Who Is Stephanie Hsu? Everything to Know About the Everything Everywhere All at Once Star
Before Stephanie Hsu graced the big screen, she had her start onstage with multiple Broadway productions.
Now an Academy Award–nominated actress, Hsu, 32, is on her way to becoming a household name after her gripping performance as the disgruntled daughter Joy and, in every universe in the multiverse, the diabolical villain Jobu Tupaki in Everything Everywhere All At Once, earning her a nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
The film earned an additional 10 nods, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress and another Best Supporting Actress spot.
While this may be Hsu's first nomination, it wasn't her first rodeo. The actress had already made a name for herself on Broadway, where she starred in two critically acclaimed plays, and on TV, with a recurring appearance in Prime Video's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
So who is the actress? Here's everything to know about Stephanie Hsu.
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She went to N.Y.U. for college
Hsu graduated from N.Y.U.'s Tisch School of the Arts in 2012 with a BFA in drama. She worked at a farm while at school, adding that having a passion outside her profession helped keep her sane, according to Deadline.
"I started in experimental theater and comedy. I never wanted an agent, never wanted to do commercial stuff," Hsu told the outlet of her early career aspirations. "Truth be told, I think I was really afraid to sell out, because at that time there was no Crazy Rich Asians. I was one of two Asian people in my acting class, and then one of maybe less than 10 people of color in the whole department."
She had her start on Broadway
Following her graduation from N.Y.U., Hsu starred in two Broadway productions: SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical and Be More Chill. The latter originated in New Jersey and was a "weird internet cult sensation," according to Hsu. After recording an album for the show, it gained popularity among theater fans and entered the Broadway stage, where Hsu was playing the female lead leading up to Everything Everywhere All at Once, per Deadline.
In the SpongeBob musical, Hsu played Karen the Computer, the evil wife and sidekick of the main villain, Plankton.
She was in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
While she was still at the helm of Be More Chill, a new opportunity rolled along for Hsu: to star alongside Rachel Brosnahan in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. The two were in the same year at N.Y.U., and though they did not personally know each other, they did have mutual friends who pushed Hsu to audition for the show, per Deadline.
Though she was working eight shows a week, Hsu snagged the recurring role of Mei Lin, Joel's (Mrs. Maisel's ex-husband) girlfriend. She continued performing eight shows weekly and on Mondays would film for the comedy, appearing in 13 episodes.
She met the Daniels — the nickname for the directing duo — on an episode of Nora from Queens
In the next stage of her career, after wrapping the musical and Maisel, Hsu got a call from comedian Bowen Yang who told her about a show he was doing with comedian Awkwafina, starring an all-Asian cast.
Hsu joined for one episode of Nora from Queens, where she met Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan — her future Everything Everywhere directors — and fell "deeply in love."
"The first day we worked together, they blew a leaf blower into my face, made me speed rap against a green screen and then Daniel Scheinert got up on a ladder to dump mud on me," Hsu told Deadline. "I said, 'These are my guys,' and followed them out to L.A. Within a week of getting there, they called me to say, 'Hey, we're working on this movie. No pressure, but we think you'd be perfect for it.' "
She is vocal on social media calling for women's rights
In 2018, Hsu posted a letter she wrote to the "men in [her] life," asking them to show up for the women in their lives and stand up for their rights.
"If you are an ally, you should be calling reps, you should be teaching other men/boys to be better," she wrote.
More recently, she called on her Instagram followers to hit the polls in November and vote for those who are in favor of reproductive rights, adding resources for those living in states where abortion has been banned. The post was a photo of various pins and stickers supporting LGBTQ rights, reproductive freedom and protecting the environment.
Steve Buscemi is a fan of hers
Moviestore/Shutterstock Stephanie Hsu, Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan in Everything Everywhere All at Once
Hsu got a surprise fan photo during her interview with The New York Times. While Hsu got drinks with a reporter at a West Hollywood hotel bar, Buscemi spotted her and came up to the table to let her know what big of a fan he is of her latest work, according to the Times.
The Fargo actor asked Hsu for a picture and the young actress jumped out of her booth, happy to oblige. "That was crazy," she told the reporter after he left. "It's all crazy!"
She has been nominated for multiple awards for her work as Joy/Jobu
Christopher Polk/NBC via Getty Images
This awards season is Hsu's to run as she's racked up nominations from the Critics' Choice and Screen Actors Guild Awards for best supporting actress, alongside her costar Jamie Lee Curtis.
Though she has yet to win, Hsu can add Oscar nominee to her résumé in the latest of her nominations.