EXCLUSIVE: Alicia Malone is beholden that Anna May Wong, who is advised to be Hollywood’s aboriginal Chinese-American cine star, is accepting rediscovered by new admirers about 60 years afterwards aback her death.
Ryan Murphy’s newest series, Netflix’s “Hollywood,” reimagines the history of archetypal cinema post-World War II in which a accumulation of ambitious actors and filmmakers try to accomplish it big, advantageous arbitrary biases beyond race, gender and animal orientation. The show, which appearance portrayals of both fabulous and real-life actors, highlights Wong’s career and the abusage she endured.
“I’m animated bodies are rediscovering her,” Malone, who is a Turner Archetypal Movies (TCM) host, told Fox News. “She was aloof a admirable figure, an actually accomplished actress. She had an effect, an actual appropriate that aloof drew your eyes to her whenever she was on the screen. I anticipate she will consistently be an icon. And it’s a abashment because she didn’t get to see that for herself in her lifetime.
“You admiration what could accept happened if Hollywood gave her the adventitious to comedy a role that was aces of her talent,” Malone said. “I’m absolutely animated that bodies are advertent her now and hopefully, they’ll go aback and watch her movies.”
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Michelle Krusiec stars as Anna May Wong in Netflix’s ‘Hollywood.’ (Netflix)
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Wong, who was built-in Wong Liu Tsong in the Chinatown breadth of Los Angeles, was working at her family’s laundry business aback she started visiting cine sets in the 1910s, the National Women’s History Building shared. She would generally skip academy and use her cafeteria money to go to the movies. By age 9, Wong knew she capital to become a cine star. At age 11, she came up with the date name “Anna May Wong” and by 1919, she was casting as an added in a blur blue-blooded “The Red Lantern.”
Wong continuously approved out for arch roles but always casting as a acknowledging character. According to the museum, anti-miscegenation laws in the U.S. prevented interracial actors to kiss on-screen, which prevented Wong from landing adventurous arch roles.
In 1924, she launched her own assembly aggregation alleged Anna May Wong Productions, in hopes of authoritative her own films. However, the aggregation ultimately bankrupt afterwards her business accomplice was bent in backbiting practices. Wong resented the academic roles Hollywood connected to action her. However, she endured it to abide working.
“Anna May Wong became balked with Hollywood and the academic roles she kept getting,” Malone explained. “She concluded up affective to Europe because of that. As a bashful blur actress, she auspiciously was able to alteration to complete or ‘talkies.’ She did English, French and German films and date productions area she calmly did all the dialogue. But aback she alternate to Hollywood, she, unfortunately, was accustomed added academic roles.”
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Actress Anna May Wong in a arena from the cine ‘Dangerous to Know.’ (Photo by Donaldson Collection/Getty Images)
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“She generally played [what] they alleged the ‘Lotus Flower’ character, a bedevilled adverse figure,” Malone continued. “There was additionally the ‘Dragon Lady,’ this harsh, alarming woman. And it was actual accepted at the time for white actors to arise in yellowface. It charge accept been affecting for Anna May Wong to see the ancestry that she was so appreciative of to be bargain to a stereotype.”
The bigger altercation Wong endured was aback she auditioned for 1937’s “The Good Earth,” a blur about Chinese farmers disturbing to survive. By then, Wong was a brilliant and had formed adverse Marlene Dietrich in 1932’s “Shanghai Express.”
The role Wong auditioned for was ultimately accustomed to Luise Rainer, a German-British added who wore yellowface. She went on to win the Oscar for Best Added in 1938.
“[Hollywood] went with what they anticipation was a safer best — a white added — for the advance role,” Malone said. “Anna May Wong was devastated by this. No one has been able to acquisition this acclaimed awning test, but fable has it she was aloof arresting and blew anybody away. And yet, they were afraid to casting her because they anticipation it was too abundant of a accident to accept an Asian added for the arch role. It was a big assembly and would accept acquired a lot of altercation amid audiences.”
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Anna May Wong, about 1928 (Photo by Kiesel/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
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Wong was offered the acknowledging role of Lotus, a concubine, but she banned on the area that “as a Chinese-American added in a casting mostly fabricated up of Americans playing Chinese characters, it was absurd for her to comedy the lone, aloof role,” TCM shared.
According to Malone, Wong headed to China afterwards the black boycott but was faced with growing backfire by reporters who criticized her portrayals of Chinese women.
“In Hollywood, all she could be was the Lotus Flower, Dragon Lady, or annihilation at all,” Malone said. “It was an absurd situation. She still concluded up alive appropriate until the television age, but it never concluded up demography off in the way that she would accept absolutely liked. She couldn’t win either way.”
Wong was gearing up for a Hollywood improvement aback she anesthetized abroad in 1961 at age 56 from a affection attack.
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Actress Anna May Wong and Sessue Hayakawa with Harold Minjir in a arena from the cine ‘Daughter of the Dragon.’ (Photo by Donaldson Collection/Getty Images)
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“Marilyn Monroe became a bartering amount and you can’t airing bottomward Hollywood Boulevard today after seeing article accompanying to her,” Malone acicular out. “But with Anna, her adventure hasn’t been told as widely, like in the case of Monroe, which is absolutely sad. I’m animated that’s now actuality fixed. And she was a appearance amount in her own right. She had an iconic crew and was never apparent after cutting admirable clothes. She was gorgeous, and yet she was consistently aggravating to bigger herself. She alike advised added languages to advice her aggrandize the kinds of roles she was given. She was accommodating to do it all, but it was never enough.”
In May, TCM featured some of Wong’s films during its appropriate affairs blue-blooded “Asian Americans in Archetypal Hollywood.” Malone hopes Murphy’s new appearance will animate audiences to apprentice added about Wong and her abounding accomplishments in film.
“She was aloof so captivating,” Malone said. “That’s the chat I would use for her. I aloof adulation to watch her on the screen. She was admirable to watch and no agnosticism a accomplished actress. She wasn’t accustomed abounding affairs aback then, but I’m animated to get to bless her now.”
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Anna May Wong, about 1935. (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)
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“Hollywood” is currently alive on Netflix.
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