Awkwafina: Why the ‘Ocean’s 8’ and ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Star is Taking Over 2019


Ever heard of Awkwafina? She began honing her rapping skills at the young age of 13 and had her first run in the entertainment business way back in 2012.

During that year, she sang and released the hilarious and infamous song “My Vag”, which has nearly 4.6 million views on YouTube. 

From there, she’d go on to release two independent albums: Yellow Ranger and In Fina We Trust. But while she can hold her own as a rapper, we believe she also excels in acting.

In fact, 2019 is the year of Awkwafina as she takes on a career-defining project.

Awkwafina: Why the ‘Ocean’s 8’ and ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Star is Taking Over 2019

‘Ocean’s 8’ and ‘Crazy Rich Asians’: Last Year Was Just a Tease

In 2018, Awkwafina was in two movies that contributed to the recognition of women in the movie industry.

She was in Ocean’s 8, the latest sequel in Steven Soderbergh’s Oceans franchise. Here, she was in good company — very, very good company.

See, the movie brought together some of the feistiest women in the business: Anne Hathaway, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, and Cate Blanchett, to name a few.

Oceans 8 was a testament to the power of women in holding their own at the box office. The movie got positive reviews from critics and debuted at No. 1 in the US with $41 million.

Then there’s Crazy Rich Asians. This not only featured strong women characters but also proved that such a film featuring so many people from a minority could land at No. 1 in the box office.

Both these films utilized Awkwafina’s exceptional skills in comedic timing and on-camera presence — but it was time for her to take a new path.

‘Ocean’s 8’ and ‘Crazy Rich Asians’: Last Year Was Just a Tease

A24 and Lulu Wang Knew Awkwafina Had It In Her

If there’s one film distribution company a cinephile in the US has to watch out for, it’s A24. It’s the one responsible for acquiring modern classics such as Moonlight and Lady Bird.

Simply put, the company knows how to pick good movies. And for this year, the company got the US distribution rights to Lulu Wang’s The Farewell.

So here we have A24 and a promising film helmed by a Chinese-American director. The only thing The Farewell needed now was a reliable star.

A24 and Lulu Wang Knew Awkwafina Had It In Her

Awkwafina is Perfect in ‘The Farewell’

We already knew that Awkwafina was a terrific comedic actress, but could handle drama just as well? It turns out, there’s nothing to worry about.

The 31-year-old actress got the starring role and performed so well that critics have been praising her left and right. She was given the perfect opportunity and didn’t waste it at all.

The Farewell has a stunning 99 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has only received one negative review out of 201. If that wasn’t impressive enough, the film earned $88,196 per theater in its debut — beating Endgame by over $10k.

Now, the film world cannot get enough of The Farewell and Awkwafina — and we won’t be surprised if she gets several nominations during awards season for her outstanding performance.