Asian American representation in media isn't where it should be today. The NBC News interview with the To All the Boys: Always and Forever dive into their Asian American experiences. Lana Condor, Janel Parrish, Anna Cathcart, and Ross Butler recalls growing up in various family dynamics and their relationship with their identities. They also shared who their role models are that showed them representation is possible.
Janel Parrish mentions Lea Salonga as someone she looks up to as a theater fan. She remembers saying, "Oh she looks like me". While Lana and Anna both agreed it was Brenda Song who they admired because "she was on a popular Disney show and looked like us". Her character had nothing to do with her being Asian, but it was more normalized in the show. Ross mentions that Jackie Chan was a big influence especially on Shanghai Noon. It's the first introduction where he saw an "Asian guy in the Wild West being funny"...and something I could culturally attach to.
They talk about how much love they have for their cultures, but also appreciative they are able to share it. The cast also shared their love for the Asian cuisine that in its self is its own story. All of them are huge foodies! They are the role models now in mainstream media for young Asian Americans. The franchise has shown that our story is worth telling.
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Cover Photo Credit: To All the Boys: Always and Forever Facebook