Selena Tan: 5 Key Questions With The ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Star

Everyone is crazy about ‘Crazy Rich Asians!’ HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with star Selena Tan, who answered 5 key questions about her role, Asian representation in Hollywood, and more!

Crazy Rich Asians is the movie of the summer. The highly-anticipated movie, based on Kevin Kwan’s best-selling novel, made a huge splash when it premiered on Aug. 15. The film has made such an impact, a sequel is already in the works!

HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Selena Tan, who plays Alix, about her role in this game-changing film. Selena started her career as a standup comedian and has over 24 years of experience in theater. In addition to acting, she’s also a producer, writer, and director. She’s one of the many talented stars of Crazy Rich Asians who made this movie perfect. Check out our interview below!

1. Did you read the book before getting cast or after?
Between work and taking care of a toddler, I haven’t had time to read much, but once I heard of the audition, I did read the book and really enjoyed the read. It was a real page-turner!

2. Why do you think it’s been over two decades since there’s been a movie to star an all-Asian cast?
I believe in timing…and in this particular film, all of the stars aligned to bring together a group of talented, hardworking Asians. This breakthrough has led to a movement for Asian representation.

3. What do you hope Hollywood learns from Crazy Rich Asians?
I hope Hollywood sits up and listens to our Asian stories…we have so much more to tell the world!
And it was amazing to know that a story told in Singapore truly can have international appeal. Of course, in theory, we knew that was the case. If you have a universal story, it would have worldwide appeal but to actually see it come alive, that is another thing altogether.

4. Did you audition for the role of Alix?
Yes, I did! I was asked by a casting director in Singapore, but as I had just finished a major production and had already planned a 4-day family vacation in Thailand, I had to postpone the first two appointment dates. After coming back from Thailand, the casting director called again and said that they had not found what they were looking for, and we set another date. I had fun preparing for the audition. I had my nails and hair done like a real “tai tai” (rich lady of leisure). They called back a few days later and told me I got the part of Alix Young.

5. What stood out about the story and the role of Alix that made you want to be a part of Crazy Rich Asians?
The appeal was “I know these people.” In Singapore, there are only one or two elite schools with children whose parents have this kind of money. It was very obvious what kind of “rich” we were talking about in the book, so I was certain that I could bring out the inner “Alix Young” in me for the movie just based on my observations. What’s more, my baptism name is Alexandra, which is the character name for Alix Young!

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