Eddie Huang has spent the past decade building a brand around himself that’s steeped in rebellion, cultural understanding, and free-flowing creativity. Blending his Taiwanese American heritage with an earnest hip-hop swagger, the celebrity chef, a one-time attorney, built a significant following by simply doing him. From expressing his experiences growing up through a best-selling memoir to adapting said material into a groundbreaking prime-time family sitcom, Huang has risen as Asian American representation in pop culture has grown more prevalent. For his next trick, he’s tackling cinema through directorial debut Boogie

Also written by Huang, the film is something that feels directly lifted from his mind. A coming-of-age sports drama starring first-time actor (and former Huang assistant) Taylor Takahashi, Boogie tells the story of its adolescent titular character caught between NBA hoop dreams and fulfilling his Taiwanese American parents’ aspirations for him. There’s also a love story revolving around Boogie and Eleanor, portrayed by Taylour Paige. More recently, Paige has found herself as an A-lister in the making with breakout roles in both Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and the upcoming Zola

Boogie also stars the late Pop Smoke opposite the lead as basketball rival Monk, and the Brooklyn drill icon has a handful of exclusive songs on the film’s drill-heavy soundtrack. Huang himself even lends a hook to a track from Taiwanese rapper Bad Boy Raco G.

Released in early March exclusively to theaters still figuring out how to operate post-COVID-19, Boogie is is out now on VOD. Its multi-hyphenate creator, Huang, caught up with Complex over the phone to talk about the inspiration behind Boogie, delivering nuanced portrayals of Taiwanese American and Black culture, combating violence against Asian Americans, and the idea behind his next film.