The Hollywood Reporter has released their Next Gen issue where the industry trade recognizes four rising stars in Hollywood on its coveted cover and one of their 2018 selections is CRAZY RICH ASIANS’ Awkwafina (the other three are BLACK PANTHER’s Letitia Wright, JUSTICE LEAGUE’s Ezra Miller, and TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE’s Noah Continuo).

THR interviewed Awkwafina for the Next Gen cover story and the rapper-turned-actor touched on everything from how she started her music career and how a video about her vagina shot her to viral fame, how she was cast in OCEAN’S 8 and CRAZY RICH ASIANS, and how she found out she would be the second Asian woman to host SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE:

Awkwafina was on a plane when her publicist sent her a foreboding text, requesting a call with her whole team as soon as she hit the ground. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, what did I do?’ Was it some surveillance video or like a sex tape or something, a horrible sex tape that no one even wants to watch?” Nope. The news that couldn’t wait was that she’d been invited to host Saturday Night Live.

Awkwafina became the second Asian woman to host the show, and only the fifth Asian to host, ever. The significance wasn’t lost on the actress, who, in her Dec. 6 opening monologue, revealed that when she was a kid, she stood outside of 30 Rockefeller Plaza the night that Lucy Liu hosted, 18 years earlier. “I love Lucy Liu. I was obsessed with Charlie’s Angels,” says the 29-year-old. “To see an Asian-American on there back in 2000 was quite moving, and to be there and to know that I was the second — it was incredible.”

The longtime New Yorker described herself on SNL as “your average Asian trumpet player turned rapper turned actress.” But there’s nothing average about Nora Lum’s (her given name) trajectory to stardom, which capped this year with breakout turns in back-to-back studio films — Ocean’s Eight and Crazy Rich Asians. And it all started with a viral video about vaginas.

To read the full article, go to THR: From Viral Vagina Video to Movies and ‘SNL’ Host: Awkwafina Must “Find Out Who I Am Now”