“Well, it’s unfortunate but it’s the reality of movie stars. They’re Chinese-backed production companies that are asking to put Damon in ‘Great Wall.’ It is what it is. It’s all about money and capitalism. It’s unfortunate because roles are seldom as they come already,” Chung, 34, told CBS News in an interview.
The Korean-American actress, who played Mulan in ABC’s “Once Upon a Time”, described how casting directors of the show specifically wanted someone who was ethnically Chinese to play the iconic Disney character.
“You have actors who can play Australian, British, Irish, but Asian, it’s very specific. It’s a double-edged sword. I really, really wanted a role in ‘Crazy Rich Asians,’ but they wanted someone who’s ethnically Chinese. I love Jon [Chu, director of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’], but I get they wanted Chinese actors,” Chung said.
But when she learned that Henry Golding, one of the lead actors cast in “Crazy Rich Asians,” which has recently started filming, was half-white, Chung became perplexed.
“What? Are you serious?” Chung said.
She then called the casting choice “bullsh*t”:
“OK. I’m going to say it. That is some bulls**t. Where do you draw the line to be ethnically conscious? But there’s so many loopholes so I kind of get screwed. I don’t mean to sound jaded. There are plenty of roles for me.”
Chung, who is set to star as the Blink in an “X-Men” TV pilot, explained that the original comic book character, Clarice Ferguson, is “a mutant so she can be whatever she wants to be.”
“It can be to my advantage sometimes, but it’s so frustrating,” she told CBS.