When I think about Michelle, I just feel so lucky and grateful that I get to be alongside her in this record-breaking, history-making moment. I know that has not been an easy road for me, and she’s had to go through that times 10. So it’s pretty wild that we’re having this moment together. Our movie is a lot about intergenerational trauma, but I feel like today we get to have a public-facing moment of intergenerational healing.
I really wanted to do it as a blessing, as a ritual of recognition not only for myself but for the whole family that came together to make this movie, our crew and everyone. I am just really proud and really happy that not only our principal cast, but so much of our creative team was celebrated as well. It’s 11 nominations, and every single one is everyone’s first time.
I feel really passionate about dramaturgy and story. I had a traditional acting experience when I was at NYU, but then my mentor Liz Swados was an experimental theater queen who taught me that every artist has a huge responsibility to be in communication with the world and to make art that hopefully moves us into a better place. It should be subversive and wild and scare us, but it should also shake us out of our seats.
I mean, again, you really think about it and you’re like, ’95 years is a really long time for there to hardly be any Asian actresses nominated for Best Actress.’ That is our collective history, but that history is also being broken.