She was the crazy rich Asian before Crazy Rich Asians.
“London Tipton‘s really great, really great, really great. London Tipton’s really great, and deserves the opposite of hate. Which is love!”
Unfortunately for Brenda Song, she’s not actually London Tipton, and she didn’t catch a lot of love from the creators of Crazy Rich Asians.
In an interview with Teen Vogue, Brenda Song spoke about how she was turned down by the movie without getting a chance to audition.
“A lot of people don’t know this, but I never got to read for Crazy Rich Asians, ever.” According to her managers, the film didn’t feel she was right for the role.
Crazy Rich Asians is a rom-com based on the novel by the same name. The story focuses on Rachel Chu, a Chinese-American, who travels to Singapore with her boyfriend, Nick Young, to attend Nick’s friend’s wedding. The trip is also a chance for Rachel to meet Nick’s very affluent and respected family, a fact she was, thus far, unaware of.
Without going into a total recap/review of the movie, the point is this. The movie is about two Asian-Americans and their romantic struggles. What would a rom-com be without the struggles? It’s the only realistic part about those movies…back to the point…
When we think of a crazy rich Asian on T.V., most Millenials and those who grew up in the 2000s would automatically picture hotel-princess London Tipton. She was the epitome of crazy, rich and if I’m not mistaken, Asian.
So how was she overlooked for a part in the film?
“Their reasoning behind that, what they said was that my image was basically not Asian enough, in not so many words. It broke my heart,” said Brenda.
Unfortunately, it seems her early success and popularity were a key factor in passing over her for the role.
Brenda continued “This character is in her late to mid-20s, an Asian American, and I can’t even audition for it? I’ve auditioned for Caucasian roles my entire career, but this specific role, you’re not going to let me do it? You’re going to fault me for having worked my whole life?’ I was like, ‘Where do I fit?'”
Fortunately, Brenda was able to pull herself together, after taking some time to reflect on her magnificent career.
“I got myself together and said, ‘Brenda, there is only one you, and you can’t change who you are. You can’t change your past.’ I am so grateful for every job that I’ve done,” she says. “All I can do is continue to put good auditions out there, do the best that I can — that’s all I can ask for.”
After hearing Brenda’s comments, director Jon Chu was quick to react on Twitter, stating he is a big fan of Brenda and his intention was that he already knew of her work so she didn’t need to audition.
🤷🏻♂️would these words ever come out of my mouth? Nope makes no sense. I feel horrible she thinks this is the reason. The fact is I love Brenda Song and am a fan. I didn’t need her to audition because I already knew who she was!— Jon M. Chu (@jonmchu) November 20, 2019
Whether it was just a miscommunication or a snub by the film, Brenda seems to be doing just fine. While Crazy Rich Asians came out last year, Brenda has added to her qualified resume, with a new role in Netflix’s Secret Obsession, while continuing to feature on Hulu’s Dollface TV series.
We’re sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of the original crazy, rich Asian in many more movies to come.