Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) is excited for the Oscars — and rooting for her favorite film.
“I’m obviously rooting for ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once,’” Duckworth told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview published Friday. “Michelle Yeoh is just great so I hope it does well and results in other movies and shows with Asian leads.”
Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran and Purple Heart recipient who was served in the Senate since 2017, is an avid film and television viewer. She’s also the first Thai American woman ever elected to Congress — and ecstatic about increasing Asian representation on screen.
“I’m just thrilled to see Asians on screen who are not the cooks or the maids or the sidekicks,” Duckworth said. “I just got very tired of the whitewashing of a lot of stories and parts that were written for Asians and then played by white actors.”
Duckworth, who lost both legs when her Black Hawk helicopter was shot down by insurgents in 2004, famously called former President Donald Trump “Cadet Bone Spurs” for his reported draft dodging — and has strong opinions on war films.
War is “neither as flippant nor as macho as Hollywood would show it to be,” Duckworth told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s messy and there are some real earnest people serving in uniform — not just people trying to be cowboys.”
Duckworth, who was appointed assistant secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2009 by President Barack Obama, once tried to watch “We Were Soldiers” starring Mel Gibson — but had to stop “because it wasn’t true to the book.”
Duckworth said she’s a huge “Star Wars” fan and devours “The Great British Bake Off” at home. But it was “M*A*S*H” that gave her the most comfort during deployment. She said even took DVDs of the show to Iraq with her.
Duckworth, who also made history by becoming the first U.S. senator to give birth while in office, is known in Congress for fighting to expand access to fertility treatments and better protection for immigrant veterans.
At home, however, she’s like a lot of people.
“I watched ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ not too long ago and really enjoyed that because it took place in a lot of places where I grew up,” she said. “It was just nice to see Asian representation on screen in a successful movie that everyone enjoyed, not just other Asians.”