Love Story

WATCH: Director Alice Wu on crafting a queer high school romance with ‘The Half of It’

The Half Of It – Director Alice Wu, Leah Lewis – Photo Credit: Netflix / KC Bailey

Alice Wu’s journey has come to a climax.

The Chinese-American and openly lesbian writer/director scored notice for her feature debut Saving Face back in 2004. The story dealt with a Chinese-American lesbian coping with the cultural pressures of her family, her career as a surgeon and her attraction to a beautiful, young woman. The film went on to play the Toronto and Sundance Film Festivals, where it earned positive reaction from critics and audiences.

For the next ten years–as happens to indie directors–Wu struggled to get other projects off the ground. In 2018, her spec script The Half of It won a spot on the Hollywood Black List, an index of the best-unproduced scripts in Hollywood. The story told of a high school romance of sorts, with a nerdy Asian-American student helping a football player woo a popular girl in school, with a queer twist. Landing on the Black List propelled Wu’s career into high gear, and Netflix came knocking.

Now The Half of It arrives as a full motion picture comedy on Netflix streaming. Queerty caught up with Wu just ahead of the big premiere May 1.


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