As a mixed-race Chinese-American, Megan Lawless understands parts of The Hate U Give well. “I have hidden my Chinese side and my white side many times, as an actor and as someone applying to college, because I didn’t know if those races would be held against me,” she tells StyleCaster. Based on the 2017 book by Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give follows Starr, a Black teenager who’s in between two worlds: the low-income, predominantly Black neighborhood she lives in and the wealthy, predominantly white preparatory school she attends.
Lawless plays Maya, one of Starr’s friends in school, who’s unaware that she’s the sole witness to the fatal shooting of an unarmed Black teenager at the hands of a white police officer. Lawless, who first understood the seriousness of police brutality in the United States from reading The Hate U Give, calls the movie something “anyone can learn from” and “any American should care about.” Here, she opens up about being mixed race and why it’s more important than ever to fight against police brutality.