“I feel very overworked,” Hugh Grant says with a drawl. He’s reclined on a couch in the posh Upper East Side hotel suite he’s temporarily calling home, leaning so far back into the cushions that he’s practically supine. He’s being deliberately ironic, but I also believe him. On the way to our meeting, I walked past a phalanx of trucks and trailers outside the house his and Nicole Kidman’s married couple will share in the upcoming HBO limited series The Undoing.
Awkwafina was so moved by the script for Lulu Wang's The Farewell that the rapper-comedian hired a Chinese tutor. Most of the dialogue in the semi-autobiographical film—based on Wang's family's attempts to keep her grandmother from learning of her own cancer diagnosis, while also staging an elaborate wedding to gather everyone in China to see the matriarch one last time—was in Mandarin. "I cared so much about doing a good audition tape for Lulu," she says.
Photo: Big Beach Films/Courtesy of Sundance Institute This review was originally published during 2019’s Sundance Film Festival. We are republishing the piece as the film hits theaters this weekend. “Chinese people have a saying: When people get cancer, they die.” These are the words of wisdom imparted to Brooklyn twentysomething Billi (Awkwafina) by her mother while delivering the news of her beloved grandma Nai Nai’s lung cancer diagnosis.