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These days, landing a part in the Marvel movies is often considered to be a clear indication that an actor has made it, which means that I think we can confidently say that Awkwafina (née Nora Lum) has made it, if her previous success has not made that clear enough.
In fact, with a few notable exceptions, the trailblazing Chinese-American rapper and comedian is just about the most famous face in the Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings cast, in addition to already being one of the most famous faces in Hollywood. Arguably, the moment that brought her to that level of fame was her history-making Golden Globe win for the first of the following Awkwafina movies and TV shows we recommend any fans or fans-to-be should stream or rent.
The Farewell (Amazon Prime)
A young woman (Awkwafina) returns to China for a wedding, only to learn that the ceremony is a ruse for her family to gather and visit their terminally ill matriarch, whom they decide to keep unaware of her diagnosis.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Awkwafina: Awkwafina became the first Asian-American to receive a Golden Globe for a feature film role after winning Best Actress for her performance in 2019’s The Farewell - writer and director Lulu Wang’s bizarre, semi-autobiographical dramedy from A24.
Crazy Rich Asians (HBO Max)
New York native Rachel (Fresh Off the Boat cast member Constance Wu) travels to Singapore for a wedding with her boyfriend (Henry Golding) where she meets his family for the first time and is surprised to learn how extravagantly wealthy they are.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Awkwafina: Another Golden Globe-nominated ensemble dramedy featuring a cast of predominantly Asian actors is Crazy Rich Asians, director Jon M. Chu’s delightful, romantic 2018 blockbuster based on Kevin Kwan’s novel, in which Awkwafina (as Rachel’s friend Goh Peik-lin) shares the screen with a few of her Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings co-stars (namely Michelle Yeoh and Ronny Chieng).
Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens (HBO Max)
With her single father (B.D. Wong), grandmother (Orange is the New Black cast member Lori Tan Chinn), and cousin (Saturday Night Live’s Bowen Yang) offering their modest assistance, underachieving, twenty-something Chinese-American Nora (Awkwafina) tries to figure out adulthood while living in Flushing, New York.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Awkwafina: Awkwafina also got to share the screen with her Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings co-star, Simu Liu, in an episode of Awkwafina is Nora from Queens, her own semi-autobiographical Comedy Central original series that showcases her unique sense of humor in irreverent, yet refreshingly relatable, ways.
In a world in which the myth of storks delivering babies is true, but they have moved on to more standard package delivery, one experienced bird (Andy Samberg) and an orphaned human (Katie Crown) team-up to bring a child to her family after receiving a mistaken baby order.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Awkwafina: Among the star-studded voice cast of the cleverly funny 2016 family film, Storks (also including Kelsey Grammer, Jennifer Aniston, and Danny Trejo), Awkwafina has a small role as the voice of a quail aptly named Quail.
The Angry Birds Movie 2 (Amazon Rental)
The winged residents of Bird Island and their rivals on Pig Island are forced to set aside their differences and work together after a new island emerges, threatening their mutual existence.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Awkwafina: Another animated movie featuring a cast of various kinds of birds is The Angry Birds Movie 2 - the 2019 sequel to the hit 2016 film inspired by the popular mobile gaming app - but instead of another winged creature, Awkwafina lends her voice to the role of a pig named Courtney.
Four young women (Pretty Little Liars cast member Lucy Hale, X-Men movies star Alexandra Shipp, original Skins actress Kathryn Prescott, and Awkwafina) struggle to come to terms with loss of time and loved ones as their high school graduation draws near.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Awkwafina: Witness the birth of a new flavor of stoner movies in the dramatically grounded, Netflix original coming-of-age comedy Dude, in which then-30-year-old Awkwafina delivers her signature sense of humor to the role of a teenager.
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (Amazon Rental)
A married couple (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne) team up with their former neighbor and rival (Zac Efron) in order to take down a recently formed sorority (headed by Chloë Grace Moretz) that has been causing them distress after moving in next door.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Awkwafina: Awkwafina actually made her feature film debut in another raunchy, female-centric, (somewhat) coming-of-age comedy, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising - director Nicholas Stoller’s 2016 sequel to his acclaimed 2014 hit comedy Neighbors - as a member of the centerpiece sorority, Alpha Nu.
Ocean’s Eight (HBO Max)
Almost immediately after being released from prison, a master thief (Academy Award winner Sandra Bullock) rounds up a crew of the most criminally skilled women she can find in order to pull off an elaborate jewel heist on the night of the Met Gala.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Awkwafina: Another fun, female-centric comedy featuring Awkwafina in its star-studded ensemble cast is Ocean’s Eight - director Gary Ross’ 2018 spin-off of Steven Soderbergh’s stylish trilogy that began with 2001’s Ocean’s Eleven - in which the actress plays a motormouth recruited onto Debbie Ocean’s (the younger sister of George Clooney’s Daniel Ocean) crew for her impressive skills in street hustling and pickpocketing.
Paradise Hills (Amazon Rental)
A young woman (American Horror Story: 1984 cast member Emma Roberts) wakes up to find herself enrolled into a seemingly idyllic center for reform, but slowly learns more about its true, hidden nature the more she rebels against its enforced philosophies.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Awkwafina: Another star-studded, female-centric ensemble featuring Awkwafina is 2019’s Paradise Hills - a visually inventive, dystopian parable dripping with timely social commentary from director Alice Waddington.
Jumanji: The Next Level (Starz)
In order to rescue their friend, Spencer (Alex Wolff), from a truly immersive video game that they once survived two years earlier, three college students must re-enter the game and take on new, and more dangerous, environments, but accidentally take two elderly relatives along with them.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Awkwafina: In the sequel to the hit video game-inspired reboot of the classic 1995 magic-board-game movie, Awkwafina joined the Jumanji: The Next Level cast as Ming Fleetwood, who is initially the new avatar for Spencer before a mid-way body swap scene leads Spencer’s grandfather, Eddie (Danny DeVito), to assume the master thief’s identity - and the actress does a flawless job portraying both.
Raya And The Last Dragon (Disney+)
In order to save her world from a race of evil, monstrous creatures known as Druun that have returned after they were defeated by dragons hundreds of years earlier, a lone, female warrior embarks on a quest to find the last of the reptilian beasts and rid her world of the sinister threat once and for all.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Awkwafina: In what is arguably her biggest voice role yet, Awkwafina shares the title role of the acclaimed Disney animated adventure Raya and the Last Dragon with Raya actress Kelly Marie Tran, as the film’s “last dragon,” named Sisu, who turns out to be a more meek creature than Raya anticipates.
The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance (Netflix)
After uncovering a grave, disturbing secret about the sinister race of creatures that rule their magical world, the Gelflings decide to develop a rebellion and take back ownership of their land at any cost necessary.
Why it’s worth checking out if you like Awkwafina: Another one of Awkwafina’s more notable voice roles in a fantasy story is The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance - the thrilling, Emmy-winning Netflix original series continuation of Jim Henson’s 1982 epic starring a cast consisting entirely of puppets - in which she plays a member of the oppressive Skeksis named skekLach (otherwise known as The Collector).
If you have already binged each and every one of these titles, there are plenty more starring Awkwafina to look out for in the future. She will next appear in the Apple TV+ original sci-fi drama Swan Song, an animated adaptation of the Aaron Blabey’s novel The Bad Guys, a biopic about successful Chinese gambler Cheung Yin "Kelly" Sun called The Baccarat Machine, and Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid remake, in which she voices Scuttle the Seagull.
Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.
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