Why Courtney From The Angry Birds Movie 2 Sounds So Familiar

While her movie appearances and voiceovers have certainly included big-budget people-pleasers, Awkwafina has also been critically acclaimed for her turn in 2019’s “The Farewell,” an independent film in Mandarin Chinese and English that won her a number of Best Actress awards, including a 2020 Golden Globe — making her the first Asian-American actress to receive that honor (via The New York Times). The dramedy, about a Chinese family that won’t tell its matriarch that she has gotten a cancer diagnosis, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and then opened in a limited fashion with a higher per-theater average than “Avengers: Endgame,” which is saying something (via Insider). Awkwafina plays Billi, the protagonist and granddaughter of the dying woman.

Awkwafina has said this was a challenging role for her, as she had to cry on film, speak in Chinese, a language she wasn’t fluent in, and also go to China. Yet it was also very personal, as a result of her relationship with her grandmother. “I was raised by her from the time my mom passed away. When I saw the script, I cried. I never thought I’d see a movie like it, one that was very personal to me,” she told Refinery29. She also said she had doubts regarding her identity: She is both Chinese and Korean. “Then there’s a whole other personal journey that’s like, ‘Am I Asian enough? Am I American enough? That was a very important emotion to carry though the movie,” she said. “I was very concerned with shallow things like crying, my Chinese, my drama acting. But all that stuff goes out the window when you’re there and you’re feeling it.”

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