In 2019, Taylor Takahashi was Eddie Huang’s assistant. One day he showed up at work and his boss had a sudden request, “It was a Thursday Eddie greets me at the door and he says,’ Give me yours Cell phone and give me your computer ‘And I was like’ Eddie, am I fired? ‘”Takahashi said

He Wasn’t In Trouble He was told that that day he would audition for the lead role in Huang’s new film “Boogie,” a coming-of-age story about a teenage Asian American basketball player who put the pressure on the place and in the family in harmony

There was only one problem: Takahashi had never acted before and he had no plans to become an actor. But he knew how to play basketball. He and Huang play for the same team, the Mofufus, in San Gabriel, Calif. and for Auditioning “Boogie” was the movie equivalent of a free throw. Takahashi spent three hours preparing a scene and recording it that same day for his on-screen test. “I’ll be boogie by next Monday,” he said

Takahashi may never have acted before, but Huang always believed his teammate could star in “Boogie,” the first feature film Huang directed

“There are very few Asians who play basketball, like Taylor, who is age-appropriate for the role,” said Huang. He auditioned other actors, but when Takahashi submitted his tape it wasn’t a competition: Huang wanted someone the boogie, a lower middle class kid who lives in Queens, New York, could authentically portray

“This movie is difficult because it’s not just an Asian-American movie,” Huang said. “It’s also so much, if not more, black American culture, downtown New York culture, street culture, hip- Hop culture, all of those things It’s a very intersectional movie “

“Boogie” is also a personal film for Huang, who worked in film in college. He started writing it in 2016 after the premiere of “Fresh Off the Boat” on ABC, which was based on his memoir

“I thought when I wrote ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ I would have really blown that ceiling, not just for myself, but for immigrants and Asian Americans as well,” he said while writing, directing and being a creative Wanted to have control of the show based on his life the studio wouldn’t let you. “They just put another blanket over my head and it was pretty frustrating,” he said

So Huang went out, made his own documentary show called “Huang’s World” and wrote a script inspired by his own life. Like Alfred, the main character in “Boogie,” Huang grew up playing basketball and dreamed of to play for the NBA

Huang imbues Alfred with some of the same fears he faced as a young man, from dealing with his Taiwanese parents and their expectations to trying to fit into school and the basketball court, but it was important that Boogie wasn’t quiet or a straight-A student instead, he’s got into anger problems and gets into trouble

“He’s not a bad kid at all. He’s just different And people aren’t willing to give him the space and time to grow and change, make mistakes and be different,” Huang said. ” I wanted to make my definitive Asian-American coming-of-age story. This isn’t everyone’s Asian-American coming-of-age story, but it’s mine. “

“People want to do these works that represent us all and are correct – no mistakes,” he said. “Our culture is like, when we show this to the outside world, it has to be perfect, it doesn’t have to be mistakes, and me think people we are all flawed Neither of us is perfect Take it easy Can we have more precise representations or just other representations that are not so? “

The movie was a growing up experience for Takahashi too. Before “Boogie,” he said he had no clear direction in life, he had played basketball since he was two, but a broken ankle in college killed his dreams of playing professionally When he and Huang met, he was working as a personal trainer and yakitori cook. Now “Boogie” has opened up other possibilities for acting

“It’s a coming-of-age story within the movie for boogie, but I’ve grown up in the process too,” Takahashi said. “It’s understandable that all the tools in life are at my disposal, and when it does if it’s acting, if it’s basketball, if it’s taking out the trash – I’ve got all the skills in me, and it’s just a matter of tapping and taking them down and then releasing them “


World news – USA – In “Boogie” Eddie Huang tells his own “definitive Asian-American coming-of-age story”