Everything to Know About Constance Wu Amid Her Fresh Off the Boat Twitter Backlash
Actress Constance Wu made headlines this week after she responded rather unhappily to news that her ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat had been renewed for another season.
Wu, who has starred as Huang family matriarch Jessica since the show’s premiere in 2015, cryptically tweeted, “So upset right now that I’m literally crying. Ugh. F-.”
Within the hour, she tweeted again, writing, “F—— hell.”
When a Twitter user expressed well wishes to Wu, writing, “Congrats on your renewal! Great news :),” the actress swiftly responded: “No it’s not.” (Her reply has since been deleted.)
Wu, 37, later issued a lengthy statement clarifying her reaction, and said she was not upset the show was renewed, but rather that its renewal meant she had to give up another project was “really passionate about.”
“I understand how that could feel interconnected and could get muddled,” she wrote. “So here is me unmuddling it with my truth: FOTB is a great show that I’m proud of and that I enjoy. I’ve gotten to fully explore my character and I know her like the back of my hand. So playing Jessica is fun and easy and pleasant. I get to work with a kind and pleasant cast/crew. Which makes it all quite enjoyable — so obviously I don’t dislike doing a show that is fun and easy and pleasant.”
Wu then explained that she was looking for “artistic challenge over comfort and ease.”
Here’s everything you need to know about the star.
She rose to movie stardom in Crazy Rich Asians
Though Fresh Off the Boat served as her big break, Wu burst onto the scene as a movie star this summer when she played lead character Rachel Chu in the hit romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians.
The film was the first major Hollywood production in 25 years to star an all-Asian cast, something Wu told PEOPLE in August she was thrilled to see.
“I loved the story and thought, ‘I could play this.’ But it seemed impossible,” she said. “I had never seen an Asian-American woman be the leading role in a movie or saw a face that looked even close to mine that Hollywood deemed worthy of its own fairy-tale story.”
The role, which Wu said on Twitter was her first role in a studio film, ultimately earned her a Golden Globe nomination for best performance by an actress in a motion picture – musical or comedy.
She was raised in Virginia by Taiwanese immigrants
Wu was raised in Richmond and told the New York Times in 2015 that her family wound up there after her dad got a job as a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University teaching biology and genetics.
“My dad has been obsessed with science his whole life,” she said. “Both my paternal grandparents were illiterate bamboo farmers, so he really worked his way up and then got a Ph.D., full ride and everything, from universities in America.”
She got her start on TV – but almost quit Hollywood
Before she was cast in Fresh Off the Boat, Wu appeared in various stints on TV shows like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, One Life to Live, Torchwood, Covert Affairs, Franklin & Bash, Children’s Hospital and Royal Pains.
Prior to that, however, Wu nearly quit acting altogether, stopping for a bit to study psycholinguistics.
The star told Vulture in 2016, however, that her career path “just didn’t feel right.”
“Then I went back [to acting] and struggled really hard. About a couple of years before I got Fresh Off the Boat, I was really broke. I was in tens of thousands of dollars in debt: credit card. Car. Personal. Student loans. I paid for my college all myself. I didn’t have a boyfriend. I was really alone and lonely.”
TIME’s Most Influential Person
Wu was named to TIME’s 100 Most Influential People list in 2017, and received a written tribute from Girls star Lena Dunham.
“On the road with her for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, I was not only able to access a glint of Constance’s humor (the girl is very wicked) but also witness her giving nature, her monstrously big heart, her passion for change and the careful way she lets everyone around her share the challenges of their own identity,” Dunham raved.
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