Almost one year after announcing her divorce from Justin Hakuta, Ali Wong reflected on their current relationship, coparenting their two daughters (now 5 and 7), and her first dramatic role in A24’s upcoming dark comedy series, Beef.
“We’re really, really close. We’re best friends,” she told the Hollywood Reporter about her ex-husband. “We’ve been through so much together. It’s a very unconventional divorce.”
In fact, when Ali goes back on tour this June, Justin and their daughters will be traveling with her. This time, her material includes her post-divorce dating life and being single. “I think we’re going to call it the Single Lady tour,” she said.
While her divorce and subsequent co-parenting with Justin have been amicable, Ali revealed that telling her 82-year-old mother didn’t go as smoothly. “By far the hardest part about getting divorced was my mother’s reaction.”
“I had told her before that I thought we might get divorced, and she was really upset. She looked me in the eye and asked, ‘Can you just wait until I die?’ She was literally asking me to not live a life for myself,” Ali said. “It was still really fucking hard dealing with all her fear of the shame it would bring her.”
However, because the announcement of her divorce was so widespread — which Ali hadn’t expected — her mother didn’t actually have to inform any of her friends about it. Instead, they found out in Chinese and Vietnamese newspapers. “They all called her,” Ali said. “She died a million deaths in one day and then woke up the next day and was like, ‘I survived.’ She still sees Justin a ton.”
Now, Ali is focusing on promoting Beef, which “follows the aftermath of a road rage incident between two strangers.” Steven Yeun plays one stranger, and Ali plays the other: a self-made entrepreneur, wife, and mother who is crumbling under the pressure of being the household breadwinner.
“For me — and I’ll leave it up for interpretation what this means — it was a way to say what I’ve been wanting to say about relationships and being a working mom that I haven’t found a way to talk about on stage,” Ali said of the role.
Beef will be released on Netflix on April 6, and Ali just watched the first two episodes with her ex-husband, who told her after, “Ali, it’s really good.”