2006 2005 2004 2002 2001 OTHER SECTIONS
2005 2004 2002 2001 OTHER SECTIONS
2004 2002 2001 OTHER SECTIONS
US ASIANS: Considering your thoughts on how the Western world/United States has penalized/ emasculated the Asian male, could you elaborate on your own impressions regarding this subject?
SHERIDAN PRASSO: As I explain in the chapter of my book called "Matters of Men and Country: The Unbearable Lightness of Being Portrayed," in Hollywood movies, over and over again, action heroes such as Jet Li and Chow Yun-Fat save the girl but don't even get a romantic kiss at the end. I have read that in the finale of "Romeo Must Die," the kiss scene between Jet Li and Aaliyah was cut after it fared badly in front of test audiences, and the director decided that American audiences weren't ready yet to see an Asian man acting the same way that a white hero would.
There is no such prohibition between white men and Asian women on screen (witness "Sideways" as the most recent example). These images from Hollywood need to change before male sex symbols from Asia can be fully regarded as masculine heroes in the eyes of Hollywood and in Western culture in general. I argue that such images - of Asian males as asexual and/or emasculated in Hollywood movies - have an impact on interpersonal relations, such as the low prevalence of Asian male/Caucasian female couples in the West.
US ASIANS: When do you feel that the attitudes that you've described above and at the review of "Romeo Must Die" will change where AM/WF relationships will be accepted, like in the past pictures such as Cecille DeMille's "The Cheat," "Hiroshima Mon Amour," James Shigeta/Victoria Shaw in Crimson Kimono and/or James Shigeta/Carol Baker in "Bridge to the Sun?"
I do not know when it will change. Having contemporary movies from Hollywood showing equitable relationships between Asian males and Caucasian women might help.
Could you share your views on participating on the Calgon "Ancient Chinese Secret" commercial?
The audition process never made me feel that this was stereotypical. In fact, I went to the audition in my overalls, hair down to my shoulders and wearing clogs. I fooled around with the text, they loved it and hired me. I never expected to get this commercial since they had a room filled with "chinky types" sitting in the room. The producers never asked for an accent, just straight ahead dialogue.
you consider it a stereotypical role?
is it different than other stereotypical roles?
you elaborate on the fact that it was/is the longest running commercial