Everything Everywhere All At Once’s surprise 11 Oscar nominations were a bittersweet comfort to the cast and crew of the film. The night before the announcement, they were visiting a Monterey Park restaurant, hours after 11 were killed and nine others were injured in Saturday’s mass shooting. For the predominantly Asian cast of a film about the Chinese immigrant experience, it was a necessary trip.
Per The Los Angeles Times, the crew had long planned to visit Atlantic Seafood and Dim Sum, a nearby restaurant. For some of the film’s stars, including Best Supporting Actor nominee Ke Huy Quan and Best Supporting Actress nominee Stephanie Hsu, would’ve been a joyous homecoming. Instead, it took on a deeper meaning.
“I lived and grew up there for many, many years,” Quan said. “It’s a place that I called home for a long time. I know the neighborhood well. I know the people, the community. I know a lot of the businesses. And I was struggling.”
Hsu told the Times that, as a child, she “went to Monterey Park every other weekend to grocery shop.”
Monterey Park’s Chinese citizens became the target of unspeakable horrors on Saturday, as a gunman attacked a local dance studio on the eve of the Lunar New Year, the Chinese community’s most important holiday. After dinner, Quan said that they “wanted to show Monterey Park that we love them.”
“We started the night acknowledging what happened,” said Quan. “We had a moment of silence for the victims.”
Last year, NBC reported that hate crimes against Asian Americans increased 339%. The gunman in the attack was identified as Huu Can Tran, 72. He later died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A day after the shooting, another seven people were killed in a second mass shooting. However, the second mass shooting was reportedly tied to a workplace disagreement. The motive for the Monterey Park shooting is still unclear. As California Governor Gavin Newsom noted, it was the 39th mass shooting of this year, which began 25 days ago.
To Quan, who spent Sunday watching reports of the shooting, it was imperative that they did not cancel their planned dinner. “I don’t even remember how much I’ve cried,” he said. “But then I realized that we cannot cancel. This is not the time to stay away from Monterey Park. Instead we should go there and support them and show them our love. The local businesses need us.”
“I’m so glad we went. We didn’t shy away from it. We didn’t cancel. We went there, we showed them our love, we supported the business, and I think that’s what people should do. That’s what I hope.”
Check out the Los Angeles Times’ full story here.
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