On Five Things with Lynn Hirschberg—the brand new podcast from W—Hollywood’s brightest sit down with the magazine’s Editor-at-Large to talk about “Five Things” that have made them who they are: a person, a place, an object, one positive event, and one negative event that ultimately turned into something positive.
The result: candid, insightful, intimate conversations guided by Hirschberg’s singular skill as an interviewer. Topics range from the deeply personal to the nitty-gritty professional—Hirschberg covers the craft of filmmaking and the ins and outs of public life with equal parts curiosity, sensitivity and humor.
On the second installment of the show, Hirschberg catches up with Awkwafina to discuss the actress’s role in The Farewell, her move to Los Angeles, and the ups and downs of her early viral fame.
To listen to the full podcast, click on the link below:
Awkwafina talks about growing up in Queens and attending the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts (a.k.a. “The Fame School”). For her audition, she played “I Want to Hold Your Hand” on the trumpet—an instrument she admits isn’t exactly “a gateway drug for entertainment.”
“It tickled them, but there were people going in there playing Bach, and I walk in with just the melody part of ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand,'” she tells Hirschberg.
Getting fired from an assistant job after her YouTube video “My Vag” went viral was a challenge, she says, but it ended up being one of the reasons that led to her career today. She recalls shooting a scene from Ocean’s 8 in front of the building where her office had been.
“It was a weird full circle moment,” she says. “But I think losing that job and publishing that video, I think that those were the two biggest things that really launched where I am now.”
She also talks about an unlikely piece of lucky clothing, improvising on the set of Crazy Rich Asians, and how her hero, the comedian Margaret Cho, informed the way she sees her role as a representative of the Asian community in Hollywood. “I want people to see me, and I want them to think, literally, I have a chance. Because that’s what Margaret Cho meant for me when I was young,” she says.
You can listen to episode 1, featuring Margot Robbie, here.