Constance Wu

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Constance Wu
Wu in 2015
Born Constance Tianmin Wu
(1982-03-22) March 22, 1982 (age 36)
Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
Residence Los Angeles, California
Alma mater SUNY Purchase
Occupation Actress
Years active 2006–present
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese 吴恬敏

Constance Tianmin Wu (born March 22, 1982) is an American actress. She is best known for her starring roles as Jessica Huang in the ABC comedy series Fresh Off the Boat (2015–present), and as Rachel Chu in the 2018 romantic comedy-drama film Crazy Rich Asians.

For the tv series, she has been nominated for two TCA Awards and Critics' Choice Television Awards.[1] She received further critical acclaim and recognition for her lead role in Crazy Rich Asians.

In 2017, Wu was included on the annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world.[2]

Early life and education

Wu was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, in a Taiwanese American family. Wu's parents emigrated from Taiwan.[3][4][5] Her father was a biology and genetics professor at Virginia Commonwealth University[6] and her mother was a computer programmer.[7] Wu said that her paternal grandparents were very poor, working as bamboo farmers, and did not have the opportunity to get an education, so they were unable to read and write.[8] Third of four daughters, she has two older sisters and one younger sister.[7]

She graduated from Douglas S. Freeman High School, where she began performing in local theater; she participated in a six-month program during high school at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute.[6] Wu later graduated from State University of New York at Purchase's Conservatory of Theatre Arts with a bachelor of fine arts in acting in 2005.[9][10] Wu cited Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee as an influence.[11] After college, Wu studied psycholinguistics and considered pursuing a graduate degree program in speech pathology at Columbia University.[12]


In New York, Wu got roles onstage and in independent movies. She made her screen debut with a supporting role in Stephanie Daley (2006). She also had later supporting roles in Year of the Fish and The Architect. On television, she appeared in episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Torchwood, and Covert Affairs, and also had a recurring role as Laudine Lee on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live in 2007. Wu moved to Los Angeles in 2010, where she was cast in Sound of My Voice, directed by Brit Marling.[13]

Since 2012, Wu has starred in the critically acclaimed web series EastSiders. She earned two Indie Series Award nominations, in 2014 and 2016 for her performance.[14][15]

In 2014, Wu participated in Sundance Screenwriters' Lab with two emerging Asian-American directors, Yung Chang and Christopher Yogi, in what she felt was a unique opportunity to support fellow Asian storytellers.[8]

In 2014, after landing a role in one unsuccessful comedy pilot, Wu won the leading role in the ABC comedy series Fresh Off the Boat alongside Randall Park.[16][17] The series is loosely based on the life of chef and food personality Eddie Huang and his book Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir. The series premiered in 2015, and Wu received critical acclaim for her performance.[18][19][20][21] E! named her a breakout star of the 2014-15 television season.[22] For her performance, she was nominated for Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series[23] and a Television Critics Association TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy, both in 2015.[24]

In 2017, she appeared in the Hulu anthology series Dimension 404,[25] and was included on the annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world.[2]

In February 2017,[26] it was announced that Wu had been set to star in Jon M. Chu's adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians, based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Kevin Kwan.[27] Wu's character, Rachel Chu, is an Asian-American economics professor at NYU who travels to Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas "Nick" Young, to meet his wealthy family. Crazy Rich Asians was released in the United States and Canada on August 15, 2018 by Warner Bros., and is the first major Hollywood studio film to feature an all-Asian cast since 1993's The Joy Luck Club.[28] Also starring Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Awkwafina, Nico Santos, Lisa Lu, Ken Jeong, and Michelle Yeoh, Crazy Rich Asians was met with high critical praise,[29] and became the number one film in U.S. and Canada theatres over opening weekend.[30]

Personal life

Wu lives in Los Angeles with her pet rabbit, Lida Rose.[31][32][33]


The #StarringConstanceWu hashtag meme, adopted by Asian-American activists, inserts Wu's image into film promotional materials in order to highlight the paucity of Asian actors in starring roles.[34][35]



Year Title Role Notes
2006 Stephanie Daley Jenn
2006 The Architect Michelle
2007 Year of the Fish Lucy
2011 Sound of My Voice Christine
2012 Watching TV with the Red Chinese Kimi Hu
2013 Best Friends Forever Melanie
2013 Ties Shannon O Short film
2013 Taylor Manifest Val Short film
2013 Deadly Revenge Kym
2014 Electric Slide Mika Oh
2013 My Mother Is Not a Fish N/A Director and writer
2015 Parallels Polly
2015 Low Budget Ethnic Movie Sara
2017 Nine Minutes Lilian Short film
2017 The Feels Andi
2017 All the Creatures Were Stirring Gabby
2018 Crazy Rich Asians Rachel Chu
2018 Next Gen Molly Voice role


Year Title Role Notes
2006 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Candy Episode: "Underbelly"
2007 One Life to Live Laudine Lee 3 episodes
2011 Torchwood Shawnie Yamaguchi Episode: "Miracle Day: End of the Road"
2012–present EastSiders Kathy Main role
2013 Browsers Prudence Yu Television pilot
2013 Covert Affairs Wendy Chen Episode: "Rock a My Soul"
2014 Franklin & Bash Caroline Chilton Episode: "Falcon's Nest"
2014 High Moon Mikiko Kobiyashi Unsold television pilot[36]
2015 Childrens Hospital Pepsi Lamarr Episode: "Up at 5""
2015–present Fresh Off the Boat Jessica Huang Main role
Nominated – TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy (2015, 2016)
Nominated – Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series (2015, 2016)
2016 Royal Pains Amy Chang Episode: "Fly Me to Kowloon"
2017 Dimension 404 Jane Episode: "Bob"


  1. ^ Zhang, Jenny (October 30, 2015). "The Lenny Interview: Constance Wu". Lenny Letter. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Constance Wu: The World's 100 Most Influential People". Time.
  3. ^ Lee, Emily (April 20, 2015). "Taiwanese Viewers React to Fresh Off the Boat (菜鳥新移民)". Asia Pacific Arts. University of Southern California. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  4. ^ "美影集演「台裔虎媽」收視登喜劇寶座". TVBS. March 31, 2015. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  5. ^ 記者王丹荷 (April 1, 2015). "菜鳥新移民 吳恬敏體驗做小籠包「好難」". Youth Daily News - 青年日報 (in Chinese). Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Owen, Rob (October 16, 2015). "Former Richmonder, Constance Wu, stars in ABC sitcom 'Fresh Off the Boat'". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Wieselman, Jarett (September 17, 2015). "The Woman Leading A Crusade To Tell More Asian-American Stories". BuzzFeed. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  8. ^ a b Chung, Nicole (September 17, 2015). "Constance Wu Is Making Her Way in Hollywood". The New York Times. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  9. ^ Nicholson, David (July 3, 2005). "Virginia Shakespeare Festival: Old Plays, New Look". Daily Press. Retrieved April 2, 2015. Constance Wu, a recent graduate of SUNY Purchase in New York
  10. ^ "Ping Pong Democracy" (PDF). 59E59 Theaters. 2005. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  11. ^ "虎媽超哈李安 菜鳥移民開星路". Liberty Times (in Chinese). April 1, 2015. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  12. ^ Wong, Alex (September 21, 2015). "Fresh Off the Boat's Constance Wu Still Isn't Sure About This Whole TV Thing". GQ. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  13. ^ Wu, Constance (May 7, 2015). "#IAm Constance Wu Story". Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE). Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  14. ^ "Nominations Announced For 7th Annual ISAs". Retrieved 2018-01-09.
  15. ^ "Colleen Zenk, Van Hansis, Alicia Minshew and More Snag Indie Series Award Nominations". Daytime Confidential. Retrieved 2018-01-09.
  16. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 7, 2014). "Constance Wu, Randall Park Join 'Fresh Off The Boat'; Windell Middlebrooks In 'Mason Twins'". Deadline Hollywood.
  17. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "ABC Fall Schedule 2014: First Look". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
  18. ^ Patten, Dominic (February 3, 2015). "[Watch] 'Fresh Off The Boat' Review: Show Doesn't Translate From Book". Deadline Hollywood.
  19. ^ Nguyen, Hanh (February 4, 2015). "8 Reasons We Need Fresh Off the Boat to Succeed". TVGuide. Retrieved February 5, 2015.
  20. ^ Rahman, Ray (February 4, 2015). "'Fresh Off the Boat' recap: 'Home Sweet Home-School'". Entertainment Weekly.
  21. ^ Lee, Ashley. "'Fresh Off the Boat' Review on ABC: What the Critics Are Saying". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  22. ^ Dos Santos, Kristin (February 4, 2015). "Fresh Off the Boat's Constance Wu Is Our New Comedy Obsession". E! Online.
  23. ^ Team TVLine (May 6, 2015). "Critics Choice Television Awards Nominations List 2015 — 5th Annual". TVLine.
  24. ^ Mitovic, Matt Webb (June 4, 2015). "Justified, Broad City, Empire, Mom, 24, Jane the Virgin, Transparent Lead the 2015 Critics Choice Nominations". TVLine.
  25. ^ Petski, Denise (June 27, 2016). "Megan Mullally & Constance Wu Join Hulu's 'Dimension 404'". Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  26. ^ "Constance Wu To Star In 'Crazy Rich Asians' Based Off Bestselling Book". HuffPost Canada. 2017-02-16. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  27. ^ "Constance Wu to Star in 'Crazy Rich Asians' (Exclusive)". Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  28. ^ "'Crazy Rich Asians': Why Did It Take So Long to See a Cast Like This?". Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  29. ^
  30. ^ Lee, Yen Nee (2018-08-20). "'Crazy Rich Asians' is No. 1 movie in US and Canada over the weekend". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  31. ^ "Constance Wu Is Incredible And All But Have You Met Her Pet Bunny?". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  32. ^ Tseng, Ada (August 27, 2015). "Audrey Fall 2015 Cover Story: Constance Wu". Audrey. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  33. ^ Lim, Serene (May 30, 2015). "Is Fresh Off The Boat's Constance Wu anything like her TV character?". Today. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  34. ^ "#StarringConstanceWu Continues the Conversation on Hollywood Whitewashing". May 17, 2016. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  35. ^ Rodriguez, Mathew (May 18, 2016). "Constance Wu Stars in A-List Films in This Hashtag Campaign Against Hollywood Whitewashing". Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  36. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 3, 2013). "Pilots 'Line Of Sight' & 'Strain' Add Regulars". Deadline Hollywood.

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