Alice Wu: The New Queer Rom-Com



I grew up in North Carolina at no another gay person like in life in a new inside that I had attraction a man but I also firmly rationally just reasonably believe I would just never tell anybody for the rest of my life. I totally totally the same and be. I sometimes feel like that. Plays into what you just talked about that notion of being like you do feel alone because all around you. You're seeing signifier of people started to date when you already have that kind of charade setup you're ready used to having to be date boys and like yes. This is great it was like I don't know any difference like I got to date a girl on compare so somewhere in my head. I thought there's just probably something a little like not even aware the gay just somehow like everyone else is hearing one song the I do not here and I just have to dance as if I understand that song even though I don't know what the beat is and I don't know what the melodies is. I don't know you know like I'm just trying to like not stick out for sure. You mentioned coming out at the last year of college in your bio. It says that you realized you require at a gender studies class Zachariah enough feminist studies class. Actually I took a fantastic amazing professor stealth Friedman who's like one of the preeminent queer historians in the world and so at the time this is like an end of nineteen eighty nine racism very different era and I remembered her giving us the assignment like so there she is. She's like talking and she ended up coming out to us as a class. Which at the time. We're all like a little startled by. And then. She said she wanted us all to write a letter to our parents which we wouldn't send a coming out letter to our parents that we would turn in. I speak Mandarin of my parents night. Don't how reader right like. Why would never tell them something? This important English so the idea of writing a letter to them would have made no sense so I thought well I guess I could record this on a on a on a tape so what I did was I went out and borrow two tape recorders and extension cord Because I lived in a two room. Double where my roommate also spoken understood mandarin but now I was like paranoid. If is recording my room. She would hear me say this and think. I was gay so then I put one tape recorder. My Room started loudly playing Cat Stevens footsteps in the dark to tape. It was like literally playing that I listened to the wind the wind of my soul and then I talk like the other tape recorder and the extension cord into the walk in closet and shut that door and I proceed to record this thing. I'd say to my parents and there then. I had to write a thing in English. My professor to explain what this was. I'm like writing this thing very academically about like well. That was fascinating for one thing. I didn't know the word for GAY and Mandarin. And maybe if you don't know the word can you think what it is I'm going on and on and on finally I'm like well? I'm writing so much about this because I am gay so there I said it and that was the moment I came out to myself and I even remembered being like. This is ludicrous. I'm sitting in my closet coming out of the closet like that. This is such cheap symbolism that like if I put it in a movie people would back. That is way too heavy it. But that's that's what happened. I turned it in That'll happen and I know your mom originally had a hard time with that. How'd she come around your sexuality? By the time you didn't move back in with her in San Francisco Oh yes. She came around basically by the time. Saving face came out and remember this moment. So this right before due to shoot and she and I are drive Sunday. Where like in her minivan driving down highway one and I just I like the sun coming in. It was like very comfortable and then also I just kind of looked at her and I was like so mom. You know. You've read the script. Now you know us about is kind of like you do realize at the moment this movie comes out. All of your friends are going to know why I'm not married. And there's long pause and she was like yeah and then I was like what do you thick? And she thought about it for a really long time and then she said I'm not gonNA lie. It's GonNa be hard that this is what you want than this is what I want for you. I remembered in that moment. Just being like it doesn't like. I don't even need to make the movie anymore like this like that was the moment where I'm like. You know because honestly I also thought when that maybe came out I was like Oh God. I'M NOT GONNA be able to eat any Chinese restaurant again. It's kind of a disaster and the big surprise for all of us was much the Chinese community embrace that movie like the Chinese newspapers wrote about that movie for like weeks like we ended up winning the Golden Horse Audience Award and Taiwan. Just like the some ways it's like the Asian Oscars and And that was a huge surprise. Mom couldn't have known that at the point she you know accepted me. I mean I guess that's the thing. It's such a sacrifice to make a film it really is so I think you really want to think about what it is. You're hoping to achieve like what that sacrifices for I think you want your humanity inform formula art and vice versa. I know you're joking. The top the interview about like Hollywood always asks what what's next but we are at the end of the interview and I want to know. Do you know or have any idea like what is next. It's so funny because it's it's like I know. My agents are champing at the bit. Because there's all these things coming in. I actually just been like listen. I'm going to devote this month to to promoting this movie like this is like a child right then. I WANNA like unplugged disappear off the face of the Earth for like a few weeks in reality myself like I've three ideas of my own that I'd love to like one in particular. I want to start working on. If any of them comes to fruition in a way that I think is worth sharing the. I'm GONNA probably work like the Dickens to try and get that thing made if it doesn't I am reading things things and it's not like I'm not like know like I'm making twelve years a slave. I'm not a big important moviemaker. It can be something that just purely fun right. I think I just need to know. What personally is the reason why I think I'm the right person to make it. It sounds so grand when I say it this way but if you're going to put that much effort in anything then you WanNa feel like you've left something behind the world that you can point to and say okay. Maybe this help to these people right because otherwise I'm not sure it's worth it

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