"Everything, Everywhere All At Once" star Stephanie Hsu spoke at the Harrison Auditorium in the Penn Museum for SPEC's spring 2023 speaker event.
The event was held on April 18 at 7 p.m. and brought in an audience of students from Penn as well as individuals from the larger Philadelphia community. It featured an hour-long moderated session with Hsu discussing her career's span over multiple entertainment mediums, diversity in the world of film, imposter syndrome, future projects, and her advice and thoughts for students interested in breaking into the entertainment industry.
Stephanie Hsu is best known for her dual role as Joy Wang and Jobu Tupaki in the award-winning film "Everything, Everywhere All At Once," for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. She has also starred in the television show “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" and the Broadway production of “Be More Chill” among other shows and movies.
When asked what her advice was for upcoming talents, Hsu told the audience “you have to access that part of your curiosity, your artistry, that are just wild and weird and unseen yet.”
Hsu added that it's important to see how to make ideas profitable, but that it is also important to “hold on to both” the creativity and the business side.
Hsu also spoke about the impact of "Everything Everywhere All at Once" on the larger film scene.
The film, as an incredibly diverse story and piece of media, broke barriers with its commercial success, according to Hsu. She encouraged the audience to continue pursuing stories that hold meaning to them and have the potential to make the world a better place.
Hsu also spoke about her personal passions for food, farming and permaculture, tying these interests to the idea that "in order to create new systems, we have to study new ways of being."
SPEC Connaissance hosted the event in collaboration with SPEC Film. It comes after the cancellation of the previously scheduled SPEC event with Jonathan Majors on April 4 following his arrest on charges of assault and harassment.
SPEC had limited time to find a new speaker. They were able to put together the event with Hsu within two weeks, including coordinating with her team, finding a venue for the event, setting up, and selling tickets.
“This event shows how organized SPEC is as an organization,” College junior and Internal Director at SPEC Connaissance Mahdi Bouchekouk said. “So though [the event with Hsu] was on a much shorter time frame than we would typically work with, it is a testament to the work that SPEC has put in to be this organized and have these opportunities."