Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner Tapped A ‘White Lotus’ Star To Direct Her ‘Crying In H Mart’ Movie

Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner released Crying In H Mart in April 2021. By that June, news broke that the best-selling memoir would be adapted into a movie. And since June 2021, Crying In H Mart has been an honoree on Barack Obama’s annual favorites list and an answer on Jeopardy!, but we’re still waiting on the film.

Today, March 20, brought an exciting development: Will Sharpe (otherwise known as Ethan on The White Lotus) will direct Crying In H Mart.

“It was a daunting task, to find someone I could trust with the retelling of such a personal story,” Zauner said in a press release statement. “Someone who could honor my mother’s character and respect the darkest days of grief, and still make the coming of age of a half-Korean artsy outsider in a small Pacific Northwest hippie town seem real and cool. In that spirit, I am so relieved to have found Will Sharpe and am beyond delighted that he will be the director of Crying in H Mart. I believe his sensitivity, as a director and an actor, and his own personal experience, having grown up between two cultures, will be tremendous assets.”

Zauner continued, “His work on Flowers and The Electrical Life Of Louis Wain speak to his ability to conjure lofty, vulnerable performances, to find humor and grace within the tragedy of the everyday. They are a precious collection of talents that make him the perfect fit for this film.”

Sharpe has six directorial credits to his name (as on IMDb), such as the series Flowers starring Olivia Colman and the 2021 Amazon Prime Video original movie The Electrical Life Of Louis Wain with Benedict Cumberbatch in the titular role. Flowers is responsible for one of the English-Japanese multi-hyphenate’s four BAFTA nominations, including one win (Supporting Actor in Girl/Haji).

“There were lots of things that resonated with me as somebody who is half-Japanese, half-British, spent my childhood in Tokyo,” Sharpe told People. “Some of the descriptions of being jet-lagged in your family’s kitchen felt very familiar to me.”

He added, “For me, it would be Japanese food and remembering growing up going to the 7-Elevens and the convenience stores in Tokyo and the dumplings that my mother would make when I was unwell. And I felt like I could recognize that in the descriptions of the Korean porridge or the kimchi and how important that still is to Michelle and how food can carry certain other things within it about your life.”

Zauner is about to set out on her first Crying In H Mart book tour, beginning on March 27 at Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn, New York. Find more information here.