By Vivian Nguyen
Northwest Asian Weekly
We may be halfway through the summer, but things are still sizzling, especially for our friends in Hollywood! Read on to find out the latest and greatest news for Asians and Asian Americans in the media.
Emmy nomination showdown for two Fil-Ams
The Emmy nominations are out and two Filipino Americans are nominated in the same category of Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics.
Actor and singer Darren Criss, who starred on the dramedy musical television series “Glee,” has been nominated for penning the original song “This Time” for the show. Meanwhile, songwriter Robert Lopez, along with his partner and wife Kristen Anderson-Lopez have been nominated for the song “Kiss An Old Man,” which can be heard on the FX comedy “The Comedians”. The songwriting duo famously won several industry awards last year, including an Academy Award for writing the wildly popular song “Let It Go” from the Disney animated movie “Frozen.”
The Emmys will air on Sept. 20.
Latest television and movie castings
French actress Elodie Yung has been cast as Elektra in the upcoming second season of the superhero television series “Daredevil.” Yung is of French and Cambodian descent. “Daredevil” is an original Netflix series based on the popular Marvel Comics superhero of the same name. The character of Elektra is a fan-favorite romantic interest for Daredevil, and her debut is already highly anticipated. Season two of “Daredevil” will premiere on Netflix in 2016.
This season’s “America’s Next Top Model” features 20-year-old Justin Kim, and media outlets have already described him as one of the hottest contestants to watch out for this season. Hailing from Virginia, the Korean American model stands at 6’2”, and has an impressive modeling portfolio that includes fitness modeling to swimwear. Kim will be the first Asian male model on the show, which sees models compete and prove they can make it as a supermodel.
Aziz Ansari takes lead role in new show
Indian American actor and comedian Aziz Ansari will star, write, and direct his own new show “Master of None.” The partly autobiographical 10-episode show will focus on a 30-year-old actor in New York played by Ansari, and will explore diverse subjects ranging from career and dating to the immigrant experience and race.
Sitcom lovers know Ansari best from his supporting role on the critically-acclaimed comedy “Parks and Recreation.” Ansari recently spoke at the Television Critics’ Association (TCA) summer press tour about his expanding responsibilities for the new show, noting that “Master of None” has been the most challenging, creatively fulfilling and personal project he has done to date.
Alan Yang, who previously wrote and produced “Parks and Recreation” and now serves as a co-show-runner for “Master of None,” later spoke to news entertainment website TheWrap about the show:
“I don’t feel pressure, but I do feel very proud to have the privilege and opportunity to tell these stories,” said Yang when asked if he felt pressure to write about the Asian American experience. “It’s something that’s very meaningful to Aziz and me. … We actually have an episode about what it’s like to be Indian or Asian on TV, and one of the messages of the episode is that these things take time. And the only way to do it is to make the best TV show you can, and hopefully help and inspire other Asian people to do similar things. Being Asian American in comedy is not a well-trod path so far, but I feel very lucky to be able to do it.”
“Master of None”, which debuts on Netflix on Nov. 6, will be one of the few shows showcasing an Asian lead, along with ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat” and Hulu’s “The Mindy Project”. NBC’s new sitcom “Dr. Ken,” which stars Korean American comedian Ken Jeong, will also debut this fall. (end)
Vivian Nguyen can be reached at email@example.com.