Awkwafina is still questioning why she was offered a role in Ocean’s 8.
The rapper and actress first entered the public eye in 2012 after uploading a comedy rap video online titled ‘My Vag’, and though she has since starred in films such as Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, she is relatively unknown compared to her Ocean’s 8 A-list castmates which include Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett and Rihanna.
And Awkwafina, real name Nora Lum Ying, has admitted that she’s mystified by her inclusion.
“No one knows why I was cast,” the 30-year-old laughed in an interview with The Guardian. “Even I don’t know. (Director) Gary Ross really took a chance on me. He saw something in me that I don’t think I even saw in myself. Because of his confidence, I felt confident, too.”
Plenty of the Ocean’s 8 actresses have praised each other for the fun and friendship they all shared on set. However, Awkwafina confessed that she was particularly nervous about working amidst such a high calibre of talent.
“I had waking nightmares I would say something weird. But they welcomed me, they were so warm,” she smiled. “There was so much laughter on set. I consider them my heroes – but now they are also my friends. It’s always a joy to wake up to a text from one of them.”
Shooting the heist flick also brought back memories of her former life, as the comedy star happened to film one scene outside the building she once worked in as a publicity assistant – before being fired for uploading her controversial rap video six years ago.
“We were shooting this glamorous scene and I looked up and saw the office I got fired from. I thought: ‘Oh my God, everything has come full circle,'” she recalled. “I left that job in pursuit of Awkwafina. And here I was shooting a scene with Rihanna.”