Arts & Culture

WATCH: 7 Deleted Scenes From the Crazy Rich Asians Movie

The director of the film also explains the last-minute decision to reduce Charlie Wu's part.
IMAGE WARNER BROS. PICTURES/SANJA BUCKO
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By now, we’ve probably all seen the 2018 romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians, and have fallen in love with Kevin Kwan’s characters who have come to life on the big screen. As we await the next installment, which will reportedly debut in “2020 at the very earliest,” we have something else for you to digest.

While the two-hour movie seemed long enough, the production filmed various other scenes that didn’t make the final edit. This includes the bigger role that was intended for Charlie Wu (Harry Shum Jr.) to show off his dancing skills and sweep Astrid Leong (Gemma Chan) off her feet.

Seven deleted scenes were uploaded on YouTube and we get a closer inspection at what director Jon M. Chu had envisioned for the movie. We see a karaoke scene, which was originally how Nick (Henry Golding) and Rachel (Constance Wu) were supposed to be introduced to the audience, a tense moment between Nick and his mother Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh), and even extended clips of Colin’s bachelor party. 

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We also learn that there were several other scenes that had to be cut. Chu explains his decision to take them out, as reported by Cinema Blend: “[One cut scene was] a big set-piece karaoke scene, where Rachel and Nick, they actually know each other in the film, but they act like they don’t know each other. So it’s like this traditional romantic-comedy trope, and it was pretty well done but we thought in service of the film we didn’t think we needed it.” Cutting the karaoke bit also allowed them to show more of the scenes in Singapore.

Meanwhile, the bachelor and bachelorette party scenes were meant to be more elaborate but the film’s editor, Myron Kerstein revealed that he and Chu thought they didn’t need all that material to tell the story.

The biggest surprise, however, was the decision to remove a pivotal scene during the wedding reception. Astrid was meant to have more screen time with her ex-flame Charlie Wu as they reconnected on the dance floor. Harry Shum Jr., who is known for his dancing in Glee, had to have his role reduced in order for Astrid’s storyline to really shine.

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In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Chu says they initially planned to follow the book’s story but made a decision to focus on Astrid. He says:

“What we put in the movie was great—they actually dance together—and it was so awesome, and Harry’s so charming and so lovable. But the problem was it made Astrid feel like she was leaving Michael for Charlie and we didn’t have enough room to expand on the idea. We just had to stay focused. Ultimately, it’s about her independence, so that scene was in there all the way until the very end. When we took it out, Astrid’s journey became stronger. It was about her, not about her finding love.”

We can, however, expect to see more of Charlie Wu in the sequels to come.

Just for laughs, here’s an additional behind-the-scenes reel of the cast clowning around on set. 

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About The Author
Hannah Lazatin
Senior Staff Writer
Hannah is a communications graduate from Ateneo de Manila University. She’s originally from Pampanga and from a big, close-knit family who likes to find a reason to get together at the dinner table. Experiences inspire her. “Once, at a restaurant, I received an interpretation of my second name ‘Celina,’ and it meant 'someone who tries everything once' and that is me through and through,” she says. As for the job, she wants her “readers to be inspired by the stories of the people we feature and to move them to reach for greater things.”
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