Thursday, February 16, 2017

Constance Wu picked for 'Crazy Rich Asians'

Constance Wu, a far cry from Jessica Huang.

CONSTANCE WU has been tabbed to play the central role of Rachel Chu in the movie adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, which broke the story today, Wu is under negotiations for the plum role almost all young up-and-coming Asian/American actresses were seeking. It's a role of a lifetime in a movie with an all-Asian cast that will challenge the outdated Hollywood belief that says you need a white lead for a film to be a commercial success.

The movie is based on the best-selling novel by Kevin Kwan.  Wu announced the casting coup on her Twitter account.

The Warner Brthers production will be directed by John Chu, who directed Now You See Me 2 and G.I. Joe: Retaliation.

The movie is set in Singapore and centers on the lives of super wealthy Chinese families. It follows Rachel Chu, an American-born Chinese economics professor, who travels to her boyfriend Nick's hometown of Singapore for his best friend's wedding. Before long, his secret is out: Nick is from a family that is impossibly wealthy, he's perhaps the most eligible bachelor in Asia and every single woman in his ultra-rarefied social class is incredibly jealous of Rachel and wants to bring her down.

Wu, best known for her portrayal of Jessica Huang in ABC's Fresh Off the Boat, was an early favorite of those people who like to do dream casts. 

The American-born actress (like the character she is set to play) has also been outspoken about the need for more diversity in casting and the whitewashing of roles want for Asian characters, such as in Emma Stone in Aloha, Tilda Swinton in Doctor Strange and Scarlett Johansson in Ghost in the Shell.
RELATED: Extra care in casting of Crazy Rich Asians could break barriers
Chu has conducted at extensive international search for the cast.Still to be cast is Rachel Wu's boyfriend, Nick Young, who could set a new standard for Asian men as romantic leads.

“A lot of the big agencies don’t necessarily know where to find the big, hunky Asian actor that could be Nick, (who) has that charming, leading man thing. Maybe they’re in theater and haven’t crossed over yet. Maybe they’re doing commercials and haven’t crossed over yet.”

The actor playing Nick will have to have that all-undefinable chemistry with Wu that will make the couple appealing, believable and sexy. A study in manners and family expectatons and filled with memorable characters, Crazy Rich Asians could be Love, Actually set in Singapore.

The movie has not been green lighted yet but Warner Bros. has put it on the fast-track, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The casting of Wu, who has proven her ability to play light comedy and deliver witty lines, in one of the pivotal roles will go a long ways to getting the go-ahead.