November 14, 2017
Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi has a new character named Rose Tico that fans are buzzing about.
The character is the first major Star Wars role played by an Asian American woman.
That woman is 29 year old Kelly Marie Tran, an actress of Vietnamese American descent from San Diego.
After filming wrapped Tran took time off to travel to South Africa where she worked in an endangered wildlife reserve without electricity, internet or running water.
Then she accompanied her family to visit her father's village where he showed her where he slept as a homeless street kid for seven years.
“I could have had this life,” Tran told Buzzfeed News, “and now I have this one, and it’s purely because my parents dropped everything and moved to a country where they didn’t know the language [and] didn’t have any opportunities.
I very much have felt this whole time that I’ve been living for multiple generations of life.”
Tran says, alot of “Star Wars” fans who are specifically Asian never had a character they could dress up like, or they would and people would always call them “Asian Rey” or “Asian fill-in-the-blank.”
I get very emotional when I see people who are able to identify with this character. That means a lot to me and I don’t think it will ever get old.
It feels like a big deal because it’s so rare, I wish it wasn’t.
October 11, 2017
Finally! After 56 years, 200+ films and bringing humor and entertainment to audiences around the world, Jackie Chan, one of the world's most prolific action stars and filmmakers was presented an honorary Oscar at the 8th annual Governors Awards in Hollywood.
Tom Hanks, Michelle Yeoh and Chris Tucker all former co-stars in movies with Jackie co-presented the honorary Oscar to Jackie.
That was last November, 2016 - today Jackie is in Hollywood and says he's ready to tackle his next ambition - To win an Oscar for acting.
His latest English language release since The Karate Kid (2010) is action thriller, The Foreigner, but he's not doing his trademark action moves throughout this movie, he is acting.
The movie is co-starring Pierce Brosnan, and is directed by Martin Campbell (Casino Royale).
Jackie plays a father whose daughter is killed by terrorists and in this dramatic role, he is seeking justice for her death.
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...
by Suzanne KaiSeptember 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. ...
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