73 Questions With Awkwafina | Vogue

73 Questions With Awkwafina | Vogue


– [Interviewer] Hey Awkwafina. – Hey, have a seat. – [Interviewer] Thank you so
much, I’m so glad to be here. – Welcome to K-Town! – [Interviewer] And I’m thrilled
to ask you 73 questions. – Me too. I’m very excited. I’m actually running around
since I have some meetings right now, but I think
we’re gonna make it work. – [Interviewer] We’re gonna make it work. But before we do, how
should I address you? You wanna go by Nora
or Awkwafina for this? – That depends on if we’re married or not. – [Interviewer] So how did you come to land on Awkwafina, anyway? – When I was 15 or 16 I thought that the name Awkwafina was great, hilarious. I never thought anyone
would ever call me that. Cut to now, where everyone calls me that, so that’s good. – [Interviewer] Did any
other names make the list? – Kimchi g gay, you know,
getting Jiggay with it. I wanted to make Jiggay jokes. – [Interviewer] Yeah, it
doesn’t roll off the tongue. – [Server] Can I clear some room for you? – Yes, please thank you, Chris. – I got you, no.
– All right. – [Interviewer] What’s the name that you give on your Starbucks orders? – I like putting Michelle Pfeiffer, all F’s in the Pfeiffer,
throws them off a little bit. – [Interviewer] What’s
the biggest difference between Nora and Awkwafina? – One has acid reflux.
The other one yells a lot. – [Interviewer] What’s
the biggest similarity? – We both love soup. I love New England clam chowder. – [Interviewer] Hmm. What’s your favorite
borough in New York City? – I gotta say Queens. I gotta say Queens. – [Interviewer] What’s the most
underrated thing in Queens? – The food, and the diversity of the food. And the availability of the food. – [Interviewer] And what would you say is the best kept secret in New York City? – I couldn’t tell ya. – [Interviewer] Cheat answer. Let’s get outta here. – I’m just gonna go check
out if you wanna come with. – [Interviewer] Let’s do it. So as a born and bred New Yorker, what’s your opinion of Los Angeles? – I like LA, it’s the
same weather every day, I get to drive everywhere, it’s great. – [Interviewer] And what’s
the best part of LA? – The best part is being near
all kinds of bodies of water. We got pools, we got
oceans, we got reservoirs, we got a little lake. – [Interviewer] Look at that, you got your swimming pool right there. What’s the worst part about Los Angeles? – I’d say the worst thing about being in LA is how big it is. I once tried to walk from
Koreatown to Santa Monica, didn’t work out, it’s a long
day’s journey into night. – [Interviewer] After New
York, where would you say you feel most at home? – Probably in an abandoned school bus, hurling insults at trees. – [Interviewer] Okay. What’s always found in your carry on? – I love a good facial spritz. I love spritzing my face when it needs it. – [Interviewer] Who’s
your dream travel partner? – I’d say Jon Snow. I think he’d be a little
reluctant at first and then he’d be really
helpful along the journey. – [Interviewer] If you had to
write another city guidebook what city would it be for? – I love Seattle. I love to explore Seattle. – [Interviewer] Coffee or tea? – Matcha. – [Interviewer] Early bird or night owl? – I’m a night owl that goes to bed early and wakes up early, so
I guess an early bird. – [Interviewer] And what’s a podcast you recommend for everyone? – Criminal, yeah, shout out Phoebe. It’s a great podcast. – [Interviewer] If you could make a cameo in any film, TV show, or
podcast what would it be? – What was that show where like the cousin comes from another country and he starts all kinds of trouble. Balcony– – [Interviewer] Balki! – Balki!
– “Perfect Strangers!” – “Perfect Strangers,” that one. – [Interviewer] – Love
that show, love it. Ok, so paint me a picture- what does one day in Awkwafina’s life look like? – One day.
– Just a typical day. – I wake up, probably
wearing the same clothes that I’ve been wearing. And then I spend an hour
or two crying or laughing. And then I put on some
shoes and get out that door. – [Interviewer] And how
does your day usually end? – It usually ends with me on Sepulveda yelling at birds. Can I have the check, Jamal? Thank you. – [Interviewer] If you’re
wearing a mood ring what color would it be? – Probably the green brown
that all mood rings are. – [Interviewer] What does that mean? – It means that mood rings don’t work. Thank you. – [Interviewer] So what
are you most excited about at this current moment in life, right now? – I was gonna go to Jimmy Johns, I love the Big Italian,
so I’m excited about that. But I’m excited to be
here, right now, with you. – [Interviewer] What are you
putting off at this moment? – Probably going to Jimmy
Johns, getting that Big Italian. – [Interviewer] If you could
listen to one instrument for the rest of your
life what would it be? – I’d say a flugelhorn. – [Interviewer] You play flugelhorn? – No, I don’t have the lungs for it. – [Interviewer] Who always
makes it onto your playlists? – Jamiroquai. He always wiggles his way in there. – [Interviewer] If you
could choose someone to cover one of your
songs, who would it be? – The B-52s, I love them. – [Interviewer] Oh, that’s a good one. I love The B-52s. – I just, I gotta go up to my room. Are we good on time? – [Interviewer] We’re totally fine, we have like another 10 minutes. Don’t worry about it.
– Okay, awesome. – [Interviewer] So
what’s a rumor you think would be funny to start about yourself? – That Awkwafina is the
best and she has no flaws. – [Interviewer] What’s the last emoji that you remember using? – I like using the ambulance or the rocket that is aggressively blasting off. – [Interviewer] And
would you find yourself using Twitter or Instagram more? – I love, I’m more active on Instagram. But I like to get the tea
and the news from Twitter. Thank you, love you Chris. – [Interviewer] Now I remember
watching your music videos when they first came out, how did it feel getting attention for the first time? – It was like a panic attack, reliving it over and over again. But also like very exciting. – [Interviewer] That
must’ve been exciting, you were getting a ton of buzz. Were you anxious or hesitant starting out, putting yourself up on
the internet like that? – There are several voices in my head. One was like, oh my god, are
you really gonna do this? And the other one was like, don’t do it. And the third one was
like, I mean just do it. And so I listened, and I
did it, and here we are. – [Interviewer] Do you ever
read the comments on YouTube? – I once met an old wise man under a tree, the tree had pickles, and he
said, never read the comments. So I listened. – That’s pretty specific.
– Yes. – [Interviewer] So
Awkwafina, you’re a rapper, an actress, internet
personality, comedian, an author, a host, what
do you most identify with? – Probably DJ photographer. – [Interviewer] What or who
inspires most of your lyrics? – The stars at night, the sound of waves softly crashing onto
one another, your voice. – [Interviewer] Ah, thank you. So what comes first,
the beat or the lyrics? – I gotta say the beat, the beat. It all starts with the beat. – [Interviewer] Is is easier
for you to write raps or jokes? – I would say jokes, knock knock jokes. – [Interviewer] What was
the most memorable job that you had while getting
your comedy up and running? – That would be the vegan bodega. Taught me a lot about customer service, a lot about retail. – There ya go.
– Wanna come in? – [Interviewer] Yeah, let’s do it. – All right. – [Interviewer] And what
was your favorite job? – My favorite was probably working at the video store when
I was 16 years old. – [Interviewer] What film did
you rent the most from there? – “Beaches.”
– “Beaches.” Bette Midler. – Deep cut.
– Sad movie. By the way, beautiful view. – It is, check it out. – Look at that.
– It’s gorgeous. – [Interviewer] Los Angeles. So Awkwafina, when did you realize you could first make people laugh? – I developed humor as a defense mechanism when I was like four, actually
after the passing of my mom. I wanted to be an emblem of joy, and not an emblem of sorrow. – [Interviewer] That’s touching. Was there a particular moment you realized you wanted to be a comedian? – When I was about five or six, I had this crowd rolling, right. And I remember going home
at night, sitting awake, as a child, and wondering if like the laughs were real or
if they just felt bad. – You were so young.
– Yeah. – [Interviewer] But there’s also so much heart in your “SNL” monologue. – Thank you. – [Interviewer] What did
that experience feel like? It must’ve been surreal. – It was amazing to be able to deliver a monologue that, you know,
took more of a serious turn. I think it’s one thing to
imagine being on that stage, and another to imagine tearing up. And that’s what that moment
meant to me, for sure. – [Interviewer] Well have you met Lucy Liu since that monologue? – No, I’m meeting her on Saturday. I’m really nervous. What do you wear to that, you know? She’s so cool, I don’t
know what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna be like shivering, I don’t know. I don’t know. – [Interviewer] That’s so exciting. What does it mean being a woman in comedy? – What it means to be a woman in comedy, I think being a woman in comedy means kind of building up that
collective comradery with the truths, the sometimes sad and funny truths of being a woman. But also, using it to empower, using it to encourage, using it to laugh. To further improve womanhood in general. – [Interviewer] Are you annoyed of being asked that question? – I mean it’s fine. It’s fine. – [Interviewer] I’ve heard
through the grapevine you’re creating your own show right now. Are there any spoilers you can reveal? – Yeah, at the end everyone
dies in the spaceship. – [Interviewer] What three words are used to describe an Awkwafina set? – Fun, full of joy, frolicking joyfully. – [Interviewer] Fantastic. Now I also hear you’re
great at impressions. – No I’m not, I mean, like
where’d you hear that from? Like I’m not like that good, like I’m not. It’s not like I just wanna
do that all the time. But if like you asked maybe I would, but I wouldn’t do it unprompted. Just like, it’s really how you feel. And if you wanna hear one. – [Interviewer] Can you do one? – Okay. All right, how about this one. This is a deep cut. Okay ready?
– Yeah. – Where’s the string beans? Right, right, let me do one more. It’s better when I do it.
– Okay. – Where’s the string beans. I just left them on the
table, and they’re gone now. Name it, name it, you don’t, no. It’s older, so forget it. – [Interviewer] I have
no idea what that was, but I loved it.
– Thank you. – [Interviewer] Now,
you’ve worked with some amazing actors.
– I have, yes. – [Interviewer] What’s
your dream ensemble cast? – Me, all the dragons
from “Game of Thrones,” I’m talking all of ’em, all
right, and Carol Burnett. – Okay. Love Carol, too.
– Yeah. – [Interviewer] If you staged a heist like in “Oceans 8,” what
would you wanna steal? – Probably bagels, everything bagels. I feel like they always run
out of everything bagels, so I wanna hoard them all, I
want them all in a bagel room. – [Interviewer] And you play
a pickpocket in that film, how method did you get with that? – It depends on what you consider method. Because it’s like I found this somewhere. – [Interviewer] Wait a sec, that’s… Are you serious, how did you? – You know, you do a lot of wrist talking. So, you know, that’s your
number one for pickpockets. You talk a lot with your wrists. I pulled this one, a
Folex, what a good brand. – [Interviewer] Hey, that
is not a Folex, thank you. So you received rave reviews
about your performance in The Farewell, what drew you to that? – You know, I never thought in my lifetime that I would receive a
script that was about an Asian American woman
and the relationship she has with her grandma,
as well as the journey of going from America to China. It was incredible. I can’t believe I got it. [speaking a foreign language] – [Interviewer] And you’re close to your grandmother in real life. – I am, she’s my best friend. – [Interviewer] Did that make it easier or harder for you to tap this role? – It made it easier in that I know how to relate to that relationship. And harder in that embodying the character you have to imagine losing your grandma, which was hard. – [Interviewer] Describe
her in three words. – Okay here we go. Fun, full of life, funny. – [Interviewer] Nailed it. So “Crazy Rich Asians” was
the first Hollywood movie with an all-Asian cast in 25 years. what did that feel like to be a part of? – When we were out there filming it we knew that we were part
of something special. But to what extent we had no idea. It wasn’t until we came
back and we would sit through these screenings and
see these kids come out crying because that is the
power of representation. You don’t realize how important it is until you realize you’ve been
missing it your whole life. So yeah, it was really special. – [Interviewer] How close
is your personal style to Peik Lin’s personal style? – Peik Lin, it’s not
close because Peik Lin shops couture, Nora shops two for four. Get it? – [Interviewer] I see what you did there. – I just made that up.
– It was good. – Great.
– You’re in comedy. – Thank you. – [Interviewer] I heard that you have a nickname for Ken Jeong. – Papafina. – [Interviewer] And what’s
an article of clothing you can’t live without? – I’d say a full-body Spanx, one that goes from my toes to my neck. – [Interviewer] What’s your favorite look that you wore on the red carpet? – I love pantsuits. – [Interviewer] What trend would you like to see a little bit
more of on the red carpet? – I think we need more latex. Specifically around the shins. – [Interviewer] Are there
any trends you regret trying? – Ooh, I one time got short angry bangs. And I would run my finger through it and it felt like a toothbrush. – [Interviewer] Do you have
any daily skincare rituals? – [Awkwafina] I use a serum
and then I’ll put, you know, maybe some moisturizer
right on top of that. Maybe I’ll put the moisturizer first then the serum, who knows. – [Interviewer] Whose
word do you trust the most when it comes to beauty products? – [Awkwafina] My makeup artist, shout out Kirin Bhatty, love you. – [Interviewer] What are
your thoughts on dating apps? – Sorry, I misheard the question. I mean I’m a gemini and I
love walks on the beach. I also love Joshua
Tree, I can do all that. But I also like a nice night
home, maybe watching Netflix. Maybe catching up on the “OA,” I dunno. Whatever you wanna do. What sign are you, what
are you doing later? Are you free, do you like Thai food? I know this great Thai place called Pa Ord down in Hollywood. I love Hollywood, I love Pantages. I love “Cats, have you seen Cats? I love show tunes. – [Interviewer] I’ve
only seen the trailer. So what question do you
wish you were asked less? – Why are you this way? – [Interviewer] And what’s a question that you wish you were asked more? – I wanna be asked, how are you doing? Like how are you doing? Like really make eye contact with me. You know?
– Absolutely, absolutely. And in the vein, do you
prefer answering questions, or do you prefer asking ’em? – I like doing a bit of both. I like being the interviewee, and then also flipping it
and becoming the interviewer. – [Interviewer] Okay Awkwafina,
this is our last question. Question number 73. Can I have my watch back? – Oh wait, is that a phone? Sorry, is that your phone? Sorry.
– Can I? – Oh, it must be this one. It must be this phone here. – [Interviewer] The phone’s not ringing. – Hello? Yeah, yes. Oh how’s your mom doing? Sorry, I can’t hear you,
are you on a mountain? Are you on a mountain? Hello? Hello? – [Interviewer] You know,
just keep the watch. – [Awkwafina] Oh yeah, no that was fun.

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