During our recent webcam chat (watch above) Constance Wu, who plays Jessica Huang, the no-nonsense matriarch on the hit ABC comedy series “Fresh off the Boat,” says that her character has a lot of heart. “If people only see the previews it’s very easy for them to think, ‘Oh she’s just a stereotype, all she does is scream at her kids to do their homework.'”
However, she explains, “there are also very subtle ways in which we are defying stereotypes, and a lot of them are manifested through my friendship with Chelsey Crisp‘s character [Honey] like the fact that we are both obsessing over Denzel Washington movies and Stephen King novels. It’s special in a subtle way that not a lot of people notice so I’d just like to point out that good thing.”
The actress was drawn to this series, which is based on the memoir of the same name by celebrity chef Eddie Huang, because of the quality of the material. “I think television is where the great innovation and great storytelling is coming from because it’s a place where artists are allowed to be very free and daring with their choices. It’s a medium that I’m very fortunate to work in.”
She intends to use her success to raise awareness of other artists in the Asian community. “I’m trying to meet all the female Asian-American writer/directors I can and try to sort of nurture their content and their stories and help in any way I can. It’s very important to me.”
Wu has reaped two consecutive Critics Choice TV Award bids for Best Comedy Actress (2015, 2016) as well as a TCA nomination for individual comedy performance (2015) and a Gold Derby nomination for Best Comedy Actress (2015). With regards to the latter, she says, “So I should quit now your saying? Because I achieved the highest honor.”
If she’s nominated for an Emmy, she admits she is spoilt for choice. “The writing staff makes sure that every kid and adult has both the good elements and also the very human embarrassing elements. People are not just one thing. We’re not just the good showing us in good light, let’s show us in a real whole human light, and our writers just do such a great job with that.” Right now she is leaning towards the ‘Boys II Man’ episode.
To find out more about what it’s like on the set, why she had to chase after her bunny during the interview and which “Kingdom” star she thinks should be nominated for an Emmy be sure to watch our exclusive interview above.
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