Monday, June 12, 2006

Balls of Fury

I guess Asians really are the new minstrels in Hollywood. Why is it that it's deemed acceptable in Hollywood to make us the butt of every joke? And why is it that otherwise seemingly respectable actors facilitate this process of coonery? In 2007, a movie will be coming out titled Balls of Fury (IMDB). It's a comedy with the following description:

A former ping-pong champ is brought in by the government to infiltrate a high-stakes underworld tournament and bring down the organizer, a feared crime boss.
Ping pong champion? Feared crime boss? Uh-oh, already the red lights are flashing. This film sounds like it's going to be, again, every Asian stereotype ever imagined mashed into one 90 minute reel of film. Maggie Q (of MI:3 fame) and Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa are attached to this film. Maggie Q is still trying to cross-over to Western Hollywood despite a long-standing career in the East; frankly, Maggie, this isn't going to endear you to Asian American audiences. And I had the chance to speak to Cary Tagawa once, in an interview that never made it to publication, and in it, Cary talked about how he didn't do stereotypical roles. In Balls of Fury, Tagawa's character is the unnamed "Mysterious Asian Man". Stereotypical? Maybe not (we'll have to watch the film to find out), but certainly racialized. This film has already had some controversy. After the casting directors posted some casting notices on the Internet which specifically demanded that "No Asians" come for tryouts, they received angry letters and even deaththreats from members of the Asian American community.

Project Type: Film

For production: Lucky Cricket Prod., LLC

Start Date: May 12, 2006

End Date: Jul 17, 2006

Extras Casting Company: Background Players

Extras Casting Director: Sasha Adkinson / Judy Cook

Age From: 20 - 24

Age To: 30 - 34

Gender: Male

Ethnicity Need: Caucasian, Hispanic, Greek, Middle Eastern, African American

Location: Los Angeles

More Info: Hi, Guys!

Hot muscle-bound guys who play sex slaves. It's a comedy, so you should have a sense of humor and be comfortable with your body. These guys are featured at $122/8 for multiple days. You should look like you've lived in the gym. Let us know if you have a 6-pack. 5'11' or taller. No Asians here. Muscles! Your photos should include a body shot (shirtless, maybe?). Just make sure that your submission includes all your stats and info. Thank you!

I don't advocate threatening another person's life, but nonetheless, film executives retaliated saying that they were waiting to put out the casting notice for the several Asian roles in the film. Courtesy of Angry Asian Man, the casting notice targeted to our community has been found on Craigslist.
CASTING EXTRAS FOR THE FEATURE FILM "Balls of Fury" This movie is a comdey starring Christopher Walkin, George Lopez, Maggie Q, Carey-Hiroyuki Tagawa, James Hong. I need beautiful Japanese girls to play Geisha. Japanese only. This will work June 15th, 16th, 19th-23rd, and also 26th-29th so you need to have an open schedule. This will be early morning calls, working up to 12 hours a day. The outfits are going to be sexy with a lot of leg so you must be comfortable with being sexy;)18-28yrs. I will get into more of the details if you fit the part. I need hot sexy Asian women to play sexy servants. This works the same days as the Geisha . You need to be 18-28 years of age and have great bodies. I need tough looking Asian men to play Triad,Yakuza and guards w/weapons. The tougher the better and tattoos are a big plus. This will work the same dates as the Geisha. Please, when you submit you must include a currrent clear picture, and your contact information. Also let me know if you are SAG or not. I have more non union spots left then SAG. Do not waste our time only apply if you are totally open for all the days!
Isn't it interesting how the only women we've seen attached to this film are thus far prostitutes, geisha, "sexy" servants, and Maggie Q (as a character named Maggie Wong - how creative)? Even our casting notices give us little information about our roles other than "sexy" and "showing leg" -- again, Asian/Asian American women are treated as props for the male audience. I think I preferred it when no Asians were allowed. Including Cary, whose Yellow Pass should now be revoked. Maggie gets a freebie from me -- I'm thinking her publicist still hasn't adjusted to Western Hollywood yet. Edit: Wow, more actors attached to this film who must also have their Yellow Passes sadly revoked: James Hong (who is always cast in the "slightly older Asian man" bit parts) and Jason Scott Lee. I loved Lee as a kid, but I guess I should've recognized a problem when he willingly and eagerly played an Asian Indian in Disney's The Jungle Book.


Anonymous nonwhiteperson said...

I feel nauseous.

6/12/2006 01:34:00 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

... yeah, me too....

6/12/2006 01:44:00 PM  
Anonymous gatamala said...

I can't imagine being an Asian American fuckin' discouraging :(

6/13/2006 09:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Mac said...

This teaches me not to read the site for a few days. I'm like 5 posts behind. LOL!

Anyway BOT. I don't think the Maggie Q's or Ziyi Zhang's care about being endeared to AA audiences. All they see is the chance to break into Hollywood and make more $$$$.

6/19/2006 05:41:00 PM  

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