Funny story: In 2009, I was with my aunt, uncle and cousin in New York City – and my uncle spotted Ang Lee on the subway. It was so awesomely ironic for my aunt and uncle to visit NYC from Taipei and spot a famous Taiwanese person.
For the record, Ang Lee looks taller and skinner in real life, and he was wearing a baseball cap, dad jeans and a dorky backpack. When he noticed four Asian faces grinning at him, he grinned back and nodded as if to say, “Yes, you are correct, Chinese people. I am Ang Lee.”
Sometimes when I need a creative boost, I think about Ang Lee’s career. His early struggles as an outsider who couldn’t speak English. The years he spent as a stay-at-home dad. His tenacity and adaptability. His quiet confidence and how he never plays it safe.
I’d love to share a few of my favorite Ang Lee videos from YouTube. Wanna see?
1. Got an hour? If not, cancel your plans, dammit! You have to watch this interview from 2006 with his longtime screenwriter and producer, James Schamus. He’s so natural, amusing and interesting to listen to. You’ll feel like you’re sitting in the audience. The entire video is worth watching.
2. Huge moment. It’s his second Oscar for Life of Pi. His humility just kills me.
3. The opening cooking scene from Eat Drink Man Woman. I went through a period in New York when I’d play Eat Drink Man Woman on Netflix whenever I was at home. You might say I was a little homesick.
Top Photo Credit: thefilmstage.com