Wu at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival
|Born||March 22, 1982|
Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Alma mater||State University of New York, Purchase (BFA)|
|Height||1.63 m (5 ft 4 in)|
Constance Wu (born March 22, 1982) is an American actress. She stars as Jessica Huang in the ABC television comedy Fresh Off the Boat (2015–present) which is her breakthrough role. She has been nominated for two TCA Awards and four Critics' Choice Television Awards for Fresh Off the Boat.
In film, Wu was further lauded for her role as Rachel Chu in the 2018 romantic comedy-drama film Crazy Rich Asians, for which she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, among others. She became the fourth Asian woman to be nominated for the former. In 2019, she starred in the hit film Hustlers.
Early life and education
Constance Wu was born in Richmond, Virginia. Her parents emigrated from Taiwan. Her father, Dr. Fang-Sheng Wu, is a biology and genetics professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, and her mother is a computer programmer. Wu said that her paternal grandparents were very poor, working as bamboo farmers, and did not have the opportunity to get an education, so they were unable to read and write. She is the third of four daughters.
She graduated from Douglas S. Freeman High School, in Henrico County, where she began performing in local theater; she participated in a six-month program during high school at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. Wu later graduated from State University of New York at Purchase's Conservatory of Theatre Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting in 2005. Wu cited Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee as an influence. After college, Wu studied psycholinguistics and considered pursuing a graduate degree program in speech pathology at Columbia University before deciding to pursue a career in acting and moving to Los Angeles.
In New York City, Wu got roles onstage and in independent movies. She made her screen debut with a supporting role in Stephanie Daley (2006). She also had later supporting roles in Year of the Fish and The Architect. On television, she appeared in episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Torchwood, and Covert Affairs, and also had a recurring role as Laudine Lee on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live in 2007. Wu moved to Los Angeles from New York in 2010 after a heartbreak and just decided impulsively she said in an interview, where she was cast in Sound of My Voice, directed by Brit Marling.
Since 2012, Wu has starred in the critically acclaimed web series EastSiders. She won two Indie Series Awards, both for Best Ensemble - Drama in 2014 and 2016. She was also nominated for two Indie Series Awards, one for Best Supporting Actress - Drama and the other for Best Guest Actress - Drama in those same years.
In 2014, Wu participated in Sundance Screenwriters' Lab with two emerging Asian-American directors, Yung Chang and Christopher Yogi, in what she felt was a unique opportunity to support fellow Asian storytellers.
In 2014, after landing a role in one unsuccessful comedy pilot, Wu won the leading role in the ABC comedy series Fresh Off the Boat alongside Randall Park. The series is loosely based on the life of chef and food personality Eddie Huang and his book Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir. The series premiered in 2015, and Wu received critical acclaim for her performance. E! named her a breakout star of the 2014-15 television season. For her role as Jessica Huang, she received four nominations for The Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series and two Television Critics Association TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy.
In February 2017, it was announced that Wu had been set to star in Jon M. Chu's adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians, based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Kevin Kwan. The film was released in the United States and Canada on August 15, 2018, by Warner Bros., and is the first major Hollywood studio film to feature an all-Asian cast since 1993's The Joy Luck Club. The film was a critical and commercial success and emerged as the highest-grossing romantic comedy in a decade, grossing over $238 million. Wu received critical acclaim for her performance and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, A Satellite Award, two Critics' Choice Movie Awards and two NAACP Image Awards. The film itself won the Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Comedy.
In November 2018, Wu starred in a short animated film Crow: The Legend as Skunk.
In May 2019, Fresh Off the Boat was renewed for a 6th season. On the show's Instagram page when announcing its renewal in a post, Wu commented “Dislike”, and then continued to voice her displeasure for the show's renewal with profanity-laden Twitter posts, which led many to speculate as to what was the reasoning behind Wu's acts. She later made a statement clarifying her comments, explaining that her disappointment over the show's renewal was due to her subsequently having to pull out of another project that she was "really passionate about," and further stating that she loved her sitcom castmates and harbored no animosity toward them. She went on to explain that she felt her role on Fresh Off the Boat had become "easy and pleasant," and she was looking for further challenges, which she felt the new project would have provided.
In 2019, the actress starred alongside Jennifer Lopez in the film Hustlers, following a group of Manhattan strippers who rob wealthy men. The film opened on September 13, 2019, and became a box office success.
Wu revealed on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon that she has signed on to reprise her role as Rachel Chu in both sequels to Crazy Rich Asians titled China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems set for back-to-back filming in 2020.
In June 2019, it was announced that Wu would play the leading role in a film titled Goodbye Vitamin, based on the critically acclaimed debut novel of Rachel Khong. The film will be distributed by Universal Pictures and Wu will serve as an executive producer on the film.
She is an activist regarding Asian representation in the U.S. media, and she has expressed her support towards bringing more diversity into the film industry. Wu has shared her stories regarding times that she had been refused roles due to her racial ethnicity, and she is hoping that her success in the U.S. film industry would pave more paths for diverse representation in the film industry. The #StarringConstanceWu hashtag meme, adopted by Asian-American activists, inserts Wu's image into film promotional materials in order to highlight the paucity of Asian actors in starring roles.
In 2017, Wu worked with Miry's List, an organization that provides essential kits to newly arrived immigrants and refugee families in Southern California. In an interview with Teen Vogue, she spoke about why she chose to work with that organization. Wu stated that she admires "people with the courage to make an immigrant journey in search of peace, safety and well-being for their families. I want them to find that and I wanted to be active in my care."
|2007||Year of the Fish||Lucy|
|2011||Sound of My Voice||Christine|
|2012||Watching TV with the Red Chinese||Kimi Hu|
|2013||Best Friends Forever||Melanie|
|2013||Ties||Shannon O||Short film|
|2013||Taylor Manifest||Val||Short film|
|2014||Electric Slide||Mika Oh|
|2013||My Mother Is Not a Fish||N/A||Director and writer|
|2015||Low Budget Ethnic Movie||Sara|
|2017||Nine Minutes||Lilian||Short film|
|2017||All the Creatures Were Stirring||Gabby|
|2017||The Lego Ninjago Movie||The Mayor of Ninjago||Voice role|
|2018||Crazy Rich Asians||Rachel Chu|
|2018||Next Gen||Molly||Voice role|
|2006||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Candy||Episode: "Underbelly"|
|2007||One Life to Live||Laudine Lee||3 episodes|
|2011||Torchwood||Shawnie Yamaguchi||Episode: "Miracle Day: End of the Road"|
|2013||Browsers||Prudence Yu||Television pilot|
|2013||Covert Affairs||Wendy Chen||Episode: "Rock a My Soul"|
|2014||Franklin & Bash||Caroline Chilton||Episode: "Falcon's Nest"|
|2014||High Moon||Mikiko Kobiyashi||Unsold television pilot|
|2015||Childrens Hospital||Pepsi Lamarr||Episode: "Up at 5""|
|2015–present||Fresh Off the Boat||Jessica Huang||Main role|
|2016||Royal Pains||Amy Chang||Episode: "Fly Me to Kowloon"|
|2017||Dimension 404||Jane||Episode: "Bob"|
|"Family Feud"||2017||Jay Z featuring Beyoncé|||
Awards and nominations
- Zhang, Jenny (October 30, 2015). "The Lenny Interview: Constance Wu". Lenny Letter. Archived from the original on December 10, 2015. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
- "Constance Wu makes herstory with her 2019 Golden Globe nomination". HelloGiggles. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
- "Constance Wu: The World's 100 Most Influential People". Time.
- "Constance Wu". TVGuide.com. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
- Lee, Emily (April 20, 2015). "Taiwanese Viewers React to Fresh Off the Boat (菜鳥新移民)". Asia Pacific Arts. University of Southern California. Archived from the original on August 21, 2018. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- "美影集演「台裔虎媽」收視登喜劇寶座 (American TV series "Taiwanese Tiger Mom": watch TV ascend to the comedy throne)". TVBS (in Chinese). March 31, 2015. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- 記者王丹荷 (April 1, 2015). "菜鳥新移民 吳恬敏體驗做小籠包「好難」". Youth Daily News - 青年日報 (in Chinese). Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- Xǔ, Huìmǐn (September 9, 2018). "封面人物 | 媽「疏忽」 造就吳恬敏 (Cover story: Mom says "hands off" is what made Constance Wu)" (in Chinese). World Journal. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
- Owen, Rob (October 16, 2015). "Former Richmonder, Constance Wu, stars in ABC sitcom 'Fresh Off the Boat'". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- Wieselman, Jarett (September 17, 2015). "The Woman Leading A Crusade To Tell More Asian-American Stories". BuzzFeed. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- Chung, Nicole (September 17, 2015). "Constance Wu Is Making Her Way in Hollywood". The New York Times. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- Nicholson, David (July 3, 2005). "Virginia Shakespeare Festival: Old Plays, New Look". Daily Press. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
Constance Wu, a recent graduate of SUNY Purchase in New York
- "Ping Pong Democracy" (PDF). 59E59 Theaters. 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 26, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- "虎媽超哈李安 菜鳥移民開星路 (Tiger mom adores Ang Li, Fresh off the Boat starts road to stardom)". Liberty Times (in Chinese). April 1, 2015. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- Wong, Alex (September 21, 2015). "Fresh Off the Boat's Constance Wu Still Isn't Sure About This Whole TV Thing". GQ. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- Wu, Constance (May 7, 2015). "#IAm Constance Wu Story". Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE). Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- "EastSiders", Wikipedia, February 13, 2019, retrieved February 14, 2019
- "Nominations Announced For 7th Annual ISAs". www.indieseriesawards.com. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- "Colleen Zenk, Van Hansis, Alicia Minshew and More Snag Indie Series Award Nominations". Daytime Confidential. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Andreeva, Nellie (February 7, 2014). "Constance Wu, Randall Park Join 'Fresh Off The Boat'; Windell Middlebrooks In 'Mason Twins'". Deadline Hollywood.
- Andreeva, Nellie. "ABC Fall Schedule 2014: First Look". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
- Patten, Dominic (February 3, 2015). "[Watch] 'Fresh Off The Boat' Review: Show Doesn't Translate From Book". Deadline Hollywood.
- Nguyen, Hanh (February 4, 2015). "8 Reasons We Need Fresh Off the Boat to Succeed". TVGuide. Retrieved February 5, 2015.
- Rahman, Ray (February 4, 2015). "'Fresh Off the Boat' recap: 'Home Sweet Home-School'". Entertainment Weekly.
- Lee, Ashley. "'Fresh Off the Boat' Review on ABC: What the Critics Are Saying". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
- Dos Santos, Kristin (February 4, 2015). "Fresh Off the Boat's Constance Wu Is Our New Comedy Obsession". E! Online.
- Team TVLine (May 6, 2015). "Critics Choice Television Awards Nominations List 2015 — 5th Annual". TVLine.
- Mitovic, Matt Webb (June 4, 2015). "Justified, Broad City, Empire, Mom, 24, Jane the Virgin, Transparent Lead the 2015 Critics Choice Nominations". TVLine.
- Petski, Denise (June 27, 2016). "Megan Mullally & Constance Wu Join Hulu's 'Dimension 404'". Retrieved February 23, 2017.
- "Constance Wu To Star In 'Crazy Rich Asians' Based Off Bestselling Book". HuffPost Canada. February 16, 2017. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
- "Constance Wu to Star in 'Crazy Rich Asians' (Exclusive)". Retrieved February 23, 2017.
- "'Crazy Rich Asians': Why Did It Take So Long to See a Cast Like This?". Retrieved August 21, 2018.
- "Crazy Rich Asians (2018) - Box Office Mojo". www.boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
- "24th Critics' Choice Awards", Wikipedia, February 11, 2019, retrieved February 14, 2019
- Eric Darnell (writer & director) (November 15, 2018). Crow: The Legend (Animation). Baobab Studios. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
- Yang, Rachel; Yang, Rachel (May 10, 2019). "Constance Wu Explains 'Fresh Off the Boat' Comments: 'I Had to Give Up Another Project'".
- "Constance Wu Admitted She Was Upset At Having To Return To "Fresh Off The Boat"". BuzzFeed News.
- Wood, Lucy (February 5, 2019). "J.Lo and Constance Wu Will Star in a Movie About Savvy Former Strippers". Marie Claire. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
- Jennifer Lopez shrugs off the rain for Manhattan night shoot of star-studded stripper revenge movie Hustlers Accessed May 4, 2019.
- Andreas Wiseman (March 19, 2019). "Hustlers': Cardi B, Lili Reinhart, Keke Palmer & Julia Stiles Join Constance Wu & Jennifer Lopez In Avenging Strippers Pic". Deadline. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
- Bill Murray Made Constance Wu Feed His Parking Meter, retrieved September 5, 2019
- Kroll, Justin; Kroll, Justin (June 24, 2019). "Constance Wu to Star in 'Goodbye, Vitamin' Adaptation for Universal (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved July 5, 2019.
- "Constance Wu Is Incredible And All But Have You Met Her Pet Bunny?". BuzzFeed. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
- Tseng, Ada (August 27, 2015). "Audrey Fall 2015 Cover Story: Constance Wu". Audrey. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- Lim, Serene (May 30, 2015). "Is Fresh Off The Boat's Constance Wu anything like her TV character?". Today. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- "Constance Wu, star of Crazy Rich Asians: 'I've lost parts for being outspoken'". www.theguardian.com. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
- "#StarringConstanceWu Continues the Conversation on Hollywood Whitewashing". May 17, 2016. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
- Rodriguez, Mathew (May 18, 2016). "Constance Wu Stars in A-List Films in This Hashtag Campaign Against Hollywood Whitewashing". mic.com. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
- Nast, Condé. "Let Constance Wu Show You How To Stand Up For What's Right — Even If You're Scared". Teen Vogue. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
- Andreeva, Nellie (September 3, 2013). "Pilots 'Line Of Sight' & 'Strain' Add Regulars". Deadline Hollywood.
- Foutch, Haliegh (January 5, 2018). "Watch: Ava DuVernay Envisions a Striking Future for Jay-Z's Star-Studded 'Family Feud' Music Video". Collider. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
- Giddens, Jamey. "Colleen Zenk, Van Hansis, Alicia Minshew and More Snag Indie Series Award Nominations". Daytime Confidential. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
- "Indie Series Awards History and Winners Archive". INDIE SERIES AWARDS. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
- Li, Shirley. "The Critics' Choice TV Awards 2015: And the nominees are..." Retrieved December 8, 2018.
- Hipes, Patrick. "Critics' Choice Awards Nominations: 'Mad Max' Leads Film; ABC, HBO, FX Networks & 'Fargo' Top TV". Retrieved December 8, 2018.
- "The Television Critics Association Announces 2015 TCA Award Nominees". Retrieved December 8, 2018.
- Montgomery, Daniel. "Gold Derby TV Awards: 'Game of Thrones' sweeps, big wins for Amy Schumer, 'Parks and Rec'". Retrieved December 8, 2018.
- Coggan, Devan. "Critics' Choice Awards 2017 nominees announced". Retrieved December 8, 2018.
- Montgomery, Daniel. "Gold Derby TV Awards 2016: 'People v. O.J. Simpson' leads winners, 'Game of Thrones' & 'Veep' also prevail". Retrieved December 8, 2018.
- "The Television Critics Association Announces 2016 TCA Award Nominees". Retrieved December 8, 2018.
- "Nominations Announced For 7th Annual ISAs". INDIE SERIES AWARDS. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
- Newcomb, Roger. "Lilly Melgar, Melissa Archer Among Winners at 7th Annual Indie Series Awards". Retrieved February 14, 2019.
- Johnson, Zach. "Critics' Choice Awards 2018: Complete List of Movie and TV Nominations". Retrieved December 8, 2018.
- "Outstanding Achievement in Cinema – CRAZY RICH ASIANS". The Asian Awards. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
- "'Green Book' Named Best Film by National Board of Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
- "2018 Nominees". International Press Academy. Archived from the original on November 29, 2018. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
- "Golden Globes Nominations: 'Vice' Leads With 6; Full List". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
- ""The Favourite" Leads Film Nominations For The 24th Annual Critics' Choice Awards". Critics Choice Awards. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
- "SAG Award Nominations: Complete List". Variety. December 12, 2018. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
- "Dublin Film Critics Circle Awards 2018 – the results are in, with a few surprises". Independent.ie.
- Moreau, Jordan (June 19, 2019). "'Avengers: Endgame,' 'Riverdale,' 'Aladdin' Top 2019 Teen Choice Award Nominations". Variety. Retrieved July 19, 2019.