I’ve had a bad cold for a week now and maybe it’s because I’m “vulnerable”, as Duana described it, but tears sprung to my eyes on Friday when I saw that Ali Wong had interviewed Lana Condor for Interview. It’s not just because they have great rapport. And it’s not only because, of course, they spend much of their time talking about food (on brand). And this quote from Ali cracked me up:
“For the longest time, I just want to be asked what’s in my bag. I want to be asked what kind of lip gloss I use. I want to answer the most basic-ass questions where I am reduced to my beauty and I don’t want to be asked about my thoughts—which is such a privilege, right? But then I was like, I am dying to be asked what my skin care routine is.”
But the fact that their conversation was happening at all, documented in the pages of a major magazine, two Asian American women speaking to each other in English on this kind of platform – it almost didn’t matter to me what they were actually talking about. Because when I was growing up, and even just a decade ago, this would have been so rare, I wouldn’t even imagine it.
I know for some, it’s probably not a big deal. Maybe one day it won’t be a big deal. But for now, it’s remarkable enough for some of us at least to notice and to be moved by it.
On a personal note then, last week I was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award (our version of the Emmys and Oscars combined) for Best Host, Talk Show or Entertainment News for ETALK PRESENTS: Coming Home with Sandra Oh, the half-hour special I hosted back in April 2019 after I interviewed Sandra in Ottawa last year. On a pure ego level, of course it’s exciting to front a program that’s getting this kind of recognition. But if you’ll believe me, it’s not just the narcissism, it’s also what Sandra and I shared in those moments; as two Asian Canadian women from a certain generation, there weren’t a lot of opportunities for an East Asian artist to be interviewed by an East Asian member of the media in English on a national level. In fact, I never saw it. So for us to maybe be the first for other people, younger people, who might have similar aspirations, and to be acknowledged by the Canadian Academy, I can’t pretend it’s not a big deal.
Unlike award season in America, we don’t “campaign” here for CSAs. That said, if you would like to treat this post as the equivalent of me buying a billboard on Sunset Boulevard, or on the side of a bus, actively thirsting for the trophy, I suppose I can’t deny it.
Click here to read Ali Wong’s interview with Lana Condor for Interview. And attached – Ali in an adorable outfit at the Onward premiere last week.
Yours in gossip,