VOLUME 28 NO. 11 | MARCH 7- MARCH 13, 2009

Cho flexes songwriting chops
Keeping up with the stars in H-Town

Last updated 3-5-09 at 3:36 p.m.
Margaret Cho, Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Michelle Yeoh

By Ninette Cheng

Although February is the shortest month of the year, it was a big month for Asians in entertainment and fashion. Also, Miley Cyrus stirred contro-versy and there was an uproar in the Asian Pacific Islander community.

The India-based film “Slumdog Millionaire” lived up to last month’s front-runner hype by bringing home eight awards at the Academy Awards on Feb. 22, including top honors for Best Picture and Best Director for Danny Boyle. For Best Picture, a large and emotional group of the cast and crew crowded on the stage to receive the award.

Among the group onstage were the movie’s child stars Azharuddin Ismail and Rubina Ali, who returned home to India on Feb. 26. Both stars and their families hope that the film will change their circumstances, particularly their current living quarters in the Mumbai slums. There is talk of the government giving the families new homes, as both have already received education plans from the film’s producers. “Slumdog” producers will cover Ismail and Ali’s educational expenses until they reach the age of 18. CNN reports that their neighbors hope the children will have a better life and that they deserve it — Agreed!

Meanwhile, “Slumdog” stars Dev Patel and Freida Pinto (who, by the way, still deny they are dating) have new projects lined up.

Pinto, who recently posed for the February 2009 issue of “GQ Magazine,” has signed onto Woody Allen’s next project. The 24-year-old model-turned-actress will be joining Naomi Watts, Josh Brolin, and Anthony Hopkins in London for Allen’s film.
Patel, 18, will be working with fellow Indian and director M.

Night Shyamalan on “The Last Airbender.” The film is based on a popular Nickelodeon television series.

Meanwhile, actress Michelle Yeoh is confident that a Chinese film can follow in the footsteps of “Slumdog Millionaire.” Yeoh told the Associated Foreign Press that she strongly believes in the Hong Kong and Chinese cinemas and believes their day will come soon. Here’s to hoping for the continued success of foreign films!

Things are not looking as good for Disney actress Miley Cyrus. Since a Facebook photo of the 16-year-old and her friends making the stereotypical “slanted-eyes” faces surfaced, the actress has received continued backlash.

Despite her apologies, Cyrus is being sued by a Los Angeles woman (“on behalf of Asian Pacific Islanders”) for $4 million.

Margaret Cho also called Cyrus a disgrace and wrote her a song. “Oh Miley/Chinky eyes make you look wily/Prejudice isn’t thought of so highly/It doesn’t make us all smiley,” Cho penned. While the photo can understandably be viewed as offensive and prejudiced, my money is on the L.A. woman losing.

Taiwanese designer Jason Wu had another big month in his young career. It’s hard to imagine topping the design of the inaugural dress for one of the country’s most chic first ladies, but Wu unveiled his fall collection at New York Fashion Week earlier this month. Michelle Obama wore one of his dresses on the March cover of Vogue. Wu’s collection is described by the Los Angeles Times as “grown-up” and “romantic.” The collection features simple, structured sheaths and tank dresses, and romantic, girly details such as a pink, ruffled tiered dress and a violet chiffon tank-gown. Some of Wu’s designs are on display in Seattle’s flagship Nordstrom store window.

Finally, Lindsay Price has assured television viewers that she is determined to be back on the silver screen. The half-Korean actress has signed on to play a witch for a new drama on ABC based on a John Updike novel and the 1987 feature “The Witches of Eastwick.” However, Price’s contract with “Lipstick Jungle” takes a higher precedent. If “Lipstick” is picked up for a second season (its fate is still up in the air), Price will not be able to participate in Eastwick.

See you next month for more dish on your favorite Asian and Asian American pop culture icons and updates on the Miley lawsuit. (end)

Ninette Cheng can be reached at info@nwasianweekly.com.


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