Monday, February 26, 2024

7 Things: An Evening with Stephanie Hsu

I had the opportunity to attend an event with Stephanie Hsu. Here are seven things she talked about.
1. Hsu talked about how picking up a job in college working on a permaculture farm taught her a lot about understanding the environment and the context you are working in, rather than just coming in and plopping down the seeds you want.
2. She talked about how an industry person had told her "Everything Everywhere All at Once" was a silly title, that was too long, and it was a niche movie that very few people would see. 
3. She talked about how she really enjoyed working with people who were wonderful, and that being on a set that made things like sustainability part of their ethos has been something she is carrying forward as she produces her own show. 
4. She talked about visiting Copenhagen and being impressed with how the city was designed, and the cultural ethos, and also the practice of regularly jumping into the water. (She was advised that our local waterways were perhaps not the best choice for that.)
5. Hsu talked about working on a movie that was so specific and felt so much like the story she had been dying to tell was wonderful. But that she had not expected how wonderful it was to hear from others about how much it meant to them, and to feel like that was a wonderful feedback loop to be in. 
6. She talked about how she had realized a lot of the things society had told her about Asian Americans was not factual, or based on erroneous assumptions. And so she was working on unlearning and challenging those.
7. She was asked about role models in media she had growing up as a Chinese, American and she said there weren't really many, though she did mention Lucy Liu and Sandra Oh. But she noted there has been change, that she got to be on "Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" and get a role in a historical that didn't feel embarrassing. She also mentioned an Asian American extra on the show, thanked her, because she was pretty sure Hsu's role led to them considering an Asian American extra for a historical show. And she told some aspiring actors in the audience, and they haven't met you yet, so imagine what can happen.