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BD Wong on why he dreads when his characters wear a lab coat

Wong can currently be seen in Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens. On CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast, he discusses season 2 of the show and looks back at his career on screen.

BD Wong Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens
BD Wong (middle) plays Wally, Awkwafina's father on the show Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens.
Comedy Central

This story is part of I'm So Obsessed (subscribe here), our podcast featuring interviews with actors, artists, celebrities and creative types about their work, career and current obsessions.

In the middle of a diverse and seemingly endless expanse of films, TV series and other media is actor BD Wong. His work is like a perfectly set gem that consistently catches your eye and forces you to pause in wonder and delight. His performances are beloved whether it's on Broadway, where he first got his break; in films like Jurassic Park, Father of the Bride and Mulan: or in shows like Law and Order: SVU, Oz and Gotham. In 2017, Wong received an Emmy Award nomination for his performance as Whiterose on the series Mr. Robot.

He can currently be seen in the second season of Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens as Wally, Awkwafina's father. The show is based on Awkwafina's life and reflects her marvelous and spot-on humor. On CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast, Wong said that "in the center of the show is this crazy, wonderful performer, Awkwafina, who if you don't know who she is, you really have to get with the program."

"Wally wants to tell his daughter what she should do, but at the same time, he also wants her to find her own way," said Wong. "I relate to that part of Wally. And I think people like Wally because he is trying the best that he can and he's fumbling and not always making the right choice. It's very human nature."

During our interview, Wong discusses Mr. Robot, Jurassic Park and Law & Order fans and his theater career. He also shares that when he started out, he was frequently cast in the role of a doctor. Over time, his costumes and the stereotypes they represented made him depressed.

"I was doctor this and doctor that, and every time I got a new doctor, he just had a different surname, for the most part," said Wong. "It used to be a dreadful moment to go into a wardrobe fitting and worry about whether there'll be a lab coat."

You can watch Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens Wednesday nights on Comedy Central. You can subscribe to I'm So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. In each episode, Connie Guglielmo or I catch up with an artist, actor or creator to learn about their work, career and current obsessions.