Film and TV

Shang-Chi Hits Many Milestones Including Featuring Asian Aussies

Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” have reached many firsts and milestones. At the onset, it is the first Marvel film which features an Asian superhero ( Simu Liu as “Shang-Chi”) and heroines (Awkwafina as “Katy” and Meng’er Zhang as “Xialing”). Also, now that it has has its theatrical release ( not Australia unfortunately), it has smashed box office records in its opening week raking in around $150 million worldwide.

However, for Asian Aussies ( in states and cities where it is locked down) you will need to wait over a month before you can check it out. Due to lockdowns and COVID-19 restrictions particularly on the East Coast of Australia, there is no chance to watch it on the big screen and it will be over a month ( around about 45 days ) when its released on Disney Plus (Premier Access). So apologies for the wait Asian Aussies living there.

On a more positive note, there are Asian Aussies who worked on the film when it was filming on location in Oz, with some in front and behind the cameras.

For the on camera, we can’t ignore our honorary Malaysian Chinese Aussie Ronny Chieng who plays “Jon Jon”, who helps “Xialing” manage the underground fighting ring in Macau.

(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 courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Also, without providing any spoilers, Chinese Australian Paul He had a significant role in the film- right at the start and plays “Chancellor Hui” – who is pretty much the right hand man of the legend Tony Leung’s character “The Mandarin/Wenwu”. We spoke to Paul about playing a role alongside the legend of Hong Kong film and music – what was it like? and how did he feel?

“I usually don’t get star struck and tried to behave as though Tony was just “another actor” I was working with. He was so casual and taught me a lot and that helped me with my scenes. It all didn’t hit me till I watched the replay of the third take in our first dialogue exchange. With all the shadowy lighting on his face on the monitor, he then looked like the “Tony Leung” from all the movies I watched growing up.”

Image via Paul He Facebook

“That was the moment it finally hit me – that I was working alongside of Tony Leung, and whether it was the classic film “In the Mood for Love” or “Infernal Affairs”, it suddenly felt like I was now in one of those films”.

Image via Looper

How about what it was like working with Simu Liu?

“Working with Simu was cool. He is such a friendly and down to earth person, and its awesome to see him represent us and play Marvel’s first Asian superhero”.

Image via Paul He Facebook

Finally, what does working on this film mean for Paul?

“Well to me, it is very special because when growing up as part of the Asian diaspora, I am sure we all wondered where are all the Asians on screen or in sports? Particularly for young Asian boys growing up in Australia and all over the West, this is not just a milestone, but this is a cool superhero everyone in the Asian diaspora has been pining for. “

Well said brother!

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” has had its theatrical release world wide, but for Asian Aussies in cities and states which have lockdown restrictions, you will need to wait till its released on Disney Plus, which is in just over a month.

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