Hollywood, but there’s a lot of distance yet to go and we’ll see if the trend even holds.

As wrong as it is, I can totally understand people wanting CRA to be all things for all people - there’s so little representation, when a movie comes along that does represent, it’s carrying an impossible amount of weight on its shoulders. (And to make matters even worse, given that the cast came from all over, including the UK and Australia, it was doing representation work for those countries as well.)

I’m so completely baffled by that kind of take. Do people really watch media with the expectation that they’ll personally relate to the experiences of all the characters in it? That seems totally crazy to me. For me, that totally goes against the entire point of fiction, and surely I’m not alone in that? (I think, ironically, the only time I really get really alienated by movies/tv shows is when I’m confronted by a character of exactly my demographic, particularly “coming of age” stories where I feel like it’s being presented as if I’m supposed to identify with them, and I don’t, at all.)


Glad to see him again. Highly charismatic individual.


Oh, you know, it’s just like all the criticism that was aimed at shows like Friends and Seinfeld for not including the true diversity of living in NYC, or the homelessness issues there.
What’s that? That didn’t happen? I wonder what the difference is.


It would have been nice to see more members of the Indian and Malay ethnic minorities (who together make up a quarter of Singapore’s population) in Crazy Rich Asians, but it was very much a story about rich Chinese-Singaporeans.


Meh, the Chinese Singaporeans I know mostly despised the movie and the book. It’s not remotely representative of the lifestyle of even the most crazy rich Chinese Singaporeans and people are annoyed that rich Indonesians now think they can book a certain historic church and flood it.


The IMDB plot outline while Everything was in production was simply “A woman tries to do her taxes” and I wish they’d kept it at that.

I’ve gushed about the movie elsewhere but seriously GO SEE THIS NOW!

Then sit down and redo your Top 10 Greatest Movies of All Time list.

(I’d love to see your list)

My list of top movies changes a lot from moment to moment, but some that i personally love that come to mind are:

  • Hedwig & The Angry Inch
  • Coco
  • What Dreams May Come
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
  • Everything Everywhere All At Once
  • Spirited Away
  • Robin Hood Men in Tights
  • Emperor’s New Groove
  • Almost Famous
  • Clue

Cars : Doc Hollywood :: Turning Red : Teen Wolf

Changing Michael J. Fox into a Corvette = A-O.K. Changing Michael J. Fox into a Person of Color = whaaaaat?


Pretty obvious this critic’s angle is BS. All it’s trying to do is make the critique seem enlightened while masking the critic’s ignorance of the fact that Asia is comprised of many distinctly different cultural histories and, therefore, the experience of Asians inside and outside of their home nations is equally distinct–across cultural divides and between economic classes.

I’ve been to Singapore several times, and while my experiences there did not cross the paths of the elites portrayed in Crazy Rich Asians (nor would they want that to happen, I suppose), one did not have to look too hard to realize they were there. Lots of English language newspapers to read.

Still, it was a great movie that did a great job of portraying a slice of elite Singaporean reality connected to an Asian-American reality in a “Prince and the Pauper” story in a very dignified and honest way. No wonder Ke Huy Quan was thunder struck by such a movie. The movie was the real deal and from an insider’s perspective.

The singularly pan-Asian element that the movie critic totally missed out on was the Confucian regard towards family that was portrayed. I mean, that’s the one universal thing that perhaps binds the whole East Asian cultural complex. It’s what elevated all the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean people into the upper social, political, and economic echelons in Hawaii by the middle of the 20th Century and onward. The first generation immigrants did stoop labor to start businesses for their children and to build towards higher education for their grandchildren. This is something that probably Asian immigrant families all have experienced in some way or shape. Hell, I remember my mom saying she preferred eating the chicken wings, over all the other meatier pieces, because she claimed they tasted better. Obviously so that the rest of her family could eat better.

I haven’t seen EEAAO yet, but I don’t doubt that many of the same forms of hidden sacrifices will be there to be noticed. I’ve heard that it’s fundamentally a movie about family. If so, expect to see a very universally East-Asian version of reality.

BTW, after all the interviews with Michelle Yeoh I’ve heard, I can’t help but wonder if she might be the reincarnation of Guanyin. She does possess a profound level of wisdom, compassion, and humbly fierce determination.