Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Filming of 'Crazy Rich Asians' starts; Awkwafina, Ronnie Cheng added to cast

FILMING of Crazy Rich Asians begins today (April 25) on location in Malaysia and Singapore.

"Three years ago I sat across a table from (Executive producer) Nina Jacobson in L.A. and told her that my dream was to make Crazy Rich Asians a showcase for the amazingly talented actors of Asian descent from all over the world. Nina promised to make my dream come true, and she kept her promise," said author Kevin Kwan on his Instagram page.

The production under the helm of veteran director Jon M. Chu, made more announcements of its all-Asian cast in the romantic comedy based on Kwan's best-selling novel, the first book of a trilogy.

Perhaps most familiar with American audiences is Awkwafina, an Asian/American comedian/actress, who has been cast as Peik Lin, Rachel's college friend,

Awkwafina's career got a major boost in the last two years when she was cast in the nabbing in Neighbors 2 and the upcoming female Ocean's Eleven spinoff, Ocean's Eight, with major box-office stars Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock. 

Ronnie Cheng on The Daily Show.

Another comedian, Ronnie Cheng, best known for his hilarious reports, many with an Asian perspective, on Comedy Central's The Daily Show hosted by Trevor Noah. The role played by the Asian/Australian is unspecified in the reports coming out of the Warner Bros. production.

Chris Pang
Chris Pang (Marco Polo and Destiny) nabbed to role of Colin Khoo, Nick's best friend and whose nuptials with Aramita Lee, played by previously cast Sonoya Mizuno (La La Land)spur the visit to Singapore. 

Also named in unspecified supporting roles are Jing Lusi (Stan Lee’s Lucky Man), as well as a number of Singaporean actors, including Pierre Png, Fiona Xie and Tan Kheng Hua round out the supporting caIt st, according to the Hollywood Reporter, which broke the casting news yesterday (April 24).

The film stars Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat); Henry Golding, making his feature film debut; Gemma Chan (Humans); and Michelle Yeoh (upcoming Star Trek: Discovery,  and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon).

The story follows all-American Rachel Chu (Wu) as she accompanies her longtime boyfriend, Nick Young (Golding), to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. Visiting Asia for the first time and preparing to meet Nick's family, Rachel is unprepared to learn that Nick is not only the scion of one of the country’s wealthiest families but also one of its most sought-after bachelors. Being Nick’s girlfriend puts a target on Rachel’s back, with jealous socialites and, worse, Nick’s own disapproving mother (Yeoh) taking aim. 

It appears the heat and humidity of Kuala Lumpur is taking its toll on Wu based on her Instagram post:

The second book of the trilogy, China Rich Girlfriend, which takes the plot to Hong Kong and Shanghai, has been out for two years. The final book, Rich Peoples' Problems, will be released next month.

In an interview with Entertainment, Kwan teases what we might find in Rich People Problems:

"I always knew the story of Crazy Rich Asians would unfold as a trilogy, and in many ways this final book was actually the first story that I had mapped out. Rich People Problems continues the story of Nick, Rachel, and Astrid. It’s 2015 now, and all three of them are being confronted with profound changes that will affect the rest of their lives. Not to give away too much, but there will also be a whole new crowd of characters, unbelievably fabulous locations, and heart-stopping drama. Things come full circle, and the long-buried secrets of these privileged families may just come back to haunt them."

UPDATED: Earlier versions did not name the role played by Chris Pang.