“Crazy Rich Asians” Star Awkwafina Catches Up With ELLE Magazine

Posted on August 23, 2018

ELLE.com features an exclusive photo shoot and interview with the talented and comedic actress Awkwafina on her journey from viral YouTube rapper to movie star. She opens up about her childhood in Queens, her experience filming her most recent box-office hit “Crazy Rich Asians” and her thoughts on being known as an “Asian American artist.”



On how she influenced her role in Crazy Rich Asians: Movie Peik Lin, however, is altogether Awkwafina’s concoction. “There were no talks about what she would sound like, or what she would act like,” she says. “God bless [director Jon M. Chu]. He really trusted me. The cool thing about Peik Lin is that what you see was born in that scene. There were no talks about what she would sound like, or what she would act like. All we had was that blonde wig.”

On how her rise in stardom has affected her: “I’ve definitely become more cautious and a little bit more nervous and paranoid. I’m representing my community in a bigger way than I ever have,” says Awkwafina. “I started out representing weird Asian chicks that loved Belle and Sebastian, you know? But now there are young Asian girls that really look up to me, and I say that in the most non-cocky way ever. You have to represent them well, and in doing so you can’t be controversial in a way that is ignorant. I’m so scared of saying the wrong thing, or having it be misinterpreted.”

On the lack of Asian representation on screen: “When I was little, I was completely starved for idols,” she says. “so I had a dream of becoming something that didn’t exist.” As was the case for so many Asian-Americans, one of the first performers that Awkwafina saw onscreen who looked like her was Margaret Cho. “But I never saw anyone else—it was really only her,” she says. “So I think that in carving out my place, a lot of it had to do with there being a lack. Seeing a ghost town helped me—because I was like, Well, it could exist.”

Style Credits:
Image 1: Suit by Veronica Beard | Bralette by Noon by Noor | Shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti | Earrings and Ring by Marli
Image 2: Dress, Socks and Shoes by Fendi | Faux Fur by Prette

[Photo Credit: Shelby Goldstein/Elle.com, vogue.com]

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