The new heart-throbs: how Hollywood embraced east Asian actors, from Henry Golding to Simu Liu

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From romcoms to Marvel blockbusters, east Asian actors are enjoying unprecedented success. What’s taken the film industry so long?

It was the moment that all romance fans look forward to at the end of a film, hearts bubbling with anticipation: the kiss. I was watching The Edge of Seventeen, a smart coming-of-age movie, in which Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) had rushed to see her awkwardly endearing classmate (Hayden Szeto). After a bungled date and a crush on another man, she had decided Erwin was the one she wanted.

And then, instead of any show of passion, there came … an affectionate pat on the back as he introduced her to his friends. Moments before, I had been delighted that a Canadian actor of Chinese descent had been cast as the love interest of a white American woman. As the credits rolled, I felt cheated.

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