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Brenda Song Was 'Not Asian Enough' To Audition For 'Crazy Rich Asians'??

Brenda Song Not Asian Enough Crazy Rich Asians

Brenda Song will forever live as the OG Crazy Rich Asian thanks to her role as hotel heiress London Tipton on the Disney Channel‘s The Suite Life of Zack & Cody — available now on Disney+ (TM)!

But when it came to auditioning to possibly join the likes of Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Awkwafina, and Gemma Chan for the big screen adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians, it was all disappointment for the former child actress!

Related: Chrissy Teigen Pens Touching Tribute To ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ — Look!

In a new profile by Teen Vogue, Brenda opened up about her managers telling her the Crazy Rich Asians team didn’t think she’d be a good choice for the role, seemingly to play lead Rachel Chu (played by Wu –  above, inset).

The 31-year-old, who added she was a fan of the books, confessed:

“A lot of people don’t know this, but I never got to read for Crazy Rich Asians, ever. Their reasoning behind that, what they said was that my image was basically not Asian enough, in not so many words. It broke my heart. 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? You’re going to fault me for having worked my whole life?’ I was like, ‘Where do I fit?’”

Talk about effed up!! How can anyone tell anyone they’re “not Asian enough”??

Of course, this is something we’ve all heard before!

Fans of the famous flick based on Kevin Kwan‘s novel likely remember the controversy surrounding the flick when Jamie Chung bitterly talked herself into a corner over Golding’s casting after finding out he’s half-Malaysian, half-British.

For those who don’t recall, in an interview with CBS News, she ranted:

“You have actors who can play Australian, British, Irish, but Asian, it’s very specific. It’s a double-edged sword. I really, really wanted a role in ‘Crazy Rich Asians,’ but they wanted someone who’s ethnically Chinese.”

And upon finding out about Henry’s ethnicity, she added:

“What? Does he look Asian? … OK. I’m going to say it. That is some bulls**t. Where do you draw the line to be ethnically conscious? But there’s so many loopholes so I kind of get screwed. I don’t mean to sound jaded. There are plenty of roles for me… It can be to my advantage sometimes, but it’s so frustrating. I can talk on and on.”

Because just what the world needed was a person discrediting someone else’s identity just because they’re biracial…

Related: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Sequel On The Way!

Clearly Song didn’t have the same public breakdown over the audition process as Chung did, but she did have to face some heartbreak over not getting the chance:

“I got myself together and said, ‘Brenda, there is only one you, and you can’t change who you are. You can’t change your past.’ I am so grateful for every job that I’ve done,” she says. “All I can do is continue to put good auditions out there, do the best that I can — that’s all I can ask for.”

Brenda Song covered by Teen Vogue
Brenda poses for ‘Teen Vogue’. / (c) Emma Trim for ‘Teen Vogue’

The half-Thai, half-Hmong actress had a much different experience with Disney Channel casting, recalling:

“I don’t think people realize how ahead of the curve Disney Channel was. They were colorblind casting way before anybody else. They were giving me TV movies since I was 15 that people would never even think about. They were just telling stories and wanting kids to be able to see themselves on TV at a young age.”

Despite not even getting the chance to go up for a role in Crazy Rich Asians, Song will take all the comparisons she can get:

“To be just a part of that conversation, I was just happy with that. It’s way past the time that this should have been happening. I was like, even though London Tipton lived over 15 years ago, we’re fine with it.”

Brenda Song opens up to Teen Vogue
Brenda talks ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ disappointment and more for her profile! / (c) Emma Trim for ‘Teen Vogue’

The star, who has landed a role on Hulu‘s new series Dollface, has finally found her place, telling the mag:

“It’s taken me almost 10 years from Disney to really feel like I found a niche for myself. At 31 I finally feel like I know what my strengths are, and I’m trying to steer into that. The thing is, people are like, ‘Well, we know you from comedy, so you have to do something to change everyone’s minds.’ I was like, ‘Why? This is what I love to do.’”

And hopefully, she won’t have to hear any more talk of what she’s not “enough” of!!

CLICK HERE to read her full interview with Teen Vogue, like reconnecting with other Disney alum and more!

[Image via FayesVision/WENN/Warner Bros/YouTube.]

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Nov 20, 2019 14:49pm PDT