FROM Kevin Kwan
Director Jon M. Chu and author Kevin Kwan on 'Crazy Rich Asians' Near the beginning of the new movie ‘ Crazy Rich Asians ,’ handsome Nick Young, played by Henry Golding, asks his Chinese-American girlfriend Rachel Chu, played by Constance Wu, to take a trip with him from New York to his home country of Singapore. Soon they’re on a plane, and much to Rachel’s surprise, they’re flying first class and they’re treated like royalty. She gets Nick to admit his family has money, but she doesn’t realize how much money until her college roommate Peik Lin, played by Awkwafina, lays it out for her. Turns out the Young family were some of the original land developers in Singapore. They’ve got an empire to protect, and Nick’s mother Eleanore, played by Michelle Yeoh, has a very specific idea of the type of girl Nick should marry, and Rachel is not it. ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is based on the 2013 novel of the same name, written by Kevin Kwan. Both Kwan and director Jon M. Chu took the comedy very seriously because ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is the first American studio film in many years to feature an entirely Asian cast. Kwan and Chu joined us in the studio, just hours before their big red carpet premiere. They told us why it was so important to them for their movie to play in theaters-- even though Netflix offered tons of money and a trilogy--and about the worldwide search for a cast that involved some Facebook friending and Instagram stalking. ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ trailer
Designing “Crazy Rich Asians” This week the first full-length trailer was released for “Crazy Rich Asians,” a film opening in August. It’s based on the bestselling rom-com of the same name by Kevin Kwan. “It's really the Downton Abbey of Asia. This is a family story it's about a ridiculously rich clan that's been privileged for generations,” Kwan said. The book details the relationship of Rachel Chu, an American-born Chinese woman, who falls in love with Nicholas Young, a fellow professor at NYU. When he invites her to a wedding in Singapore, Kwan says, what she assumes is just a summer holiday turns into “Pride and Prejudice in Asia” when she realizes “his family is richer than God and he's sort of the Prince William of Singapore, or of Asia, really.” The popular novel invites readers “to just see the clash of cultures and get a peek behind the scenes of this very privileged class of people that exist in Asia,” Kwan says, and he worked with the film’s costume designer Mary Vogt and production designer Nelson Coates to get the fashion and food and sets just right. “Basically you try to become the expert in whatever your subject matter is,” Coates tells DnA, adding that it was an “unbelievable, unabashed joy” to work on this movie. He had to do extensive research into the fashions, art and tastes of the Chinese diaspora, including the specifics of the old Peranakan culture in what is now Singapore. This promoted DnA to ask if below the line talent such as designers should hail from the community the movie depicts. After all, issues of identity are front and center right now, in the era of #OscarsSoWhite and the Academy’s campaign to boost diversity. And the relevance of identity to design is going to be a focus of upcoming DnA shows. Coates says that even as a good designer can do the research, he’s certainly been thinking about this issue in his role as head of the Art Directors Guild. “As designers we should be able to go beyond just our particular cultural touch points,” he said. “I've always hired a colorblind crew. That's always been a very, very strong concern for me. Just because you get different perspectives.” Michelle Yeoh in Crazy Rich Asians (2018). Photo by Sanja Bucko - © 2017 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND SK GLOBAL ENTERTAINMENT
Kevin Kwan satirizes Asian elite in "Rich People Problems" The extreme levels of new wealth in China have spawned government crackdowns on corruption and public outcry over the Communist nation’s high-spending “princelings.” But novelist Kevin Kwan says the real story is about the old money. He is the author of the so-called Downton Abbey of Asia, a hilarious bestselling trilogy: “Crazy Rich Asians,” soon to be a major motion picture, “China Rich Girlfriend,” and now “Rich People Problems.” The books follow the “ridiculously rich clan” of Tyersall Park estate in Singapore and their entanglements with the super rich families of mainland China and the diaspora. Along the way Kwan explores class through the stuff his characters buy, from over the top interiors to multi-million dollar couture dresses and cosmetically improved collectible fish. He recently visited the set of “Crazy Rich Asians” in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and spoke to DnA from his hotel room there. “Rich People Problems” by Kevin Kwan
Hua Hsu: A Floating Chinaman Author Hua Hsu stops by to discuss his book A Floating Chinaman, recounting the life of 1930's actor/writer H.T. Tsiang and his struggles entering the American literary world.
Terrorism in London: Lessons for the US This weekend’s terrorist attack in London left seven people dead and almost 50 injured. London police fatally shot the attackers, and ISIS claimed responsibility.
In 'Speechless,' Scott Silveri combines comedy, family & disability Scott Silveri has written and produced sitcoms for more than 20 years. In all that time, he never encountered a TV family that looked anything like the one he grew up in -- with a mom, a dad...and a brother with cerebral palsy. He changed that with his show Speechless on ABC. Silveri tells us about looking to his own past for stories, and why he was determined to make a family comedy and not just a "disability show."
How do Trump supporters feel about the Paris Accord? Globally and around the U.S., there are strong opinions whether or not the Paris Climate Accord is a good idea. The American exit is either a horrifying abdication of American leadership or a forceful and long overdue statement about U.S. sovereignty.