Tia Carrere recently talked about the racism she has faced throughout her career. The Filipino-American actress starred in classic films like True Lies (1994) and Wayne’s World (1992). The actress talked about the remarks that people passed when she began her career in the 1980s. The actress is playing the role of Tita Teresa in Jo Koy’s new movie Easter Sunday.
Tia Carrere said people didn’t understand her ethnicity
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In an interview with Variety, Tia Carrere talked about being deemed “ethnic” for roles when she began her acting career in 1984. She said,
“I came here and people were like, ‘What are you? Chinese? Japanese?’ They didn’t even know Filipino. My hair was short, and I had to get a long-haired wig because I was only going to get these types of roles where I’d have to work on a Chinese accent. Even when I was on General Hospital, I never had an interracial relationship. I was in the Asian quarter with my Asian boyfriend, who’s also an Asian doctor. When we left the Asian quarter, it was to go to the old country to help our people.”
The actress claimed that things were “still very divided” at the time and it was “very hard trying to get out of that.”
The actress said creators weren’t “going ethnic with the roles”
The actress revealed that even though her work was great, the creators were not “going ethnic” with the roles, she said,
“There were network TV shows where I gave great reads, and the casting director would say, ‘That was really great, but the word comes down that we weren’t thinking of going ethnic with that role.’ Or they would say they weren’t going to go ‘exotic,’. You wouldn’t have that today. Now, it’s ‘submit all types,’ BIPOC or whatever. I remember seeing that for the first time on breakdown services [the description of the characters], and I thought, ‘Here we are, finally.’ So, may the best person win, whatever your ethnic background may be.”
Tia Carrere talks about her career
The actress also talked about her career and where she stands now, she said,
“I love working. It’s fun what we do, to bring joy to the screen and that music. I feel so privileged that I was able to get into this business because of a movie like Wayne’s World. I wouldn’t be where I am, you know, 30 years later. So every opportunity I take and I run with it, because I know it’s such a gift to be able to work in this magical industry.”
The actress is playing the role of Tita Teresa in Jo Koy’s new movie Easter Sunday, which hits the theatres on 5th August 2022.