By Louis Chan, AsAmNews National Correspondent
Constance Wu went from being a doting mom on Fresh Off the Boat to a stripper in Hustlers. In between, she played Henry Golding’s love interest in Crazy Rich Asians.
Now she’ll play a hard-charging reporter on Prime Video’s new eight episode limited series The Terminal List beginning this coming Friday, July 1 opposite Chris Pratt.
Don’t try to typecast Wu into any type of role. She’s determined to keep her fans and herself guessing.
“I don’t like to always be doing the same thing. So for my jobs, I always seek out roles that are different than the thing I did before,” said Wu to AsAmNews.
“So to go from playing a stripper to a war correspondent, I mean, that sounded like a totally surprising, different choice. And so that’s why I made that choice.”
Chris Pratt plays opposite Wu as James Reece, a Navy SEAL’s commander whose entire unit dies in an ambush during a covert mission. He is the sole survivor, but his recollection of the events differs from the official version.
That difference haunts him, but reporter Katie Buranek as played by Wu pushes hard to get to the truth.
Reece soon finds out that authorities may not want him to find out the truth. His mission to seek out the facts puts him in danger as well as those he loves, including perhaps Katie.
“I think Katie’s gumption and her drive really excites me, but, in terms of the whole series, I love that it keeps you on your toes and that it’s really set suspenseful and like I feel like the watcher is gonna be on the edge of his or her seat when they watch,” said Wu.
It’s unclear, at least in the first two episodes this reporter previewed, which side of the truth Katie will find herself.
The story is based on a book of the same name by Jack Carr.
Wu channeled into the motivation of Katie to channel her character.
“I mean, for me, it was really connecting to her personal history of why journalistic integrity and the truth matters to her, said Wu. “And that a lot of that was written like kind of in the book and the character history. And connecting to that personally, once I did that, a lot of everything just like fell into place.”
In the beginning, getting a role was all about paying the bills for the once struggling actress. She admits not being a planner or having long term goals. Wu says she never gave much thought to any struggles she might have faced being an Asian American in Hollywood.
“I mean, if you like, worry too much about the future and being Asian American, then you’re never going to get out of bed, you know, because you’re just going to like, get caught up in your anxieties. You just have to do the best with whatever you’re faced with on that particular day. And that’s sort of how I’ve always lived my life.”
Now that she’s no longer a struggling actress, she sees being able to pick and choose her roles as a privilege.
The new mom who gave birth to her first child over the summer, a baby girl, will appear next in Lyle, Lyle Crocodile as a mother helping her child adjust to the family’s new life in New York. Things take a turn when her son Josh meets a singing crocodile. This musical family comedy also stars pop star Shawn Mendes as the voice of the singing crocodile.
Lyle Lyle Crocodile is scheduled to debut October 7 in theaters.
“It’s obviously just like such a privilege to be able to do what I love and have the freedom to choose the roles or to choose to not work and be able to support my family and, and feel a sense of security,” she said. “That in and of itself is like such a blessing. And to be able to be a part of a movement that opens doors for other young or old Asian artists who might want to do the same. I mean, that’s just icing on the cake.”
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