Kal Penn has a very good and very bad month: A-pop! is monthly column about all things Asian in pop culture

By Ninette Cheng
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY

It’s that time of the month again! We have more news about your favorite Asian and Asian Ameri­can celebrities! Kal Penn has announced his re­turn to show business. Unfortunately, his cheer was short-lived because he was later robbed. Jackie Chan topped a list of Chinese celebrities and Liu Wen became Estee Lauder’s first Asian model. Finally, the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival occurred this month.

Kal Penn’s month of highs and lows

Last month, I reported that the fate of a third “Harold & Kumar” film was hanging on Kal Penn.

Entertainment Weekly reported this month that Penn will leave his job at the White House as associate director of pubic engagement to reprise his role.

You’d think that with having a career in politics and Hollywood, Penn’s life would be a dream. However, a mere two weeks later, the actor was robbed and held at gunpoint at 1:20 a.m. The gunman took Penn’s wallet and some of his belongings. Wow! Hope you find better luck in L.A. than in D.C., Kal!

Jackie Chan named number one Chi­nese celebrity

Forbes Magazine has named Jackie Chan number one on their list of 2010 Chinese Celebrities. The list, released on April 28, marked the first time celebrities from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan have graced its pages together.

Taiwanese singer Jay Chou and Hong Kong actor and singer Andy Lau followed Chan on the list. Yao Ming is the highest-ranked mainlander at number four. Income and media exposure are top factors considered in compiling this list.

Liu Wen is the new face of Estee Lauder

Remember Liu Wen from the Victoria’s Secret fashion show? Well, as expected, we had not heard the last of this Chinese beauty. Cosmetics giant Estee Lauder has signed Wen on as the brand’s first Asian spokesmodel.

In addition to this lucrative contract, Wen walked 49 fashion shows during the 2010 fall and winter fashion show seasons. Congratulations, Liu! Hopefully, this is a sign that Asians, too, are becoming accepted as faces of beauty!

Los Angeles welcomes the Asian Pacific Film Festival

Los Angeles saw a surge in Asian Pacific Islander filmmakers on April 29 for the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. The festival, now the largest festival to feature indie Pacific and international Asian-themed films, featured 170 films in 10 days. The event kicked off on April 29 with a tribute celebrating what would have been Bruce Lee’s 70th birthday. The film festival concluded on May 8.

Television watch

May 23 marks the final episode of ABC’s “Lost.” Rumor around town is that the finale will not answer all the questions on the show. I repeat: It will not.

“We’re trying to end ‘Lost’ in a way that feels ‘Lost’-ian and fair and will generate a tremendous amount of theorizing,” series creator Damon Lindelof told The Hollywood Reporter. “We’re going to be as definitive as we can be and say this is our ending, but there’s no way to end the show where the fans aren’t going to say, ‘What did they mean by this?’ Which is why we’re not going to explain it.”

Don’t forget to tune in (or set your DVRs) on May 23rd to see if stars Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim, or Ken Leung are in the finale!

Meanwhile, on ABC’s other hit show, Nicole Scherzinger continues to lead the pack on “Dancing with the Stars.” So far, Scherzinger made it to the final four and is currently, with her partner, contending for first place. “Dancing” will conclude on May 25. Don’t forget to see if this Pussycat Doll dancer sweeps the whole competition!

Don’t forget to come back next week to chat “Lost,” “Dancing with the Stars,” and other Asian American pop culture news!  ♦

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

One Response to “Kal Penn has a very good and very bad month: A-pop! is monthly column about all things Asian in pop culture”

  1. china boy says:

    If my job title was “Associate Director of PUBIC Engagement,” I’m pretty sure I’d want to leave the White House too. Look at all the trouble Clinton got into.

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