Constance Wu Q&A: ‘Fresh Off the Boat’
The star of the ABC hit series says she knew the role of Jessica Huang was for her from the first time she read the script: "I did think there were some really weird lines that [series creator Nahnatchka Khan] had written in there that were weird, but in way that was like, 'I get that. I completely understand how to say that and it won't even be weird for me.' So in that sense I knew that I had a good instinct for it."
"Fresh off the Boat" is based on the life of famous chef Eddie Huang as described in his book "Fresh off the Boat: A Memoir." The show was not met without controversy, much of it from Huang himself, who was hoping for something edgier for his memoir than the sitcom treatment, but Wu says little of that reached her or the show and she focused only on what she could control: "If it did affect me, it was more like it made me feel like I should focus on the things that I do know, that I do have authority to speak on, which is my craft as an actor, and try to do my best in that realm and hopefully that would encourage others to follow suit."
Doing her best as an actor is what has garnered Wu glowing reviews and a Best Comedy Actress nomination from the Critics' Choice Awards. She also continues to receive a mountain of buzz as a potential Emmy nominee for her performance, but she tends to downplay that chatter, not for herself, but so she doesn't "disappoint" others: "This is actually probably not a good thing to admit but when people say, 'Oh you're going to get nominated for an Emmy!' my first thought is like, 'Oh man, I'm going to disappoint these people because I'm NOT! And I don't want to disappoint my good friends."
Still, even if Wu seems a bit pessimistic about her chances, she admits she's still going to give it a shot: "It's been such a wonderful time for women in comedy so you know, I know it's certainly a long shot, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't put in my application, because why not?"
In our exclusive chat with the Critics' Choice nominee, she also dishes which episode she'll submit to Emmy voters, what the real life Jessica Huang has to say about her portrayal, who her favorite character is on the show, why you don't want to mess with her or her friends, and much more.