Actress, Known for "Fresh Off the Boat" & "Crazy Rich Asians"
Constance Wu is the daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, Wu was born and raised in Richmond. The second-youngest of four sisters, she quickly found a way to stand out—or rather, act out. “I started doing community theater when I was 12,” Wu says. Her first big part was as…a mole. “It was a play called Wind…
Constance Wu is the daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, Wu was born and raised in Richmond. The second-youngest of four sisters, she quickly found a way to stand out—or rather, act out. “I started doing community theater when I was 12,” Wu says. Her first big part was as…a mole. “It was a play called Wind in the Willows, based on a children’s book about a badger and a mole and a rat.”
Wu went on to study at the vaunted Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute and got her BFA from SUNY Purchase, but she attributes her success to a milestone that isn’t exactly on her CV. “I’m on TV now because I got my heart broken,” Wu says with a laugh. At that point, she was 25, living in New York, and had “completely quit acting.” She was on the verge of entering grad school for a linguistics degree at Columbia—until she got dumped. “I just had to, like, leave New York. So I impulsively moved to L.A.,” she says. “I’m not really a planner—I like living in the moment.”
Hollywood’s missteps in casting Asian and Asian-American actors have come under greater scrutiny in recent years, and Wu has been one of the figures leading the charge for change. She’s been a vocal critic of projects that whitewash roles, but Wu also thinks the industry should be more creative in the way it does cast Asian actors. “The stories were always the side character, or the best friend, or the kung fu expert,” she says of the parts that were available at the start her career. “I think there are a lot of roles that could be played by somebody like me. It’s not the fault of the role. A lot of times, it’s the fault of the imagination of the studio or the producers or the casting directors.”
While she’s best known as protective mother Jessica Huang on ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat, Wu will soon raise her profile even higher thanks to a starring role in the upcoming film Crazy Rich Asians, adapted from the novel by Kevin Kwan. The movie is already getting plenty of buzz, though Wu doesn’t believe her FOTB character would approve: “I think it would be very impossible for Jessica to like,” she says. “The characters live such an extravagant, wealthy lifestyle, and Jessica is very frugal. She’d be glad to see Asians and Asian-Americans on the big screen. She would probably just think that they don’t have their priorities straight.”
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
A Conversation With Constance Wu
Being an Asian-American Actress in Hollywood
Asian Portrayal In Media
Constance Wu Reflects on Her Early Years
Constance Wu Speaker - PDA Speakers
1 HOUR OR LESS