“Hold Still, Vincent,” a series of podcasts produced by actor Gemma Chan (“Eternals,” “Captain Marvel,” “Crazy Rich Asians,” “Humans”), was released Wednesday by Apple Podcasts.
This table read of Johnny Ngo’s feature film script of the same name documents the true story of Vincent Chin, who was killed by two disgruntled autoworkers in the Detroit area in 1982. His murderers, who apparently had mistaken him for a Japanese, were given lenient sentences — fines and probation — which sparked a civil rights movement within the Asian American community.
“Hold Still, Vincent” is an unflinching and visceral examination of one family’s fight for justice that is conducive to the current racial zeitgeist in America today.
The cast includes Remy Hii (“Crazy Rich Asians,” “Spider-Man: Far From Home”) as Chin and Rosalind Chao (“Mulan,” “Better Things”) as his mother, Lily. David Harbour (“Black Widow,” “Stranger Things” and Dane DeHaan (“The Stranger,” “ZeroZeroZero”) play Chin’s two killers and other roles.
Chan plays lawyer Liza Chan and Kelly Marie Tran (“Raya and the Last Dragon,” “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” “Sorry for Your Loss”) plays journalist Helen Zia. The two women led the community appeal to get the case retried in federal court.
Noma Dumezweni (“The Undoing”) narrates the script. Brothers Aaron and Winston Tao directed and will also direct the film if it is produced.
The cast also includes Stephanie Hsu (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “The Path”), Ki Hong Lee (“The Bystanders,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), Tzi Ma (“Kung Fu,” “Mulan”), Desmond Chiam (“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” “Reef Break”), Michael Angarano (“This Is Us,” “I’m Dying Up Here”), Benedict Wong (“Deadly Class,” “Avengers: Infinity War”), Garrett Hedlund (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” “Mosaic”), Larry Clarke (“Heels,” “Twin Peaks”), Luke James (“The Chi,” “Star”), Jessica Henwick (“Love and Monsters,” “Iron Fist), Gillian Jacobs (“Invincible,” “Star Trek: Lower Decks”), and Karan Kendrick (“The Hate U Give,” “Greenleaf”).
The chapters include the following:
“Vincent.” Before he became a symbol of Asian American civil rights, Chin was a young man celebrating the final years of his twenties. Engaged to the love of his life. Surrounded by close friends and a loving mother. But Detroit was a hotbed of tension in 1982 for people who looked like Vincent, and in one unbelievable moment, he was killed for daring to live.
“The Movement.” When Chin’s mother learns of the lenient sentences given to her son’s killers, she sets out to enlist the help of a determined journalist and an ambitious attorney to take the case federal. As Zia and Chan put the pieces together and build their case, Mrs. Chin realizes much more is required of her than expected and struggles with whether or not she can find the strength to move forward.
“We Shall Overcome.” Working alongside Zia and Chan, Lily Chin becomes the face of Vincent’s campaign, uniting Asian American communities from across the nation. In the process, she wrestles against personal grief and an unjust judicial system as she struggles to fight for Vincent’s civil rights.
Panel 1: “Vincent Remembered.” Explores the personal aspects of the Chin case, challenges of using the Civil Rights Act, and concrete ways to help be an ally to POCs with Stewart Kwoh, Asian American Education Project; Connie Chung Joe, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles; and Gemma Chan.
Panel 2: “A Community Galvanized.” Discusses the parallels between Asian American hate crimes in ’82 to today and legislative goals for Asian Americans with the Rev. James Woodall, president of Georgia NAACP, sociologist Bianca Mabute-Louie, and Gemma Chan.
Both panels are moderated by actor John Cho (“Cowboy Bebop,” “The Grudge,” “The Exorcist”).