White Lotus actor Will Sharpe is taking a seat in the director’s chair again. In an upcoming project, he is directing an adaptation of Michelle Zauner’s New York Times Bestselling memoir Crying in H Mart.

Will Sharpe at the 29th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at the Fairmont Century Plaza on February 26, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images)
Credit: Variety

Sharpe said in a statement to NBC News on Monday that he’s “excited to be back on the other side of the camera.”

In 2021, the frontrunner of Grammy-nominated band Japanese Breakfast, Michelle Zauner released Crying in H Mart. The poignant memoir explores Zauner’s relationship with her mother who died from cancer in 2014.

However, it is much more than a story of love and loss.

According to the official synopsis from MGM, who is producing the movie:

“Crying in H Mart” is a “coming-of age story about a half-Korean daughter who returns to small town Oregon to care for her Korean mother. Critical and smothering Chong-mi and creative and independent Michelle struggle to understand each other across a cultural fault line, only learning to see and accept one another through the formative power of music and the vibrant flavours of Korean cooking.”

It is a story of growing up mixed-race in America, cultural dissonance, and an extraordinary mother-daughter relationship.

The film comes in the wake of increasing Asian representation in Hollywood. And the movie is an important tale about navigating the western world as an outsider.

Will Sharpe: BAFTA Award-Nominated Writer and Director

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner (9781529033793) - PaperBack - Biographies Entertainment
Credit: Dymocks

The bestselling author remarks on the “daunting task to find someone I could trust with the retelling of such a personal story”. The director had to respect the darkness of her story, whilst also including lighter themes to balance the film out.

Will Sharpe, who is half-Japanese, half-British, resonates with some of Zauner’s lived experiences. He details that:

“Some of the descriptions of being jet-lagged in your family’s kitchen felt very familiar to me.”

Zauner expresses her confidence in Sharpe:

“I believe his sensitivity, as a director and an actor, and his own personal experience, having also grown up between two cultures, will be tremendous assets”.

Her band Japanese Breakfast will also be contributing to the upcoming film’s soundtrack.

Keep your eyes peeled for details about cast and release dates…

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