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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Cinema in Noir: The Absence of Asian Romance in American Films and a Q&A with "Sleepy Hollow" Star Orlando Jones

Lucy Liu
There's been a lot of hot button topics swirling around cyberspace recently, and we discussed a few of them on toady's "Cinema in Noir.

But first, former film critic and self-proclaimed Trekkie, Brandon Fibbs, calls in to the show to rave about Star Trek Into Darkness, which is now the number one movie at the box office. So if you're a fan of the franchise or the new movie, you'll definitely want to tune in early in the show for that. 

After that, we move right into two ongoing debates--Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone and the possibility of Michael B. Jordan (whose newest film, Fruitvale, has received high praise) as The Human Torch in the upcoming Fantastic Four movie. 

You might remember that in a previous post and episode "Cinema in Noir," certain folks weren't taking too kindly to the idea of Jordan as the hot character. You can read his response to the speculation in a recent interview here

He basically tells his naysayers to STFU, and I'll have to second that. 

As for this nonstop backlash against Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone, it's definitely getting tired. I can only imagine the overwhelming fatigue and hurt Saldana must feel from having to defend her casting. But she has certainly not won over any of her naysayers with her newest comments in a recent interview posted on Clutch Magazine Online. Read it here. She should probably find a way to avoid these discussions in future interviews, if possible. 

Orlando Jones "Sleepy Hollow" promo
Midway through the show we talk to Orlando Jones, who you might know as the magazine salesman in Office Space, "MADtv," Drumline, etc. He's talks about his new TV show, "Sleepy Hollow" (an update on the classic story, about which I'm really excited) and web series "Tainted Love." He's hilarious to talk to, so you don't want to miss this interview. He even explains his now infamous Orlando Jones as Madea skit, which you can watch here

Lastly, we discuss "Elementary" star Lucy Liu's comments about the challenges she's faced as an Asian American actress in Hollywood. In a recent interview with Net-A-Porter Magazine, she says the following: “I wish people wouldn't just see me as the Asian girl who beats everyone up, or the Asian girl with no emotion. 'Well, she's too Asian', or, ‘She's too American’. I kind of got pushed out of both categories. It's a very strange place to be. You're not Asian enough and then you're not American enough, so it gets really frustrating.” She says she receives the following remarks in Hollywood: "'Well, she's too Asian', or, ‘She's too American’. I kind of got pushed out of both categories. It's a very strange place to be. You're not Asian enough and then you're not American enough, so it gets really frustrating.” 

You can read the full cover story here.

This is certainly not an obstacle we haven't heard before, but it frustrating that an actress of Liu's talent, and one who has been working in the industry for more than twenty years, still faces these challenges. On the show this led to a discussion on the absence of Asian romance and Asian dramas on screen (that don't involve martial arts or action of any kind). There are sadly few and far between. 

Catch a replay of today's entire episode here (click on the episode titled "Q&A with Orlando Jones and Asian Romance"). Share your comments below!

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