A week after the release of “Crazy Rich Asians” in local cinemas, Filipino cast member Kris Aquino expressed her joy over the local response to her short but important role as a princess in the Hollywood blockbuster.
On Instagram Tuesday, Aquino shared a photo of her entrance as Princess Intan in a climactic scene of the movie, which saw her character interacting with the main protagonist, Rachel (Constance Wu).
In its caption, Aquino addressed her followers, writing: “Please know your heartwarming comments and posts have made me feel immeasurable gratitude. I thank you for the effort to watch @crazyrichasians, some of you going multiple times with family, officemates, best friends, school barkadas, and your boyfriends and husbands.”
Aquino, who wore an ornate yellow gown by Filipino designer Michael Cinco in the scene, mentioned “the eyewitness accounts of spontaneous applause and cheering in movie theaters nationwide when my character made her entrance in Colin and Araminta’s wedding.”
The 47-year-old actress also thanked local moviegoers for the “pride you felt in being Filipino during my few minutes portraying Princess Intan in @crazyrichasians.”
(Spoilers follow.) As Princess Intan, Aquino portrayed a Malay royalty who had an entire row to herself in the so-called “wedding of the century” in Singapore, so she wouldn’t be bothered by other guests. Her part paved the way for a career-defining moment for protagonist Rachel, whose instant rapport with the steely princess appeared to leave a mark on Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh), who at that point was disapproving of the US-raised Rachel for her son, Nick (Henry Golding).
Though short, Aquino’s role made an impression with an enigmatic entrance that had the circle of Eleanor gossiping, and as she finally managed a smile while conversing with ostracized Rachel, her sole seat mate, during the wedding ceremony.
Addressing fans who have given her supportive messages, Aquino said on Instagram: “This feeling of solidarity for the sake of our national identity will forever inspire me to strive harder to promote and protect our values, dignity, and grace as a people. Walking into the light, with sunbeams filtering in, I embraced the blessing because for that moment, I was you, and you were me.”
Aquino was not the only Filipino cast member in “Crazy Rich Asians.” US-based actor Nico Santos played a cousin of Nick who forms a warm friendship with Rachel. Another familiar face to the Filipino audience in the cast is Carmen Soo, a Malay actress who starred in the ABS-CBN teleserye “Kahit Isang Saglit” opposite Jericho Rosales in 2008.