Actress Brenda Song claims she was told she's "not Asian enough" to audition for "Crazy Rich Asians" — but the film's director says she's sorely mistaken.
Song, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Thailand, said in an interview with Teen Vogue that her attempts to try out for the movie were shut down: "A lot of people don't know this, but I never got to read for 'Crazy Rich Asians,' ever," she said. "Their reasoning behind that, what they said was that my image was basically not Asian enough, in not so many words."
She continued, "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?'"
The allegation apparently came as a surprise to "Crazy Rich Asians" director Jon M. Chu, who tweeted a confused face emoji in response to Song's statements. "Would these words ever come out of my mouth?" he tweeted. "Nope makes no sense."
🤷🏻♂️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!
— Jon M. Chu (@jonmchu) November 20, 2019
Chu continued, "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!"
Song, 31, is best known for her role in the Disney Channel show "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody," but she's also appeared in more recent shows like "New Girl" and "Scandal" and had a role in the 2010 Oscar-nominated film "The Social Network."
Song currently stars in Hulu's "Dollface."
"Crazy Rich Asians" centers on a Chinese-American woman, played by Constance Wu, who travels to Singapore to meet her boyfriend's ultra-wealthy family.
Two sequels are in the works, although the process hasn't been seamless: Co-writer Adele Lim walked away from the project in September after objecting to the studio paying her co-writer a significantly higher fee.
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