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A Simple Favor and Crazy Rich Asians leading man Henry Golding has been busy on the late-night talk circuit in the past couple of months. But for James Corden, securing the actor as a guest on Tuesday’s episode of The Late Late Show posed conflicts beyond scheduling — he needed permission from Golding’s movie mom, Michelle Yeoh.
“She says the only way that I can get on the show is if you win her approval,” Golding told Corden as part of a scripted bit that aired during the program.
The segment was a play on Yeoh’s controlling, motherly character in Crazy Rich Asians, who disapproves of her son Nick’s (Golding) girlfriend, Rachel Chu (Constance Wu). In the film, Rachel must overcome several obstacles to earn a spot in Nick’s high-maintenance family. In the Late Late Show parody, Corden had to do the same.
“You’re never going to be good enough for our family,” Yeoh sneered at the host as they prepared dumplings — another nod to the film. “You’re not even good enough for your own family.”
Unimpressed with his signed Peter Rabbit DVD, his dumpling folding and his mahjong skills, Yeoh eventually decided to change her mind about Corden after he made a final plea mirroring Wu’s climactic monologue in the movie.
“I know you don’t think I’m good enough for Henry, and you’re probably right,” Corden said. “But one day, he’s going to be on another late-night talk show, and I want you to remember this and think of me and everything I sacrificed. Because if I can’t have him as a guest on my show, then I don’t want any guest on my show.”
Finally, Golding informed Corden that his speech worked with a peace offering from Yeoh in the form of Corden’s necktie, which he dramatically discarded previously in the green room.
Crazy Rich Asians hit theaters Aug. 15, while A Simple Favor, which also stars Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick, was released Sept. 14.