Disney legend Ming-Na Wen has been honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!
“We need to just pave this Hollywood Boulevard with more Asian talents,” she began her speech, waving her arm at the boulevard with more than 2,700 stars. (Only about 20 of them belong to people of Asian descent.)
The actor, who is best known for voicing Mulan in the 1998 animated movie and more recently for joining the Star Wars franchise as mercenary assassin Fennec Shand in The Mandalorian, took to the podium where she spoke of her family, her struggles as an Asian American… and how no one can ever seem to pronounce or spell her name correctly!
“Living in America with a name like mine, trust me, it wasn’t easy – in fact, it sucked,” she said, joking she was worried they’d spell her name wrong on her star!
“My mom was a single mom from China who sacrificed everything to bring my older brother Jonathan and me to America. We were immigrants who came to this country in hopes of having a better life… Mom, thanks to you, we are all living the American dream.”
She went on to describe how taking part in The Joy Luck Club changed her life: “it made me realise that I wasn’t alone in my struggles growing up as an Asian woman in America”, later mentioning she’s endured “countless rejections” as well as “sexism, racism, so many ‘isms.”
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Ming-Na added that her star is “a really special way to celebrate APPI heritage month by ending it with something as tremendous as this.”
Her Joy Luck co-stars Tamlyn Tomita, Lauren Tom and Rosalind Chao joined her for the ceremony too.
Ming-Na, who’s had a career spanning four decades, also took a moment during her speech to acknowledge the prominent Asian Americans in Hollywood who came before her including 94-year-old actor James Hong who received his star last year.
Other Asian American and Pacific Islander performers with a star on the famous boulevard include Jason Momoa, and Apl.de.ap of the Black Eyed Peas.
You can watch her speech in full here.
(Feature Image Credit: Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)