It's a universally relatable love story, sure, but it’s also an incredibly Asian love story—the only white person with a substantial speaking role in Always Be My Maybe is Casey Wilson. (She has a scene where she helps design Sasha’s new restaurant. ) And unlike Crazy Rich Asians, which I also loved, Always Be My Maybe reminds me of people I actually know, not an aspirational fever dream of riches in Singapore.
It’s surreal for me, an adopted Korean American, to overhear people shipping an Asian American couple or thirsting over Daniel Dae Kim (he plays another one of Wong's love interests).
But when I sat down with the duo to talk about Always Be My Maybe, Wong said they only wanted to make "an Asian American rom-com," not "the Asian American rom-com. " That may be, but they've still given us a film that highlights Asian characters not normally seen in pop culture.
I make sure to surround my daughters with a lot of interesting Asian American creative people who come in and out of my house all the time because I want them to know they matter and they’re capable of so much.
I grew up not seeing myself on screen at all in pop culture, so it’s still surreal seeing two Asian people fall in love.
I keep hearing people from people who are Asian American who are so excited to see it, and I wonder what it’s like for [non-Asians].
The cowriters and costars didn't want the Netflix movie to be the Asian American rom-com, just an Asian American rom-com.
Wong: I think it’s great, but I didn’t specifically… that’s a lot to make Netflix spend all that movie for a lesson for my daughters. [Laughs] That would be great if I could do that.
There’s a certain confidence that comes with saying, “This is what’s happening, and we’re not gonna explain it. ” We’re gonna have a cast of all these Asian people, and this is the world.