Actor and comedian Awkwafina recently shared the letter she wrote to herself days before filming her first scene for the all-female heist movie “Ocean’s 8.”
Awkwafina, whose real name is Nora Lum, hoped the letter she shared on Instagram on Sunday would help inspire anyone who feels like “they’re not good enough or anyone who feels scared of what’s to come.”
In the letter, dated Oct. 26, 2016, the 33-year-old “Shang-Chi and the Legends of the Ten Rings” actor opened up about how she was “scared for what’s to come” four days before filming her first scene for “Ocean’s 8.”
“I’m nervous about doing something I’ve never done before, and I’m scared I’m gonna let people down,” Awkwafina wrote. “I still don’t know what my future holds, and that’s okay. But I’m gonna try and I’m gonna work as hard as I can.”
“They say everyone gets imposter syndrome, and maybe a little bit grounds you,” the actor continued. “I’m about to do a movie with 7 women I’ve idolized, loved and worshiped all my life. And who am I? I’m a nobody.”
Awkwafina referred to her fellow cast members in the movie’s star-studded cast, which included Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna and Anne Hathaway.
Filming for “Ocean’s 8” began in 2016 in and around New York City. The movie, both a continuation and spin-off of the original Ocean’s trilogy from 2001 to 2007, was released in theaters in the U.S. on June 5, 2018, around 11 years after the release of “Ocean’s Thirteen.”
“Sometimes I doubt myself. I hope I won’t embarrass myself, and I hope whatever I do makes a positive impact. I promise to work hard,” Awkwafina continued in the letter. “I’m scared now. But it’s normal. Maybe we’re not supposed to know. But if it all ended tomorrow, I can at least say I found something that made me really happy.”
Awkwafina made a breakthrough in her film career after being cast as Peik Lin Goh in the 2018 hit “Crazy Rich Asians.” However, her character in the romantic comedy, directed by Jon M. Chu, ignited backlash among the Black community after she was accused of appropriating Black culture. Awkwafina announced in February that she would be quitting Twitter after sparking renewed backlash for her NAACP Image Award nomination in late January 2021.