Kevin Kwan in Manila: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ movie is ‘mind-blowing’
When “Crazy Rich Asians” author Kevin Kwan was asked by producer Nina Jacobson what he cares about the most in the movie adaptation of his best-selling satirical novel, he had one thing in mind—the fashion.
“I think she expected to talk about the character, story, I was like, the fashion! The fashion must be perfect!” Kevin Kwan told the members of the media at Fully Booked in Bonifacio High Street this morning, Aug. 18.
A sun-kissed Kwan, fresh from his El Nido escapade, teased the media about the “jaw-dropping” movie adaptation of the outrageously funny novel about Singapore’s elite and the ostentatious lifestyle they lead.
“Crazy Rich Asians,” the first Hollywood film with an all-Asian cast in 26 years, tells the story of American-born Rachel Chu and her boyfriend Nick Young. Rachel agrees to go on vacation in Nick’s home country Singapore, but Nick omits tiny details about his family, like him being the heir to one of the greatest fortunes in Asia.
Suddenly, Rachel is caught in a whirlwind of problems, which include back-stabbing, couture-wearing, jet-setting crazy rich Asians.
“Fresh Off the Boat” star Constance Woo plays Rachel while Henry Golding plays Nick. Gemma Chan (Astrid Leong), Michelle Yeoh (Eleanor Young), “Glee’s” Harry Shum Jr. (Charlie Wu) and Fiona Xie (Kitty Pong) join the cast.
Filipino actor Nico Santos, known for his role in the TV series “Superstore,” plays catty cousin Oliver T’sien, while Kwan did not comment on Kris Aquino’s role in the movie.
“It’s a state secret,” Kwan said in jest.
American filmmaker Jon M. Chu is the director of the much-anticipated film that will hit the big screen next year, something Kwan did not expect when they started the talks for the movie.
“I did not [expect] because I thought he was way too much of a hotshot. I thought he was only making 300-million dollar mega movies… We didn’t even think we have a chance to someone who is as hot as a director as Jon Chu,” Kwan said.
He noted that they were looking for a “well-respected director,” not exactly Asian; they even considered English filmmakers who had the sensibility to portray satire, like in “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “Bridget Jones’ Diary.”
“Crazy Rich Asians” turned out to be a personal project for the “hotshot” director, because he was able to get in touch with his Asian roots.
“He found the book [when] he was at a point in his life where he was so successful that he was ready to do something smaller and much more personal,” Kwan said.
Kwan, also the executive producer of the film, noted the attention for detail in making the movie, from the jewelries for fashionista Astrid Leong, to the set of the lavish wedding of Singaporean heir Colin Khoo and supermodel Araminta Lee.
“It’s mind-blowing just to see characters and stories that you invented in your head come to life,” the Singaporean-born author, said.
Kwan is in Manila for the third time for the book tour of “Rich People Problems,” the final book of the “Crazy Rich Asians” trilogy.
The book tour kicks off today (Aug. 18) at Power Plant Mall in Rockwell; Aug. 19 at Fully Booked, Bonifacio High Street; Aug. 20 at Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall; Aug. 21 at S Maison, Conrad Manila; Aug. 22 at UP Town Center.
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