Monday, July 22, 2024

Fresh Off the Relationship: “Hustlers” Star Constance Wu Reveals Why She Was So Disappointed Over TV Show’s Renewal Last Spring


We had the pleasure this Oscar season of meeting a lot of people we’d never known before but admired their work. At a very amiable event for “Hustlers,” the $100 million sensation, at New York’s MoMA, I finally got to talk to Constance Wu. (This was the same event where director Lorene Scafaria told me she wanted to make a “Hustlers” musical for Broadway.)

Constance stars in “Hustlers” with Jennifer Lopez and Keke Palmer, and previously was in the smash hit “Crazy Rich Asians.” She is petite and cute, but don’t let that fool you. She is smart and funny, too.

There was only one thing I wanted to ask this talented actress: why had she Tweeted her disappointment last May when her TV hit, “Fresh Off the Boat,” was renewed for a sixth and final season?

She was completely forthcoming, no hemming or hawing.  Refreshing. “I know everyone hates me now, but I love Fresh off the Boat. I didn’t mean anything against the people there. But I will tell you what happened. I was going to do a play in London. I had a boyfriend there, and was looking forward to being with him. But when the show was renewed, that killed the opportunity. And the relationship.”

Constance wouldn’t tell me the name of the play because someone else signed for it after she dropped out. And the boyfriend? “It doesn’t matter now,” she said.

She got a lot of flack for her Tweets that day in May. Since then, ABC cancelled “Fresh off the Boat.” It’s par for the course in TV land, and six seasons are a lot.

So now what? “Tell everyone in New York I want to do Shakespeare in the Park. I want to do theater. It’s really important.” Constance says she’s had her manager advance the idea, but if Public Theater grand poobah Oskar Eustis is reading this, she is serious.

In the meantime, Wu waits to see how the “Crazy Rich Asians” sequel develops (can you imagine that couple having a baby or twins, and the crazy spending and celebrating?). Plus she’s got at least one indie film in the can for release in 2020. I see big things for her– and also for Randall Park, her “Boat” co-star. So stay tuned…

PS Everyone’s asking about Jennifer Lopez’s chances at a nomination for Best Supporting Actress. I’d say they’re pretty good. Laura Dern is in the lead, for Marriage Story. Florence Pugh is great in Little Women. Kathy Bates makes a star turn in “Richard Jewell.” Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie are the bedrock of “Bombshell.” JLo? She’s the X factor, and we never ever count her out.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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