JOY RIDE, from left: Stephanie Hsu, Sabrina Wu, Ashley Park, Sherry Cola, 2023. ph: Ed Araquel /© Lionsgate /Courtesy Everett Collection

Adele Lim had to cut an important scene from ‘Joy Ride’ because the water buffalo ‘doesn’t take direction’

After proving that Asian actors were more than capable of taking a film to huge box office success with “Crazy Rich Asians” (which she co-wrote), Lim went in a much more raunchy direction for her feature film debut. direction. His SXSW hit “Joy Ride,” which follows a group of four messy and often horny friends who take a road trip to China to find one of their birth mothers, earned much praise for bringing a dose of diversity to R-comedy. rated space – but as it turns out, it could have been even wilder.

During a Q&A session at the Directors Guild of America over the weekend, Lim spoke about the lengthy process of bringing his vision to the big screen. She recalled that the original screenplay she co-wrote with Cherry Chevapravatdumrong and Teresa Hsiao showed the four friends crossing a river on a water buffalo. Though the scene was ultimately scrapped due to logistical issues, she came as close to realizing what one might expect.

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“There was a huge, huge set that was going to be the centerpiece of the film that’s not here,” Lim said. “Because it was about our four (protagonists) trying to cross a river, get on a dragon boat that capsizes, and ride a water buffalo. And we were full! We were auditioning for the water buffalo. And you all know that water buffaloes don’t necessarily want to get in the water. They do not take direction – also (are) covered in lice. So this was maybe a week before shooting. And we realized that, oh man, we had to get rid of this whole big thing that we were building towards… So that was something we had to do pretty quickly.

Even without the presence of the water buffalo, “Joy Ride” received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics.

“Following the well-deserved success of ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’, it is quite literally a joy to see the momentum of diverse representations continue with ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ co-writer Adele Lim’s directorial debut, ‘Joy Ride’”, Marisa Mirabal wrote in his IndieWire review following the film’s premiere at SXSW. “This particular Asian-American film is making history with an all-female cast, including a non-binary actor. ‘Joy Ride’ is a prime example of how important screen representation is and proves that Asian American comedians can be just as funny, raunchy, and successful as their white male counterparts.

Additional reporting by Anne Thompson.