In just a few days, Ali Wong will be debuting her first film on Netflix, Always Be My Maybe. At The Unpublishables, we were already looking forward to seeing anything from Ali, but after watching the trailer last week, we are now truly excited not just to see this film but for it to be a huge success.
In case you haven’t seen it yet, here is the trailer and my excited chat below with fellow The Unpublishables founder Doretta Lau.
MPL: Okay, I really wonder how Ali can live with herself: she has a hottie husband at home
And she gets to kiss 3 hot guys in this film
And I count Randall as a low-key hottie
DL: Randall is totally a hottie
Anyone who denies that needs to get their eyes checked.
MPL: Ali is living the life! The dream!
DL: She’s the Asian American entertainment goddess I’ve been waiting my entire life to see.
She’s funny as fuck.
MPL: It’s so easy to root for her
Because she seems so familiar
I have a cousin just like her
I mean, I’m sure everyone has
or a sister
DL: She’s totally family!
MPL: She’s my cousin who will show everyone the blackhead on her back during CNY dinner
And ask for help popping it
DL: But at the same time I know she smells good.
Like she’s not gross in any way. Just real.
MPL: Yeah my cousin practices good hygiene but she’s just like LET’S DO THIS SHIT
DL: Live life!
MPL: I really hope the film is a success
It’s really what Asian Americans need
DL: I’m going to be relentless about talking about this film on social media and in person.
MPL: If you’re talking about representation–this really reflects the lives of Asians Americans
DL: It reflects the lives of Asian Americans who don’t hate themselves.
MPL: Where everything feels truly real rather than IN YOUR FACE DIVERSITY
DL: Diversity is code for “let’s perform for white audiences.”
This is for us by us, like FUBU to the max.
MPL: Yes, totally
And I mean, casting Keanu!
That’s totally an Asian in-joke
DL: The Keanu casting is a thing of genius.
And has everyone shouting once again KEANU IS ASIAN.
MPL: And it wouldn’t have worked with any other dude
DL: No, there’s no one else.
Anyone else and we’d be like, oh great another foray into dating white men.
MPL: Yeah exactly
DL: This way we get to explore that issue in this film, without feeling extremely sad that we can’t have nice things.
MPL: Yeah, definitely. It’s a deliberate choice in casting a dude who isn’t exactly white
She could’ve made this so typical
And cast…I dunno…who is age appropriate?
Any one of the Chrises
But all the choices in the actors were so well thought-out
DL: Can you imagine the outrage if it had been Chris Pratt?
Asian America would have burned Twitter to the ground.
Except for the Asian American women who only date white dudes.
MPL: I don’t know, man
I think the reaction would’ve just been like “Well, that’s normal”
But as a lawful evil, I’m obligated to hate people
And not think highly of their motivations or intelligence
DL: Oh you’re right, we would have just thought, Hollywood movie.
I’m a Pollyanna. I think people are awesome until they do something that requires me to put them in my burn book and devise a long con arc of vengeance.
MPL: I also thought Daniel Dae Kim was perfect
DL: I’m so glad for him to have a role where he gets to speak a lot.
On Lost he just wandered around looking hot.
MPL: He totally looks like the kind of high-achieving Asian guy that everyone wants
Holy crap, he’s 50!
DL: I went to high school with several guys just like that.
But we’re not 50 haha.
He’s looking so great.
Ali’s the youngest person in the main cast I think.
MPL: I was going to say, he just screams Ivy League
and I looked him up and he went to Haverford
This is like finding out Andrew Yang went to Brown
DL: I’ve told you my theory of why Andrew Yang went to Brown. It’s because he went to Exeter and you know all the other dudes were fourth generation legacies at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, thereby taking up all the slots.
MPL: I remember!
DL: The dangers of going to a good prep school.
MPL: And I just looked up Randall because I was so sure he went to a West Coast school
and yup, UCLA
DL: Did he and Ali go to college together?
MPL: He’s my age, so I don’t think so
DL: They’re both UCLA grads. I love that she was an Asian American Studies major.
MPL: He did his MFA in it!
that’s a lot of schooling
DL: This is the best way to use that degree.
Ah, he’s a fellow MFAsian haha.
MPL: I know Keanu didn’t go to university
DL: He went to the school of Bill and Ted.
And for that we are thankful.
He took the red pill
But I do notice that Canadian university grads don’t seem so marked by their schools
We’re not about school pride in Canada.
MPL: Yeah, those who have school pride are strange
DL: Most of us go to the closest one and commute if we’re suburban.
MPL: I remember my Harvard grad friend was pressured to attend their school alumni chapter get togethers in Hong Kong
And he asked me if U of T ever held them
and I was like, I’m pretty sure none of us want to see each other again
DL: I’ve never gone to a Columbia or UBC gathering in Hong Kong and I’m pretty sure there are a million UBC grads working in Hong Kong.
MPL: American school spirit is so strange
Remember how [redacted] used to come by Warner offices to mooch off our food
And he used to talk all the time about going to Berkeley
DL: Columbia sent out a breakdown of the graduates living in Hong Kong and there’s something like 0.3 percent who attended the School of the Arts and I’m pretty sure I know all of them.
Haha there is a media person who worked in Hong Kong who would bring up her Harvard degree in every sentence.
Maybe it would be different if I went to a prestigious school
DL: It’s not!
MPL: But with that said, Ali manages to talk about her Harvard husband in the perfect way
He’s like a trophy
Miss Hong Kong
DL: She knows his value haha.
A dolphin of perfection.
MPL: I really hope there is a premiere
is there one?
Doretta Lau: I think I saw pictures on Instagram.
MPL: I want to see Ali wearing a fabulous dress surrounded by her hot men
DL: Oh those photos exist.
[Ed: They do!]
View this post on Instagram
What a fun night to celebrate a special movie. Hope you’ll see #alwaysbemymaybe and support these talented artists, not just because of what it represents, but because it’s a damn fine film. Proud to be a small part of it. In theaters on May 29 and on @netflix, starting May 31.
DL: It’s a sequin dress and it’s fucking hot.
And she has a photo with each of the leading men.
I follow her on Insta. I’m going to see her on her Milk and Money tour.
I had no idea they filmed in Vancouver last year.
If I hadn’t been lying on the floor sad about my dad I would have wandered around the city trying to befriend her.
ALI, COME HANG OUT WITH ME AND DRINK ALMOND MATCHA LATTES.
MPL: Harry Shum showed up
DL: He needs justice for being cut out of CRA.
MPL: Where is Steven Yeun
That’s the cutie I want to see
He and Randall need to play brothers
DL: Steven Yeun is hopefully on set somewhere being hot.
And so we can luxuriate in his hotness next year on screen.
MPL: Those pics make me happy
It says a lot that in the group pics at the premiere
Everyone looks like they genuinely like each other
DL: Oh yes, you can tell it was a good collaboration.
Of people who respected each other.
Also can I just say that Ali made great character naming choices? Sasha Tran is such a hot Asian American girl name.
MPL: Yes, Sasha Tran is that girl in school who had the nice pens
And her mom always bought her nice hair accessories
DL: And then she grew up to be a celebrity chef.
Because she was loved and she was organized.
MPL: She actually liked playing piano
DL: Yes you know someone that focused loved it all. What a great character.
To have passion but also to be able to critique the entire thing.
I think the most successful comedies feature a lawful character versus a chaotic one.
Sasha’s the lawful and Marcus is the chaotic.
MPL: Yes, very true
DL: Usually the man in a rom com is the lawful.
So this is a subversion of the trope.
MPL: Yes! Ali’s stylist for the premiere is an Asian person
DL: Asian American stars really need to have Asian stylists and makeup artists.
I feel sad whenever I see Lucy Liu and Sandra Oh on a red carpet.
They’re being done so wrong.
MPL: I’d hire whoever works at Vogue China or Vogue Korea
[Ed. A sample cover is below]
DL: It’s not good when I look better because an Asian Tom Ford salesperson sold me the right foundation match.
[Ed: here is pictorial proof of Doretta wearing her Tom Ford foundation at the Amazon First Novel Award event, where she was one of the judges]
Ali Wong is great and her projects should be supported.
Randall Park is low-key hot.
Tom Ford Beauty is amazing.
Vogue China and Vogue Korea have gorgeous editorials.
Always Be My Maybe looks like it’s going to be awesome!