Will Yu, the creator of activist movements #StarringJohnCho and #SeeAsAmStar, daily tweets, “Representation matters today.”
If that’s true – and I’m of the opinion that it is – then the award-winning indie film For Izzy matters as much as anything I’ve seen in years. It’s a heartbreaking, yet hopeful story that presents several types of characters rarely seen in other productions.
Hers isn’t a household name yet, but actress Chantal Thuy’s growing body of artistic work will undoubtedly win her many more fans soon. Among her various projects, she has a recurring role on The CW’s Black Lightning, DC Comics’ first ever TV show centered on an African American superhero.
Chantal plays bartender, bookstore staffer, and comic book geek Grace Choi, a bisexual Asian American woman who has a budding romance with one of the title character’s two daughters, a medical student named Anissa Pierce (played by Nafessa Williams). Grace’s special powers have yet to manifest on the show, but her back story is laid out in the DC Comics source material; she’s half-Amazonian, giving her a common ancestry with Wonder Woman. Thus, in the comics, she possesses superhuman strength, endurance, and self-healing. Hopefully, we’ll see her powers at work on the TV version of Black Lightning this season!
But Chantal doesn’t just portray an extraordinary character. She’s an extraordinary person, which I’ve found as we’ve interacted over the last year. In this Feminist Asian Dad interview, Chantal discusses bisexual and Asian American identities, her family’s refugee experience, what she does for fun, and much more. It’s a truly heartfelt conversation which I know you’ll enjoy! (And it’s been gently edited for length and clarity.)
Cloak & Dagger’s thrilling first season sailed away into the sunset last week, wrapping up what has been, for me, one of the very best television productions I’ve experienced in my 47 years. Its depiction of humanity has been outstanding, a credit to everyone from the writing team to the actors on screen. But it has reached my echelon of “best shows ever” through its relevance and timeliness, all without becoming preachy.
If you haven’t seen the entirety of season one, watch all ten episodes on Freeform or Hulu before reading further. Heed the warning of my personal Klaxons: SPOILERS AHEAD! SPOILERS AHEAD!
Looking back on this journey that began, amazingly, only on June 7, there are so many things about Cloak & Dagger that I treasure; I just jotted down a list of 50! My previous post about the series looks at a few in detail.
But since this is the Feminist Asian Dad blog, I’ll use this series recap of sorts to focus on the characters Ivan Hess, played by Tim Kang, and his daughter Mina, whose present-day version is portrayed by Ally Maki and whose teenage version is played by Hannah Hardin. All three actors are ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL.