Singer buys out ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ screening
Singer Eric Nam and his brothers Eddie Nam and Brian Nam wanted to help ensure the box office success of “Crazy Rich Asians” in its opening week — so they bought out an entire screening at a theater.
Cited as one of the most important films of the year, “Crazy Rich Asians” is the first Hollywood studio movie in 25 years — since “The Joy Luck Club” in 1993 — to feature a full Asian cast.
It was that importance which prompted the brothers to organize and pay for the showing in Atlanta.
“You don’t need to be Asian to watch this movie, enjoy the showing, or be a part of this movement. The more diverse the merrier,” the singer wrote in an Instagram post.
The Korean American brothers no longer live in Atlanta, with Eric now residing in Seoul, Eddie in Los Angeles and Brian in New York City.
“We chose this theater because it was in our hometown and the one we would go to on the weekends growing up [with a] predominantly Caucasian population,” Eddie Nam told CNN.
The showing was put together as part of the #GOLDOPEN movement to help guarantee “Crazy Rich Asians” gets a strong box office numbers.
“My good friend, Bing Chen, really championed this movement,” Eddie Nam said. “When he presented the idea to us, Eric told me, ‘Time to put our money where our mouths are’ as we often talk about the importance of representation.”
For many, the film signals a step forward for diversity on the big screen — where for decades Asian actors have largely been cast in minor or stereotypical roles. And in some cases, even passed over for white actors.
In 2017, the film “Ghost In A Shell” ignited the discussion of “whitewashing” in Hollywood after actress Scarlett Johansson was cast as the lead in the live-action film version of the popular Japanese manga series. In 2015, Oscar-winning director Cameron Crowe apologized for casting actress Emma Stone as part-Asian in his movie “Aloha.”
“We are tired of being under and misrepresented in mainstream media,” Eric Nam wrote. “We’re not just tech geeks, math nerds and ninja assassins. We are brilliant, beautiful, sexy, hot, and much more.”
Based on the popular novel by author Kevin Kwan,”Crazy Rich Asians” is directed by Jon Chu and stars Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Awkwafina, Ken Jeong and Harry Shum Jr., among other names.
It follows the story of a young couple, Rachel Chu and Nick Young, who travel to Singapore for a wedding, where Rachel finds out about Nick’s wealthy family background.
“The success of Crazy Rich Asians is about US. OUR community. This is about directly impacting our future and futures of generations to come,” Eric Nam wrote in his post. “To be the first full Asian cast movie in 25 years is absolutely INSANE. SO! Let’s pull together as a community and SHOW UP.”
Eddie Nam told CNN they had a full showing on Thursday. The brothers plan to buy out another due to the popular response, but the location and time have not yet been announced.