Home Film & TV Meet Vivian Wu & Poppy Liu, Vivian & Grace in The Afterparty

Meet Vivian Wu & Poppy Liu, Vivian & Grace in The Afterparty

by Neil Bui

Meet Vivian Wu & Poppy Liu who play mother and daughter Vivian and Grace on Apple TV’s The Afterparty.

Neil Bui: What has the experience been like for you two, not just joining this ensemble cast, but joining part of Zoe’s family for this wedding?

Poppy Liu: I love our family dynamic, it’s really special. I think it’s a dream to be able to, as an actor, play the child of Vivian Wu and Ken Jeong, to have John Cho as my uncle, Zoë Chao as my sister. It doesn’t even matter what show it is, what movie. Like if it’s a slasher film but that’s the cast I’m in. If it’s Paranormal Activity 5 but that’s the cast, I want to do it. I love the cast. I think they did such an incredible job, everyone’s such a strong comedian/actor, genuinely good person.

Vivian Wu: I always thought doing a comedy was really difficult for a dramatic actress. I did a lot of drama but this was the first try to do a comedy and I’m so happy and I’m so grateful that I got the opportunity to be a part of this great ensemble cast. It’s a murder series, season one was already a hit so knowing that this is a fabulous group of people involved in creating something that is just seemingly impossible – a murder mystery but a comedy. For me, I got nervous when I first got on the set but as time went on I felt much better.

Poppy Liu: Vivian’s really funny!

Vivian Wu: Trying to find my comedic moments!

Poppy Liu: But also I think because she’s such a strong actor in general, dramatic or not, like just her playing the scene so straight and being so earnest and sincere in whatever, is so funny because you also have all these like clowns all around you too. The contrast is amazing and I think she’s really funny.

Vivian Wu: Well okay, thank you. No, you are the funny one. Poppy lets me see the hope of future Asian actors [and] actresses, seriously. It’s a super exciting time, I came in early on to Hollywood but now I think the opportunities [are] wide open and it’s really encouraging. Seeing Poppy perform on the set, although she was pregnant during the whole time, I did see like you know she’s so natural with everything and it’s just so spontaneous, it’s a lot of rawness and I loved it. I loved acting with her and also watching you. No really, watching her is very refreshing.

Poppy Liu: We have really good mother-daughter chemistry for our characters too. Vivian’s very caregiving, very nurturing, very concerned about my health during pregnancy.

Vivian Wu: I was supposed to talk about the show! Who was the killer?!

Neil Bui: I’m curious when it comes to the mother-daughter relationship as well as Asian families, in what ways has this season of The Afterparty broken down barriers or showed authentic representation for Asian American people?

Vivian Wu: I feel like Vivian is a super good mom and good wife and then she has such high value and she holds it up and she has her own secrets and she lied but she did it all for the protection of her loved ones and her family, her daughters. And as the story unfolds you’ll find out that Vivian does have a wild side to her, so that’s interesting. And I think it also shows that we Asian American families we’re just like normal families. We have real emotions and we have secrets and we also are messy people but we’re trying hard to still be glued together as a family, as one.

Poppy Liu: I just love seeing Asian people on screen and all sorts of things – in dramatic pieces; in things unpacking our identities as immigrants, as Asians; in like murder mystery comedies like this; in sci-fi stuff in like comic book stuff. I just want to see Asian people in all sorts of movies and TV shows and period pieces, slasher films.

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