It was in 2017 that Vietnamese actress, Veronica Ngo, starred in Star Wars: The Last Jedi in the brief but pivotal role of Paige Tico and the same year she appeared in Netflix’s Bright.
Ngo has, in the past few years, gone from the set of $1.3 billion smash hit Star Wars - The Last Jedi to returning home to make her country’s highest-ever grossing film, Furie, that released earlier this year.
According to the actress, who essays the role of a mother fighting to save her daughter from child traffickers in Furie, Southeast Asian cinema is in a state of revolution with a string of box office hits from the region, featuring a new generation of strong female leads.
“There are more alpha women out there, so there will be more female leads for them to watch,” Ngo told The Hollywood Reporter. “Those movies, in turn, encourage more and more young girls to be independent, strong and successful. That beautiful circle is slowly changing society.”
The actress, who is gearing up for her upcoming Spike Lee-Netflix action drama, titled Da Five Bloods, furthered, “In general it’s a good thing to see that Southeast Asia have more successful women leads. These movies could positively inspire young girls, encourage them to rise up and be independent in controlling their lives.It should be, and luckily I think it is, a trend now.”
The action thriller, Furie, directed by Le-Van Kietwent on to become Vietnam’s all-time box office champion, with takings of 200 billion dong ($8.6 million), a successful limited run in North American that collected $600,000, and a streaming deal with Netflix.
In fact, in the recent past, there have been a number of female-led box office hits across Southeast Asia. Case in point is the Indonesian action-comedy, 212 Warrior, that features former child star Sherina Munaf, who stole the show as a wild jungle warrior. Besides, in the Philippines, director Erik Matti cast Filipino-Australian actress Anne Curtis against her usual nice-girl character as a rookie cop drawn into a drug war in his critically acclaimed thriller, BuyBust (2018).
Veronica Ngo also revealed that after the success of Furie she plans to work in 30 feature films in the next 10 years. “In Vietnam, we can clearly see a wave of female lead projects. It represents a new generation of Vietnamese women who are very independent and confident,” she concluded.
– With information from The Hollywood Reporter