The world in which we live in is very harsh and cruel and it is mainly dominated by men but still there are hundreds of women who broke the stereotype that this world is dominated by men. Nora Lum, known professionally as Awkwafina is also one of those strong women. Awkwafina is an American actress, comedian, writer, producer, and rapper who gained a lot appreciation after she released her rap song “My Vag”.
The young star was born on June 2nd, 1998 in Stoney Brook, Long Island. Awkwafina was talent since her birth. She started playing trumpet in school. Her trumpet finesse got her into Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School. After graduation she majored in journalism and minored in women studies from SUNY Albany. Her first rap song, My Vag made her lose her job but this minor setback didn’t hold her back from climbing the ladder of success.
Nora is the daughter of a Chinese American Wally and Tia, who came to the United States from South Korea to study at SUNY New Paltz. Tia, a painter, suffered from pulmonary hypertension and passed away when Awkwafina was 4. Such a loss in such an early stage of life made Nora somewhat strong. In 2019, she wrote in people magazine which stated, “I think all the time, what would I have been doing if my mom hadn’t passed? I don’t think I’d be here, because I think that I had to face a certain level of trauma to be so joyously self-deprecating and so free.”
The Name “Awkwafina”:
Nora Lum came up with Awkwafina when she was 16 years old, with the spelling a nod to her feelings of awkwardness. The name stuck after the release of her rap song. She continued the stage name after entering the Hollywood.
Awkwafina developed a love of rap music when she was young, was rapping herself by the age of 13, and later began using GarageBand to produce her own beats. My Vag was written when she was 19. Due to lack of financial resources, she recorded a low-budget video of My Vag in 2012. This was a risky decision, but it paid off. Following “My Vag,” Awkwafina put out songs like “NYC Bitche$” and “Giant Margaritas.” Her album Yellow Ranger appeared in 2014. She joined Cho to make “Green Tea” (2016), which parodied Asian stereotypes. Awkwafina was also featured in Bad Rap, a documentary that followed her and three other Asian American rappers. Her In Fina We Trust came out in 2018.
Her first film role was as a sorority sister in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising which released in 2016. She got the opportunity to audition because Seth Rogen, star of the movie, saw her viral YouTube video. Awkwafina next starred as one of the members of a group of female stoners in Dude which was released in 2018. Dude’s director, Olivia Milch, co-wrote Ocean’s 8, also took on board Awkwafina as a member of the cast.
Her stardom continued to rise when she starred as Peik Lin in Crazy Rich Asians which put Awkwafina on the map of Hollywood. She didn’t stopped their, her exquisite acting in the Farewell helped her in strengthening her position in the Hollywood. This was her first lead role which led to a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy for her magical work in the Farewell, making her the first Asian American to win a Golden Globe for Best Actress.
We all have seen the mighty performance of Awkwafina in the past but now we are going to see Awkwafina in a leading role. Awkwafina is going to star in an action-comedy named as Shelly. The story is set a decade after an embarrassing prom prank which ran Shelly Wheeler portrayed by Awkwafina out of town. This incident turned Shelly changed Shelly and turned her into an ice-cold hit-woman. Revenge turns out to be more sweet when she learns that her next target is her former high school tormentor, Dianna Park portrayed by Gillan. But when Dianna unexpectedly befriends Shelly, the plot takes a new twist, the assassin finds herself in with the cool crowd, protecting her old nemesis against another hit-crew hired to kill them both.
Awkwafina hosted the offbeat online talk show TAWK. In 2014 she appeared on MTV’s Girl Code, and the following year was seen on the spinoff Girl Code Live.
In 2018, Awkwafina hosted Saturday Night Live. She was the second Asian American woman to do so.
The series Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens premiered on Comedy Central in 2020. The show, a semi-autobiographical take on Awkwafina’s family and life in New York City, was renewed for a second season before its debut.
We have already seen Awkwafina in multiple comedic roles in Oceans 8 and Crazy Rich Asians but her first dramatic role in The Farewell was a big leap even for her. According to a interview which Awkwafina gave, she stated that “There were certainly challenges — it was my first real dramatic role and a lot of it was in Chinese. When I first read the script, I was flabbergasted how I could relate to it how real it felt culturally.”
The shooting of the film partially took place in Changchun, China which also added a little authenticity in terms of the character and also to the environment. The overall masterpiece earned more than $17m as of press time after its Sundance premiere. It also won Sundance London’s audience award.
After covering a long journey to stardom, Awkwafina’s net worth is estimated around $4 million.