Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Philippine actress wins role in 'Crazy Rich Asians'

Kris Aquino

RUMORS WERE RIFE all weekend that Kris Aquino, an actress and TV hostess from the Philippines, had been offered a role in the movie adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians, the best-selling novel by Kevin Kwan.

The Manila rumor mill hit fever pitch Sunday when Aquino, got on a flight to meet with her agent in Los Angeles.

Well, the rumors were turned out to be true. She spent Easter Sunday flying across the Pacific to meet her agent. Before she left Manila, she couldn't say anything about the "project" she was being considered for because of non-disclosure agreements.

Only five roles have been cast by director Jon M. Chu. Which character will Kris portray? She told her friends that she willl play the role of a princess. That doesn't tell us much but here are some possibilities.
  • Cassandra Shang: AKA "Radio One Asia", Cassandra is Nick Young's gossip-hound cousin who seems to hear the juiciest gossip first and broadcasts to her firends and family half-way around the world. Aquino's experience in the Philippines earned her the nickname, "Queen of All Media." This character sounds right up Kris' alley.
  • Francesca Shaw: Nick Young's vain and snobbish ex-girlfriend. A poor little rich girl? Hmm, does this sound familiar?
  • The Sultana of Borneo: She is a  Malay princess "covered head to toe in diamonds." This sounds just like the description Kris told her friends.
The major roles have been filled by Constance Wu, Gemma Chan, Michelle Yeoh, Henry Golding and Sonoya Mizuno. Wu and Golding play the pivotal couple of Rachel Chu and Nick Young. The biggest roles that have not been cast are that of Nick's best friend, Colin Khoo and the matriarch of the Young clan, Rosemary.

Of all the people cast in the movie, Aquino, 46, is the one who might be the most familiar with the lifestyle of the super-rich families depicted in Crazy Rich Asians. On her mother's side, the Cojaunco's are "old money" and is among the most powerful and richest families in the Philippines. 

She is the youngest daughter of the assassinated Philippine senator Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., and Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino, who served as the 11th President of the Philippines right after dictator Ferdinand Marcos was ousted. Her brother is Benigno S. Aquino, III, who served as the 15th President of the Philippines.

The Cojuanco's are descended from a Chinese immigrant to the Philippines. The family fought with Filipino patriots against the Spanish and the Americans. How the family acquired their initial wealth and made the big jump to super-rich is rather cloudy. Growing sugar cane was the source of their wealth, however, as in the Kwan novel, marriages with other old families, increased their wealth and influence even more.
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