By Ninette Cheng
Northwest Asian Weekly
How was everyone’s March? It’s time for an update on last month’s activities of your favorite Asian American celebrities! Tiger Woods announced his return to golf, “The Cove” won Best Documentary at the Academy Awards, Aziz Ansari prepared to host the MTV Movie Awards, and Nicole Scherzinger joined the cast of “Dancing with the Stars.”
Finally, Asian actors are cast in a slew of upcoming films and television shows.
Tiger Woods returns to golf
After a humiliating winter, Woods announced his return to golf. On April 8, the golf superstar (and adulterer) made his first appearance after his scandal broke at the 2010 Masters’ Tournament. Professional golfers and fans alike had been looking forward to the event. The Seton Hall Sports poll predicted that his return would boost television ratings by 16 percent. Seton was a little off. Ratings actually increased by 36 percent, the highest in nine years.
Documentary about dolphin hunting in Japan wins an Oscar
On March 7, the documentary film, “The Cove,” which describes the killing of dolphins in Taiji, Japan, was awarded Best Documentary at the Academy Awards. Lead by former dolphin trainer Ric O’Barry, producers Fisher Stevens and Paula DuPre Pesmen discovered a cove in Taiji, where villagers were secretly killing dolphins. In the film, O’Barry and the Oceanic Preservation Society set out to discover the truth about the mysterious cove. “The Cove” won numerous awards and put the town of Taiji on the defense for its practices.
Aziz Ansari from “Parks and Recreation” to host MTV Movie Awards
Indian American comedian and actor Aziz Ansari will be hosting this year’s MTV Movie Awards. The MTV Movie Awards will air live on June 6 from Universal City, Calif. I am looking forward to it because Ansari is hilarious! Ansari, who began his career performing standup comedy, is now on the rise after his humorous performances in films and TV shows, notably as Tom in “Parks and Recreation.”
Pussycat Doll a “DWTS” star
Fans of American pop girl group Pussycat Dolls knew that Nicole Scherzinger could dance. The Filipino/Russian/Hawaiian American lead singer is proving her skills to a whole new audience on “Dancing with the Stars.” The lead singer debuted on the ABC show on March 22 with the highest score. This is no surprise since dancers in one genre usually excel in other genres as well. Good luck, Nicole!
Good news on Asian actors casting decisions
Freida Pinto, the Indian model-actress of “Slumdog Millionaire,” has been cast opposite Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, and Kellan Lutz in an upcoming Greek epic “Dawn of War,” by Indian director Tarsem Singh, who directed “The Cell.” The film will feature Pinto as oracle priestess Phaedra. Filming begins this month.
Grace Park from “Battlestar Galactica” and Daniel Dae Kim from “Lost” have been cast in CBS’s “Hawaii Five-O.” Kim will play a champion surfer in a police academy, while Park will play his niece.
John Cho is getting ready to return to his breakout role with “A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas.” Cho confirmed to MTV that the sequel could begin filming as soon as this summer. Cho reported that a possible conflict may arise because his Indian American co-star Kal Penn is currently working in the White House. Talk about a career switch!
Check back next month to see how Scherzinger fares. We will also update you with other news about Asian celebrities! ♦
Ninette Cheng can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.