It’s the film that has flooded your social media for the last several weeks, making you question if it’s worth the hype. Well, be prepared because CRAZY RICH ASIANS is everything and more. Based on the bestselling book series by Kevin Kwan, CRAZY RICH ASIANS is more than likely to pave the way in Hollywood, proving once and for all that Asians can in fact be leading men and women in cinema. Candid sat down with the film’s charismatic leading man Henry Golding and its groundbreaking director Jon M. Chu to truly understand the importance of a film like this in today’s ever-evolving times.
Henry, this is your first movie. You did travel shows before this, so what was the transition like for you to go from understanding television reporting scripts to now rehearsing acting lines?
Henry Golding: It’s a very weird transition but at the same time, being used to cameras really helped and having someone guide me and give me pointers. Jon was the ultimate gentleman. And to be able to work on something that means so much to everybody. We all knew that our common goal was to make something great, so every single person put as much effort in as possible.
Jon, this is such a lavish film but you guys had to keep a little simplicity just so you weren’t turning people off where they couldn’t relate. So how did you find that balance as a director?
Jon M. Chu: I have done a lot of different movies in different worlds. The ‘magician world', the ‘G.I. Joe world', the ‘Justin Bieber world'. And I think it’s not any different than this. This is the world that they’re in but this is about human beings. This is about an Asian-American girl going to Asia for the first time and every fish-out-of-water story, every classic romantic comedy has that kind of element. I think that’s really what we focused on.
So I have to wonder, whether it’s a child or just a person with an Asian background, what do you hope they take away or what message would you like to say to those that are seeing this type of film in the Western Hemisphere, potentially for the first time?
Henry: I think it’s something to aim for. We’ve never had a film like this for young Asian-Americans, young Asians anywhere in the world. That’s the most fascinating thing about our cast. There were Asians from America, from the UK, from Australia, from Malaysia and Singapore. All [of them] had this connecting story that they had somehow struggled with their identity. And that’s something that hopefully this film, people take pride in and say we can do exactly as they’re doing and create wonderful stories in Hollywood.
Jon: And that they deserve a love story. A great love story, the way they’ve seen in movies all throughout the years.
We at Candid are proud of the fashion section within our publication. You are both very dapper guys. So on a perfect day, what is your go-to look?
Henry: If I could wear a suit everyday and have someone do my laundry and iron, that would be my clothing of choice for sure.
Jon, what do you hope Hollywood sees in CRAZY RICH ASIANS?
Jon: I grew up around a Chinese restaurant with Chinese people who are super cool and super stylish and modern and All-American, Asian-American groups that I have not seen on the big screen. I hope people see that Asians are not just this group or genre, but they’re like everybody. They’re funny, they can be dramatic, they can be super stylish. We can be artistic, we can villains, we can be heroes, we can be all these things that we see all the time on the big screen. So the fact that Warner Bros. and us for the first time in twenty-five years as an all-Asian cast is pretty amazing. We are ready to show the world who we are.
If and when this does very well (it’s going to be a huge world success, I know it will be); do you guys plan to do two more films, because there are two more books?
Jon: I’d love to. I’m down. I’m totally down. We’d love to see, of course, all the characters come back and more insane things. Continue the story of Rachel and Nick, of course, but it’s all dependent if the audience comes out. We want them to come out, support this movie. It’s extremely important. It’s sometimes even bigger than the movie itself, to make sure that the statement is made that these types of stories, this type of different perspective of people all around the world is something we want to watch as moviegoers.
CRAZY RICH ASIANS arrives in U.S. cinemas on August 15th with Warner Bros.
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