With the horrific rise in hate crimes against people of Asian descent in the US amid the coronavirus pandemic, Daniel Wu has committed to fighting racism by working with a small group of notable AAPI (an acronym that stands for Asian-American and Pacific Islander) leaders from journalism, fashion, politics and entertainment to bring awareness to the issue. The veteran actor has started a movement with actor Daniel Dae Kim and other prominent Asian-Americans, such as reporter Lisa Ling, the president of Gold House (an organisation that supports Asian-Americans in entertainment) Bing Chen, fashion designer Phillip Lim, athlete Jeremy Lin and television host Jeannie Mai. Shiloh Jolie-Pitt shows her love for mum Angelina after mystery hospital visit “We are a think tank, helping to amplify messages that local community groups have been trying to get out there, but have not been getting much attention in the past few years,” he explained. “We are also working with the NAACP [The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] in terms of allyship. This joining forces is very important to our overall cause, which is to fight racism.” Wu is also speaking up about the need to lift Asian-American voices in Hollywood . Earlier this year, the 46-year-old star was on a panel at the Milken Institute to discuss representation in Hollywood. “It’s not just Asian representation in entertainment that we need, we also need representation in politics, sports, in fields that normally you don’t see Asian-Americans,” he said. “That has led to the ‘othering’ of Asian-Americans, meaning we are constantly looked at as foreigners and not part of the American fabric. That is because we are largely absent in a lot of fields where people see people in the media, which is sports, entertainment and politics.” He added: “It’s very easy for people who are unaware to assume that we are all foreigners.” Wu pointed out that representation must also come from the top, more specifically from studio heads and producers who have the power to greenlight projects that represent America’s social fabric more accurately. How is Shang-Chi star Simu Liu fighting for Asian representation in US cinema? “We are slowly starting to see that. With the success of Crazy Rich Asian s there has been more interest in supporting Asian-American films. Which is why we have seen films like Minari and The Farewell being produced. We are finally seeing our immigrant stories being told on the big screen,” he said. But Wu also said more work needs to be done to make greater strides for representation. “As actors and filmmakers, we can want that all we want, but if no one is going to get funding and get projects greenlit or distribute or market it, it’s a moot point. We need a whole system to be in line for that in order for that to be successful and to work,” he said. While Wu has been focusing on his acting recently, he has also been producing a documentary about the relationship between Asian and black communities over time. His latest film role was playing the bad guy in Warner Bros’ Reminiscence . Who’s the richest? The Real Housewives of Potomac’s net worths, ranked “Reminiscence was an awesome film to work on with writer/director Lisa Joy. It was awesome to see a smart, strong female Chinese-American director kick a** on a Hollywood set. I felt very connected to her because we have had similar experiences growing up. The character is named Saint Joe and although he is a villain, he is a three-dimensional fleshed out person, providing an interesting counterpoint to Hugh Jackman’s role,” he said. Wu had been waiting for the right part when Joy reached out to him. “I’d taken around nine months off, waiting for a good script,” he recalled. “And I was just getting to the point of, well, nothing’s coming. Then, I got a call from Lisa and she sent me the script – I was so glad I waited. I have never played a character this richly layered. I mean, he’s a gangster, a baddie, but at the same time he’s vulnerable, because he’s had his heart ripped out. So it’s a quite an interesting character, one that I’ve never really had an opportunity to play before.” In the film’s production notes, Joy talked about her experience working with Wu. “For Saint Joe, I didn’t have any preconception about who I would cast as the villain or what he would look like. But when I saw Daniel Wu’s work, I just knew I wanted to collaborate with him. He’s just so talented, versatile and magnetic, so I cast him. It opened up levels to the character that I hadn’t been accessing before. It opened up a lot of avenues in the script that I hadn’t anticipated. I realised that it was a chance to explore again the theme of morality, the theme of sins heaped upon sins and the grey zones of what criminality and heroism mean in a compromised world.” 5 young Asian actresses bringing welcome diversity to Netflix Next up for Wu? Working on season 4 of HBO’s Westworld, which Joy also executive produces. When asked if his upcoming role would include martial arts , Wu said no. “After Into the Badlands , I have been pursuing non martial arts roles to avoid being stereotyped.” Wu also gave a talk on August 28 at The Great Star Theater in San Francisco, which was yet to take place at the time of writing. “The Great Star Theater in San Francisco Chinatown was ground zero for me. That is where I saw Shaolin Temple for the first time, which pushed me to learn wushu and maybe was even the seed that made me become an actor. So I am especially excited to be doing this talk at The Great Star where I will talk about my Bay Area roots, how I ended up in the Hong Kong movie industry and even my new film, Reminiscence. ” Want more stories like this? Sign up here. Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .