|Lulu Wang Quick Info|
|Date of Birth||February 25, 1982/1983|
Lulu Wang is an American writer, filmmaker, TV personality, and classical pianist, best known for writing and directing her 2nd feature film The Farewell (2019) which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize in the “Dramatic” category. In addition, her movie won an “Audience Favorite” award at the Sundance Film Festival in London, England, United Kingdom the same year. The Farewell won an Audience Award at the Atlanta Film Festival, Cinetopia Film Festival, and VC FilmFest – Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. Lulu was also awarded a “Directors to Watch” prize at the Palm Springs International Film Festival and was also named one of “10 Directors to Watch” by Variety in January 2019.
The plot of the movie began developing back in May 2016, when Lulu wrote and narrated a story in 1 episode of This American Life radio program. The story was based on her grandmother’s illness, which piqued the interest of Chris Weitz, a well-known movie producer. Lulu had her start back in 2005, when she directed, wrote, and produced a short movie titled Pisces, as well as a short movie Can-Can in 2007. It wasn’t until 2014 that she came to prominence after she wrote and directed her debut feature film, Posthumous, and 1 year later, also wrote and directed another short movie, Touch, which premiered at the Palm Springs International ShortsFest.
She was born on February 25, 1982/1983.
Los Angeles, California, United States
Lulu Wang attended the New World School of the Arts in Downtown, Miami, Florida, United States and studied for piano performance.
She then enrolled in Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, United States, and graduated with a double major in music and literature in 2005.
Filmmaker, Writer, Classical Pianist, TV Personality
- Father – He was a Chinese diplomat to the USSR.
- Mother – She was an editor and cultural critic at the Beijing Literary Gazette magazine.
- Siblings – Anthony (Younger Brother) (Sous Chef at Auburn LA)
- Others – “Nai Nai” (Paternal Grandmother), “Little Nai Nai” (Paternal Grand-aunt)
Lulu Wang is represented by –
- United Talent Agency (UTA) (Talent Agent, Literary) in Beverly Hills, California, United States
- Circle of Confusion (Manager) in Los Angeles, California, United States
- Narrative (Publicist) in Los Angeles, California, United States
- Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman (Legal Representative) in Los Angeles, California, United States
5 ft or 152.5 cm
45 kg or 99 lbs
Boyfriend / Spouse
Lulu Wang has dated –
- Barry Jenkins (2018-Present) – She is dating fellow screenwriter, director, and producer Barry Jenkins who also lives in Los Angeles, California, United States. Barry is best known for his 3rd directorial feature film If Beale Street Could Talk (2018), which earned him multiple nominations at the Academy Awards and Golden Globes for screenwriting.
Race / Ethnicity
She is of Chinese descent.
She has also dyed her hair ‘Dark Brown’ in the past.
Very thin lips
Lulu isn’t religious but believes that the universe rewards people who are courageous.
Best Known For
Directing and writing her 1st feature film debut, Posthumous (2014), as well as her 2nd feature film, The Farewell (2019) which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival
First TV Show
Lulu Wang made her first TV show appearance as ‘Herself’ in an episode of the talk-show, Great Day Washington, in July 2019.
Lulu Wang Favorite Things
- Influences – Ruben Ostlund, Mike Leigh
- Women-Directed Movies – The Piano (1993), Ratcatcher (1999), After the Wedding (2006)
Source – Variety, WomenAndHollywood.com
Lulu Wang Facts
- While her mom was pregnant with her, a blind psychic in a remote China village prophecied that the 1st out of her 4 children will be a daughter who will inherit all of her artistic gifts. Lulu was scared she wouldn’t amount up to that and told her mom that the psychic was wrong anyway, as she only delivered 2 kids. She was stunned to find at that moment that her mom underwent 2 forced abortions in China due to their 1-child policy, making the prophecy, in fact, much more reliable.
- Lulu started attending piano lessons at the age of 4.
- At the age of 6, she and her parents moved from China to Miami, Florida, United States, where she grew up.
- Lulu has stated: “I’m very good at spotting when people are inauthentic. I can always feel when someone’s not fully connected. It’s just an energy thing.”
- She is fluent in both English and Mandarin Chinese, and “sometimes Spanish” according to her.
- She moved to Los Angeles, California in 2007. Initially, she thought the best way to make a splash in the film industry was to become a producer’s assistant until she gets more experience. However, while working on the set of Pineapple Express (2008), she went up to the film’s director to give him some of her work and was promptly fired for ignoring the hierarchy.
- Lulu started a company named LegalREEL Productions in 2008 which shot videos for attorneys.
- She and her friend Bernadette Bürgi were both attending a producer internship in 2008. After they took a trip to the IKEA store, they decided to make a movie of their own and founded a production company titled Flying Box Productions.
- Lulu’s 1st directorial debut, feature film Posthumous (2014) was directed and developed through Flying Box Productions.
- Lulu’s 1st love was a man 27 years her senior.
- She and a friend once decided to kidnap a 3rd friend as a prank and took him to New York City, New York, United States.
- She directed a short documentary, Fishing the Gulf (2006) after she met a stranger in a bar in Boston, Massachusetts who was a small landowner in Panama.
- The story of her paternal grandmother, Nai Nai, was featured in episode 585 of the radio program This American Life, a weekly radio show broadcast to more than 2.5 million listeners. The episode was titled Act One. What You Don’t Know/In Defense of Ignorance and was released in May 2016.
- Her grandmother, Nai Nai, was diagnosed with 4th stage of lung cancer and given about 3 months left to live. Lulu and her family decided not to tell her of the diagnosis and wanted to shower her with love and affection. For that reason, they made plans to stage a cousin’s wedding in her grandma’s hometown as a final goodbye.
- Lulu went back to her grandmother’s hometown of Changchun in northeastern China in 2018 to start preparing her movie. At that time, she also asked her grandaunt, who she called “Little Nai Nai” to star in the movie. She was reluctant to do so because she’s just “an ordinary person,” and felt like she would ruin the movie, but accepted and played herself in the movie alongside her dog named Ellen.
- Her movie majorly conveys the feeling of different cultures intertwining. It is based on her own feeling of being raised in the United States while her parents and grandparents had a traditional Chinese upbringing. A Chinese producer also advised her to add a white guy in her movie but she ultimately didn’t.
- The premiere of The Farewell at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019 prompted a bidding war. A24 media company won the rights to distribute the movie worldwide for around $6 to $7 million, which was double the end price to make the movie.
- Lulu also received an offer of about $12 million from an undisclosed streaming company, but ultimately declined it due to her initial goals and integrity.
- The premiere of The Farewell (2019) in 4 theaters in New York City, New York, and Los Angeles, California broke the record for best per-screen-average with an amount of $87,833. This broke the record set by Avengers: Endgame the same year, which had an average of $76,601 per-theater but it opened in more than 4600 North American theaters.
- Visit her official website @ thumbelulu.com.
- Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
Featured Image by MiamiFilmFestival / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0