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Trivia / Crazy Rich Asians

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  • Actor-Inspired Element: Michelle Yeoh was not impressed with the original emerald ring Eleanor was supposed to wear (and Nick would use to propose to Rachel). She ended up using a ring from her own jewelry collection.
  • Actor-Shared Background:
    • The food trip scene has Nick speaking Malay to one of the vendors since his actor, Henry Golding, has Malaysian ancestry. The way he introduces Rachel to the island also calls back to his work as a travel show host.
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    • Just like her actress, Gemma Chan, Astrid is an Oxford graduate.
    • Constance Wu was trained in mahjongg by her mother just as Rachel describes.
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: Ronny Chieng signed up for the movie version for this reason, joking that he could only do the Singaporean/Malaysian accent anyway.
  • California Doubling: Despite the movie being mostly set in Singapore, many of its scenes are shot in its neighboring country, Malaysia.
    • The Young family mansion at Tyersall Park is portrayed by a luxury hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as the kind of sprawling private estates described in the book (including the historical Tyersall Park) have mostly disappeared in urbanised, land-strapped Singapore.
    • The interior of the mahjong parlour was actually shot inside the Cheong Fatt Tze mansion in Penang, Malaysia.
    • The fancy jewelry store in Shanghai where Astrid is first introduced is actually a bar at St Regis Kuala Lumpur.
    • The fictional "Samsara Island" where Araminta holds her bachelorette party is actually Langkawi Island, also in Malaysia.
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  • Darkhorse Casting: Michelle Yeoh and Ken Jeong are the only actors who are recognized internationally. Constance Wu, Jimmy O. Yang, and Harry Shum Jr. may be recognizable to TV audiences (for their roles in Fresh Off the Boat, Silicon Valley, and Glee and Shadowhunters, respectively). Sonoya Mizuno and Gemma Chan's filmography are composed of supporting roles while the most of the cast are from Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore. The casting though, was so successful that the cast of Crazy Rich Asians will be getting the Hollywood Breakout Ensemble Award at the 22nd annual Hollywood Film Awards.
  • Fake Nationality:
    • Taiwanese-American Constance Wu plays Chinese-American Rachel Chu, while Singaporean actress Tan Kheng Hua plays Rachel's mother Kerry, a Chinese-American immigrant.
    • Most of the Chinese-Singaporean characters are played by characters not of this background. For example, Sonoya Mizuno (Araminta) is British-Argentinean-Japanese, Nico Santos (Oliver) is Filipino-American, and Ken Jeong (Wye Mun) is South Korean.
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    • Filipino actress Kris Aquino plays a Malay princess.
    • Played with in Ronny Chieng, who was born in Malaysia but spent ten years growing up in Singapore, and Henry Golding, who was also born in Malaysia but is based in Singapore.
  • Late Export for You: The movie's release in mainland China was delayed due to several possible reasons such as the movie's portrayal of money worship and materialism which can be frowned upon by Chinese mainlanders, the scandal of several Chinese celebrities who evaded their taxes and the trade war between China and the US. It eventually saw release in China, with a release date on November 30th. However by the time of its release, its home video releases were already available worldwide which contributed to the low ticket sales.
  • Name's the Same: Nick Young is not the NBA journeyman guard best known for once dating Iggy Azalea.
  • Playing Against Type: Michelle Yeoh is known for her Action Girl roles in various action and sci-fi movies, making her major role in this romantic comedy something of an oddball.
  • Star-Making Role:
    • For Henry Golding. This is his first acting gig; he was previously known in Asia for being a travel host for BBC and Discovery Channel Asia.
    • For Awkwafina. While Ocean's 8 put some attention on her, Crazy Rich Asians brought the spotlight on her.
  • Throw It In!:
    • Wye Mun's line about attending Cal State Fullerton was ad-libbed on the spot. Students from said college loved the line.
    • The chicken-clucking scene was largely improvised.
    • Dramatic example: in the mah jongg scene, the ending shot of Rachel's mother looking back and giving Eleanor a death glare was improvised by Tan Kheng Hua.
    • As mentioned above, the Enormous Engagement Ring used throughout the film is not costume jewelry but an actual item owned by Michelle Yeoh.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: An unusual case. Kevin Kwan's family left Singapore in the eighties, so some of the references he makes are quite dated - for instance, in a footnote for the first book, he writes that the Chinese name for Southeast Asia, "Nanyang", is also the name of a Mandarin-speaking Singaporean academy. While this was true of the original Nanyang University, it has since merged with another college to form the Nanyang Technological University, which is an English-speaking institution with a diverse student body.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Some potential producers were worried about the film having too many Asians in the cast, and requested that Rachel be turned into a white woman in order to make her more relatable to American audiences. Kevin Kwan resisted, and Constance Wu ended up being cast.
    • Kevin Kwan recommended Nancy Kwan, his distant cousin and veteran of Flower Drum Song and The World of Suzie Wong, as Nick's Ah Ma, but she was considered too young looking for the part.
    • A Missing Trailer Scene shows Astrid dancing with Charlie Wu, played by Harry Shum Jr. The director didn't want the audience to misinterpret that Astrid's motive for leaving Michael involved Charlie so a dance scene was cut and Charlie Wu's appearance was saved for a Sequel Hook credit stinger.
    • Jamie Chung was turned down for an unspecified role (though given her typecasting likely Astrid, Amanda or Araminta) for not being ethnically Chinese (she is Korean). This is especially odd, as Wye Mun is played by a South Korean actor, though it turns out that the casting call was looking for Chinese tryouts first and failing that then East/Southeast Asian as secondary choice (which is how Henry Golding became Nick).
    • The slapstick ending of Nick struggling through the plane was thrown together very quickly as the crew decided the original ending (which involved him simply putting down a newspaper to reveal he was sitting next to Rachel) was way too low-key.
    • Initially, Warner Brothers and Coldplay were reluctant to let their song, "Yellow", be used for the movie due to fear of the song title being perceived as a racial slur towards Asians. The director, Jon M. Chu, sent Coldplay a personal letter explaining what the song actually means to him which he believed would resonate with Asian-American audiences. After 24 hours, the band changed their minds and approved of the song being included in the movie.
  • Write What You Know:
    • The author of the novel series, Kevin Kwan, based his books (especially the first one) on his childhood, as he also comes from a wealthy old-moneyed Singaporean family. Just like Nick, he also attended the prestigious Anglo-Chinese School (ACS) and has an engineer father. Villa D'Oro, Peik Lin's mansion, is based on his visit to a family friend.
    • Director Jon Chu is the son of a famous chef and restauranteur from the Silicon Valley. This has not only given him experience with hobnobbing with rich celebrities, it explains his talent for Food Porn. (He is also listed in the novel as one of Rachel Chu's distant relatives, creating a weird Celebrity Paradox.)


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