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Interview: Cast of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is the latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It tells the story of Shang-Chi as he deals with his past and learns about the mystical Ten Rings organization.

Join Shang-Chi in this action-packed adventure and catch Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in theatres September 3!

Here’s the scoop on Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings!

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS (2021)

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Cast and Crew

The cast and crew of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings cast gather to talk all about the latest Marvel movie.

Simu Liu plays the titular Shang-Chi in the film. He is also known for his work in the sitcom “Kim’s Convenience.”

Awkwafina plays Shang-Chi’s friend Katy. Fans will also know Awkwafina from Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon.

Meng’er Zhang plays the role of Xialing in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

Florian Munteanu portrays Razor Fist in the film. Fans will recognize hime from Creed II.

Sir Ben Kingsley plays Trevor Slattery. He is also known for his work in Gandhi and Schindler’s List.

Destin Daniel Cretton is the Director of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. His other works include The Glass Castle and Just Mercy.

Kevin Feige is the Producer of the film. Also, he is the current president of Marvel Studios.

All About Shang-Chi

(L-R): Actress Fala Chen and Shang-Chi (Jayden Tianyi Zhang) in Marvel Studios’ SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. Photo by Jasin Boland. ©Marvel Studios 2021.

Destin Daniel Cretton reflects on the why he wanted to bring Shang-Chi into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He says, “I really, personally connect with Shang-Chi’s journey.  Um, the, I-I love that this is a superhero that doesn’t get splashed with chemicals to get his superpower.”

Cretton adds that the film’s a, “Journey of self-discovery, of-of growing up, of learning how to finally deal with pain that he’s been running away from his entire life.  And that when he is finally able to look inside into his past and embrace good, bad, the joy, the pain, and accept it all as a part of himself, that’s when he finally steps into his big boy shoes.

He continues, “I think that’s kind of what we’re all doing as hu-humans in some way or another.  Um, so I really connect with that.”

Kevin Feige also talks about the film’s significance to the MCU as well as Asian representation in film.

He says, “To bring, um, this specific character into the MCU, um, but-but just as importantly to bring, uh, um, representation of another kind to this-to this film.  And that was really what Destin, uh, brought in his pitch.  Which was yeah, action, cool, Marvel, but it was really the story of this father and son that someday you should put that presentation out into the world actually that he put together.”

From Stage to Screen

(L-R): Xialing (Meng’er Zhang), Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) and Katy (Awkwafina) in Marvel Studios’ SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. Photo by Jasin Boland. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Actress Meng’er Zhang makes her film debut in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. She talks about the difference between her theatre training and acting in a movie.

Meng’er explains that she asked her costar, Sir Ben Kingsley, for advice since he is also a theatre actor. She says he told her, “When we are on stage, we are landscape artists. And we are-when we are in front of a camera, we are portrait artists.”

Meng’er adds, “And I think that-that just gave me a very clear image and I just-I learned so much. I literally took notes every time when I talked to Sir Ben.”

Kinglsey chimes in and jokes, “I remember you were taking notes. I thought you were correcting my spelling.”

An Action-Packed Adventure

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) in Marvel Studios’ SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. Photo by Jasin Boland. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Like so many Marvel movies before it, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is full of action and stunts. Awkwafina talks about some of the stunts her character Katy performs in the film.

She shares that, “I actually went to a race track and like learned how to drift.” Awkwafina jokes that her drifting skills are, “Probably not practical in-in any scenario.”

She also adds, “I learned how to shoot a bow and arrow.” Up until this point in her career, many of Awkwafina’s roles have been less physical. The actress jokes, “Yeah, I do enjoy sitting down.”

Working With A Star-Studded Cast

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
(L-R): Wenwu (Tony Leung) and Ying Li (Fala Chen) in Marvel Studios’ SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

The latest MCU film has lots of well-known and talented actors. Simu Liu talks about his experience working with such a popular cast.

Liu says, “I mean, it was like imposter syndrome every single-every single day.” He adds, “It was all I could do just not to-not to mess it up.”

Reflecting on his screen test with Awkwafina, he says, “She did such like a wonderful job of putting me at ease.” Simu explains, “My nerves were sky high.  I was an actor from Toronto, and I really had never in-li-i—i-allowed myself to imagine being a part of the MCU. I mean, it’s the craziest dream that someone can possibly dream.  And, uh, Nora did such a great job of putting me at ease and just, you know, b-being in the moment with me and we had such a beautiful chemistry.”

He adds that he and Awkwafina share, “This like bickery old couple chemistry like right from the get-go.”

Commenting on the chance to work with the rest of the cast Simu says, “Every day it was like waking up to a-another dream.”

All About Friendship

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
(L-R): Katy (Awkwafina), Jon Jon (Ronny Chieng) and Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) in Marvel Studios’ SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. Photo by Jasin Boland. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

The primary relationship in the film is the friendship between Shang-Chi and Katy. Director Destin Daniel Cretton talks about crafting the characters’ relationship and the actors playing as friends rather than as potential love-interests.

Destin explains, “One of our co-writers, Dave Callahan, and I were-were creating this relationship, we actually have a lot of friends who are not the same gender as us.” He continues,”It is strictly platonic and-but also very intimate, caring, and you-we haven’t seen a lot of that on screen, and we’re really excited to-to create that relationship between Shang-Chi and Katy.”

Destin adds, “It also just naturally felt like the only way to go with this movie because Shang-Chi is so deep in his own inner struggle. I don’t think there’s emotional space for anything else.”

Marvel Speaks Mandarin

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021.

Destin Daniel Cretton talks about having characters speaking Mandarin Chinese in the film. He says, “I can talk to the conversation behind which language should be speaking was always rooted in just the logic of the characters.  And, uh, who would naturally be speaking what language.”

Cretton adds, “That conversation started in the write-in the writer’s room and then once our actors came in it was always a dialog what-what these are all bilingual, trilingual, quadrilingual, um, characters who could-could speak whatever they-whatever made sense at the time.  So, we were constantly having the discussion of what made sense for the scene.”

Simu Liu chimes in adding, “What I really loved is that moment where, I don’t think it’s a spoiler, but where, you know, your character is talking to-to Awkwafina’s character…and, uh, and she’s like oh, no, my Chinese isn’t good.  And you’re like no worries, I speak ABC.”

Liu explains, “They called it out and ABC, of course, means American born Chinese, but it’s just this-this-the first time that you really see in a movie, um, someone just calling out, you know, a lived experience.”

With lots of action and heart, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a delight for Marvel fans everywhere!

For more Marvel scoop check out these articles:

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