Constance Wu Was ‘tens of thousands of dollars’ in Debt Before Landing ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ Role
Just like any other celebrities in Hollywood, Constance Wu was also knee deep in debt before she landed her major roles, particularly in ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat” and the novel-to-film adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s “Crazy Rich Asians.”
Years before landing her leading role in “Fresh Off the Boat” as Jessica Huang, Wu admitted that she was struggling as an actress and that she was considering giving up on her career in film.
“I was really broke,” the 36-year-old actress told Vulture in a 2016 interview. “I was in tens of thousands of dollars in debt: credit card. Car. Personal. Student loans. I paid for my college all myself. I didn’t have a boyfriend. I was really alone and lonely. I was new in the city, and I didn’t have a community of friends in L.A.”
Wu was in-between jobs at the time, jumping from one gig to another just to make ends meet. Eventually, this led her to question if whether she’d be alright if she stayed as a waitress even after a decade or so.
“I was at a point where I was still waiting tables, nannying, being a personal assistant, struggling to make ends meet, going through heartbreaking audition after heartbreaking audition, and I had a moment where I had to ask myself, ‘If you’re still a waitress when you’re 45, is that cool?'” she said in an interview with The Cut that same year.
Despite that, Wu persevered through the hardship with the thought in mind that it’s okay as long as she’s doing what she loved.
“I’m okay with not having a super-secure lifestyle because if you’re doing what you like, you don’t need stuff to fill any empty holes,” the actress, who grew up in Richmond, Virginia said.
Wu, whose parents emigrated to the United States from Taiwan, is a vocal advocate on the need for more leading roles in Hollywood for Asian actors as well as other people of color. One problem that the actress noticed is how some people argue that Asian actors are hard to find.
“People so often, say, ‘Oh my gosh, I want to cast more Asians, but it’s so hard to find them.’ It’s not,” she said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter earlier this week, adding that she had the privilege to work with other actors auditioning for “Crazy Rich Asians” who were “f***ing amazing.”
“So I think it’s kind of an insult to say that they don’t exist,” the actress added. “Maybe they don’t have a lot of credits, or any credits, on their resume, but that’s because they haven’t had the opportunity to build those credits. There are other good ones. You just have to seek them out.”
Wu revealed earlier this month via Twitter that “Crazy Rich Asians,” the film directed by Jon M. Chu where she plays as the female lead role Rachel Chu, is a movie of great importance to her and the Asian American community.