Brow Beat

What if James Corden, Not Constance Wu, Was the Star of Crazy Rich Asians?

Don’t worry, this time it’s not a Hollywood whitewashing situation.

Henry Golding’s ascent to superstardom over the course of just a couple of months has been fascinating to watch. First, he had a breakout role in Crazy Rich Asians as gallant heartthrob Nick Young, followed by a part in Paul Feig’s delightfully bonkers A Simple Favor. And he already has his next two projects lined up: Next year, he’ll play the lead in Hong Khaou’s Monsoon, and then he’ll star alongside Emilia Clarke in a holiday romance, again directed by Feig. That’s great news for Golding, but not such great news for James Corden, who encountered an unexpected obstacle to getting an interview with the newly minted movie star on The Late Late Show: his mother.

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In a behind-the-scenes sketch, Corden tries to persuade Michelle Yeoh, who played Golding’s mom in Crazy Rich Asians, to let her “son” be on the show. The whole thing amounts to a parody of the movie as a whole, with Corden as a stand-in for Constance Wu’s character, right down to making dumplings and enduring Yeoh’s withering glares. Corden does eventually win that interview, of course, but only after taking an impassioned stance that echoes Crazy Rich Asians’ climactic mahjong scene.

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The whole thing is a little absurd, but it’s nice to see the actors really leaning into their roles in this context, especially Golding making puppy dog eyes in the final “proposal” scene. As for Yeoh, well, she’s so talented that she could win an award simply for the face she makes as she tosses Corden’s proffered gift, an autographed DVD of Peter Rabbit, into the trash.

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