"After Crazy Rich Asians, people would come up to me crying — it was almost a bittersweet joy," Awkwafina said of the impact the film had
Awkwafina is aware of the lasting impact Crazy Rich Asians left on Hollywood and American audiences.
The 31-year-old actress graces the August issue of Harper’s BAZAAR and was interviewed by her friend and fellow actress Margaret Cho.
In the interview, Awkwafina, who had her breakthrough last year in the film, revealed how Crazy Rich Asians is opening Hollywood’s doors to diversity.
“I thought that I had a good fan base, and then Crazy Rich Asians came out, and I was like, ‘Oh, okay!'” she said. “Growing up, I really had only you [Margaret Cho] to look up to. Your existence meant so much to me because it showed me what was possible.”
She continued, “After Crazy Rich Asians, people would come up to me crying — it was almost a bittersweet joy for them seeing a movie like that and realizing how important representation is.”
The impact the film had extended to actors from diverse actors who were also trying to leave their mark.
“Asian-American actors have told me that before Crazy Rich Asians they couldn’t get one audition,” she explained. “Now they’re getting tons. It helped open the door for movies like The Farewell.”
The Farewell is Awkwafina’s latest film which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Awkwafina stars as Billi, a Chinese-American girl who travels back to mainland China to visit her grandmother who was recently diagnosed with cancer.
When her family decides to keep the diagnosis a secret from her grandmother, Billi becomes embroiled in her family’s drama and must ultimately decide whether she will tell her grandmother the truth.
Awkwafina is also in talks to star in the live-action The Little Mermaid alongside Halle Bailey.
The Farewell is now in theaters.