This year marks the 30th anniversary of The Joy Luck Club, the seminal Asian American film based on Amy Tan’s bestselling book. Thirty years later, the four of the film gathered on Hollywood Blvd yesterday to celebrate Ming-Na Wen’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The Joy Luck Club was Ming-Na’s first major role. And what a career it’s been since. She’s officially a Disney Legend, one of the few artists who’s part of the Star Wars Universe, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the DC Universe. And she did all of this while keeping her name, a decision that has now taken on new meaning.
Understandably, when she was just starting out, Ming-Na did consider using an anglicised name out of worry that building a career in Hollywood with a Chinese name might limit her opportunities. Ultimately she decided not to make the change and now that name, Ming-Na Wen, has a permanent place at one of Hollywood’s most well-known landmarks. As she told Variety:
“I have to take myself out of it and see the bigger picture of what this really means. If someone is walking over that star and they see it’s an Asian American name, a Chinese name, what does that represent? How can it inspire others?”
It represents belonging. It represents possibility. It represents a door that she held open so that others might see themselves walking through. A fitting reminder on the last day of Asian Heritage and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
Yours in gossip,