Awkwafina Felt "Imposter Syndrome" Playing Dramatic in 'The Farewell'

The actress joined Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Lopez, Renée Zellweger, Lupita Nyong'o and Laura Dern for the Oscar Actress Roundtable

Awkwafina is best known for her comedy, starring in scene-stealing roles in such movies as Crazy Rich Asians and Ocean's 8, but audiences see a different side of the actress in Lulu Wang’s semi-biographical film The Farewell.

She opened up to the Actress Roundtable about the "pressure" she felt taking on her first dramatic role, saying, "I was really, really scared because I think you know what people think about you and stuff like that, but you don't know what you can do."

"I think that you create all these different scenarios in your head about the worst it could go and the best it could go and you want to strive for this kind of invisible best that never will come true," she continued. "But I think it's that striving that you kind of run on. And I think without the neuroses, without the self-hatred, without the imposter syndrome, it would've been harder. But I still don't know if it’s drama. I think it was the character. I really related to her and that's the only thing I knew."

The actress, who stars as Bili, based on Wang in the film, also discussed building trust with her director, saying that "she was always receptive to any input I had about what she would be doing, what she would be thinking."

"I think it's that trust that I think also really helps a performance," she added. "When you have that trust, it's nice. I think as a result, you reinvent something else and I think in the case of The Farewell, Bili really became this vessel for the Asian American experience — or the American experience — that is lost between two worlds and doesn’t know what to do."

The full Actress Roundtable is set to air Jan. 12 on SundanceTV. Awkwafina appears on the roundtable panel along with Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers), Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story, Jojo Rabbit), Lupita Nyong’o (Us), Renée Zellweger (Judy) and Laura Dern (Little Women, Marriage Story). Follow all the Oscar-season roundtables at