She may be known best for her role as London Tipton on the Disney Channel hit series The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Brenda Song has starred in or appeared in many other high-profile movies and shows including The Social Network, New Girl, Netflix’s Secret Obsession, and Hulu’s Dollface. Despite her long career on screen, Song was supposedly not given the opportunity to read for Warner Bros. Crazy Rich Asians, though she met the description of the leading lady perfectly.
After confusion from fans as to why Song wasn’t in the film, 31-year-old Asian-American Song revealed to Teen Vogue that she wasn’t even given the opportunity to read for the role of Rachel due to her image. In her interview, she explained that “their reasoning behind it, what they said was that my image was basically not Asian enough, in not so many words.”
Song explained that after years of playing mainly Caucasian roles, she felt shorted when told she wasn’t Asian enough for the film. As one of the first major films depicting Asian-Americans, the role was definitely a competitive one and ended up going to Rachel Chu. Director Jon Chu combatted the remarks made by Song, explaining that this was not at all the case and that he feels horrible knowing this is Song’s impression.
But Song didn’t let this moment stop her. She went on to star in the Netflix original Secret Obsession and explained that the situation was a moment of recognition for her. “I got myself together,” she said. “There is only on you, and you can’t change who you are.”