5 Things You Should Know About 'Ocean's 8' Star Awkwafina

Gregg DeGuire/WireImage
Awkwafina arrives at the premiere of Universal Pictures' Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising on May 16, 2016 in Westwood, Calif.  

On Tuesday (Dec. 19), the trailer for the hotly anticipated film Ocean's 8 arrived. The starry cast features a mixed bag of established actresses (Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway) coupled with several music stars (Rihanna and Awkwafina). While Rihanna's name certainly jumps off the page because of her meaty résumé, the latter, Awkwafina, may come across as a new name for most. 

Born Nora Lum, she first gained success after her 2013 song "My Vag" went viral. Her buoyant single gained her more access and looks, as she tapped comedian Margaret Cho for her video "Green Tea" and later landed a role in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising starring Seth Rogen and Zac Efron. The zany star would later earn a talk show on Verizon’s Go90 video service called Tawk.

Get familiar with Awkwafina below. 

1. She released her first album in 2014 called Yellow Ranger

 

NEW VIDEO!!! Awkwafina - Yellow Ranger

A post shared by Nora (@awkwafina) on

In 2014, Awkwafina delivered her debut project Yellow Ranger. Showcasing her comedic side and whimsical delivery, Awkwafina's talking points included her fascination with vaginas on "My Vag" to her beef with former Mayor Bloomberg. "This song is kind of self-explanatory," she said in a 2014 interview with The Daily Dot regarding "Mayor Bloomberg (Giant Margarita)." "I legitimately wanted to know if Mayor Bloomberg was going to ban large margaritas that I cry over while on a date alone at Dallas BBQ as a part of his controversial soda ban. I called 311, though, and they confirmed that alcoholic beverages don’t fall under the restrictions."

2. She wrote a travel book

When Awkwafina wasn't locked in the studio, she was putting the finishing touches on her travel book. Titled Awkwafina’s NYC, she educated inept travelers on the ins and outs of New York City. Available on Amazon, the book provides readers with "10 fold out maps" and "50 plus places to get your eat and drink on." Bon appetit to that.

3. She was profiled in a 2016 documentary called Bad Rap

Awkwafina was one of the four Asian-American hip-hop artists profiled in 2016's Bad Rap documentary, directed by Salima Koroma. "When @limacake and @jaekicho asked me to participate in this doc a few years ago, I was still unsure what being Awkwafina meant," she wrote on Instagram last August. "I sincerely believed that by the time this movie came out, I would already have no teeth, working at a fish tank store freaking all the customers out with my weird stories. I think that everyone searches for a place of belonging and a sense of purpose, and this is what Bad Rap is about. I am thankful that I was a part of this but most importantly thankful for it leading me to my family- @dumbfoundead @rekstizzyand @yox_lyricks @thedannychung. Watch the movie on Netflix or iTunes! Or at least hover your mouse over the title so you can get a good look at my acorn shaped head."

4. She appeared in six episodes of MTV's Girl Code

Because she's incredibly funny and honest, those two attributes helped Awkwafina land a spot on MTV's Girl Code in 2014. In 2015, she served as a co-host with TV personality Nessa and comedian Carly Aquilino for the spin-off titled Girl Code Live

5. She'll appear in the 2018 film Crazy Rich Asians

Awkwafina scored another nice role when she was tapped to partake in the forthcoming movie Crazy Rich Asians. Based on the novel by Kevin Kwan, Crazy Rich Asians is about a Chinese professor who heads to Singapore with her boyfriend for his best friend's wedding. When they get there, she learns that her beau comes from a wealthy family with a dark past and that he's insatiable to every woman in sight.

THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.