Food is featured throughout Crazy Rich Asians — the biggest rom-com in nearly a decade — in several key scenes, including an early moment in the film where the protagonist Rachel (played by Constance Wu) and her boyfriend Nick (Henry Golding) meet up with some friends for dinner after they land in Singapore. The couple ambles through the Newton Food Centre, a famed outdoor market, collecting satays and bowls of laksa curry from the various hawker stalls, and it’s clear that Nick is very comfortable ordering from the vendors. This is a moment when the audience starts to understand how Nick’s life in Singapore is very different from the one he lives back in America.
Warner Bros., the studio that made Crazy Rich Asians, just released this behind-the-scenes featurette about the filming of that sequence, with insights from the cast and crew. “The thing that we think about, when we think about Asia, is street food,” says director Jon M. Chu. “You have all walks of life, all cultures, eating with each other.” The night market dinner shows two worlds colliding in an exciting, seemingly harmonious way, but later in the film, another big food scene — the dumpling standoff — uses food to highlight the tension between Rachel and Nick’s family.
Jon M. Chu is especially well-suited to direct a film about the intersection of food and family, since his dad, Lawrence, runs Chef Chu’s, a 48-year-old restaurant in Palo Alto that is frequented by celebrities and Silicon Valley heavy-hitters. Two weeks before the film opened, the director held a special lunch at his family’s restaurant to celebrate the release of Crazy Rich Asians, and Golding and Wu were both in attendance. “I, literally, in this space had my fifth birthday, my eighth birthday, my 12th birthday,” Chu said during the meal. “I got engaged here.”
• Crazy Rich Asians Food [YouTube]
• The Dumpling Table in ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Is Where Two Worlds Collide [E]
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