‘Crazy Rich Asians’ director has the sweetest reaction to Awkwafina’s Globes win

Jon M. Chu
Director Jon M. Chu and his young daughter were psyched for Awkwafina’s historic Golden Globes win Sunday night.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Jon M. Chu, director of “Crazy Rich Asians,” had a sweet moment with his daughter Sunday night as Awkwafina’s name was announced as a winner at the Golden Globes.

Awkwafina, born Nora Lum, took home the trophy for lead actress in a comedy/musical for her performance in “The Farewell.” She was the first female performer of Asian descent to do so, after Constance Wu was nominated last year but didn’t win.

“A memory I will never forget tonight is my daughter and I jumping up and down screaming for @Awkwafina winning BEST ACTRESS @goldenglobes and seeing the look in my daughter’s eyes of pure admiration for the woman on the screen that looks like her,” tweeted Chu, who directed the 31-year-old in her breakout 2018 role in “Crazy Rich Asians.” “Nora, we love you so much.”


“Crazy Rich Asians” costar Henry Golding chimed in as well on Instagram, saying, “Damn... This girl just blew us all away! Congrats on the golden Globe @awkwafina, so much love to you!”

Chu’s daughter, Willow, was born in July 2017, the year before “Crazy Rich Asians” came out. He and wife Kristen Hodge also have a son, Jonathan Heights, who was born in July and named after his upcoming Lin-Manuel Miranda movie “In the Heights,” which he was filming at the time.

Written and directed by Lulu Wang, “The Farewell” marked the dramatic lead debut for Awkwafina. In the film, she plays Billi, an American woman whose family has chosen to keep the truth of a terminal diagnosis from her grandmother in China.

Over breakfast on a recent morning in Beverly Hills, Awkwafina proudly estimated that 80% of the people she’s met at screenings of her latest film, “The Farewell,” have come up to her misty-eyed.

“The Farewell” was nominated in the Globes’ foreign-film category, where “Parasite” took home the trophy.

“I don’t know a lot about how those different things are categorized, but it definitely is in a lot of Chinese,” Awkwafina told The Times last month after the nominations were announced. “I think my Chinese would be considered foreign to anybody because it’s so bad!”