Cathy Ang, Fil-Am Actress of “And Just Like That…,” Shares Her Thoughts on Asian Representation

HBO GO And Just Like That Cathy Ang

You might remember Cathy Ang as the voice of Fei Fei in the 2020 musical fantasy film Over the Moon.

Now, she’s making waves as Lily Goldenblatt, Charlotte York’s daughter in the Sex and the City revival called And Just Like That

What surprised me is that Ang is Filipino-American, and that her parents grew up in the Philippines. In a virtual interview to discuss her role in the show, she mentioned that her mother is from Nueva Vizcaya while her father is from Ongpin.

The importance of representation

And Just Like That… is a great nostalgic piece for fans of Sex and the City. There are a lot of nods to the original show, especially wardrobe pieces, but what truly stood out for us is how diverse the new cast is. Che Diaz (Sara Ramirez) is non-binary; Rock Goldenblatt (Alexa Swinton), formerly known as Rose, is questioning their identity; and we have more Black roles in Lisa Todd Wexley (Nicole Ari Parker), Dr. Nya Wallace (Karen Pittman), and more. Then of course there’s Jackie Nee (Bobby Lee) and Lily representing the Asians.

“I think it’s very important that on the show, we see people of all colors represented. We’ve had this conversation so many times about how representation matters and how it can really encourage people to go into the arts, [and] also just to explore their identity to feel seen,” Ang says.

HBO GO And Just Like That Cathy Ang 2

She adds, “being an Asian actress is really special. It has its challenges because a lot of the time, the characters that we see are so one-dimensional. But I think now people really care about telling true authentic stories, writing these characters to be complex. And so it’s an exciting time. I’m very lucky to be an actress right now. Because people are fighting for us to be seen on screen and for our stories.”

She also says, “it’s a huge honor for me. I’m glad that the show is really purposefully making sure that they’re diversifying. I think this is a wonderful moment for all of us because we get to celebrate so many different faces and people.”

Breaking stereotypes

Diversity is great but the worry there is that it could also lean into stereotypes. Thankfully, Ang was proactive in making sure that her character did not fall into the Asian stereotype of the model student and the perfect daughter.

“I also had a conversation before we even started the season with [show developer] Michael Patrick King. I wanted to talk to him about what motivates Lily because it shouldn’t just be pleasing her parents.”

For Ang, “I think there’s a desire to discover where [Lily] belongs. Everything that you see is actually about finding out who she is.”

Towards the end of the interview, Ang acknowledges that there are different cultures in Asia. She said, “there [are] so many Asians in the world. And there are a lot of different cultures to be represented. The industry is also starting to recognize that we are wonderful and diverse. It’s gonna blow up everywhere. We’re gonna continue making lots of lots of wonderful Asian stories.”

Stream And Just Like That… now exclusively on HBO GO. A new episode premieres every Thursday.

All seasons of Sex and The City are also available on HBO GO.

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