8 Asian-American actors who deserve WAY more onscreen love…

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BRIT + CO (by Dene Chen):

The popularity of Star Trek Beyond has basically guaranteed mainstream fandom for a franchise that was once considered geeky and alternative — now, we can even wear our trekkie status on our nails! What’s also great is that the stars have used their larger platform to speak up about issues that are important to them, like Zoe Saldana’s struggle with an autoimmune disease.

For John Cho, who portrays Sulu, a universally beloved character, this has been a time to talk about diversity — or the lack thereof — in Hollywood. “I just didn’t see anyone on TV who looked like me, and then I saw George Takei being cool and piloting the spaceship on television,” Cho recently said on The View. “And I thought that, wow, there’s a beacon for me.”

While things are a little bit better now on TV concerning diversity (though if the bar was so low before, how can you go anywhere but up?), there are still many in Hollywood who tooootally should be getting more work. Lucy Liu and John Cho are well-known names now — here’s hoping that Hollywood gives the following Asian actors more face-time onscreen.

1. Constance Wu:

Entertainment Weekly & People Upfronts Party 2016 - Arrivals

She is hilarious on Fresh Off the Boat and has been very vocal about the white-washing that happens in Hollywood. Wu is talented and beautiful — this should be a no-brainer.

 

2. Steven Yuen:

AMC At Comic-Con 2016 - Day 2

Yuen is notable not only for playing a main character for The Walking Dead, but for being one of the few onscreen love interests in Hollywood played by an Asian male. This may sound ridiculous, but since Asian men are often desexualized in mainstream American media, Yuen’s portrayal of Glenn as a total badass who is considered hot AF is actually groundbreaking. It shouldn’t be though. But first, we need to see him in more stuff.

3. Jake Choi:

2016 Tribeca Film Festival After Party For Wolves At No.8 - 4/15/16

This Queens native has a versatility that is showcased on his IMDB page — a stint on Broad City, an arc on Younger and a role in Wolves, the basketball drama starring Carla Gugino and Michael Shannon which opened earlier this year. Fingers crossed we see more of him.

4. Rahul Kohli:

Comic-Con International 2016 - "iZombie" Press Line

Are we including South Asians on this list? Yes we are, because representation is important. Also, because Rahul Kohli from iZombie is a handsome human being who needs to be on TV more.

5. Anna Akana:

AOL Build Speaker Series - Anna Akana, "Miss 2059"

You might recognize her by her brief appearance at the end of Ant-Man, but many are more likely to know her from her YouTube fame. Akana is a real self-made star, and her witty and sometimes poignant videos have reached more than 1.5 million subscribers.

6. Priyanka Chopra:

2016 ABC Upfront

This woman is goals when it comes to her red carpet style and her classic updos. But Chopra was already a huge star in India before Quantico gave her fame stateside.

7. Daniel Henney:

Hamilton Watch And LA Confidential Present The 2014 Hamilton Behind The Camera Awards - Inside

Another actor who is more appreciated outside the US, Henney will hopefully get more recognition now that he is a series regular of a Criminal Minds spin-off, Beyond Borders.

8. Sendhil Ramamurthy:

"Covert Affairs" Panel - Comic-Con 2011

Luckily for us, this Heroes alum has been working steadily since the series ended in 2010, chalking up arcs in Covert Affairs and Beauty and the Beast.

 

You will see more Asian guys on TV soon!

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Audrey Magazine:

Right now in Hollywood, it’s pilot casting season and (much to our delight) a lot of Asian American male actors are making headlines. Could this be the turn of the tide? Can we finally turn on the TV and regularly see Asian characters? We’ll have to wait and see. Although a number of shows have released information about their pilot, we will all have to wait until May for broadcast network channels to decide which shows to pick up and put on television. Needless to say, we have our fingers crossed for the shows which can bring forward Asian faces.

Apart from Daniel Wu’s Badlands, which has already been ordered directly to series by AMC, it is possible that none of the other pilots mentioned below will be picked up, but the rise in Asian American male actors being casted definitely gives us hope. Furthermore, they are being cast in roles that are substantial supporting roles or even leads. After all, it’s not just visibility that matters, but also the quality of representation.

Hopefully, we will hear about more pilot castings for talented Asian American actors in the upcoming months. For now, it’s heartening to see strides being made.

1. Daniel Wu

Image courtesy of LA TF

First up, there’s Hong Kong star Daniel Wu with his martial arts show Badlands, which cable network AMC has already ordered direct to series. Based very loosely on the Chinese tale Journey to the West, Wu stars as a “ruthless, well-trained warrior named Sunny” who goes on a journey with a young boy to find enlightenment. Wu will also serve as executive producer on Badlands. Only limited information about the series has been released, but we are definitely going to check it out once it airs on AMC.

 

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You Will See More Asian Guys on TV Soon

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 4.23.25 PM

Right now in Hollywood, it’s pilot casting season and (much to our delight) a lot of Asian American male actors are making headlines. Could this be the turn of the tide? Can we finally turn on the TV and regularly see Asian characters? We’ll have to wait and see. Although a number of shows have released information about their pilot, we will all have to wait until May for broadcast network channels to decide which shows to pick up and put on television. Needless to say, we have our fingers crossed for the shows which can bring forward Asian faces.

Apart from Daniel Wu’s Badlands, which has already been ordered directly to series by AMC, it is possible that none of the other pilots mentioned below will be picked up, but the rise in Asian American male actors being casted definitely gives us hope. Furthermore, they are being cast in roles that are substantial supporting roles or even leads. After all, it’s not just visibility that matters, but also the quality of representation.

Hopefully, we will hear about more pilot castings for talented Asian American actors in the upcoming months. For now, it’s heartening to see strides being made.

 


 

1. Daniel Wu

Image courtesy of LA TF

First up, there’s Hong Kong star Daniel Wu with his martial arts show Badlands, which cable network AMC has already ordered direct to series. Based very loosely on the Chinese tale Journey to the West, Wu stars as a “ruthless, well-trained warrior named Sunny” who goes on a journey with a young boy to find enlightenment. Wu will also serve as executive producer on Badlands. Only limited information about the series has been released, but we are definitely going to check it out once it airs on AMC.

 

2. Ken Jeong

Image courtesy of Korea Times

Before Ken Jeong popped out of a trunk in The Hangover series, he was a practicing doctor by day at Kaiser Permanente and an aspiring comedian at night. Now ABC has greenlit his comedy pilot Dr. Ken, which Jeong is set to star, write and executive produce. According to Variety, Jeong will “play a frustrated HMO doctor juggling his career, marriage and parenting, but succeeding at none of them.” If this gets picked up, perhaps ABC could form a one hour Asian American comedy block with Dr. Ken and Fresh off the Boat?

 

3. Brian Tee

Image courtesy of Zimbio

Brian Tee has been in a lot of movies and TV shows such as The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, The Wolverine and the upcoming  Jurrasic World movie. Now, he has been cast for the NBC pilot Love is the Four Letter Word, created by a fellow Asian American writer Diana Son. According to Deadline, Love is the Four Letter Wordchronicles the collision of race, sexuality and gender roles when three diverse couples put modern marriage to the test. Tee plays Adam, half of one of the three couples, a big, handsome man who is currently dating Sarah, a fellow attorney who shares his taste for sexual adventure, including three-ways with beautiful women.”

Asian Americans in lead roles in front of and behind the camera? Plus an Asian American male character who shatters the emasculated, subservient Asian male stereotype? We are swooning already.

 

4. Daniel Henney

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Daniel Henney has been cast in a Criminal Minds spinoff. According to Deadline,the proposed spinoff follows FBI agents helping American citizens who find themselves in trouble abroad, with Gary Sinise playing their boss, Jack Garrett. Henney will play charming family man Matt Simmons, an army brat who grew up abroad and really embraces the opportunity to explore different cultures. But first and foremost, he is the kind of guy you would follow into battle, and his split second profiling skills honed on the battlefield make him a crucial part of the team.”

Henney joins an illustrious cast that includes Tyler James Williams and Emmy-award winner Anna Gunn.

 

5. Albert Tsai

Image courtesy of Albert Tsai's Official Twitter Account

For those of you who didn’t see ABC’s shortlived critical darling Trophy Wife, Albert Tsai played the breakout character Bert, who was considered by many to be the best part of a very good show. Although the show was cancelled after one season, Albert Tsai is moving on and has been cast as Ken Jeong’s son in the Dr. Ken pilot. Another Asian American family on an ABC sitcom? Just maybe. Is it too early to start the petition for the Fresh off the Boat/Dr. Ken crossover? Probably not.

 

Breaking the Asian myth: No, not ALL Asians are short

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Audrey Magazine:

As title of this series suggests, our Breaking the Asian Myth stories seek to challenge absurd stereotypes about the Asian community. So far we’ve looked into the ridiculous assumption that all Asian women have the same kind of hair, the impossible belief that Asians can’t get fat, and even the dangerous theory that Asian women need not worry about breast cancer. Yeah, my eyes hurt from all the eyerolling too.

In reality, the umbrella term “Asian” is composed of many, many ethnicities so no one should assume we all have the exact same features. However, it seems no matter how many times we have to clarify that these assumptions don’t apply to all of us (No mister, I can’t explain to you what your Chinese tattoo means… seeing as I’m not even Chinese), we still have a load of overgeneralizations thrown at us on a daily basis.

One such overgeneralization that I’ve heard all my life is the idea that all Asians are short. Being a proud member of the fun-sized community myself, I admit that there are quite a number of us. But is that enough to justify the pure shock and disbelief Asians get when they actually are tall? I don’t know about that.

So here’s some love for all of you who are tired of people constantly pointing out that you’re tall for an Asian, and feel left out when you tower over the rest of us. You’re not alone! Check out some of our favorite Asian celebs who certainly break this Asian Myth.

Yao Ming — 7’6”

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Dave Bautista — 6’6″

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Dwayne Johnson — 6’5″

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Jeremy Lin — 6’4″

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Daniel Henney — 6’2″

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Sung Kang — 6’1″

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Kimora Lee Simmons — 6’0”

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Liu Wen — 5’11”

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Tao Okamoto — 5’10”

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Sui He — 5’10”

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Sun Fei Fei — 5’10”

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Grace Park 5’9”

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Deepika Padukone 5’9”

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Disney’s “Big Hero 6” receives Golden Globe nomination

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 Audrey Magazine:

Disney’s Big Hero 6 has been nominated for a Golden Globe in the category of Best Animated Feature Film.

Inspired by a Marvel comic book miniseries, Big Hero 6 follows a team of brainiacs led by 14-year-old prodigy Hiro Hamada and his huggable marshmallow-like robot, Baymax. Following a tragedy, Hiro enlists the help of his high-tech friends to hunt down a masked villain and to decipher a sinister plot that could destroy the city of San Fransokyo.

Two Korean American actors voiced supporting characters in the animated film: Daniel Henney as Hiro’s older brother, Tadashi Hamada, and Jamie Chung as the adrenaline junkie, GoGo Tomago.

Other nominees for the best animated film includes The Lego MovieHow to Train Your Dragon 2The Book of Life and The Boxtrolls.

The 72nd Golden Globe Awards will be hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and will air live on NBC at 5 p.m (PST) on Sunday, Jan. 11. You can view all the nominees and categories here.

 

The Ultimate Throwback: Childhood photos of your favorite Asian celebs

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Audrey Magazine:

Remember that awkward pre-teen stage? No matter how many times you try to forget that horrid chapter of your life, the mental images are probably burned into your memory. Well we have some good news. Everyone goes through strange childhood stage. Everyone. That includes some of your most favorite Asian celebrities!

So if you still feel like you’re going through an awkward phase, check out the photos below. Some of the most gorgeous Asian celebs had their facepalm moments too. There’s still hope for all of us!

 


 

1. Steven Yeun

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2. Sandra Oh

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3. Brenda Song 

Then:
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Now:
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4. Vanessa Hudgens 
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5. Bruno Mars 
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6. Kristen Kreuk
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7. Mindy Kaling
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8. Jackie Chan
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9. Daniel Henney
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10. Jenna Ushkowitz
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Meet the “Expendable Asian Crewmember”: From “Godzilla” to “X-Men” to “Total Recall,” why does every blockbuster need a single Asian guy to kill off?

 

He's in every action movie -- but not for long: Meet the Expendable Asian CrewmemberKen Watanabe in “Godzilla”

Salon:

 

Fans of the original “Star Trek” television series, which aired from 1966 to 1969, are familiar with the old trope of the expendable Asian crewmember. Every week, one or two unlucky marginal characters, wearing the red shirt of a Security Officer, would join a landing party that usually consisted of Captain James Kirk, First Officer Spock, and Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy from the starship USS Enterprise. The trio would beam down to the planet’s surface along with the Expendable Crewmember – who would promptly get killed off by a space monster/mysterious sentient cloud/primitive hostiles. The Expendable Crewmember became such a routine part of the storyline that it was spoofed on the animated television show “Family Guy,” and became a running joke in the 1999 film “Galaxy Quest,” in which Sam Rockwell’s character, “Crewman no. 6,” is a nervous wreck named Guy, so forgettable to everyone that even he knows he’s doomed to die.

As little kid, I found it a bit odd that the Klingons always missed Kirk and hit the guy in the red shirt standing next to him. And as I got older, I couldn’t help but notice two strange trends beginning to pop up in Hollywood summer blockbusters: 1) Random storylines would detour to someplace in Asia for no particularly good reason, and 2) One useless Asian character – only one – would show up and stick around just long enough to make a vague impression as a villain. Then he or she would die at the hands of the good (white) guys, who would then march off victoriously into the sunset.

Now, it has been pointed out to me that the business of killing off villains is an equal-opportunity plot device, and Asian people are not being singled out for horrible deaths. Which is true. It’s long been the case that Hollywood casts ethnic minorities as bad guys so their heads can be blasted off. In horror films, there is also the bimbo rule, which requires hot blondes to get killed off first. This is neither racist nor sexist (see no. 7 on this list, John Cho, hot blond), but the norm.

The Expendable Asian Crewmember is different from the phenomenon known as the “Asian sidekick,” whose ranks include Cato in the “Pink Panther” film series from the ’60s and ’70s and remade in 2006; Kato in the “Green Hornet” television series from the ’60s, remade as a film in 2011; Mr. Miyagi in “The Karate Kid,” 1984, remade and moved from California to China, 2010; and the mutant Yukio in “The Wolverine,” 2013. But the vast majority of blockbuster film franchises have no Asian characters in them at all. In general, both New York City and The Future are curiously free of Asians except for Maggie Q, whose time-traveling powers enable her to pop up briefly in “Divergent,” 2014. There are so few Asians in the galaxy inhabited by Star Wars that a hilarious blog, “You Offend Me You Offend My Family,” has scoured the entire franchise for signs of Asian life. The results were: one rebel officer, and a dubious claim that Admiral Ackbar, fearless cephalopod leader of the Rebellion, was “Asian-like.”

Which brings me to the 2013 “Star Trek” reboot, with Zoe Saldana as Lt. Uhura and John Cho as Lt. Sulu, plus loads of “Asian-like” aliens, including Vulcans. When the most diverse cast in a Hollywood summer blockbuster happens to be based on a television show that debuted a half century ago, it’s better to be the Expendable (Asian) Crewmember than not be allowed on board at all. But I’m hoping it won’t be another 50 years before Mr. Sulu not only takes the helm but gets his own ship – and can star in his own film.

Here is a mere sampling of the Expendable Asian Crewmembers I’ve spotted over the years:

X-Men 2: X-Men United,” 2003. Yuriko. The perfectly coiffed, impeccably manicured and silent assistant to evil mastermind Stryker, Yuriko turns out to be a super-villain called Lady Deathstrike whose abilities closely parallel those possessed by the Wolverine. Wolverine kills her by injecting her with the rare metal adamantium in its liquid form.

X-Men 3: The Last Stand,” 2006. Kid Omega. As the Mutant Brotherhood organizes against humans, Kid Omega becomes one of Magneto’s new recruits. Played by Ken Leung, he can project spikes out all over his body in the manner of an angry porcupine. He dies in a blast of psychokinetic energy unleashed by the super-mutant, Jean Grey/Phoenix.

Mission Impossible III,” 2006. Zhen Lei. Played by Maggie Q, this femme fatale joins the “Impossible Mission Force,” experiences a staged death, and disappears from the story. The fact that she is Chinese does not explain why the action relocates to Shanghai as opposed to, say, Southern California, which is also inhabited by white heroes plus a few Chinese people eating noodles.

Live Free or Die Hard,” 2007. Mai Lin. Once again played by Maggie Q, Mai Lin is a cyber-terrorist with nefarious plans that vaguely involve computer hacking. Bruce Willis blames her for the awful script and throws her down an elevator shaft.

The Dark Knight,” 2008. Lau. Played by Chin Han, Lau is a mob accountant who hides the mob’s money and flees to Hong Kong for the express purpose of getting Batman to Asia for an extended tourist commercial involving many tall, sleek skyscrapers. Batman brings Lau back to the U.S., where he is killed by the Joker.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” 2009. Agent Zero. A mutant expert marksman, Agent Zero, played by ethnic Korean actor Daniel Henneynot only looks fine in a tailored black suit, he has better hair than Wolverine. After many tries, Wolverine finally succeeds in mussing his rival’s hair by downing his helicopter and blowing it up.

Total Recall (remake), 2010. Bob McClane. Played by John Cho, better known as Lt. Sulu from the “Star Trek” reboot, Bob gets killed off when he stupidly asks secret agent Doug Quaid about his feelings. This taboo question prompts a police raid that results in everybody except Quaid getting shot.

Pacific Rim,” 2013. My friend Minsoo Kang, who is an expert on the history of automatons, told me that not one but “two Chinese robot operators” show up and get crushed when monsters mash their robots. (They die at the same time and don’t have names, so I will count them as one.) Not only does this film have a female lead played by Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi, but it’s set in Hong Kong, which gets smashed by machine-monsters. This film didn’t do very well in the U.S. but did extremely well in Asia (e.g., China, Korea and Japan). As summed up by Forbes, Pacific Rim was “the rare English-language film in history to cross $400 million while barely crossing $100 million domestic.”

Red 2,” 2013. Han Cho-Bai. He is an international assassin sent to kill retired black-ops CIA agent Frank Moses. Moses is played by Bruce Willis, so you know he doesn’t get killed off. Neither does Han Cho-Bai (played by Korean actor Lee Byung-Hun), because he’s a red herring who is really a disguised sidekick. Though I enjoyed the display of his martial arts skills, he’s got no business being in this film except to sell tickets. It made nearly twice as much in foreign receipts as it did in the U.S., and the bulk of those tickets were sold in Japan and South Korea.
 Could there be a theme developing here? Why, yes! And it leads directly to…

Godzilla (remake), 2014. Dr. Serizawa. Played by the legendary Ken Watanabe, the Serizawa character appears in the 1954 version set in Japan, where he unexpectedly dies. Crucially, the original Godzilla hit U.S. theaters around the same time as the first wave of Asian immigrants, in the aftermath of WWII and the Korean War. Sixty years later, the newer, sexier version of the giant lizard suggests that Godzilla is a strong, charismatic, assimilated Asian-American who wants his own starring role in a summer blockbuster without so much goofy metrosexual makeup. And just as some of the funniest Internet memes focus on the giant lizard’s new Hollywood look, it’s not a done deal that Serizawa’s character gets killed off this time around, even if he is the only Asian character with a name, thus adhering to the one-Asian rule. I guess you could call that progress.

 

Check out this link:

 

Meet the “Expendable Asian Crewmember”

Link

Why Young Asian-Americans Are Fleeing Hollywood

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We were speaking in English and picking strawberries at a night market in Taipei last winter when the storekeeper curiously asked my friend where I was from (even though I had lived there for seven years). “She’s visiting from New York,” my friend informed him. After buying the strawberries, she said, “it’s funny how he just assumed I was Taiwanese. It must be because of my skirt.”

My friend had undergone a complete image overhaul after moving from Minnesota back to Taiwan to launch her singing career. While her story may seem bizarre, there are many stories like hers. Originally from California, Tiffany from the K-pop group Girls Generation mentioned in an interview that while she once craved pizza, she now eats dwenjang jigae (tofu stew) and has become “full Korean.

http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/girls-generation-tiffany-and-jessica/images/28396256/title/jeti-photo

Asian-Americans have been moving to Asia to break into the entertainment industry for a while now despite initially having a limited grasp of Mandarin, Cantonese or Korean. It’s been difficult for Asian-Americans to make it in Hollywood, since they are often type-casted into certain roles such as socially awkward geeks or kungfu masters. Mike Hale from the New York Times described how even famous actresses like Maggie Q and Lucy Liu are not entirely able to escape the mold of the “sexy nerd” or the “dragon lady.”

In the past, Asian-American actors and actresses like Russell Wong and Maggie Q (both of whom are mixed race) have used Asia as a launching pad to break into the industry and subsequently move back to the U.S. These days however, an increasing number are deciding to remain in Asia. The expanding entertainment industry there simply promises more opportunities for them. Asian-American actors and singers are finally getting a chance to pursue their American dreams, but ironically, it’s Asia that’s making it possible.

Maggie Q told Time Out magazine that she owes her success to Hong Kong. Originally from Hawaii, she moved there in 1997 with $20 in her pocket in a last-ditch effort after failed modeling stints in Japan and Taiwan. Whereas Taiwanese markets at the time were looking for either “tall blonds” or “100% Chinese girls,” Hong Kong consumers were craving something fresh. Maggie Q fit the bill. She was introduced to acting by Jackie Chan and learned martial arts (and Cantonese) from scratch. She starred in both English and Cantonese-speaking movies in Hong Kong, and was propelled to fame in 2002 acting alongside fellow Asian-American actor Daniel Wu in Naked Weapon.

Unlike Maggie Q , the Californian born-and-raised Daniel Wu decided to remain in Hong Kong. An established movie star now, Wu could barely speak Cantonese when he first arrived there in 1997. Both Maggie Q and Daniel Wu, being unable to read characters, wrote out their lines phonetically. Wu’s decision to remain in Hong Kong had much to do with representations of Asians in Hollywood. Whenever a Chinese film is screened in the U.S. it is repackaged such that American audiences can comprehend it, Wu told the University of Oregon’s Daily Emerald newspaper. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, he argued, was a blockbuster hit because it was a simple love story within an action movie.

Daniel Henney chose to make Korea his home for similar reasons. The Michigan-bred, half-Caucasian, half-Korean actor told CNN that he considers himself a “Korean actor until the day I die” because “Korea gave me my career.”

After working in Hong Kong and Taiwan for a few years, Henney decided to move to Seoul. He has created a niche for himself playing English-speaking roles in movies filmed in Korea and China. In Shanghai Calling for instance, he plays a Chinese American lawyer who relocates to Shanghai.

It’s not just Asian-American actors, but also singers who are making waves in Asia. Taiwanese American pop-stars Lee Hom Wang and Wilber Pan have redefined Mandopop (the Chinese/Taiwanese counterpart to K-pop). Growing up in Rochester, NY, Wang spoke mostly English at home. He was introduced to the Taiwanese music scene during his summer trips throughout high school and college. Pan on the other hand attended Taipei American School but is glad to have been “exposed to both kinds of cultures.” Both artists mix hip-hop and R&B with ballads and traditional Chinese instrumental sounds. Wang’s Shangri-la is an example of this.

Similarly, the Korean entertainment industry has helped Korean American singers Jessica and Tiffany from Girls Generation to launch their careers. In an interview with Soompi, the girls discussed adjusting to life in Korea, including having to tone down their “wild” behavior and acting more “ladylike.” Apparently, K-pop has given these girls the break that they needed, since Girls Generation is doing extremely well.

Despite the linguistic and cultural barriers that accompany moving to a new country, Asian-American actors and singers are choosing to remain in Asia. Furthermore, crossing over to Hollywood isn’t exactly a rite of passage for them anymore since many have found stardom in Asia. As Maggie Q stated, casting agencies are increasingly looking for “mixed girls.”

And as Jessica from Girls Generation explained, being fluent in English has been a plus. Whereas Asian-Americans are often times consigned to stereotypical roles in Hollywood, their biculturalism is an asset in Asia. As such, Asia has become the new Land of Opportunity for Asian-Americans trying to make it in the entertainment industry.

Check out this link:

Why Young Asian-Americans Are Fleeing Hollywood