In the recent years, more and more Filipinos have been recognized in the international scene. There’s Catriona Gray and Pia Wurtzbach who both won the prestigious Miss Universe title in 2018 and 2015, respectively, gymnast Carlos Yulo who became a world champion in his sport, and Chef Johanne Siy who went on to become Singapore’s Female Chef of the Year.
These recognitions are all thanks to the talent and hard work Filipinos have put into their respective crafts. And this year, it’s veteran actress and host Toni Gonzaga who takes center stage as she is set to make an appearance in an international film! (Read: Toni Gonzaga Tells All: Why She Switched To YouTube)
Just recently, it was announced that Toni will be starring in “Asian Persuasion”. A US-based film, Asian Persuasion is directed and produced by Tony Award-winning theatrical producer Jhett Tolentino and written by Mike Ang. The original music in the movie is composed by Filipino-American music producer, Illmind, and performed by Asian-American artists.
The 37-year-old actress-host will be starring alongside Filipino-American actor Dante Basco, who is most known for voicing the characters Zuko in the animated series ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’, and Jake in ‘American Dragon: Jake Long’.
The two will be playing Mickey and Avery, a divorced Asian-American couple living in New York City. (Read: 3 Asian Artists Who Will Join Ylona Garcia at Her New Label)
Mickey is what one would call a “slacker”–he owns a rundown coffee shop in Queens, and let go of his dreams of becoming a fine-dining chef after the passing of his parents. On the other hand, Avery is a driven woman who owns a fashion design business.
Asian Persuasion will revolve around how Mickey tries to get Avery to marry someone else so he could stop giving her financial support, which he admittedly can’t afford.
Filming will start in 2022.
The Asian narrative
According to the writer and director, they hope the movie will somehow “elevate the Asian narrative” in light of all the Asian hate crimes happening in the US.
It can be recalled that there had been a rise in the number of crimes committed against Asians, Asian-Americans, and others of Asian descent early this year. In a report, it is said that crimes against Asians and Asian-Americans doubled in California in 2020. (Read: Robredo Denounces Rising Cases of Asian Hate Crimes in the US)
“The facts here are clear: there was a surge in anti-Asian violence correlated with the words of leaders who sought to divide us when we were at our most vulnerable,” said California attorney-general Rob Bonta, referring to how influential people including former US President Donald Trump insinuated Asian communities for the spread of COVID-19 in the US.
This prompted US president Joe Biden to sign into law the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. “Hate has no place in America – and I look forward to making that clear this afternoon by signing the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act into law,” he tweeted in May.