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Skeevins

Top 5 best (or worst) Asian characters played by non-Asian actors

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There's been a lot over the years, from Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's to David Carradine in Kung-fu to Goku from the cinematic partial-birth abortion that was the Dragonball Z movie to David Carradine again in Crank 2.

 

It's kind of sad that Hollywood still hasn't outgrown a lot of its prejudices. Even now, they're talking about doing an Akira movie set in America and they're using that as an excuse to use big name caucasian actors. What I don't understand is why having a movie set in America precludes the use of Asian actors. Last I heard, people of Asian decent were Americans, too.

 

Still, it would be interesting to countdown the most insulting to the least insulting, or vice versa.

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To Fu Manchu, Thanks for Everything, Joan Chen?

 

One of the strangest and most incongruous fits of casting for me is always John Wayne as Genghis Khan in The Conqueror. And even Peter Sellers seemed to use the role of a stereotypical Chinese man as a go-to in his comedy, with probably the greatest effect in Murder By Death.

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with probably the greatest effect in Murder By Death.

 

That was a riff on Charlie Chan, though, which was hardly a super-enlightened character in the first place, so it gets a bit swampy to be down on Sellers for caricaturing a caricature.

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so it gets a bit swampy to be down on Sellers for caricaturing a caricature.

 

Ah, perhaps I was being murky. I was meaning to make the very point as you with that performance--"greatest effect" was a statement towards the overall success of the role rather than the amount of offensiveness.

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Murder by Death was hilarious. Peter Falk was pretty great in it, too.

 

Interesting thing about Charlie Chan, in movies he was played by both Asian and non-Asian actors.

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