For all of Hollywood's recent progress toward inclusivity, Asians are still woefully underrepresented in Hollywood. With his new project, Crazy Rich Asians, director Jon M. Chu hopes to change that.
The film is based on Kevin Kwan's book of the same name. We already knew Fresh Off the Boat star Constance Wu would be starring in the movie, but we didn't know who the male lead would be. Now, we have an answer: Chu has cast newcomer Henry Golding.
The Hollywood Reporter first shared the news on Tuesday, and we couldn't be more excited. Golding will star as Nick Young, opposite Wu's Rachel Chu. The actor shared an Instagram post announcing the news, and it's clear he's very invested in the project.
The film's casting wasn't easy for its director, though. Chu has been open about the fact that filling the movie's roles has been a challenge, addressing the issue in a BuzzFeed interview earlier this month. Chu had posted a video asking actors to post their audition tapes online in an open casting call.
"When you have a wide range of characters that you're supposed to find, they're not going to be people you know necessarily," Chu told BuzzFeed. "When I do a 'regular' movie with Caucasian actors as the leads, actors are everywhere." The director explained that while there are plenty of talented Asian actors, they don't often have the exposure and representation white actors might.
For all the positive praise Chu and the film have garnered, though, it looks like Golding's casting has a few detractors. An article in the South China Morning Post cites several online commenters who've criticized Golding's casting, since he is half-English. But it seems like most people are thrilled to get to know the up-and-coming actor.