6 things you did not know about Crazy Rich Asians

It has been 25 years since Hollywood produced a film with an all Asian cast

By Charmaine Jacob

October 5 2018

Based on Kevin Kwan's best-selling novel, Crazy Rich Asians is currently at the No. 1 spot on the US box-office list. Apart from London and Malaysia, segments of the movie were filmed in Singapore too. From Gardens by the Bay to CHIJMES, the iconic locations in Singapore will surely make you feel proud to see your country on the big screen. If you have not seen the movie yet, it is definitely worth a watch. If you have, here are 6 facts about the movie that you might not have known! 

The emerald engagement ring belongs to Michelle Yeoh

Anyone who knows the story of Crazy Rich Asians would probably already guess that a stunning and extravagant engagement ring would definitely be used by Nick Young (Henry Golding) as he proposes to Rachel Chu (Constance Wu). However, nobody would have expected the beauty and elegance that came with the emerald engagement ring Nick gave to Rachel, would have once belonged to his wealthy mother Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh). 

The ring that was originally designed by the production team for the movie was rejected by Michelle as it looked underwhelming and was not the perfect fit for the part. Michelle thus resorted into turning to her own jewellery box and picking out an emerald ring that she had already owned. It is also said that when Director Jon M. Chu looked at the ring, he immediately knew that it was the one. 

Photo Credit: Instagram @michelleyeoh_official

Director of Crazy Rich Asians personally wrote a letter to Coldplay, requesting to use 'Yellow' in the movie

The word ‘yellow’ has a negative connotation attached to it when it is used as a racial slur against Asians. Jon felt that instead of shunning away from what the world thought of Asians, it was important to embrace it. Despite the possibility of being misunderstood and heavily criticised by audiences and critics, Jon wanted Coldplay’s 2000 hit Yellow to be featured in the movie. 

Although he was initially denied permission from using the song, he wrote a personal letter to Chris Martin and the other members of the band. Jon wrote about what the word ‘Yellow’ means to him and how he was often offended by the term. Within 24 hours, he managed to get the permission to create a Chinese language cover of the song. The version of the song was then sung by former Voice contestant, Katherine Ho. 

The last Hollywood movie with an all-Asian cast was produced 25 years ago

The Predecessor of Crazy Rich Asians was the 1993 film, Joy Luck Club. Similarly, the movie which was based on a best-selling novel with the same name, had an Asian director, Wayne Wang, and an Asian-American lead actress, Ming-Na Wen. The film that was set in San Francisco tells the story of 4 Chinese-American women and the struggles their Chinese-born mothers faced before moving to America. The cast of Joy Luck Club was extremely supportive and encouraging of the new film, saying that it could bring new light and better representation of Asian Americans in the America. 

Photo Credit: Instagram @therealkarawang

Crazy Rich Asians is Henry Golding’s first on-screen film role

Known on screen as Nick Young, the wealthy and kind hearted bachelor in the movie, Crazy Rich Asians is Henry Golding’s first acting role. Well known for his roles as a travel host on National Geographic and the Discovery Channel, Golding lives in Singapore and was recommended by an accountant whom he met 5 years ago, to be the right guy for the role. 

Photo Credit: Instagram @Henrygolding

The movie almost went straight to Netflix 

When motion picture and entertainment company Warner Bros. offered to make the film, movie streaming giant Netflix came back with a counteroffer. Although Netflix offered directors and producers to have full creative control, a guaranteed trilogy and a seven-figure payout to stakeholders, Warner Bros. was eventually chosen to make the film. This was mainly due to the fact that the goal of the movie was to portray Westernised-Asians in a theatrical film setting. 

The Young mansion was shot in Kuala Lumpur 

Being a small country, it was a tedious task for the crew of Crazy Rich Asians to find a suitable house that will be able to portray the wealth and class that was associated with the Young family. Hence, the cast and crew headed to Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur to find a large and affordable setting for the story. 

Carcosa Seri Negara was formally the official residences of the British High Commissioner in Malaya, before it became a boutique hotel till 2015. 

Photo Credit: Instagram @Ilynnlim23