Over the course of our conversation, Awkwafina will call Jeff Sessions a “cunt” six times with mounting glee, “Jeff Sessions is a cunt!,” she squeals. “It’s so fun!”
The rapper and comedian turned movie star is discussing the new season of her web series, Tawk, which regularly features the people you might not know yet who will be, “running the industry.” SNL‘s Pete Davidson and adult entertainer Asa Akira are among the standout episodes. Her favorite people to feature are writers like Akila Hughes and anyone typically “unseen.” Awkafina (born Nora Lum) would really love to have the Attorney General on the show, though, “to ask him why he’s a cunt.”
Lum was filming Oceans 8 with the likes of Rihanna, Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock when Trump was elected she confirms that the mood on set was not great, “it was very dreary.” She jokes, “Anne Hathaway is definitely not a Jeff Sessions fan.”
The Queens, New York native’s path to the star-studded cast hasn’t been traditional. Lum studied jazz at LaGuardia High School before she started rapping under her stage name at 17. Her ode to female anatomy, “My Vag,” is a response to Micky Avalon’s “My Dick.”
Building off the viral success of the song, she collaborated with Margaret Cho, released a full-length album and was featured in the excellent 2016 documentary about Asian American rappers Bad Rap.
Meanwhile, Lum bolstered her comedy credentials with a stint on MTV’s Girl Code, wrote a book about New York City and partied with Zac Efron in Neighbors 2.
Tawk ties it all together. The Astronauts Wanted web series is one part sit down interview, one part performance and one part man on the street interviews taking place in NYC delis and street corners.
And so I’m getting her expert advice on snack foods. “Welch’s Fruit Snacks are her go-to bodega snack, its an assortment, but the orange one is weird,” she says. “The orange is not normal and I think its because its packed with a lot of vitamins.”
Junk food pretending to be healthy gets no love, and she cringes at the ingredients people try to stuff into a bag of chips to fool you like chia seeds, quinoa and flax, “Zero grams of guilt, anyone can put that on a package.”
Maruchan instant ramen gets her seal of approval.
“These I love, because the other ones are too much effort for me. I know white men that think theyre chef-y and theyll put an egg on there and it just kind of defeats the purpose of an instant lunch,” she says. “But I like this, I would eat this right now, dry. Because its easy.”
She takes the same zero-bullshit approach to her work, too, which is why she singles out Tonya Harding as a persona non grata of Tawk.
“I really do think she lied to the point where she believes she didnt do it,” Lum explains. “Shes an asshole, too. Her and Jeff Sessions.