Aside from Kris Aquino, there is another Filipino to watch out for in Crazy Rich Asians: comedian Nico Santos. Nico brings life to fashion designer Oliver T’Sien, Nick Young's (Henry Golding) cousin.
In an interview, Nico told PEP.ph that the cast developed a strong bond while shooting the film adaptation of Kevin Kwan's best-selling novel of the same name. He even shared that they bond over karaoke every night! "Every downtime that we had, we spent with each other. It was like a family," Nico said. "We ate dimsum every day and went shopping. It was like we were on a paid vacation with our family."
When asked to recall the most challenging scene that he did for the movie, Nico narrated:
"On the way to Malaysia to film the movie, I got an email from production saying, 'Here's the line in Cantonese that you have to say.' But I don't speak Cantonese and, as you know, Cantonese is one of the most difficult languages to learn," Nico shared. He noted that he was given an audio recording, which he memorized and thought he had perfected. But then actress Michelle Yeoh asks him, "What are you saying?"
Nico says, "I turn beet red with embarrassment and I go, 'I'm sorry, I don't speak Cantonese. I'm trying my best.'" In the end, they went for the English translation instead.
"I'm a huge fan of Michelle Yeoh. She's a legend and the fact that I had to do a scene with her, I really had to pinch myself," he adds. "Everybody was a joy to work with."
However, Nico didn't get a chance to work with fellow Filipino actor, Kris Aquino. "We were in the wedding scene together and it was a very big scene and very hard to film logistically. I didn't get a chance to talk to her that much. I met her very briefly," he said.
Nico was born and raised in Manila. He was 16 when he joined his family in moving to the United States to live in Oregon. Nico became known for playing an illegal Filipino immigrant named Mateo Liwanag in American comedy series Superstore. Before that, he used to work in retail in San Fransisco which helped him prepare for his role as a fashion designer in the film.
*This story originally appeared on Pep.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.