If you’ve ever wanted BD Wong to play your TV dad (Special Agent George Huang is a voice of reason in a world of madness, okay?!), you’ll have to get in line behind Awkwafina, who scooped up the fan-favorite actor to play the role of her father in season 2 of her comedy series Awkwafina is Nora From Queens. With season 2 coming out on Comedy Central on August 18, SheKnows’ Video VP Reshma Gopaldas spoke with Awkwafina and Wong to find out how well this father-daughter duo really knows each other — and, well, you can watch above for how well that works out.
Growing up Asian-American, both Wong and Awkwafina have experienced micro-aggressions and feelings of “otherness,” as the Nora From Queens star puts it, from white American culture — and, as a result, both stars have been unable to ignore how special it feels to get to make a show about an Asian-American family that lets them be funny, silly, and so much more than a collection of trauma or struggle with identity.
“Being an Asian-American or any dash-American in this country, your entire life you face some aspect of micro-aggressions some aspect of otherness,” Awkwafina shared with Gopaldas. “I think it informs a lot about our collective identity…What I feel at the end of the day is there was more awareness about the topic than ever before. Micro-aggressions and those things that you kind of grow up with are generally a very individual experience.”
Stepping into the world Awkwafina had created on Nora From Queens, Wong says the laughter and irreverence around the central Asian-American family is a quiet revolution: “Without even trying to do anything specific, the existence of such a show that features Asian-Americans and which celebrates it or is positive-based or has laughter in it and comedy is a coping mechanism for people that are kind of going through this thing as a community.”
With wide-ranging roles in films like glitzy comedy Crazy Rich Asian, tearjerker The Farewell, and Disney’s Raya And The Last Dragon, Awkwafina has proven her versatility and broad appeal time and time again, and she’s just getting started. Catch her and Wong in the new season of Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens airing on Comedy Central starting August 18 at 10 p.m. ET.
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Before you go, click here to see movies & TV shows that highlight Southeast Asian culture.