Willems was a series regular in Amazon’s YA pilot College. The streaming platform is yet to reveal the fate of the several YA pilots it ordered last year, including College, but the CBS comedy has Willems in first position. There had been speculation that College would not be moving forward.
In The Emperor of Malibu, written by Kwan and David Sangalli, directed by Andy Ackerman and showrun by Michelle Nader and Christina Lee, when Auggie (Willems), the son of a Chinese billionaire (Ken Jeong), announces his engagement to an American woman, his outrageous family descends upon the couple to win their son back and test drive the American dream.
Willems’ Auggie is an environmental lawyer with a degree from Stanford. Recently engaged to his college girlfriend, Kate, he’s terrified of how his parents will react when they learn of the engagement.
The Emperor of Malibu draws on a similar East-meets-West theme as Kwan’s popular Crazy Rich Asians book and its hit movie adaptation.
Kwan and Sangalli executive produce with showrunners Nader and Lee, and Danielle Stokdyk.
Willems is repped by Buchwald and Asian Cinema Entertainment.