Awkwafina Takes An Impressive Dramatic Turn In “The Farewell”

“Based on an actual lie” is a very bold — and intriguing — tagline for a film and The Farewell promises to deliver. It comes from writer and director Lulu Wang and stars Awkwafina, the breakout star of Crazy Rich Asians and Ocean’s 8. In this project, the performer moves from comedy to drama with empathy and ease.

The film grapples with illness, death, family, culture clash, and more. Right from the outset, the script and the premise were so gripping that the cast was totally enthralled by the project, which came through in a huge amount of dedication.

“When I got the script, I wanted … I needed to do this movie,” Awkwafina told Vox. “I didn’t care if it was drama, I didn’t care what it was — it felt like it just came to me in an auspicious way. So I studied really hard. Six-hour days of just drilling it in, getting the accent right. It meant that much to me. I really wanted to work for a character like that.”

You can see the whole trailer here:

Awkwafina is a charismatic, hugely talented performer — and The Farewell is the perfect vehicle to show her off in a new, dramatic light. Moving, cathartic, and close to the bone, it’s a film worth seeking out.