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Awkwafina's Most Memorable Movie and TV Roles Prior to Migration

Awkwafina looks to put another classic film on her resume with Migration, hitting theaters on December 22!

By Chris Phelan

One of Hollywood’s rising comedy stars is an essential part of the ensemble cast of the new Illumination movie Migraton. With the film’s December 22 theatrical release just a few days away, NBC Insider thinks it’s the perfect time to look back on Awkwafina’s movie and TV resume!

In Migration, the 35-year-old Queens native voices Chump, the leader of a pigeon gang in New York City. We don’t want to spoil anything, but we have a feeling that Chump and her flock will present themselves as a formidable force in the Mallard family's lives as they attempt to go on a family vacation of a lifetime. Joining the star-studded cast is Keegan Michael Key, Kumail Nanjiani, Elizabeth Banks, Caspar Jennings, and Danny DeVito, Awkwafina is an integral part of a movie that is already being heralded as the hit of the holiday season. 

For Awkwafina, success started during her college years when she gained fame (and perhaps a bit of notoriety) in the hip-hop world, frequently uploading rap tracks to YouTube where she showed off a unique style, self-deprecating lyrics, and an attitude that put her on the map. The hip-hop world took notice of Awkwafina almost immediately, as Asian-American artists don’t rise to prominence often. To say the least, Awkwafina is revered as someone who opened doors for Asian-Americans everywhere.

Almost overnight, she showed she had acting chops to boot – she used her newfound fame on the internet, producing various short-form videos before finally being noticed by Hollywood. In 2018, she exploded in popularity, joining the cast of countless hit movies and television shows. In a sense, her story is textbook hustle – Awkwafina found her niche and never stopped grinding until she found success!

Has Awkwafina Won Any Awards?

While Awkwafina has been nominated for countless awards and won just as many, the pinnacle of her acting career (so far) was winning a Golden Globe in 2019 in the category of Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical for her role in the touching dramatic-comedy The Farewell.

RELATED: How to Get Tickets to the Migration Movie Ahead of the Holidays

By winning that Golden Globe, Awkwafina proved that she’s more than a comedic actor and can tackle any dramatic role and make it her own. 

Has Awkwafina Ever Hosted Saturday Night Live?

Only the biggest stars in entertainment get the privileged invitation to host Saturday Night Live, and Awkwafina is no exception! During a particularly memorable SNL episode on October 7, 2018, she stepped foot in the legendary Studio 8H for the first time and delivered an all-time fantastic monologue.

Awkwafina’s hosting duty is another example of Saturday Night Live striking while the iron is hot – the show recognized her stratospheric ascent to the top of Hollywood, resulting in millions of viewers being treated to a hilarious and unforgettable episode.

Awkwafina's Movie and TV shows

When you have a voice as iconic as hers, you get as many animated voice roles as you do live-action ones! Awkwafina has been everywhere in the past five years, starring in everything from animated films to reboots of popular franchises.

Fans worldwide arguably know her best from her role in the surprise 2018 film Crazy Rich Asians, which defied expectations and brought in over $170 million in domestic box office gross. Awkwafina followed that up with a starring role in Ocean’s 8, a retooling of the classic Ocean’s 11 franchise with a female-centric cast, and most recently, she was one of the best parts of Universal’s Renfield. She also had a breakout role in the Marvel movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. On the TV front, she has guest starred in a number of series and even headlined her own semi-autobiographical show titled Awkwafina is Nora From Queens

Of course, many of Awkwafina’s most memorable movies are (or will be shortly) available on Peacock, like Ocean’s 8, which will be available to stream beginning January 2024, and the animated children’s comedy The Bad Guys, streaming now on Peacock.

If early reviews of Migration are any indication, Awkwafina will find herself part of another instant classic movie. Penned by The White Lotus creator Mike WhiteMigration is shaping to be one of the year's wittiest, fun, and satirical films!

Migration premieres in theaters on December 22.