Oscars schmoscars. Who needs an Academy Award nomination when you’ve got a Golden Globe, a TIME 100 title and a new TV show under your belt? Okay sure, Awkwafina was probably the teensiest bit disappointed when her name wasn’t among those called out at the Oscar nominations on Jan. 13. Because after the actress’s notable Globes win for The Farewell so recently, we were all kind of expecting her to get a nod. But she’s not sweating it.
“We had a couple of text exchanges about everything, about how appreciative we all are about how long this run has been,” Awkwafina said Tuesday at the 2020 Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif., while promoting her upcoming series Awkwafina is Nora From Queens.
“The Farewell came out last January at Sundance and we didn’t know where it would take us. To see all the attention that it’s gotten, that feels like a win. The bottom line is there were some amazing performances, I think all of them were warranted. We can’t ignore the fact that there were some incredible movies that women helmed, including mine—The Farewell. But for me personally, I feel very grateful for where I am and where we’ve come.”
I found this journal entry from 3 years ago, right before shooting one of my first movies… I don’t usually do this; but here it is. pic.twitter.com/soth6bewhj
— AWKWAFINA (@awkwafina) September 25, 2019
Considering that just a few years ago Awkwafina was still carving out a name for herself as an actress (remember that time she hosted the iHeartRadio MMVAs?), it’s pretty cool that she’s now worked with people like Anne Hathaway and Constance Wu, not to mention starring in her very own TV series. Still, there were plenty of fans who felt like the 31-year-old deserved better, especially since her Oscar snub speaks to wider issues of industry-wide representation.
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That #OscarsSoWhite mood isn’t lost on Awkwafina either.
“There’s always more work to be done,” she said while answering a question about representation during the panel. “With this show and with the movies we’ve seen this year, representation existed. That’s what I know. In terms of anything else, I can’t be more grateful than to do what I love to do. To be recognized even a little bit for that is great.”
Meanwhile, we can all get excited to see her front and centre in Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens when the series, which she created, writes and stars in, premieres next week (Jan. 22, 10:30pET on Much). The comedy is based on Awkwafina (a.k.a. Nora Lum) and her life growing up in Queens with her Dad (BD Wong), Grandma (Lori Tan Chinn), and cousin (Bowen Yang).
Sorry for being sincere or whatever for once, nvm. pic.twitter.com/1XhByPKikZ
— Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens (@NoraFromQueens) January 11, 2020
Also worth celebrating? Comedy Central, which airs the series in the U.S., confirmed the show has been renewed for a second season before it’s even debuted. Because that’s just what you do when you have one of the hottest celebs on a show, on your network. Oscar nomination or not.
Awkwafina is Nora From Queens debuts Jan. 22 at 10:30 pET on Much.