- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Jon M. Chu said he regretted casting South Asians in stereotypical roles for "Crazy Rich Asians."
People had criticized the casting of Brown actors in subservient roles in the 2018 movie.
"That's a lesson that I did not understand until it happened," Chu told Insider last Friday.
Jon M. Chu, the director of "Crazy Rich Asians," said he should have made the South Asian characters in the 2018 romantic comedy "more human" in response to criticism for casting Brown actors in subservient roles.
Based on Kevin Kwan's 2013 novel of the same name, "Crazy Rich Asians" tells the story of Rachel (played by Constance Wu), a Chinese American professor, as she meets her boyfriend Nick's (Henry Golding) ultrawealthy family in Singapore.
Some viewers criticized the box-office darling for featuring East Asian actors as protagonists but casting South Asian actors in domestic-worker roles.
While promoting his latest film, "In the Heights," Chu told Insider last Friday that he "totally gets" the criticism.
"That's a lesson that I did not understand until it happened," he said. "I was like, this is a book that exists, and I'm making this book into a movie. I can't add a new character into this book."
Though Indians are the third-largest ethnic group living in Singapore, there are only a few South Asian characters in "Crazy Rich Asians," mostly armed guards working at Nick's sprawling mansion in the woods.
Chu said he wished he could've made the Brown characters in 'Crazy Rich Asians' 'more human' by giving them more dialogue
When Rachel and a friend, Peik Lin (Awkwafina), get lost on their way to a party at the home, the guards circle their car with large rifles as ominous-sounding music plays.
"Looking back, I should have had a joke there [for the guards] being like, 'These idiots,'" the director said. "There's stuff to do to make them more human instead of just, like, these guards."
Chu said he wanted to adapt that scene for his film because he'd loved that moment in the book.
"I didn't understand some of the other contexts to that," he said. "So hearing it from people, for me, it was a learning experience."
He added that he would "pay more attention to that stuff" in future movies and hopefully "won't make that mistake again."
Chu also said that South Asian actors were at the extravagant party at Nick's home but that he didn't "accent it in any way" to make their presence known.
"They're just sort of there," Chu said. "I don't give them the space to be there."
Chu said we need more diverse movies and filmmakers so that inclusion 'doesn't rest on one movie'
Chu told Deadline in August 2018 that it would be "unfair" for the film, which earned more than $238 million at the global box office, to represent all Asian people.
"One movie that represents [all] Asians - that's just ridiculous," Chu said. "However, if this can crack the door a little bit so that other stories can be told, and it spawns a resurgence in these stories getting shown at the highest levels possible - I would love to have this."
Chu echoed his comment about diversity while discussing "Crazy Rich Asians" with Insider last week.
"Listen, we need to have more movies, you need to have more filmmakers so that it doesn't rest on one movie," Chu said.
It seems Chu will soon get his wish. Kwan told Variety on Thursday that a sequel based on his 2015 novel, "China Rich Girlfriend," was "deep in development" at Warner Bros.
The novel, set two years after "Crazy Rich Asians," continues to tell the story of Nick and Rachel and their contentious relationship with Nick's mother, Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh).
"In the Heights" premieres Thursday in theaters and on HBO Max.
Read the original article on Insider