近年亮相於多部大片，包括 Ocean’s Eight《 盜海豪情︰8美千嬌》、Crazy Rich Asians《我的超豪男友》，以及為她贏得金球獎最佳女主角的 Farewell《別告訴她》，Awkwafina 可算是目前最炙手可熱的文化代表人物。她生於紐約，有一對華裔和韓裔父母，還到過北京，學習了兩年普通話，並在Farewell《別告訴她》一片中顯露無遺。她飾演 Billi，一位年輕的美國作家。她發現居住在中國的祖母得了絕症，但家人又不准許她向祖母透露。以下有 Laura de Belgique - The China Current 首位特約編輯 - 為大家講述這個故事。
我會形容Farewell《別告訴她》是一部會讓人沉思的喜劇。故事優美地呈現細緻的對比與深厚的感情，用輕輕的幽默手法處理。有一幕讓人印象深刻，女主角 Billi 與祖母(奶奶)：祖母嘗試向Billi 解釋長大了之後有人照顧她的好處，但同時間作為一個女性亦要自力更新，學會獨立。
You've seen in her in Ocean's Eight, Crazy Rich Asians, and The Farewell - for which she won a Best Actress Golden Globe. Awkwafina is probably the most exciting cultural figure today. Born in New York, she has Chinese-Korean parents, and studied Mandarin for two years in Beijing. That ability to speak Chinese is demonstrated in The Farewell, in which she plays Billi, a young American writer - who finds out that her grandmother in China is dying - but is told by her family not to tell her. To tell us that story is Laura de Belgique, and I'm very pleased to welcome her as our first contributing editor at The China Current.
For you, was it more comedy, or was it more drama?
I would describe The Farewell as a very truthful drama and gentle comedy. It really beautifully combines nuanced contrast and emotional depth, all made with subtle humour. For example, there is a very powerful scene of Billy, the main character, and her grandmother Nainai, where Nainai explains to Billi how on one hand, as you grow older, it is good to have someone that takes care of you. But on the other hand, a woman should be self-sufficient and independent.
Let's talk about Billi more because she is an American-born Chinese, who's caught up between the culture of her home and the culture of her ancestors. How does that reveal itself through the illness that her grandmother, her nainai, is going through? And the decision that the family has made not to tell her that she's sick?
The Farewell really skilfully navigates the way Asian-Americans struggle with their own foreignness, wherever they go, and especially with a notion of collectiveness that runs almost counter to western heritage.
Now speaking about the film in a different context, through a personal lens: you've lived, studied, and worked in China. What does it mean to be a modern young Chinese today? Are they any different to young people everywhere else?
Being young is everywhere the same, and I think it doesn't matter whether you're in China or in the US or in Europe, it is all the same way. We have the same struggles, we enjoy the same things. But in this movie, I think they really handle the small details of what it means to be living in China. It all comes down to small details. By not telling that grandmother that she's sick, they're actually taking responsibility for her, and in the family's eyes, it is the family's duty to carry her burden. And I think that is a concept that is very hard for Westerners to understand. I don't believe that the concept and the practice of family is exclusive to Chinese or Asians. I do however believe that in China, family has long been and still is a key component within Chinese society. And as portrayed in this movie, many aspects of Chinese life are still tied to parents and ancestors.
Let's finish with this because that scene where the whole family is gathered around the dining table is very special, with nainai very much the focus or the attention, but different generations together. What do you take from that?
I don't think it really brings all the attention to nainai. I think it's all equal, all members because it's also a round table. And I think, here in that particular case, I think it really emphasizes more the relationship, the important relationship, that exists between nainai and her granddaughter, Billi. In that way, this is a great way of comparing, contrasting the younger and the older generation and also to show the strong bond that exists between the two.