“Crazy Rich Asians” spoke volumes to Chrissy Teigen.
The model and cookbook author shared an emotional post on Instagram to explain why the film, which has an all-Asian cast, meant so much to her family.
“It made me happy to see this over the top story done from so many angles, some I could totally understand because of my own confusing Asian American upbringing,” Teigen, who is of Thai descent, wrote in the emotional post.
“You never know how much you miss being represented on screen until you actually see what it’s like to be represented,” she said. “And represented by all different types of characters with all different types of personalities, just like any other great movie.”
Teigen, whose mother is a Thai immigrant, said she’d been excited to see the movie for some time but that it exceeded her expectations and became an emotional experience. When main character Rachel Chu’s mother, Kerry Chu, appeared on screen, Teigen said her daughter Luna yelled “yāy,” (“Grandma” in Thai), “because she saw someone who looked like her yāy. Someone beautiful and aspirational.”
“The feeling I got during the credits, watching John dance with my little black asian mashup baby bear luna tunes, was a feeling I haven’t had at the end of any other movies,” she wrote.
And when one social media user criticized Teigen for not acknowledging her white side, she had a sharp response:
Few Asians are cast in major Hollywood films, let alone as lead characters, and many Asian-Americans like Teigen have spoken out about the impact the film had on their own lives.
Blogger Jenn Fang, who runs “Reappropriate,” wrote in The Washington Post that the film captured the never-ending tug between two cultures that Asian-Americans often feel.
“Boasting a predominantly Asian and Asian American cast and crew, the movie is a rare example of Asian Americans taking the reins to tell a story completely from our own perspective,” she wrote. “It succeeds by drawing inspiration from our real lives.”