Victor Ma Boqian, who grew up and went to college in the Los Angeles area but gave up his Hollywood dreams for China after being repeatedly rejected for roles because of reasons like his eyes were too big to fill the Asian diversity quota, is returning as the lead in an upcoming Zombie Brother adaptation. As Deadline reported, he’ll play the lead opposite Colin Firth in the film titled “New York Will Eat You Alive.”
In the film, Ma will star as Bai, a successful biotech engineer who has to lead his group of friends across a New York City overrun with zombies in order to save the world. STX is releasing the Todd Strauss-Schulson directed film in the U.S. and UK and through its foreign output partners with Tencent distributing in China.
I know this is old news, but I just saw it today so it’s new to me. Chinese-American singer-actor Victor Ma gave an interview a while ago discussing his Hollywood endeavors, where he says he got passed for roles because he didn’t “look Asian enough.” In particular, he was told his eyes were too large for a role in The Maze Runner (his eyes aren’t even that large compared to most Chinese celebs).
“I auditioned for The Maze Runner. The role went to a Korean-American, his name is Ki Hong Lee. The role was down to me and him. The audition was a last call. The reason why they didn’t want me was first, I was still a minor and it was more difficult to work with night schedules. That’s one thing. Second of all, the casting told me was that “You don’t look Asian enough.” ****. When I asked him why, he told me “Ki-hoon has smaller eyes than yours.” I was like, oh my god, are you kidding me.” -Victor Ma
This is one topic that I personally find really obvious, but is often difficult to discuss without making it sound like a criticism of certain looks. It’s nice to have someone to actually come out and say it’s definitely true.