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Asian American actresses share tips to break glass ceiling

Last updated on November 21, 2020

Facebook Live broadcasts a panel discussion and candid conversation about opportunities for Asian American Actors. They gave their two cents on the world cinema for asian Americans.

By Christopher Ahn

The Asian World Film Festival hosted a virtual panel with five Asian American female actresses: Lisa Lu, Nancy Kwan, France Nuyen, Kieu Chinh, and Irene Tsu on Oct. 17. They shared their personal experience and career advice with up and coming actors and actresses. These five silver screen legends were involved in “Flower Drum Song,” “Joy Luck Club” and “Crazy Rich Asians,” which had an all-Asian cast.

The film seemed like it broke the glass, ceiling for Asian Americans in Hollywood movies, but it has not. The large gaps between the movies demonstrate the lack of an all-Asian American cast film. “Joy Luck Club” came 34 years after “Flower Drum Song” and the release of “Crazy Rich Asians” in 2018.

“I don’t think Hollywood is looking to do many more films in an all-Asian cast,” Kwan said during the panel. “Television has opened it up from minorities for not only Asians but for African Americans [and] for Hispanics, so which is good because the awareness is there.”

Kwan hopes that this is a start to reach to audition,” Chinh said. Twenty-two years the glass ceiling. The United States is as an actor I never did an audition.”

The Asian World Film a diverse place with different stories to She had a small role in “Apocalypse Festival hosted a tell. Tsu says that the United States is a Now,” but she was not a U.S citizen. virtual panel with five immigrant country of all ethnicities, and Therefore, she could not film.

She was an Asian American female they have their own enclave of stories to “exiled” actress. However, she continued to actresses: Lisa Lu, Nancy tell. The films depended on the writer to tell strive for her passion and landed her first Kwan, France Nuyen, that story. role in “Mash.”

Kieu Chinh, and Irene “People who write have the key,” Tsu The panelists offered advice on how to Tsu on Oct. 17. They said. become a successful actor.

shared their personal Even though the glass ceiling has not “I think the most important thing is to experience and career been broken, aspiring Asian American keep a healthy body and healthy thinking,” advice with up and coming actors and actors and actresses have fewer struggles said Lu who’s acting resume includes three actresses.

These five silver screen legends today. The internet connects each other Golden Horse Awards from the Taipei Film were involved in “Flower Drum Song,” to the world and the world is a more diverse Festival for her roles in the Chinese language “Joy Luck Club” and “Crazy Rich Asians,” which had an all-Asian cast.

The film seemed like it broke the glass, ceiling for Asian Americans in Hollywood movies, but it has not. The large gaps between the movies demonstrate the lack of an all-Asian American cast film. “Joy Luck Club” came 34 years after “Flower Drum Song” and the release of “Crazy Rich Asians” in 2018.

“I don’t think Hollywood is looking to do many more films in an all-Asian cast,” Kwan said during the panel. “Television has opened it up from minorities for not only Asians but for African Americans [and] for Hispanics, so which is good because the awareness is there.”
than ever.

“People are trying to erase the barrier between the ethnic group, between the skin color,” said Chinh, a legendary Vietnamese American actress with 60 years of film experience. “We are in the new era where we are all human beings. I hope the new generation of actors and actresses don’t have to do things we have to face in our life.”

Chinh was a refugee from Vietnam who had 22 years of acting experience under her belt. When the Vietnam War ended in 1975, she came to the United States with the clothes on her back. She wanted to go back to her acting career, but it was so difficult.

“[My experience] here is a different system of working. I needed an agent and films during the 1970s. She is known more recently for her role in “Crazy Rich Asians.”

Lu wanted to become an actress, but the family disapproved because she was good at mathematics rather than acting. She studied business administration in Shanghai, but her mind was not healthy.

“When I went to work, Oh I felt so sad because I wasn’t interested in it,” Lu said. “When I moved to Los Angeles near Hollywood … I went to Pasadena Playhouse to be trained to have a degree and started my acting career. And today, I am 93 and I am so glad that I am an actress. Whenever I go to work, it’s my happiest moment.”

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