Sen. Tammy Duckworth on Oscars, ‘Everything Everywhere, All At Once’ – The Hollywood Reporter

When Sen. Tammy Duckworth emerged as a serious candidate for Biden’s presidential ticket, it catapulted her from Illinois rising force to national Democratic star. In a political landscape that questions whether women should lead by being tough or vulnerable, Duckworth has shown that she is both. An Iraq war fighter pilot badly injured when her Black Hawk helicopter was shot down, resulting in the amputation of both legs, she also spoke out about suffering a miscarriage on the Senate campaign trail. Her withering dismissal of former President Trump as “cadet bone spurs” was one of the few she landed on. In a conversation with the hollywood reporterSenator Duckworth discusses qualities that set her apart from many of her peers, including her race (she is the first Thai-American elected to Congress) and why she believes this year’s Academy Awards are particularly important to Americans of Asian origin.

What is your favorite movie of all time?

I saw crazy rich asians not too long ago and I really enjoyed it because it took place in a lot of places where I grew up. It was nice to see Asian representation on screen in a hit movie that was enjoyed by everyone, not just other Asians.

You were born in Bangkok and raised in Honolulu. What TV shows resonated with you growing up?

Probably MIX. That was a show my family certainly watched. In fact, I brought DVDs of MIX when I served in Iraq.


Yes. And when I was done with a long day on a mission, that’s what I looked at in my shack… before I passed out.

Where do you think Hollywood is wrong about the war?

It is not as frivolous or as macho as Hollywood would show it. He’s messy and there are some really serious people serving in uniform, not just people trying to be cowboys.

What is your favorite book?

I used to make all my troops read We were soldiers once… and young, and I thought it was a critically important book for my troops to read when commanding a Black Hawk unit. I stopped watching the movie halfway through because it wasn’t true to the book. It was a good movie and it made a lot of money, but to me the value of the book lay in many of the lessons it reinforced on basic infantry tactics in case of success or failure.

Do you watch the Oscars, and if so, are you rooting for anything in particular this year?

Well obviously all Asian Americans. I’m delighted to see Asians on screen who aren’t the cooks, the maids, or the sidekicks. I got very tired of the whitewashing of many stories and parts that were written for Asians and then performed by white actors. So obviously I’m supporting Everything everywhere at once. Michelle Yeoh is great, so I hope she does well and results in other movies and shows with Asian leads.

What series do you watch?

I’m a mom so I watch a lot of home improvement shows. But the series I watched most recently was probably The Great British Baking. It is so nice. I need calm after my work day. i’m desperately waiting the mandalorian season 3 will be produced because i am a great star Warsfanatic When my daughters are not in the room, I watch Bridgerton. They are only 4 and 8 so you can’t see that with them around.

There has been a lot of debate about identity politics and its role in defining our political discourse. What is your opinion?

I wasn’t a mother when I was first elected to Congress, but I thought I was pretty progressive. Then I became a mom and was traveling from Chicago to DC twice a week trying to pump breast milk to feed my baby and they said, “Oh, if you want to pump breast milk, go do it in the handicap stall in the bathroom.” or worse, “Go plug your breast pump into that outlet where everyone else is charging their cell phone.” So I passed legislation called the FAM (Friendly Airports for Mothers) Act, which now means that all airports in the United States United States should have a lactation room And I’m so proud to have written that law that I never would have had if I hadn’t been a mom I also wrote legislation to force airlines to report how many times they break medical assisted devices because every three times Every time I get on a plane a part of my wheelchair breaks. Before using a wheelchair it never occurred to me. So yes, identity is important. Identity does matter. The experience ance lived matters. You have to see it not as something that puts us in categories but as something that makes life better for all of us. So it’s important to have more diversity, and sometimes you have to be aware of that diversity, which is why I fought so hard to get an Asian-American nominated for cabinet secretary. It’s important for the rest of the world to look and see and say, “Oh wow, that’s a really diverse cabinet. That’s America.”

west wing either house of cards?

I like west wing because it is my idealized version of what politics would be. However, I have to say that there have been many house of cards moments

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Keli Goff is the Emmy-nominated producer of the documentary. inverted roe. In addition to a long career covering politics, she has served as a writer for Mayor of Kingstown, and that simple and Black Lightning.

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