Home Entertainment Daniel Wu On ‘American Born Chinese language’ Journey & Season 2 (Unique) – Hollywood Life

Daniel Wu On ‘American Born Chinese language’ Journey & Season 2 (Unique) – Hollywood Life

Daniel Wu On ‘American Born Chinese language’ Journey & Season 2 (Unique) – Hollywood Life


Daniel Wu

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Picture Credit score: Elissa Anderson

In terms of a legendary character just like the Monkey King, expectations are all the time excessive. Daniel Wu knocks it out of the park within the first season of American Born Chinese language. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Daniel about his journey because the Monkey King and the present’s totally different strategy to the character.

Daniel Wu
Daniel Wu stars in ‘American Born Chinese language.’ (Photographer: Elissa Anderson)

“It was somewhat intimidating at first as a result of on this story the Monkey King is at a special stage than what most individuals are acquainted with by way of Journey to the West. In Journey to the West, he’s a very younger monkey. He’s rebellious and rambunctious. He’s being punished on a regular basis for his misbehaving. He goes on this journey to go on a path of enlightenment, after which he alters, and that’s form of the top of the story. He turns into a god on the finish of the story.”

He continued, “However on this story, it’s like 20-something thousand years later. He’s a father now. He’s obtained tasks. He obtained a job up in heaven the place he’s obtained to verify everybody’s secure. But additionally, there’s a warfare happening. He’s obtained to make it possible for doesn’t get uncontrolled. He’s obtained a son, who now thinks he can resolve this downside, and he’s going to run off and go on this mission on his personal. In order that model of the Monkey King nobody’s ever seen that earlier than. It’s a contemporary take. I actually appreciated Kelvin [Yu] writing that tackle the character.”

Episode 4 takes us again to the Monkey King’s early days and explores the Journey to the West story. “We get to present people who find themselves acquainted with Monkey King that model of the Monkey King to fulfill that need to see that Monkey King, but additionally permit individuals who don’t know something about Journey to the West to see somewhat snippet of the Journey to the West story,” Daniel famous.

Daniel Wu
Daniel Wu stopped by HollywoodLife’s portrait studio. (Photographer: Elissa Anderson)

In American Born Chinese language, the Monkey King has a son named Wei-Chen, performed by Jimmy Liu. The complicated father-son dynamic is explored over the course of the primary season. “It was actually cool as a result of it allowed me to mirror alone upbringing in some methods, like my father and the way he handled me,” Daniel informed HollywoodLife. “I positively grew up in a household of powerful love. A whole lot of occasions there was destructive reinforcement, all that form of stuff. I don’t have any destructive emotions about that. I really feel like that pushed me to develop into higher in myself. I really feel like that made me the profitable person who I’m as a result of my dad pushed me and pushed me to the purpose of not being happy with simply being mediocre, to maintain going and attempt to push your self to the acute. A whole lot of what was happening with this character I felt mirrored on how I used to be raised in some methods, so I mirrored on that relationship with my father and me. After which, I’m additionally going via it myself with a daughter of my very own.”

Daniel revealed that his daughter was a significant cause why he needed to do the present as a result of “many of the work I’ve accomplished shouldn’t be stuff that she will watch more often than not. It’s actually darkish and violent. That is the very first thing that she was actually enthusiastic about that I used to be doing. It’s humorous as a result of I inform my spouse, I really feel like I’ve been attempting to impress women my complete life, and now that I’ve a daughter it’s nonetheless not stopping. I’m attempting to impress her. I used to be actually pleased that she was into it. She adopted the entire journey of me making it and was actually excited for it to come back out. We binged it collectively. She actually, actually loved it and actually obtained so much out of it.”

American Born Chinese language producer Melvin Mar referred to as Daniel as much as ask him personally if he’d play the Monkey King. Daniel admitted that he’d been acquainted with the graphic novel previous to being solid. He was totally impressed with how “well-adapted” the story was from web page to display.

“The guide is a closed-ended guide that could possibly be a film, however this can be a TV present, which is open-ended. So you bought to form of not solely have it open-ended however fill in some areas. I believed the household factor with a father and mom — with Yeo Yann and Chin Han enjoying these characters — after which that relationship with Ben Wang, the Jin character, all that enhancement was so nice as a result of it simply made it a lot extra actual and fewer of an summary examine of like Asian American expertise however an actual examine of an rising Asian American expertise,” Daniel mentioned.

The actor added, “I believe the ultimate issue was Michelle [Yeoh] being in it. We’ve identified one another for a very long time and tried to work collectively many occasions. However this time, after I came upon she was doing it, I texted her instantly. I’m going, ‘Are you actually doing it?’ And she or he’s like, ‘Yeah.’ I’m like, ‘Alright, cool. Let’s do it. Let’s simply go for it.’ That was the third issue of me eager to do it.”

Daniel additionally mirrored on how American Born Chinese language showcases Chinese language tradition and heritage in an exquisite manner. “I believe it does it in a manner that’s not so in your face both,” he mentioned. “It’s not screaming any of these items. It tells you the story and goes via this unbelievable journey, and it simply occurs to be Chinese language American. You too can take a look at it as only a coming-of-age story, and it has motion, kung fu, and all these things, too. Lots of people of my era particularly really feel like this present particularly speaks to them and their upbringing. Every part about it from the Monkey King factor as a result of rising up that was all the time a part of our upbringing and our heritage, however then that very same feeling of being an outsider at school, attempting to slot in, how a lot of my tradition do I share with folks? How a lot do I assimilate with mainstream American tradition? How a lot do I embrace my very own tradition? These have been more durable issues to take care of rising up within the ’80s and ’90s than it’s now I might say. I really feel prefer it speaks to a number of generations on a number of ranges, after which to every kind of individuals whether or not you’re Asian American or not as a result of I believe all that awkward highschool stuff in it is vitally form of John Hughes in some methods.”

Daniel Wu
Daniel Wu performs Monkey King within the Disney+ collection. (Photographer: Elissa Anderson)

The ending of American Born Chinese language’s first season units the stage for an thrilling second season, particularly with the introduction of Princess Iron Fan. Daniel opened up concerning the present’s future.

“It’s good. I adore it as a result of I need a second season for positive,” Daniel informed HollywoodLife. “I believe it’s nice to arrange the following chapter and what that journey goes to be for all of the characters concerned. I’m excited. I do not know what’s in retailer in any respect. No one’s informed me something but. After which clearly with this writers’ strike, we’re on pause for a minute, however I’m actually keen to leap again into this as a result of it was a very lovely venture to work on with a tremendous solid and crew. The truth that it’s getting the nice and cozy reception is like an additional incentive to wish to do a second season.”



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