In one essay of this remarkable memoir, actress Constance Wu admits that her first passion was writing before turning to drama, and thank goodness for us that she found she could do both, because she is an excellent writer and so much fun. This is more than an actor’s journey (although there's plenty of that here to satisfy); it’s a work of art and a call to arms for those who struggle to find their spot in the light. Her humor, intelligence, and empathy shine through this wonder of a book—one that is as important as it is enjoyable.
“Illuminating.” —The Washington Post * “Candid and relatable.” —Time *“Riveting and personal.” —Mindy Kaling * “Captivatingly immediate.” —The Skimm *
A “poignant, frank, and intimate” (The New York Times) memoir by actress Constance Wu about family, love, sex, shame, trauma, and how she found her voice.
Growing up in the friendly suburbs of Richmond, Virginia, Constance Wu was often scolded for having big feelings or strong reactions. “Good girls don’t make scenes,” people warned her. And while she spent most of her childhood suppressing her bold, emotional nature, she found an early outlet in community theater—it was the one place where big feelings were okay—were good, even. Acting became her refuge, and eventually her vocation. At eighteen she moved to New York, where she’d spend the next ten years of her life auditioning, waiting tables, and struggling to make rent before her two big breaks: the TV sitcom Fresh Off the Boat and the hit film Crazy Rich Asians.
Here Constance shares private memories of childhood, young love and heartbreak, sexual assault and harassment, and how she “made it” in Hollywood. Raw, relatable, and enthralling, Making a Scene is an intimate portrait of the pressures and pleasures of existing in today’s world.
About the Author
Constance Wu is the Golden Globe Award–nominated star of Crazy Rich Asians and Hustlers. Her breakthrough role was starring as Jessica Huang in the television comedy Fresh Off the Boat (2015–2020). She has been nominated for the Screen Actors Guild award, two Television Critics Association awards, and four Critics Choice awards. Time has honored her as one of the 100 Most Influential People of the Year. She lives on the east side of Los Angeles with her partner, Ryan Kattner, their daughter, and their pet bunny rabbit, Lida-Rose.
"Brilliant... achieves a vividness that most celebrity writers can only aspire to... Wu’s range as a writer is titanic." —Jezebel
"Vulnerable and audacious." —NPR
"Dazzling... Her depth of emotion makes her memoir both captivating and tender... Wu writes with unsparing honesty... bursting with revelation and reckoning." —Rajpreet Heir, The New York Times Book Review
"Illuminating... enthralling... her willingness to not just address her faults but grapple with them makes Wu’s memoir all the richer. Throw in her talent for vivid scene setting, plus an understanding that reflections are nothing without introspection, and the ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ star delivers a page-turner that amounts to much more than its headline-grabbing revelations." —The Washington Post
"A portrait of a young woman's life and of a young artist, struggling to find her way... poignant... frank and intimate." —The New York Times
"Candid and relatable... Her voice is forthright and clear." —Time
"A frank, powerful story told with a strong voice—but would you expect any less from a performer as bold as Wu?" —Town & Country
“So captivatingly immediate. It has something to say about both the inner life of an artist and the perils of public attention that I’ve never seen expressed before, and it’s adorably funny.” —Lena Dunham, The Skimm
“Wu wisely aligns poignant childhood anecdotes with new adult lessons… Generously sharing experiences of love, family, harassment, discrimination, and growth, Wu writes about others and her past self with the utmost respect. Her memoir is a gorgeously relatable portrait of a life guided by passion and art.” —Booklist, *starred review*
“Constance Wu writes with originality, ferocity, and unsparing honesty that doesn't let anyone — especially herself — off the hook. Making A Scene is as much about acting as it is about heartbreak, forgiveness, and being messily human. It made me laugh and it made my heart hurt; it reminded me of how necessary — and life giving — art is. This is a vital book by a singular talent.” —Rachel Khong, author of Goodbye, Vitamin
“There were times when I was reading Making a Scene that I didn’t realize I was holding my breath; it’s that riveting and personal. Making a Scene is a treasure and so is Constance Wu. I feel so lucky to call this talented and hilarious woman my friend.” —Mindy Kaling
"Constance Wu is a beautiful writer, a hilarious storyteller, and unafraid to tell the truth about her experiences." —Amy Schumer
"One of the most captivating and honest books I’ve read in years. Constance’s sharp and gorgeously observed ability to speak her truth, unforgivingly and often hilariously, gave me goosebumps, tears, gasps, and belly laughs." —Awkwafina