2005 2004 2002 2001 OTHER SECTIONS
2004 2002 2001 OTHER SECTIONS
2002 2001 OTHER SECTIONS
US ASIANS: In the past, which one of your roles portrayed the worst Asian Pacific American stereotype? In addition, which role allowed you the opportunity to bring to life the most realistic portrayal of an Asian Pacific American?
LYNN CHEN: The “Saturday Night Live” skit was probably the worst, not my role exactly, but through the other actors who were in the skit. It was supposed to be the Vietnam War, and they had some of the SNL cast members pretend they were Vietnamese women, and they used some pretty horrendously racist accents. I wondered why they even felt the need to hire Asian actors to play extras for that scene, they should have just gotten some Caucasian extras and given them slanted eye makeup or something if they were trying to prove a point about stereotypes. I was horrified when I first saw the skit, complete with all accents, during final dress, but at that point it was a little too late to back out.
My role in “Fortune” was probably the most realistic, in that it dealt with the feelings a young woman has coming to terms with being the only American-born Asian working in a higher-status job amongst Asian, immigrant co-workers.
Do you think that it is appropriate and/or effective for APA actors
to complain about such stereotyped/racially offensive roles?
What do you think is the present state of diversity is in the
What do you think needs to be addressed first?
What do you think about the APA showcases at PSNBC?
How do you think that Asian American soap actors before you (i.e.
Kelly Hu, Lindsey
Price, Christine Toy Johnson, Lia Chang, etc.) have helped you in your
participation in “All My Children?”
What Asian/Asian Pacific American and/or Chinese/Chinese American
organizations have honored you for your achievements?
Why do you think that “a lot of actors in general, no matter
what their ethnic background is, are typecast?”
What was your most “gratifying” role?
What changes, if any, do you think will be as the direct result
of the success of MTV Films/Paramount Pictures’ “Better Luck
With a Buddhist prayer ceremony, filming began in fall of 2003 at the Brooklyn and the Chinese-American enclave of Flushing, Queens of Alice Wu's "Saving Face" – the first movie wholly about Chinese-Americans bankrolled by Hollywood since Disney released "The Joy Luck Club" in 1993 that featured veteran Joan Chen and rising young actresses Michelle Krusiec and Lynn Chen. It’s a romantic comedy about three generations of an immigrant family: a deeply traditional grandfather, his middle-aged daughter (widowed and mysteriously pregnant) and his lesbian doctor granddaughter, who happens to fall in love with a ballerina.
This daughter born in San Jose of Taiwanese immigrants sought to fulfilled, after having earned her Ph.D. in computer science at Stanford University and the program manager at Cinemania and Music Central - Microsoft's CD-ROM entertainment offerings, her desire to become a writer. As a result, she began writing a novel inspired by her experience of coming out as a lesbian, along with her mother's difficulties in middle age during down time. Recognizing cultural traits of her characters saying things they didn't mean - the chasm between their words and conflicting facial expressions – she decided that the best vehicle to effectively communicate her thoughts would be through a film.
Her future included screenwriting/filmmaking classes and quitting her job at Microsoft within a pre-designated period of five years to achieve success. In 2002, she won a CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) contest that provided ample opportunities to meet most Asian American studio executives.
coped with suggestions to have White characters, to eliminate speaking
Mandarin in the picture (in the final cut, the film’s dialogue is
half in Mandarin and half in English) and/or to make the love affair heterosexual
– along with conflicts involving her directing the picture. Fortunately,
she found a person that totally supported her vision – Teddy Zee
– formerly president of Will Smith’s production company, Overbrook
Entertainment. As a result, Will Smith and James Lassiter of Overbrook
committed to produce the film if financing could be found – which
led to securing this element ($2.5M) with Ben Feingold – president
of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. At the end, Alice Wu has completed
a film that she has stated was a love letter to her mother, and it shows.