Constance Wu and Crazy Rich Asians co-stars celebrate film's success

It's dominating the US box office and boasting the first all-Asian cast in a mainstream Hollywood movie in a quarter century, Crazy Rich Asians is bringing some much needed diversity to the big screen.

The novel it's based on was a book club and beachside poolside staple and for the bestselling author, the film is a surreal dream come true.

"I never thought my books would even get published," says Kevin Kwan.

"So to be here sitting next to a peacock being interviewed by you, to see my characters come to life... with a cast of some of the most talented people in the world. It's unbelievable."

Kwan was offered a crazy rich fortune himself in the shape of a Netflix deal for his books - but he turned it down, wanting instead to see his stories brought to life in cinemas.

"You know, I think it gets a certain amount of attention and people take it seriously in a whole new way when they see it in a movie theatre."

And take it seriously they have.

At 94 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, the critics love it - and being number one at the North American box office for a second week running, so do the audiences.

"We don't want to say we're the next Black Panther, because we don't want to take away their... you know, every culture has its own identity and you don't want to appropriate," says star Constance Wu.

"We'll take their box office numbers though! We would love that!"

"The source material is phenomenal," adds her on-screen love interest, Henry Golding.

"Kevin Kwan has done a ridiculous job with the entire trilogy. To pass it on to a storyteller like Jon M. Chu, that's a match made in heaven."

One other match made in heaven is comedian Awkwafina and the blonde wig she wears in the film as fan favourite Peik Lin.

"I felt some pressure, I realised that people have imagined what Peik Lin looks like and I wanted to meet that, you know," she says.

New Zealand audiences were treated to early preview sessions of Crazy Rich Asians last week, but it opens at cinemas nationwide on Thursday.