This weekend sees the release of the romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians, a flick that is based on the bestselling book by Kevin Kwan. The movie features an all-Asian cast, with Constance Wu and Henry Golding as the romantic leads. Audiences may know Constance Wu from ABC's Fresh Off the Boat, but Henry Golding should be a new face for American audiences. His role as Nick Young is actually his first acting part on film, as Golding is mostly known for travel reporting for the BBC. It was, in fact, acting inexperience that originally caused Henry Golding to say no to the movie, as he explained on The Tonight Show:
As much as I tried not to audition for this, they really like, Jon, pretty much set the hounds on me... They sent like, probably about three or four emails asking me to audition. I was like, 'No, no, no, no, no. I'm not an actor. I'm sure there's somebody absolutely amazing, ready for this role, and the studio's not going to gamble on a newbie or a greenhorn.
Even though Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu really wanted him to audition for the part, Henry Golding couldn't imagine that he would be able to do it given that he hadn't done any acting before. Prior to his role in Crazy Rich Asians Henry Golding had been the host of a travel show, but acting is a different beast. More than just his inexperience, he was skeptical that the studio would take the risk and sign off on him to be one of the co-leads. It's easy to understand his line of thinking, he hadn't done any acting before and movie studios are traditionally risk-averse, so saying "yes" just didn't seem realistic.
However, if Henry Golding didn't want to do the movie and had no acting experience, why did Jon Chu want to cast him? Well, as he elaborated on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, someone he had met years earlier recommended him for the part to Jon Chu and it snowballed from there, as he explained:
There was this lovely lady in accounting, her name is Lisa Kim, she was like 'I met this guy five years ago in Malaysia, I don't know what he's doing now but for me he was this character, Nick Young.' Passed the name down to Jon.
At that point Jon M. Chu researched Henry Golding on YouTube and Instagram and decided he had to audition him and that's what led to his persistent pursuit of the travel host. The two eventually got in contact and now Henry Golding is an actor. That's the importance of networking and first impressions folks. You can listen to his entire interview, including the part about how he missed part of his honeymoon to screentest for Crazy Rich Asians in the video below:
While he was apprehensive at first, it is looking like giving in and auditioning for Crazy Rich Asians was the right move for Henry Golding. There was a bit of controversy around Henry Golding's casting, not because he is new to acting but because he is half-Malaysian and half-British. However he has addressed those concerns and said that he identifies as Asian, though he appreciates the dialogue around the issue. That minor backlash doesn't look to have effected the film's prospects. The early reviews for the film are overwhelmingly positive and it is looking like Crazy Rich Asians could perform beyond expectations this weekend.
Crazy Rich Asians is in theaters now. Check out our premiere schedule for the biggest movies still to come in 2018 and for all the latest in movie news and why you should try new things, stay tuned to CinemaBlend.