Young Hollywood Was Asian

Katie Gee Salisbury
15 min readMay 3, 2022

the playboys, half-castes, outsiders, and sirens who made motion pictures

Sessue Hayakawa and Anna May Wong gaze at a film reel in a Paramount publicity still for Daughter of the Dragon, 1931

Another year, another badass Asian film becomes the unexpected darling of arthouse cinemas across the country and takes the film world by surprise. Since the release of Crazy Rich Asians in 2018, every new release that centers around Asian or Asian American stories has felt like winning another…

Katie Gee Salisbury

Author of a new biography of Anna May Wong, forthcoming from Dutton in 2024. Pubbed in the New York Times, Vanity Fair, The Ringer, and elsewhere.