Nora Lum (born June 2, 1988), known professionally as Awkwafina, is an American actress, comedian, internet personality, rapper, author, and television host. She is the recipient of various accolades, including a Golden Globe Award, and nominations for a British Academy Film Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and an AACTA International Award. She rose to prominence in 2012 when her rap song “My Vag” became popular on YouTube. She then released her debut album, Yellow Ranger (2014), and appeared on the MTV comedy series Girl Code (2014–2015). Her second album, In Fina We Trust, was released in 2018.
She played supporting roles in the comedy films Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016), with Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Chloë Grace Moretz, Zac Efron, Dave Franco, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jerrod Carmichael, Ike Barinholtz, Carla Gallo, Hannibal Buress, and Lisa Kudrow; Dude (2018), with Lucy Hale, Kathryn Prescott, Alexandra Shipp, Austin Butler and Michaela Watkins; Gary Ross’s Ocean’s 8 (2018), with Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, and Helena Bonham Carter; John M. Chu’s Crazy Rich Asians (2018), with Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, Lisa Lu, Ken Jeong, and Michelle Yeoh; and Jake Kasdan’s Jumanji: The Next Level (2019), with Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, Alex Wolff, Morgan Turner, Ser’Darius Blain, Madison Iseman, Rory McCann, Danny Glover, and Danny DeVito.
She played a leading role in Lulu Wang’s comedy-drama film The Farewell (2019), with Tzi Ma, Diana Lin, and Zhao Shuzhen; for which she received critical acclaim and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, becoming the first woman of Asian descent to win a Golden Globe in any lead actress film category. She was also nominated for the BAFTA in the Rising Star Category in 2020 and the Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Actress, as well as winning the Satellite Award for Best Actress.
Her other films include Paradise Hills (2019), with Emma Roberts, Danielle Macdonald, Jeremy Irvine, Arnaud Valois, Eiza González, and Milla Jovovich; Breaking News in Yuba Country (2021), with Allison Janney, Mila Kunis, Regina Hall, Wanda Sykes, Juliette Lewis, Samira Wiley, Jimmi Simpson, Clifton Collins Jr., Bridget Everett, Dominic Burgess, Keong Sim, Chris Lowell, Matthew Modine, and Ellen Barkin; the Marvel Cinematic Universe entry Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021), with Simu Liu, Tony Leung, Fala Chen, Meng’er Zhang, Florian Munteanu, Ronny Chieng, and Yeoh; Swan Song (2021), with Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Glenn Close, and Adam Beach; Chris McKay’s Renfield (2023), with Nicholas Hoult, Nicolas Cage, Ben Schwartz, Adrian Martinez, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Bess Rous, and James Moses Black.
She was the voice of Sisu in Raya and the Last Dragon (2021), with the voices of Kelly Marie Tran, Izaac Wang, Gemma Chan, Daniel Dae Kim, Benedict Wong, Sandra Oh, Thalia Tran, Lucille Soong, and Alan Tudyk. She’s also voiced in the films The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019), with Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Tony Hale, Bill Hader, Peter Dinklage, Leslie Jones, Rachel Bloom, Sterling K. Brown, Eugenio Derbez, JoJo Siwa, and Brooklynn Prince; The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run (2020), with Tom Kenny, Matt Berry, Snoop Dogg, Bill Fagerbakke, Clancy Brown, Tiffany Haddish, Carolyn Lawrence, Mr. Lawrence, Keanu Reeves, Danny Trejo, and Reggie Watts; The Bad Guys (2022), with Sam Rockwell, Marc Maron, Anthony Ramos, Craig Robinson, Richard Ayoade, Zazie Beetz, Lilly Singh, and Alex Borstein. She will voice in Disney’s live action adaptation of The Little Mermaid (2023), with Halle Bailey, Jonah Hauer-King, Javier Bardem, and Melissa McCarthy, with the voices of Daveed Diggs and Jacob Tremblay.
Awkwafina is co-creator, writer and executive producer of the Comedy Central series Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens (2020–present), in which she stars as a fictionalized version of herself. The cast also features Lori Tan Chinn, Chrissie Fit, Jonathan Park, BD Wong, Bowen Yang, and Jennifer Esposito.
Each review will be linked to the title below.
(*seen originally in theaters)
(**seen rereleased in theaters)
- Bad Rap (2016) – directed by Salima Koroma – herself – documentary
- Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016) – directed by Nicholas Stoller
- Storks (2016) – directed by Nicholas Stoller & Doug Sweetland
- Dude (2018) – directed by Olivia Milch
- Ocean’s 8 (2018) – directed by Gary Ross
- Crazy Rich Asians (2018) – directed by Jon M. Chu
- The Farewell (2019) – directed by Lulu Wang
- Paradise Hills (2019) – directed by Alice Waddington
- The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019) – directed by Thurop Van Orman & John Rice
- Between Two Ferns: The Movie (2019) – directed by Scott Aukerman – cameo as herself
- Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) – directed by Jake Kasdan
- The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run (2020) – directed by Tim Hill
- Breaking News in Yuba County (2021) – directed by Tate Taylor
- Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)* – directed by Don Hall, Carlos López Estrada, Paul Briggs, & John Ripa
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)* – directed by Destin Daniel Cretton
- Swan Song (2021) – directed by Benjamin Cleary
- The Bad Guys (2022) – directed by Pierre Perifel
- Renfield (2023) – directed by Chris McKay
- The Little Mermaid (2023) – directed by Rob Marshall