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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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.

 

ABC renews 15 shows, including ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ and ‘Quantico’

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LA Times:
ABC has picked up season three of Fresh Off The Boat, along with renewals for Once Upon a Time, The Goldbergs and Quantico. Word on the street has it that Fresh Off The Boat is getting renewed for a full twenty-two episode order right out of the gate.

As confirmed by actor Ian Chen on Twitter, the network also renewed for a third season the family comedy “Fresh Off the Boat,” the tale of an Asian American family in the late ’90s as they move from Washington, D.C., to Orlando, Fla., to pursue their dream of restaurant ownership.

Loosely based on the life and memoir of chef Eddie Huang, “Fresh Off the Boat” received a second season order for 13 episodes in May, with ABC ordering an additional nine episodes in October and an additional two in November.

Freshman series “Quantico” landed a second season pickup, as implied by showrunner Joshua Safran on Twitter, thanks in part to the show’s strong ratings. The series is Sunday’s top-scripted among adults 18-49 and also serves as a feather in the network’s diversity cap. Priyanka Chopra, best known in Bollywood and as a former Miss World, stars as an FBI recruit suspected of carrying out a terrorist attack, trying to work out the true tale via flashback.


 

Priyanka Chopra stars in ABC series ‘Quantico’

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Audrey Magazine: 

It has been announced that ABC has made an order for the new series Quantico, which will star Bollywood’s biggest actress Priyanka Chopra, and is set to air this coming fall.

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The thriller television series follows a group of young FBI recruits as they go through their training at the Quantico base in Virginia. Amongst the recruits, Chopra will be playing the protagonist, Alex Weaver, a young woman who wants to learn more about her past and believes that the FBI is the place to find answers.

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Learning to be an actor and understanding the craft was a huge challenge for me,” says Chopra in her interview with Audrey Magazine.

I didn’t go to acting school. My [previously] desired career path was to be an engineer. So I listened, observed and absorbed everything that was happening around me. It gave me the foundation that I needed to build on and really paid off.”

Oh boy, did it pay off. On top of being a big time Bollywood actress, a Miss World title holder and a chart-topping singer, she now can add “the first Bollywood actress to star in an ABC series” to the list.

Be sure to tune in to Quantico this coming fall to catch Priyanka Chopra in action!

Priyanka Chopra on diversity: The ‘Girl Next Door’ should look like the girl next door

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Elle.com (by Priyanka Chopra): 

Priyanka Chopra can’t easily be summed up in a sentence. The former Miss World (she won the title in 2000) is a Bollywood star, recording artist, model (in December 2013 she became the first Indian GUESS girl), humanitarian (she’s a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador), and activist (she promotes the education of girls in India through her namesake charity, The Priyanka Chopra Foundation). All that in one person? Sounds like Chopra, or PC as her friends call her, would have to be superhuman to pull it all off. Only she isn’t. Like us, she struggles to get enough sleep, worries too much, and can’t resist her junk food cravings.

How do we know? Because she told us. And every month on ELLE.com, in a new column, “Pret-a-Priyanka,” Chopra will open up about her life, struggles, and her guilty pleasures. In this month’s column, PC talks diversity.  

I consider myself a citizen of a world. I’ve gone to school in India and the U.S. My career in entertainment has allowed me to travel the globe and interact with many cultures. But my first brush with the world of entertainment—and, really, the world in general—happened in 2000 at the Miss World competition, where I had the privilege of interacting and competing with girls from over 130 countries. It was an overwhelming experience for me to learn so many aspects of so many different cultures, to experience first-hand the similarities and the differences that we had, and most importantly to seamlessly come together into one big unit.

I remember returning to India following my win and meeting so many young girls who told me that my achievement on a world stage was an inspiration for them, giving them hope that the world was truly their oyster.  At 17, all that kind of talk was a little too intense for me to compute but I heard it very very often through the various stages of my career.  It gave me a few ‘pat yourself on your back’ kind of moments, but I mostly chalked it off to people being kind.

I am a girl from a small town in India, the daughter of two hard-working army doctors who achieved a certain success through hard work and determination.  I understood that it was my underdog story that offered hope to all the young people who nurtured a dream for themselves.  I tried my best to encourage people to look at the world as a place of opportunity and to just give their dreams a shot.

But the actual reality of my ‘celebrity status’ (for lack of a better phrase) and what it meant hit me quite recently. It wasn’t until I made my debut internationally, first with my music (I have released four singles so far in English) and then with the campaign I did for Guess Worldwide, that my “fame” really sunk in.

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My debut single ‘In My City‘ featuring will.I.am was chosen as the theme song for NFL‘s Thursday Night Football for two years in a row.  Suddenly, there was this brown girl (their words not mine) from India who became a part of this quintessential American culture.  And then came the Guess campaign.  The all-American blonde bombshell was replaced by a dusky, brunette Indian girl!

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I was proud to be a part of both these milestones and very happily took on the role of brand ambassador of South Asia and India to the world.  I wasn’t being positioned as “Indian” in any way for either of these initiatives, I was simply being me: an artist sharing her creative self with the world.  But the reality of the bigger picture of both these initiatives hit me after an interaction with a young American of Indian descent. (A little context before I continue: India has a population of over 1.2 billion people and also, importantly, a vast diaspora. While some may have become citizens and passport holders of another nation, somewhere they still have a connection to India.) This young lady came up to me in the airport and gave me a hug and said “Thank you for making us relevant.”  I was stunned at the comment and asked her to explain.  She said she was second-generation Indian, born and brought up in the US.  Her family still had strong ties with India.  She said that most people still equated our culture to speaking like Apu from The Simpsons or living in a country of snake charmers and elephants!  She said with the NFL and Guess, I proved that we are much more than that and that we are ‘cool’ too.  She said “You broke the norm… the quintessential all-American girl has changed…. She can be of any ethnicity and culture…for the first time in my life I feel like it can be me too!”  That conversation was a real eye opener for me. It inspired me  to champion the cause of diversity in entertainment and media.

I was reminded of that experience recently when the news of my developmental deal with ABC Networks was announced.  It all began with a chance meeting with the fiery Keli Lee (EVP of Casting at ABC) and a continued conversation aided by my equally fiery manager Anjula Acharia Bath. Both of these ladies have been on a mission to embrace and to celebrate diversity in the United States.  In her role at ABC, Keli has pioneered diversity at the network, scouting talent from around the world, and casting strong female diverse talent in top dramas–like my friend Kerry Washington in Scandaland Sofia Vergara in Modern Family. Similarly, Anjula has championed South Asians in music and entertainment. Collectively, their efforts are bridging cultures from around the world through pop culture and entertainment.

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So why is that important you ask?  What exactly is the true meaning of diversity?

In my opinion, diversity means the inclusion of individuals representing more than one national origin, color, religion, socioeconomic stratum, gender, or sexual orientation, and it is the responsibility of the entertainment community to mirror the world we actually live in every day. To create a screen that shows color—not only black and white, but also brown, Asian, Hispanic, gay, and transgender—and cast an image of the “girl next door” that actually looks like the girls next door with roots from countries around the world.

Diversity is the one thing that we all have in common, and so I hope—as I prepare for my long-term stay in LA at the end of this month, adding a new layer to my career—that my presence on your television is accepted for the characters I portray, and not judged by where I come from. We are, after all, citizens of the same world!

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Priyanka Chopra for GUESS Holiday 2013

This holiday season, GUESS will introduce its new advertising campaign featuring the multiple award-winning, Bollywood icon, Priyanka Chopra. Priyanka, a former Miss World, actor, and recording artist, is one of the most recognized and celebrated talents in India and International cinema.

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Priyanka Chopra’s single “In My City” is NFL’s ‘Thursday Night Football’ theme song

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Priyanka Chopra’s hit track In My City has been the theme song for NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football this season.

“Having grown up in both New York and Boston, two major [rival] football cities and coincidentally the two teams playing the night of my big debut, it’s nothing short of surreal to be with the NFL as the opening act for Thursday Night Football. ‘In My City’ was my first single, it has a very special place in my heart, and I am beyond excited to bring the amazing energy of the track to the NFL’s passionate fans,” Priyanka Chopra said.

The Indian beauty will take over duties from Cee Lo Green, and join the lineup alongside country superstar Carrie Underwood, who is the opening act for Sunday and Monday night’s games.

Priyanka’s single ‘In My City’ is the perfect song to set the stage for Thursday Night Football and to welcome viewers to each city,” said Mark Quenzel of the NFL Network.

This is yet another positive step for the Interscope artist who is still reeling from the success of her latest track “Exotic” featuring Pitbull.

Chopra, who was born in India but raised in Queens, was recently launched as the new face of American clothing brand Guess.

Check out this link:

Priyanka Chopra’s single “In My City” is NFL’s ‘Thursday Night Football’ theme song

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Priyanka Chopra Makes History As First Indian ‘Guess Girl’

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Priyanka Chopra, the 31-year-old Bollywood star and former Miss World adds yet another amazing accomplishment to her name. Hand-selected by Paul Marciano, Guess’ president, she will star in in the new Guess campaign, which will premiere in the December issues of Harper’s BazaarNylonPaperMarie ClareElle, and WSJ Magazine. Notably, she’s the brand’s first-ever Indian campaign model. Being the “Guess Girl” helped launch the careers of Claudia Schiffer and Anna Nicole Smith, and past models have usually had a blond/blue-eyed Brigitte Bardot look.

I’m like their first brown model,” Chopra tells Women’s Wear Daily. “For a global fashion brand, for them to move their campaign into a global space, for me it’s an honor.”

Being the next Guess girl was something that I would have never thought of, but when I met Paul [Marciano], he was like, ‘You’re it. It has to be you.’” she adds.

Chopra is not yet a household name in America despite being wildly famous and successful. In 2000, at age 17, she became the youngest person ever to win Miss World; she went on to star in several of the highest grossing Bollywood films of all time and win enough awards to fill a very long Wikipedia page; she has an album coming out on Interscope Records next spring (she’s already released a single with Pitbull, titled — sigh — “Exotic,” which has over 17 million views on YouTube); and she’s a longtime advocate for children’s rights and the education of girls — she was named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Child’s Rights in 2010. She also used to write a column for the Times of India.

Check out this link:

Priyanka Chopra Makes History As First Indian ‘Guess Girl’

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