Constance Wu – ‘Fresh Off The Boat’
By Tim Goodman and Daniel Fienberg
Born in Virginia and only 33, Constance Wu was in many ways an unlikely choice to play Taiwanese mother-of-three Jessica Huang on ABC’s successful new family comedy. Perhaps the slightly-off casting explains why the actress has been able to entirely avoid Tiger Mother cliches. Her accent is consistent and never exaggerated for easy comedic effect, but rather used to add a unique rhythm and punctuation to the strong Fresh Off the Boat writing. Jessica is tough and demanding, but Wu never overplays the severity and whether relating to her three kids, her husband, her sister or neighbor-and-friend Honey, the character never lacks for off-kilter, well-intentioned warmth. – D.F.