Nora Lum, better known by her stage name Awkwafina, is an American rapper, actress and comedian who has quickly become one of the brightest stars in Hollywood. From her early career as a musician to her breakout role in Crazy Rich Asians, she has made a huge impact on the cinematic history. In this post, we will explore Awkwafina’s rise to fame and take a look at some of her recent projects and accomplishments outside acting and music. We’ll also discuss her influence on representation and diversity in Hollywood, relationships and personal life, philanthropy work and social activism, inspiring quotes, and what lies ahead for her in the future.
Background and Early Career
Awkwafina was born Nora Lum on July 20th 1988 in New York City. She studied Journalism at LaGuardia Community College before pursuing a career in music. Her debut EP Yellow Ranger was released in 2014 and received critical acclaim from publications such as Rolling Stone and SPIN Magazine. This led to numerous features in various hip-hop publications, and appearances alongside well-known artists like Snoop Dogg and The Lonely Island.
Breakthrough Role in Crazy Rich Asians
In 2018, Awkwafina landed her breakthrough role in the blockbuster movie Crazy Rich Asians where she starred opposite Constance Wu. The success of the film launched her into stardom and opened many doors for her in the industry. Since then, she has gone on to star in several movies including Ocean’s 8 (2018), Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) and The Farewell (2019). She also voiced the character of Sisu in Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon (2021).
Other Notable Projects
In addition to her feature films, Awkwafina has had major roles in TV series such as Tully & Kate Take Manhattan (2015) and Alternatino with Arturo Castro (2019). She also hosts her own show, ‘The Awkwafina Show’ on Comedy Central which was renewed for a second season in 2020. As a voice actor, she played the role of Bai Huang in the animated film LEGO Ninjago Movie (2017).
Famous Awards Received
Thanks to her incredible performance in Crazy Rich Asians, Awkwafina won two prestigious awards – MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance (2018) and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (2019). She was also nominated for Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture (2019) for Crazy Rich Asians.
Current Projects and What’s Next?
Currently, Awkwafina is set to appear in Marvel Studios’ Shang Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings (2021). In addition, she will be voicing Scuttle in Disneys’ upcoming remake of The Little Mermaid (2022). Apart from that, she is working on multiple other projects including Paramount+ series ‘Nowhere Man’, Netflix’s crime drama ‘American Boyband’, DC Comics’ Birds Of Prey spinoff ‘Birds of Prey 2’, Dreamworks Animation’s Spirit Untamed and STXfilms comedy Bad Asses 3D.
Impact on Representation and Diversity in Hollywood
Apart from being an incredibly talented artist, Awkwafina has been vocal about representing Asian Americans onscreen. With her success, she has provided much needed visibility to Asian American actors and actresses. She said “I think people have tried [to represent Asian-Americans] but it hasn’t been pushed through until recently because I think there are more platforms now… There are ways to reach out globally if you’re doing something right” This proves that even small steps can make a difference when it comes to inclusion and diversity.
Relationships and Personal Life
Awkwafina dated Michael De Nordenholz between 2017-2020. Outside that relationship, not much is known about her personal life since she prefers to keep it private. When asked about why she keeps certain aspects of her life off-limits from media attention, she stated “If I’m ever gonna talk about my relationships or stuff like that publicly… it would probably just come up naturally”.
Accomplishments Outside Acting/Music Careers
Apart from acting and music careers, Awkwafina is highly educated. She graduated from LaGuardia Community College with high honors after studying journalism. Additionally, she wrote a book called ‘Sqworm Takes A Bite Out Of The Big Apple’ published by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers back in 2011.
Philanthropy Work and Social Activism
Awkwafina is actively involved in charity work related to education access and racial justice. Through her foundation “Awk To School”, she provides financial assistance to underprivileged students. Furthermore, during Covid-19 pandemic she donated $100,000 to support healthcare workers on the frontline. Additionally, she co-founded collective @1000doors which offers services to connect minority creatives with opportunities within entertainment industry.
Throughout her journey towards stardom, Awkwafina has shared some inspirational words which continues to motivate many across the globe. Some famous examples include:
- “People told me no so often I thought maybe they were right.”
- “Your dreams don’t need permission from anyone else. They only need permission from yourself.”
- “If someone tells you no, don’t get discouraged. Don’t give up either — use that energy to prove them wrong.”
It is evident that Awkwafina has made great strides in the entertainment industry over the past few years thanks to her sheer talent and hard work. With more exciting projects lined up for 2021 onwards, fans around the world eagerly await what lies ahead for this rising star. Hopefully, these successes will inspire others to follow their dreams despite any obstacles that might stand in their way.