Crazy Rich Asians From A Crazy Not-So-Rich Asian Perspective

Picture this.

You’re 5 years old: Your dream job is a princess but if that doesn’t work out, you’ll be an actress/singer instead. The world is yours and you don’t see yourself different from any of your friends. You love yourself and everyone else for who they are. Your biggest problem is deciding whether to colour in crayon or texter.

At 12: Still blasting Hannah Montana and the soundtrack of a very popular Disney Channel movie with a lead who looked kind of like you… But claimed for years she was Mexican/Hispanic… but you know for sure she’s half Asian hmm. You’re obsessed with The Twilight Saga and at lunch you and your friends role play but you can’t be Bella, or Alice, or Rosalie – you can be Leah (the Native American supporting character). Btw, bringing a home cooked lunch to school, especially if it involves rice is ‘different’, and not in a good way but your mama’s cooking is delicious so you let the haters hate. But the thought does creep in – sometimes you wish you were white.

At 15: Writing and telling stories is your favourite thing and you are still so in love with performing. You’re geared with dance, singing and acting training and experience. Sushi is now very cool and trendy. Your classmates make racist jokes because they ‘forget’ you’re a person of colour or because ‘you’re not like the others’. You audition for the lead of your school musical – that Disney one that you so dearly love that meant to display diversity. You lose out on the supporting lead to a stereotype white girl. You are an advocate for the most talented and therefore appropriate person doing the job… The lead cast is 100% white. Your favourite movies/TV shows consist of a Caucasian cast, if there was an Asian – they played a minor role, you don’t remember the character let alone the actor. When people hear you want to be involved in showbiz they give you a look (oooh, acting is tough, there’s not a lot of roles for…). You take a look at available jobs and they’re looking for white girls – blonde and blue eyes, brunette and big eyes etc. You want to be so proud of your cultural identity but still can’t help occasionally but imagine how convenient it would be to be white or at the very least, a natural blonde. You think they’re right. Maybe you’re not profitable as a lead. You think back to when there was an Asian lead character and besides London Tipton and Lucy Liu in Charlie’s Angels #badass, nothing really stands out. All the other roles seem to be martial arts, restaurant owner related or a friend to the lead.

You’re now 20: Up until this point, you became increasingly disappointed with Hollywood and their casting choices that made Asian actors second class, casting white actresses in roles that should’ve gone to equally talented Asian actors. You first watch this movie with your best friend. The final scene plays out and by this point you have both cried from laughter (Awkwafina & Ken Jeong are gold wow) and gotten emotional (the wedding oh my), you are now crying tears of joy with the perfect ending to a wholly marvellous movie. We exit the theatre and she says “That was amazing, I forgot they were Asian.” We have become so accustomed to white people telling stories on screen, many people in the industry saw a movie such as this one high-risk but if you can imagine, on a world population scale, being Asian is the majority so it’s astounding the last American made movie with an Asian cast was The Joy Luck Club (1993) – 25 YEARS AGO?!?? You get home and begin to cry again, you cannot believe you just witnessed a beautiful love story for mainstream viewing loaded with a crazy talented fully Asian cast with an obviously incredible production crew. You watch it for a second time but now with your family. Your parents say they could watch this film over and over again.

You are so proud to be Asian, worthy of being represented as intelligent and eloquent, as beautiful and elegant, as sexy and well-dressed, as relatable and multidimensional, and just as a human with a great story. You hope everyone sees this movie. You never want a young girl who looks like you or the cast of Crazy Rich Asians to doubt her dreams are achievable because of a dry spell of representation. You are so much more than your race and to have a movie that displays that but happens to show the cultural side of being Asian is so important. You are so proud.

This is the movie you needed more than you knew.

With love and light always, M ♥️

 

A Rising Star Of Our Own

 

Aussie Star in the making Chelsea Glaw

Now living in Los Angeles, Gold Coast grown girl, Chelsea Glaw is making her mark in the world of film.

Having a strong passion for dramatic arts, in particular, acting for screen since a young girl, Chelsea continuously worked on improving herself as an actress.  In Year 11 (2012), she was successful at claiming a scholarship at the prestigious New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. At the opportunity, 4 weeks after her high school graduation, a young girl left her family and friends in pursuit of a big dream in the Big Apple.

 

Filming her American reel

Chelsea lived in New York, New York for two years whilst undertaking her Associates Degree in Acting which she completed last year. While studying she surrounded herself with means to better herself as a performer including learning outside of a school environment, she networked, went to live shows, filmed short films, attended multiple auditions and was an assistant at a acting and modelling agency in the city in 2015.

She also attended her first red carpet event in New York City last September where her close friend Alexander Flores stars in the movie Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials as Winston.

 

Red Carpet Lovin’

Chelsea commented, “It was a very overwhelming experience being on the red carpet and having cameras flash in your face every 2 seconds in every single direction. I had never been on a red carpet before so I was just posing for photos and then I got out of there. But I was so happy to be there supporting Alex and he handled it like a pro, as always. Dazzling the fans and doing interview after interview. It was great. Oh and I should probably say the movie was great too!”

She was also lucky enough to attend The Scorch Trials after party where she spoke with the awesome cast, including leading lads Dylan O’Brien and Thomas Brodie-Sangster.

Although Chels has recently moved to Los Angeles where her dreams continue to be more of a reality, New York will always hold a special place in her heart. Chelsea said that it had shaped the person she is today; she learned so much from the city and made lifelong connections and the best friends she will ever have. Does she miss home? She misses her family big time, vegemite toast, and although she’s met a great bunch of Aussie performers in LA; she still misses being surrounded by the Aussie accent.

In her element: in front of the camera

Talk about timing – she’s hit the sweet spot at the moment for film as La La Land enters pilot season (peak time for casting, producing or preparation of TV pilot episodes). She’s been keeping busy with her application for an artist visa, auditions left, right and center, networking, and acting for short films. Chelsea’s upcoming projects includes a short film about her story  written by filmmaker and photographer Steven Leone who has just wrapped up shooting a range of models in Europe.  The short film will star her and begins filming very soon. This 19 year old isn’t slowing down anytime soon.  Watch this space and remember her name, this girl is going places!

@chelseaglaw

Images via: Chelsea Glaw

Where’s Dory?

The 4 beautiful new Finding Dory posters were released and if this doesn’t get you excited for the Finding Nemo sequel, well sorry, we can no longer be friends. I’m kidding… Mostly…

I was 5 when I watched Finding Nemo (2003) and remember crying and laughing and occasionally holding my breath and pretending I was swimming with the characters – the same case scenario for any cute/magical movies set in the sea *cough* The Little Mermaid *cough*. Where was I going with this? Right! 

Finding Dory focuses on our amnesiac blue tang friend, played by everyone’s favourite TV Show host, Ellen DeGeneres, as she recalls memories of her home and family. Dory remembers something other than ‘P.Sherman 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney’? MIND BLOWING!

The 4 new posters double as a game which the kids or your inner child will love! It’s not too difficult since Dory probably finds it more of a challenge to find herself than we do:

  
     

 You can bet I’ll be going to an advanced screening! I cannot wait for June!  In the meantime, we can listen to Robbie Williams’ smooth smooth voice and imagine somewhere beyond the sea 😉

Images via: Finding Dory (Disney)

Watch: In ‘Me Before You’ Daenerys and Finnick Find Love

 

The first trailer for “Me Before You” based on the best-selling novel by Jojo Moyes was released and fans everywhere are already crazy for the movie directed by Thea Sharrock. The film starring Emilia Clarke (Louisa ‘Lou’ Clark) and Sam Claflin (Will Traynor) is the story of a young lady who knows many things except what the future holds and a young man who knows since his accident his world will continue to be bland black and white but doesn’t know that his world’s about to pop with colour. Little do they know the impact they will have on the other.

The evolution of the couple’s relationship in this trailer is enough to well up my eyes. Forget the tissues, give me a towel!

Me Before You is set to be released June, 2016

A Feministic Take On A Classic Fairy Tale

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I can’t believe it’s nearly 2016! So, before the year ends, I want to share with you a couple of my favourite moments.  In March, I was fortunate enough to be offered to watch a special screening of Cinderella and write on how feminism fits in with the story and Disney princesses.  Anyone who knows me knows I may have a little obsession with all things Disney, so I leaped at the chance! 😀  This was originally written then published by my city newspaper in March when the movie released but as it’s definitely one of my favourite pieces this year, I wanted to share it with you.

“A dream is a wish your heart makes.” ❤ 

The world’s favourite fairy tale classic, Cinderella, returns to the big screen once again, but with Lily James as Cinderella and Richard Madden as Prince Charming.

When we think of fairy tales, we think of princesses, fairy godmothers, cute animals and ‘happily ever after’s.  Did you ever think that Cinderella and some of your other beloved princesses are actually feminists?

Feminism isn’t about thinking, acting and working like a man.  It’s about having equality amoung the sexes.  The women’s movements during the 60s and 70s was not for girls and women to turn into boys and men but for females to have the choice and the chance to choose our own destinies.

Yes, Cinderella obeyed her stepmother, was mistreated by her and was basically a maid for her and her stepsisters.  She could’ve run away or stood up to her stepmother but she chose to follow her, but that didn’t stop her from dreaming and using her imagination.

If that doesn’t convince you, though she may or may not be your favourite character, the evil stepmother, Lady Tremaine, shows her authority around the house, ordering Cinderella what to do all the time. Set in the 50s, men would tell their wives and children what to do, but Cinderella’s father doesn’t have much say in the story.  The power stays with Lady Tremaine, her stepmother, which shows that Cinderella portrayed a woman as a strong and powerful character.

Disney’s earlier princesses (Cinderella, Snow White, Aurora) may not have been as courageous and feisty as some of the later girls (Mulan, Rapunzel, Merida and Elsa), but they were not just pretty faces.  They were always kind and hard working which are positive values, making them great role models.  The message of being true to yourself and following your dreams is written all over the story of Cinderella.  This is what feminism strives for – girls reaching for their dreams and making decisions in their own free will.  Just a reminder: It’s okay to dream, in fact, some of your greatest ideas will happen in a dream.  Use your imagination, that’s how new inventions and creations, came to be.  And always be kind, a beautiful heart is priceless and gets better with age. 

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Images: Disney

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies

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Rated: M

J.R.R Tolkeins cinematic adventures have finally come to a close with the final Hobbit movie. Originally titled There And Back Again and renamed by director Peter Jackson as the Battle of The Five Armies was the nail-biting close for The Hobbit franchise.

I hate to say it but I didn’t leave the theatre thrilled. The first two Hobbit movies were definitely waaaayy better than this. I was so engrossed by the first 2 films and there was heaps to love! The actors gave wonderful performances again this time, but unlike the actors, their characters had very little character development throughout the movie. Besides Thorin who overcomes dragon’s sickness, all the characters are kind of just existing.

I know many fans were disappointed in the romance between elf Tauriel and dwarf Kìli as it wasn’t originally in the book, but I didn’t mind it and thought it added some substance to the story and the feels got real. I did think that significant deaths were rushed… SPOILER ALERT! Fìli was next in line for the throne after Thorin and his death was portrayed like a squashed bug’s: minimum sadness and importance. Both Fìli and Kìli were two of the favourite characters in the trilogy and I don’t think enough significance was placed on their characters role in the film and subsequently their deaths, which was the result of fighting for their uncle.

The intensity was high throughout the entire film. The movie showed off priorities, bravery, courage, loyalty, love, and friendship tremendously which I liked a lot. I was satisfied and enjoyed the happy ending amongst all the tragedy and grief.

Rating:

***