Rising star and YouTube rapper Awkwafina received a first season order for her self-titled series Awkwafina at Comedy Central. The young actress appeared in two popular movies this year – Ocean's 8 and Crazy Rich Asians – setting her up to host Saturday Night Live back in October. With this new series order, Awkwafina proves she's not just a flash in the pan.
Featured in one of the most talked about films this year, Awkwafina quickly ascended from an oddball supporting actor in Crazy Rich Asians to the film's clear breakout star. Based on the book of the same name by Kevin Kwan, the film opened to huge success dominating box offices for four straight weekends, becoming the highest grossing rom-com of the decade thus far. Though the film starred a plethora of talented actors including Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Ken Jeong, and others, Awkwafina held her own against more established stars. Unsurprisingly, a sequel has already been announced and Awkwafina has joined several projects in the interim, including her own show.
Awkwafina will write and star in her self-titled Comedy Central series, according to a report from Deadline. Taking a self-reflective, near auto-biographical approach, Awkwafina portrays the star's former life as a struggling twenty-something in Queens. Karey Dornetto and Teresa Hsiao co-write alongside Awkwafina, and the series will be directed by Lucia Aniello of Broad City, while also featuring both BD Wong and Lori Tan Chinn. Speaking on her new show, Awkwafina said:
"I’ve been watching Comedy Central since I was old enough to hold a remote, and so many of their shows have defined who I am today. I am so honored to be given their platform to tell the story of an Asian American girl against the backdrop of the city I was raised."
Entering the spotlight amidst an industry-wide conversation regarding a general lack of diversity and representation, Awkwafina consistently acknowledges progress while mentioning the issues that remain evident in the entertainment industry. She said it best in her SNL monologue by referencing that she was only the second Asian American female host, following Lucy Liu's episode 18 seasons prior.
Through her constant efforts towards diversity, as well as her unique personality that shines through in any role, Awkwafina has risen to stardom in a matter of months. Comedy Central made a safe bet on the young actress and rapper, as her fanbase continues to grow. With the popularity of both Crazy Rich Asians and Awkwafina, Hollywood will hopefully learn a long-awaited lesson on diversity.