Zhao Schuzhen won the Spirit Award Saturday night for her performance as the grandma, Nai Nai, in The Farewell.
Unfortunately due to travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus, the Chinese actress could not get out of China to attend the award show.
Director Lulu Wang accepted on behalf of Zhao, who addressed her as Teacher Zhao as a sign of respect during shooting.
“I know she would really love to be here even though she didn’t read the script when I first sent it to her. She was like ‘What is this about, people lying. ‘We do this all the time. What’s dramatic about this.’ She also didn’t care that much about Hollywood. We were an independent film and we didn’t care that much about Hollywood.
Zhao ultimately decided to accept the lower independent film money compared to her salary in China to do the part and work with both a Chinese and American crew.
“There were a lot of cultural differences on set and everyone really made an effort to respect those differences. I know she would really want to thank Awkwafina, even though they didn’t speak the same language. They somehow saw their own family members in each other and it was really beautiful to watch. On behalf of Zhao Shuzhen, thank you so much for honoring grandmothers everywhere. For honoring a women from China who earlier in the year people could barely pronounce her name. but i’m so happy that everybody loved her so thank you so much,” Wang concluded.
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