Southern Fried Asian: Kevin Kwan

Last month, the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore hosted our own Keith Chow in conversation with New York Times bestselling author Kevin Kwan as part of their “Writer’s Live” series. Because they spent a portion of their talk discussing Kevin’s childhood in Texas, we are presenting that conversation in its entirety for Southern Fried Asian!

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The ‘Heights’ of Anxiety and the Color Line: Racial Ambiguity in a Culture of Absolutes

I once heard the great political philosopher and activist Angela Davis argue that Americans are so obsessed with race as an identifying feature that when we meet racially ambiguous people, we are anxious until we know on which side of the color line they fall. Upon hearing this, I was relieved by the articulation of something I had suspected was at the heart of my experience. It was like experiencing great art, that rush of adrenaline that comes with recognizing what we’ve known all along presented as fantastically new.

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NOC Interview: Lin-Manuel Miranda on the Making of ‘In The Heights’

Now that In the Heights is officially in theaters and streaming on HBO Max, what better time than now to re-up my convo with Lin-Manuel Miranda, originally recorded for the Hard NOC Life podcast.

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NOC Exclusive Interviews with ‘In The Heights’ Director Jon M. Chu and the Cast

For our review of the film, click here.

The anticipated release of WB’s In the Heights is set to release this week, but the long-lasting impact of the film will affect many BIPOC, especially those from the Latinx community, for a lifetime.

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Light’s Up on the Opening Number from ‘In the Heights’

Warner Bros. has moved up the opening of Jon M. Chu’s big screen adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes’s Tony Award-winning musical, In the Heights, a day early. So it won’t be long now!

To hold you over until Thursday night, Chu and Miranda went to social media to announce they’re releasing the first eight minutes of the movie — essentially, the entire opening number — even earlier.

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Hard NOC Life 219: Lin-Manuel Miranda! + The ‘Eternals’ Trailer Reaction

On a new Hard NOC Life, Keith finally talks to Lin-Manuel Miranda about adapting his first musical, In the Heights, for the big screen. But before that, he is joined by Dominic, Britney, and Shawn to break down the Eternals trailer.

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‘In the Heights’ Captures the Beauty of Washington Heights and the Community Behind It

It seems like only yesterday when national treasure and lyricist genius Lin-Manuel Miranda graced the Richard Rodgers Theatre as Usnavi in the Broadway production of In the Heights. Now, 13 years later, the Tony Award-winning musical is finally premiering on the big screen next month. 

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Actions Speak Louder than Words: Henry Golding on Being ‘Snake Eyes’

Few comic book characters mean more to me than G.I. Joe’s resident Ninja Commando. Created by Larry Hama and based on the Hasbro action figure designs, Snake Eyes wasn’t just my favorite action figure, he unlocked my imagination as a child. A silent warrior with a classified name and background meant that anyone could be beneath that iconic all-black mask. So for years, Snake Eyes looked like me until the comics eventually revealed the man underneath was yet another white-guy-who-happens-to-be-best-Asian.

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Anthony Ramos Credits the ‘In the Heights’ Musical for His Career

In the Heights has played a huge role in the lives of the actors who created and originated in the original Broadway musical. Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda became an overnight superstar on Broadway. After the success of In the Heights and another Award-winning musical Hamilton, Miranda became a National Treasure. He was also credited for discovering the actors who performed in his musicals, including Anthony Ramos, who is now starring as Usnavi, a role that Miranda originated on Broadway.

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Atención: New ‘In The Heights’ Teaser Posters!

To celebrate the release of the trailer tomorrow, WB has released teaser posters for the anticipated musical film, In The Heights.

Based on the Award-winning Broadway musical of the same name, In the Heights fuses Lin-Manuel Miranda’s kinetic music and lyrics with director Jon M. Chu’s lively and authentic eye for storytelling to capture a world very much of its place, but universal in its experience.

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Hard NOC Life 202: Wakanda Vision

Shawn, Dominic, Keith, and Jamal return for an all-new episode of Hard NOC Life. This week, the fellas discuss the latest episode of WandaVision, news of a Wakanda series for Disney+, and what the latest DC Comics event reboot means for The Rock.

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Washington Heights Dances Center Stage in the Trailer for ‘In the Heights’

Lights up on Washington Heights. No matter how many times you’ve listened to the In the Heights Original Broadway Cast Recording, whether once or 96,000 times, it gets stuck in your head. And after you watch the trailer for the big-screen adaptation, you’ll be singing it from now ’til its release next summer and beyond.

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‘In The Heights’ Usnavi Toy Making Debut at San Diego Comic-Con!

It looks like Lin-Manuel Miranda won’t be the only one making his San Diego Comic-Con debut this year!

Entertainment Earth has revealed a new In The Heights pin mates wooden collectible item in the form of Miranda’s iconic Broadway character, Usnavi.

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Gold House Announces Annual A100 List of Influential Asians in American Culture

Just in time for AAPI Heritage Month, a collective of AAPI creatives and leaders, including  Bing Chen who I interviewed on the Southern Fried Asian podcast last year, known as Gold House have announced their second ever list of influential Asian and Asian American talent.

From actors and athletes to CEOs and political leaders, the A100 list demonstrates the role of the AAPI community in American society. Click here to check out the full list of 2019 honorees.

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#GoldOpen Teams Up with AMC Theatres to Promote New Majority

Back in October, when I interviewed Gold Open co-creator Bing Chen on the Southern Fried Asian podcast, he teased a new iteration of the movement established to promote groundbreaking Asian American films like GookCrazy Rich Asians, and Burning. This morning, they revealed what the next stage of Gold Open will look like. In addition to a partnership with AMC theaters to help “streamline group movie-going, theatre buyouts and bulk regular-price ticket purchasing through a ticket buying system,” the Gold Open system will expand and be applied to media from groups dubbed “the New Majority,” i.e., women, the African diaspora, Latinx communities, and LGBTQ+ artists.

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Crazy Witch Asians: Why Constance Wu & Kimiko Glenn Should Star in a ‘Wicked’ Movie

Tonight, NBC will be airing a Halloween special celebrating the 15th anniversary of the smash Broadway musical, Wicked.

So I figured what better opportunity to revisit this thread I started over two years ago when I fancast a bunch of Asian Americans as characters from the musical? Now that we live in a post-Crazy Rich Asians world, a movie adaptation of Wicked starring an all-Asian American cast is not as far-fetched as it seemed when I started the #AAWicked tag in 2016. Hell, even though Universal Pictures has already tapped Stephen Daldry to direct, Jon M. Chu might be the best person to bring an Asian American Wicked adaptation to life. His next project is bringing Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights to the big screen after all. Anyway, here’s who I’d cast in an all-Asian Wicked.

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Atención: You Can Audition to be ‘In The Heights’

Ten years ago, Lin-Manuel Miranda burst upon the scene with the Tony Award-winning musical In The Heights. That same year, Jon M. Chu directed his first feature film, Step Up 2 The Streets. A decade later, both have hit the Lotto with Hamilton and Crazy Rich Asians, vaunting them to A-List pop cultural icon status.

And in 2020, the two will team up to bring Heights to the silver screen! Alabanza!

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