Fresh Off the Boat author Eddie Huang makes his directorial debut in new film BOOGIE set to release March 5, 2021. Alfred “Boogie” Chin, played by Taylor Takahashi, is a basketball phenom who dreams of one day playing int he NBA. The story follows a Chinese American teenager growing up in Queens, New York. As his parents pressure him to earn a scholarship to college, Boogie learns how to navigate a new girlfriend, played by Taylour Paige from VH1’s Hit the Floor, high school, on-court rivals and the burden of looming expectation. Pop Smoke makes his posthumous acting debut in the film as the basketball rival of the story’s main character, Boogie.
BOOGIE was filmed prior to Pop Smoke’s unfortunate and sudden death in February 2020. The full trailer’s soundtrack features Pop Smoke’s “Got It On Me” single, which recognizably samples 50 Cent’s classic “Many Men.”
Eddie Huang is an acclaimed writer, television personality and restauranteur, who you may know best from his popular Viceland foodie show Huang’s World or his popular Manhattan gua bao restaurant, BaoHaus, located in the East Village. Now, Huang makes a thoughtful introduction to film with this coming-of-age story about the constant strife many first generation immigrant Americans face when adapting to American culture and that of their own.
Huang spoke with The New York Times in June saying, “A lot of actors just don’t have the depth of emotion and experiences, but because of what Pop’s gone through, he has a tremendous well to draw from. He gave me a thousand percent. There were tough 16-hour days, overnights, and he shot five overnights in a row. Kids were coming on the bridge to watch us shoot the scenes. We would play Pop’s record. All our actors, the extras, the kids on the bridge watching us shoot scenes, everyone was doing the Woo dance. It was pretty special.”
We meet Boogie in the brand new trailer above. The handsome Takahashi plays the lead where he previews his stunning jawline and stellar basketball skills.
Boogie shares in a voiceover in the trailer as the late Pop Smoke’s “Got It On Me” sits underneath, “No one believes in an Asian basketball player. It’s a joke in this country. We can cook, clean, count real good, but anything else, we’re picked last.”
Staring his NBA dreams in the face, Boogie is met with several challenges from his on-court rival, played by Pop Smoke, his new girlfriend and “5,000 years’” worth of expectations. Boogie debuts in theaters on March 5, 2021.