Entertainment Spotlight

Catching Up: Santana, Taj Mahal and a déjà vu ‘Blue Christmas’

Posted by Ben Fong-Torres - on Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Catching Up: Santana, Taj Mahal and a déjà vu ‘Blue Christmas’
By Ben Fong-Torres It’s short shrift time. I have a life that’s ripe (and slightly wrinkled) for blogs and tweeting; for facebooking and updating. I’m just no good at it. My last column here on AsianConnections was about the memorial in late July for my sister Shirley. My last posting on the authors’ site, Redroom, was about a radio promo tour I did (20 stops, all on the phone in my home office) for my Eagles book. On my own home page, the last thing was about hanging with...

Arts & Entertainment

Actor Ed Skrein quits reboot of "Hellboy" over whitewashing concerns

Posted by Suzanne Kai on Friday, 15 September 2017

Actor Ed Skrein quits reboot of

Hollywood

September 15, 2017

by Suzanne Kai

The controversial practice of whitewashing movies has been going on for nearly a century in Hollywood.

In the 1930's even the starring role of the Charlie Chan movies, scripted to be a Chinese man, was given to white actors pretending to play Chinese men. 

Fast forward to 2017 - Ed Skrein, an English actor and rapper, wins the "Hellboy" movie role of Major Ben Saimio, a character of Japanese heritage in the original comic books.

Social media erupted negatively to his casting.

Unlike actors who won and defended their roles which were originally written as Asian characters, such as Scarlett Johansspn (Ghost in the Shell), Tilda Swinton (Doctor Strange), Matt Damon (The Great Wall), and Emma Stone (Aloha) Ed Skrein gave his role back.

Ed received favorable social media reaction, and Daniel York, writer for Time Magazine wrote this commentary Skrein is setting an example other actors should follow. If only more people in the industry had his integrity, courage and common humanity.

(full article at Time magazine "Ed Skrein Proved Actors Can Resist Whitewashington, Too" - click here)

 Ed Skrein issued the message below.

Skrein is best known in America for his role as Daario Naharis in the third season of Game of Thrones, and his roles in The Transporter Refueled, and Deadpool. Now he is known for

"It is clear that representing this character in a culturally accurate way holds significance for people, and that to neglect this responsibility would continue a worrying tendency to obscure ethnic minority stories and voice in the Arts.

I feel it is important to honour and respect that.

Therefore I have decided to step down so the role can be cast appropriately," the British actor wrote in a statement.

"Representation of ethnic diversity is important, especially to me as I...

Jackie Chan stars in 2 movies - The Foreigner (Oct 2017) & Bleeding Steel (Dec 2017) - & Streaming Jan. 2018

Posted by Suzanne Kai on Friday, 15 September 2017

Jackie Chan stars in 2 movies - The Foreigner (Oct 2017) & Bleeding Steel (Dec 2017) - & Streaming Jan. 2018

by Suzanne Kai

  September 14, 2017   Jackie Chan, at 63, is as busy as ever. His latest film The Foreigner releases on American screens this October 13, 2017, and launches on streaming platforms in January, 2018.   This is his first high profile movie to come to America since 2010's release of The Karate Kid where he played the mentor to the karate kid (Jaden Smith). He has also been a voice actor during this time for two Kung Fu Panda sequels, the Lego Ninjago Movie, and The Nut Job 2. 

The Foreigner, starring Jackie and Pierce Brosnan is an action thriller directed by Martin Campbell, (Casino Royale).   Jackie plays Quan, a humble London businessman whose teenage daughter is killed in a senseless act by terrorists. While frantically searching for the terrorists, he gets entangled in a conflict with a British government official played by Brosnan who may have clues to lead him to the terrorists.   After wrapping The Foreigner, Jackie completed another film Bleeding Steel with a limited U.S. release date of December 22, 2017, directed by Chinese director Leo Zhang.   Jackie stars in this sci-fi action movie as a UN security officer trying to rescue his estranged daughter from a mutant super soldier and space robots.   The film features Jackie in the first fight scene to be filmed on the roof of the Sydney Opera House, with Australian co-star Tess Haubrich. Observers reported there were no safety harnesses in sight.    In between making movies for audiences around the world, and focusing on China's movie market in recent years, Jackie is tending to his vast businesses, and his massive International Stunt Training Base compound thirty miles from Beijing.    On November 12, 2016 he was presented an Honorary Oscar by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences at its Governors Awards.   ...

Happy Birthday Cameron Crowe!

Posted by Suzanne Kai on Saturday, 29 July 2017

Happy Birthday Cameron Crowe!

July 13, 2017

Happy Birthday Cameron Crowe!

Thank you Cameron for sharing your amazing stories working with Ben Fong-Torres, your first editor at Rolling Stone for our documentary! The true life story behind "Almost Famous"!

We've been working on a feature documentary film about the incredible life and times of Ben Fong-Torres, Rolling Stone magazine's first music editor. Both Ben and Cameron are as busy as ever!   Coming soon!     Suzanne Joe Kai Director/Writer/Producer  

Hawaii Five-O co-stars ask for equal pay to white co-stars - CBS offers less - They Quit

Posted by Suzanne Kai on Thursday, 06 July 2017

Hawaii Five-O co-stars ask for equal pay to white co-stars - CBS offers less - They Quit

by Suzanne Kai

July 5, 2017

A year after the 2016 Oscars ceremony host Chris Rock made stereotypical jokes out of the Asian American kids on stage - Asian actors are still fighting for parity and roles.

Actors Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park, co-stars on the CBS series 'Hawaii Five-0' since 2010 asked for equal pay to that of their white co-stars, Alex O'Laughlin and Scott Caan.

According to Variety, CBS' final offer was 10 to 15 percent lower than what O'Loughlin and Caan are paid.

Grace played Kono Kalakaua, and Daniel's character was Chin Ho Kelly. They acted in all of the 168 episodes of the series.

Daniel Dae Kim posted on his Facebook page on July 5, 2017: (excerpt from a longer message to his fans)

By now many of you have heard the news, and I’m sad to say it is true. I will not be returning to Hawaii Five-0 when production starts next week. Though I made myself available to come back, CBS and I weren’t able to agree to terms on a new contract, so I made the difficult choice not to continue.

As sad as it feels to say goodbye, what I feel most is gratitude. I am so deeply thankful to our crew, writers and everyone associated with the show – and especially the cast, who have been nothing but supportive through this entire process. They and the crew have been my second family for seven years and I wish them nothing but success for season 8 - and beyond.

I also want to say thank you to Peter Lenkov, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and everyone at CBS. I will always be grateful for their faith in me to bring Chin Ho Kelly to life. As an Asian American actor, I know first-hand how difficult it is to find opportunities at all, let alone play a well developed, three dimensional character like Chin Ho. I will miss him sincerely.

What made him even more special is that he was a representative of a place my family and I so dearly love. It has been nothing short of...

Jackie Chan says his mission is complete with his 101st movie 'Chinese Zodiac'

Posted by Suzanne Kai on Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Jackie Chan says his mission is complete with his 101st movie 'Chinese Zodiac'

October 27, 2013

Rumors floating on the web say that Jackie Chan's 101st movie 'Chinese Zodiac' is his last major action comedy, but we hope those rumors are false.

Ryan Pearson, AP Entertainment Writer sheds some hope. He reports that the 59 year old isn't quitting anytime soon, and just completed filming another installment for his "Police Story" franchise, and is in talks to do a movie with his "Rush Hour' co-star Chris Tucker. 

Click here to the movie's trailer:

http://youtu.be/4YtAbUU5jk8

Chan wrote, directed and starred in his action comedy 'Chinese Zodiac' about a team trying to steal some of the bronze statues representing the twelve animals of hte zodiac from the Chinese Palace which were stolen from Beijing in the 1860s.

The film is now in theaters in the U.S., and was released in China last year. Since the movie's release two of the statues were returned to China by the head of Gucci's parent company, Francois Pinault.

Related:

JackieChan.com - Jackie Chan's Official Website

Los Angeles Times (video)

AP Story on Jackie Chan

The Washington Post on Jackie Chan