It's no secret that Awkwafina had an incredible 2018; from Crazy Rich Asians to Oceans 8 to hosting Saturday Night Live, the rapper and comedian catapulted herself into Hollywood's A-list. She also stunned on the pink carpet at Monday's Met Gala.
Well, now she's moving from the supporting characters she's been playing to the leading role in, and undisputed star of, the new indie film The Farewell.
The trailer for the movie dropped Tuesday, and be prepared, because it will probably make you cry.
Awkwafina plays Billi, a young woman born in China but raised in the US, who returns to her birth country with her family to say goodbye to her sick grandmother, or Nai-Nai. The catch is that her grandmother doesn't know she's dying because the family has decided to keep her terminal illness a secret from her so she can enjoy her last few months.
The story is "based on an actual lie" involving the family of director Lulu Wang, who shared the tale with This American Life back in 2016.
"When I heard the news, I wanted to talk with my grandmother, comfort her. I wanted to grieve with her in the way that seems natural when someone you love is dying," she said in the podcast. "But my mom ... quickly informed me that what I wanted, that what I thought was the right thing to do, would not be permitted and that I would have no say in the matter."
The movie premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and was the talk of all those in attendance.
"There’s a melancholy hovering in the background and Awkwafina does fine work expressing this through her eyes," wrote Guardian reviewer Benjamin Lee, "so close to tears yet unable to release for fear of revealing the secret. She gives an accomplished dramatic performance."
Vanity Fair's Richard Lawson praised Awkwafina for toning down the comedic skills she displayed in Crazy Rich Asians and being able to "[access] the tender and sorrowful energy of the film."
"This is the rapper-actress’s first lead role—a dramatic one to boot—and she handles it superbly, giving an observant and carefully pitched performance that augurs good things for her big-screen future," he wrote.
Awkwafina shared the film's poster on Twitter on Tuesday.
Could we be saying “Academy Award nominee Awkwafina” by this time next year?
The Farewell hits cinemas this summer.