A rising star! Stephanie Hsu earned her first Oscar nomination for her performance in the 2022 comedy-drama Everything Everywhere All at Once.
Despite the film’s massive success, Hsu didn’t know if there was a place for her in mainstream media when she began her acting career.
“I started in experimental theater and comedy. I never wanted an agent, never wanted to do commercial stuff,” the California native told Deadline in December 2022. “Truth be told, I think I was really afraid to sell out, because at that time there was no Crazy Rich Asians. I was one of two Asian people in my acting class, and then one of maybe less than 10 people of color in the whole department. We weren’t having the conversations we’re having now.”
Hsu’s idea of what might be possible for her began to change when she met Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert — the writing/directing duo behind Everything Everywhere All at Once — while guest starring on an episode of Nora From Queens in 2019.
“We fell deeply in love with each other,” she shared, noting that she moved to Los Angeles to continue working with the pair. “I think the biggest thing I feel grateful for, especially with the success of Everything Everywhere, is that I’ve managed to do this whole thing simply by following people that I love working with. Because I didn’t see many people like me, and didn’t see a path for myself, I’ve just been bushwhacking with the desire just to make things I’m really passionate about.”
The Girl Code alum plays both Joy Wang and Jobu Tupaki in the absurdist film, which hit theaters in March 2022. In addition to an Oscar nod for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Hsu also earned Screen Actors Guild and Critics’ Choice nominations for her performance. Her costars Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Lee Curtis and Ke Huy Quan are also up for Oscars this awards season.
“I don’t take any of it for granted because we recognize how big of a bite it is to chew and for people to really get behind,” Hsu told The Wrap of the movie’s success during a January 2023 interview. “Even though it’s gotten all flashy and buzzy, we still are very much underdogs, just in the spirit of how we made the film and who we are. So, it just means so much when people get excited about it.”
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