Brenda Song recently said she was not allowed to audition for Crazy Rich Asians.
Song said she was told her “image was basically not Asian enough.” She told Teen Vogue that she asked her managers to set up an audition but she “never got to read” for the part. Song is best known for her role on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.
She said, “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. I said, ‘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?'”
She continued, “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. 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.”
Director Jon M. Chu wrote on Twitter, “??Nope,” adding, “I love @BrendaSong and that sucks if anything of that nature was ever communicated. It’s gross actually. The fact is, obviously I know who she is and didn’t need her to audition. I’m a fan of hers! Nothing more nothing less. Bums me out she thought it was anything but.”
He continued, “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!”
He also recalled that he actually opened casting for the world with online auditions, writing, “One of my favorite memories of making #CrazyRichAsians was when we opened the auditions to anyone in the world with our open call. We watched hundreds &hundreds of videos from very talented people from all around the world. Made us tear up many times.”
The movie eventually cast Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Awkwafina, Gemma Chan and Michelle Yeoh and Ken Jeong in its leading roles.
We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.