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Pinoys, Asians agog over 'Crazy Rich Asians;' Kevin Kwan hints Heart will be in next movie

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(Photo from Philippine Star)


There is much talk in Manila and in Los Angeles about the movie “Crazy Rich Asians’’ and talkative actress Kris Aquino who appears as a princess, even if in a cameo role, in the film.


For one, the film is being bruited about as a possible box office top grosser even before it is to be shown in Philippine theaters still on August 22.


Then, it is a Hollywood film which stars Asians who are crazy about movies and show business.


In fact, “Crazy Rich Asians” may be the first Hollywood movie in 25 years with an all-Asian cast, according to reports. The romantic comedy about an Asian-American New Yorker who goes to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s wealthy and tradition-bound family of Chinese descent is based on the 2013 best-selling book of the same name by Kevin Kwan.


In addition, there is another Filipino who plays an important role in the movie. He is Nico Santos, a full-fledge Hollywood actor who plays the role of Oliver Tsien, a fashion designer who will help female lead Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), a college New Yorker, transform into a glamorous girlfriend to fit in with her crazy rich boyfriend Nick Young’s (Henry Golding) family and friends in Singapore.


Santos proudly wore a pin of the Philippine flag on his Paul Smith tux during the premier showing of the movie in Hollywood attended also by Kris Aquino who attracted many during the event with her yellow dress fitted for a princess.


Nico, who left the Philippines at age 16 in 1997 to find greener pastures in the United States, urged Filipinos in the Philippines, the United States and elsewhere to see the movie.


Another reason “Crazy Rich Asians” could be box office contender is the positive reviews coming up about the movie, especially from Hollywood where it had its premier showing.


“It’s been way too long since we had an all-star Asian cast in a Hollywood studio movie, but at the same time, this movie is for everyone,” said Kevin Kwan at the red carpet premiere showing in Los Angeles on August 7.


“My books are read around the world in 20 languages, and in the U.S. 80 percent of my readers are Texan, Oklahoman, Kansas – like, white people – and they love my books. So it’s a movie that everyone can enjoy and appreciate,” Kwan said.


The movie stars established actresses like Michelle Yeoh, from “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” and Constance Wu from U.S. television comedy “Fresh Off the Boat” along with newer faces like New York rapper and actress Awkwafina and Henry Golding, who was raised in Britain.


Kwan, meanwhile, hinted that more Asians could be tapped for his coming movie projects.


One of the possible members of the cast is Filipino actress and businesswoman Heart Evangelista, who is the wife of Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero.


“Oh I’d love to cast more Filipinos! They are so talented and amazing that I want to show them to the rest of the world,” Kwan said.


“I really want to do that and I hope it happens,” he added.


MJ Marfori, reporting for Manila Times, said the premier showing was all about Asian opulence in Hollywood at the TCL Chinese Theatre.


Kris Aquino, who has a cameo in the Warner Bros. Picture movie, joined the glitzy event where the entire cast each embodied their “crazy rich” characters.


Shining in a canary yellow Filipiniana gown by designer Michael Leyva, Kris carried the Philippine flag in fabulous style with son Bimby — in barong Tagalog, slacks and sneakers — as her escort, the report added.


“I chose this [out of six outfits I had made for the premiere because of the yellow ribbon. I felt that this would be so symbolic for me to be able to honor my parents,” she said.


Kris was a scene stealer not just because of the color of her gown, but because of a huge group of Filipino fans who cheered and greeted her. She broke protocol to take pictures with them across Hollywood Boulevard.

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