Things just keep getting crazier for the cast of “Crazy Rich Asians.”
The movie took home the award for Best Comedy at Sunday’s Critics’ Choice Awards, beating out “Deadpool 2,” “The Death of Stalin,” “Game Night,” “Sorry to Bother You” and “The Favourite” in the category.
In an emotional acceptance speech, the film’s producer Nina Jacobson explained just how profound the movie’s success has been in an industry that’s catered heavily to white male interests.
“When I was coming up in the business, my bosses — white guys — told me that while every audience member can identify with a white male protagonist, white dudes can’t be counted on to identify with anyone who doesn’t look or live like they do,” Jacobson said during her speech with the cast surrounding her. ”[It was] the ultimate combination of mansplaining and manspreading all balled up into one convenient premise which was, and still is, a bunch of bulls**t.”
The producer added that while you “don’t have to be crazy, rich or Asian” to relate to the movie’s storyline, “you sure as hell have to be Asian to star in it.”
″[Director] Jon Chu assembled an insanely gifted cast of all-stars, anyone of whom could and should star in a movie of his or her own.”
She explained that everyone who worked on the film was united “by a sense of purpose and identity.”
“They knew how much was riding on the success of this movie. Representation is power and our movie, like so many of those nominated today, reminds us that audiences are hungry to see that power redistributed.”
“Crazy Rich Asians,” which features a historic all-Asian cast, had already broken records and been recognized for its cultural significance. The landmark film was the highest-grossing romantic comedy in the U.S. in a decade. It was also the most successful live-action comedy movie in at least two years, topping 2017′s “Girls Trip” with a draw of $174 million in the U.S., according to Box Office Mojo. It also earned the most money of any movie during a Labor Day weekend in 11 years.
While the film proved to Hollywood and beyond that casts with significant Asian representation can find success among mainstream audiences, the movie went up against many obstacles during its production.
Author Kevin Kwan, who wrote the book on which the movie is based, revealed to Entertainment Weekly that a producer who showed interest in adapting his novel for film asked him to “reimagine” his protagonist as a white woman.
“I was like, ‘Well, you’ve missed the point completely,’ ” Kwan told the outlet. “I said, ‘No, thank you.’ ”
Constance Wu was eventually cast for the part of main character Rachel Chu. And we’re sure as hell the movie never even got close to being whitewashed.