|Novice Henry Golding was picked for Crazy Rich Asian's leading man.|
WHO? The film version of Crazy Rich Asians has cast perhaps the most difficult role - that of its leading man.
Contrary to much speculation, it wasn't one of the better known names familiar to American audiences. Henry Golding, who hasn't been in a movie before, has been cast as Nick Young, opposite Constance Wu of ABC's Fresh Off the Boat.
Golding, whose father is from England and his mother from the Iban tribe in Sarawak, Malaysia, is was picked for the role after a worldwide search by director Jon Chu. He won't have to fake the required British accent to play Nick Young, the scion of an uber-rich family from Singapore. Golding is currently based in Singapore after growing up in London, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which broke the story Tuesday.
Golding, whose father is from England and his mother from the Iban tribe in Sarawak, Malaysia, d has never been featured in a film, but has experience hosting for TV travel shows, says THR.
The movie is based on the best selling novel written by Kevin Kwan. It tells the story of American-born Rachel Chu and Singaporean Nick Young's courtship. A study in manners and misunderstandings among the aristocratic rich, a theme popular in many British plotlines.
The difficulty of casting the male lead took a long time. Left unsaid by director Chu and the producers representing the studios, but inferred by the difficulty in casting this role, is that Nick Young must appeal to men and women of all races. Women desire him and men want to be him. A white, black or Latino movie-goer must be able relate to this character in the way that we have not seen since Bruce Lee crossed over all racial lines.
Director Chu and Warner Bros. Studios wish to have an all-Asian cast sparked a world-wide search for talent. The selection of Golding, coupled with the previously casting Asian star Michelle Yeoh as the controlling mother of Nick, will give the film an international appeal, especially in the burgeoning Asian market.