What She Wants

When Kevin Kwan Met Kris Aquino

What did Kris Aquino serve 'Crazy Rich Asians' author Kevin Kwan? Jollibee.

Over the weekend, Kris Aquino finally met Kevin Kwan, the author of the Crazy Rich Asians book trilogy.

Earlier this year, Aquino revealed she had won a role in a Hollywood movie, but did not disclose which one.  Based on a number of hints, people deduced it was the film version of Kwan’s first book, but it was only confirmed when Kwan mentioned it in an interview with Karen Davila last week.

“Can I say thank you? I was under a non-disclosure agreement. I was not allowed to talk about Crazy Rich Asians. But since Kevin broke the news, thank you! Because I could not say anything about it,” Aquino said to Kwan onstage at an author chat hosted by National Book Store at SM Seaside City mall in Cebu. The event was part of Kwan’s international book tour for Rich People Problems, the third book in the trilogy, and was attended by hundreds of local book lovers and others who said they had flown in specifically to see Aquino.

Thank you @nbsalert for bringing me to @smseasidecitycebu to be w/ @kevinkwanbooks ????????????

A post shared by ???????? Kris Aquino (@krisaquino) on

“I was dying to tell everybody. I could only post pictures and give a lot of clues about it but I was not allowed to tell anybody I was part of the movie. Did you see my scene?” Aquino asked Kwan. “That part we cannot talk about. It was really one of the most beautiful experiences of my life because I was just telling everybody about that shooting in Singapore. You missed how beautiful they made the scenery. Amazing, right?”


“I was already on tour in the U.S. for my book,” Kwan replied. “But I saw hundreds of pictures and videos. I saw pictures of you in them, and everything like that. But I wish I were there to see it. That scene which people will soon see.”

“She’s a dynamo. She’s a force of nature. I have so much admiration for her,” Kwan said of Aquino in an interview a day later, just before he joined her at the airport for lunch that included Jollibee Chickenjoy, cheeseburgers, and spaghetti, and Chowking halo halo

“She had the whole crowd under her spell. She was like a grand enchantress that came in and the excitement level went up like a million times. There was so much love in the room for her. Adoration, I felt. It was just so cool to witness,” said Kwan.

He said he had never done such an interview before.

“I tend to speak to academic types or other writers. It’s a much more muted, kind of restrained affair,” he said. “ To hear people chanting her name and screaming, whenever she’d turn her face in their direction, they’d scream, it was fun to watch. It was like being with a superstar. I was just along for the ride.”

The film adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians is directed by Jon M. Chu. It stars include Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat) and Michelle Yeoh (Guardians of the Galaxy and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). It’s scheduled to be released next year.

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Yvette Fernandez
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