Netflix’s “Always Be My Maybe” is riding a wave of advance buzz for its forward-thinking take on the romantic comedy. In a Tuesday appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” however, co-writer and star Ali Wong joked that she had a simpler goal in mind when making the film.
“I kiss a lot of men,” Wong, who collaborated with Michael Golamco and longtime pal Randall Park on the script, said. “It’s like, who wrote this movie, right? I kiss a lot of sexy men. I kiss Daniel Dae Kim. I kiss Keanu Reeves. I basically made Netflix spend all this money on a movie just so I could kiss Daniel Dae Kim and Keanu Reeves.”
The movie, which hits Netflix Wednesday, follows celebrity chef Sasha Tran (played by Wong) as she returns from Los Angeles to her native San Francisco to open a new restaurant. Once back in the Bay Area, she reunites with a long-estranged high school pal, Marcus (Park), who also happens to be the guy she lost her virginity to.
There are a number of obstacles along the way ― Sasha’s pretentious fiancé (Kim) chief among them ― but, true to rom-com form, there’s a happy ending in store. “Always Be My Maybe” represents a milestone with regard to its portrayal of Asian women in general, specifically because Wong’s character gets to choose her own romantic destiny.
Wong, who is married to healthcare entrepreneur Justin Hakuta, said it was a similarly thrilling experience behind-the-scenes, too.
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“What you see on my face, that is a grown woman experiencing joy,” she told DeGeneres as the on-set screen displayed a photo of her smooch with Kim. “Pure joy.”
As to whether she was able to establish chemistry with Kim and Reeves, she quipped, “I’ve been with the same dude for 10 years. I would have chemistry with a turtle at this point.”