« WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

Episode 1361 - Simu Liu

2022-08-29 | 🔗
Simu Liu is now an entrenched member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, thanks to his portrayal of superhero Shang Chi. But Simu has his own origin story worthy of a comic book arc. Simu tells Marc how he left China at four years old and was raised by studious parents in Canada.. Only after losing his accounting job did Simu begin a secret life as an actor, an identity he kept hidden from his family until he could no longer fly under the radar. They also talk about Simu’s breakthrough in Kim’s Convenience, improving the representation of Asians in North American media, and the responsibility of being an Asian American superhero.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
All right. Let's do this, how are you what the fuckers, what the fuck bodies, what the bottlenecks what's happening, a marked mare- and this is my podcast- welcome to it today. The show I have seem hulu is here most people. know, him a shame tee from the marvel movie sheng chee in the legend of the ten rings. And I know he can bring the rings. I asked him if he could have. It was not an option he's also the canadian series Kim's convenience and he'll be in the new gretta berwick barbie movie. He just wrote a book about story of his family, immigrating from china to canada and his upbringing called We were dreamers and the great conversation. It's always listing for me
talk to somebody that, as an entirely different origins story then, I'm not talking about she. gee I'm talking about C mon blew the or story is different and I watched it. I watched his marvel movie, I watch this one I watched thea shan t and the legend of the ten rings are probably the first marvel movie. I'd really watched since the first. Second, I your man, though I've won, about marvel movies and I've judge them alive and I've. shook my fists. the sky where the marvel universe resides, but I watch it and I enjoyed it. Think it's basically consumer view having martial arts movie and I enjoyed. The dragon. I enjoyed this specific. This bill,
victory asian good dragon in Genji and its. I also have disney plus now for research, but I realized that I can start watching. all the marvel movies. This was an idea that was a I had maybe you're so go. I discussed it with my producer, Brenda mcdonald, that maybe it's time that I just go? the entire marvel movie thing that might radical eyes me like intentional radicalization, like you just watch it like her the character in a clockwork oranges. Sit on my couch with my eyes. My eyes old, open by stranger machines. have somebody there to score ops into my eyes, so I dont blink. And I dont dry up and just run through all the marvel movies. All of them in order and I will be born again
However, I will be a marvel nerd. I will be that guy. So there is the risk of radicalism radicalization if I embark on this experiment. And self radicalization in this context really looks Like me saying do not that bad yeah. I enjoyed my enjoy this one over that one didn't love that one, not that bad. That would be the extent of it. I'm not. Can we holy shit, you know, What is it vengeance, but we got one word about. Genetics will give up what you can. because I dunno what did with my life- I am without them. I need a marble moving forward. Do I don't know what to do the turned in rats tiger? At the end, I don't wanna go that far, but we'll see we will see wasted tickets to my hbo special taping at the town hall in new york city are on sale. Now it's happening on thursday december eighth. Go to tick
esther dot com or get the link on debility of pod dot com. So tour do that. I'm excited about that gotta figure out what I'm going to be doing exactly and how we're going to shoot and what we're going to. But it's all going to look like that, as a starting I got get very upset. I get very upset like with the the spiralling of culture under the mental of nerd spite and Boomer rage, I just can't. You know, I don't watch bill Maher and I you know I flip by it and it's right in the middle of him. Why does he have to pander so heavily to monsters why Does that guy wanna be loved by monsters so badly. It's easy to make fun of liberals easy but he's apologizing for religious rites view on abortion
Hence women. His argument was that they don't hate women. They just think it's murder you, but want to control women, every element of their lives to appeal, what they believe. Women should be. What exactly is hate? What is that look like? I gotta worked up the boomers raging against The dying of the light is that it Dylan Thomas raging again, The dying of the light yeah yeah that reaches here She's going burn it all down boomer rage against the dying of the light I am speaking as the last the tail end of the boomers. Not the great generation the his generation. Yahoo. hey man, so speaking of aging gun
plant in my mouth again in It's been a process all share with you By the time I get it, I don't know, I don't even know. If I'm going to need the fucking tooth, I dunno what that means. Bad as mower. That was a route canal, so I didn't feel it as it was riding up near the top of it had come out so got it pulled out and now Some bone grafting do squirted up in the whole stitched up five months later, new gum just yeah, just their resistance back mower sit near by itself with a big gap between it and the now tooth in a row. I got my got used my tongue up there in that empty space was fun, but it can chew my food properly so to this process is to put the through the molly into the dry wall in my head.
I put a molly in their an implant, they call those, I think, is basically the same thing as a molly's at what you call em, where you put that casing you can put a screwing. Usually it's because you fuckin strip the hall where this was. They just cut it open up there and drilled away on local. So I heard the I got there, experienced a vibrating skull, the different bits and they who the fuck in mali up in there that implant in and they put up a plug on it. Like a cap saga, well cap up their couple of stitches. now wait around for a few months go to them. My regular dentists. This was the oral surging guy and have him crap to me a tooth, I need a tooth crafted, so I can chew properly. and it will not right with the rest of my mouth. to be the last to standing. So that was exciting to be their dentists office, the fuck with playing the something
So there was all real oldies playing enough lollipop. They pay people better protected area, protective pep, batman, disco, music, I can ring my bell ring my bell ringing. You can ring my bell to ring my bell ma bell ring anyway. my bare good times, but it's up their long process. So I learn about time. Because I will avoid things in the sense that I will not avoided, but I just don't think like getting things. On the take a year, I'm sorry I got fuck. What's the point but your time goes by men. It flies by as you get older,
John feeling not a bad way. Ok, listen to me Similar has, as a new book out, it's called. We were dreamers. An immigrant superhero origin stories available now, wherever you get books and we had a nice broad, ranging conversation. It was nice to meet him, and in was it was. It was fun to watch a movie so and I am being honest citizens talking to see me you live in the life. I think I'd like seen. Someone drive up someone drive up in a convertible on time, I the I can't take credit for it. It's a it's a loner, it's you know, sometimes it when, when you're in these positions, which companies yeah you're you're gonna have a hit movie or a person, and you have some car companies
China, if you ever need anything like what I've always wanted to drive a convertible? No great I don't know what I'm gonna have to give it back, but I think I will eventually what is it to be? w emmett really yeah. They just called you and said you want more one of those hydro yeah. I it'll take a very brilliant by thorough, enjoy pretty did as another on the porch cut, not boxes. I just hear some music and I'm is. He can kind gonna drive pound music and there you are in the convertible. Better newcomer, I'm having a mid life crisis at thirty now maybe you're you just enjoying your success as they say. Maybe that's it yeah how We lived out here are you coming out my and pilot seasons as early as, like maybe twenty, sixteen oh yeah, but as I told you on the way- and I am I just really- recent about a house. So sorry, it's really less than a year that I've like really had firm roots here, and even that it's like nothing, nothing really. It's here so am I
I know that away from thing concerns me that like our side of the water running out. It's like. Why are we all here? Still if nothing shoots here, May I don't know who lives here and who doesn't, I think, there's still a community of people that it seems like most people splitting right right right at yeah yeah Mona, like vegas. Some people I know, are moving their hawaii hawaii Yes, I don't get but hawaii. I can understand tat. Maybe it's a land thing. I've got guess what you're not going any water vague as either in our own eye. Underwater there, it's a! U get. If you gave to move we're all gonna have to go some red states. That is very suspect. I mean I come. I am a I'm from a toronto. In Canada as right, obviously right next to borders, lake ontario, yeah and anyhow, just like I grew up around the
legs yet it is. It is very ironic that I loved her on. I moved here. The I don't know why I just I just applied for permanent residency, says yeah. You know lotta people talk about it, but that's not. I did it forever to process because people, I don't think people understand that that's is that that broke permanent residence is more like a green card. Yes, yes, I might. The fuck not like it. It could take two to three. The process, a thing and by then the requirement To spend two to five years up, they're, not narrow, might I'll be ready. if everything works while be like enough sixty one like Y know, Where would you where would you go? Do they? Let's be honest with you, I don't have more toronto. I do have a problem at any point there have been other than edmonton him when a big bang vancouver they can live in an era when a peg shade yeah yeah, I spent I did I two months and what a peg in the middle of winter I was doing theatre here now
premiering a play called villa gone and when a peg and yeah I hear ya, I hear Yet I hear the summers are great, but it's like he earth yet I mean I, I dont have any problem with the people of guinea pig. It's actually a fairly progressive, already little place, but it's the weather's a little rough. It's all right! It's not right! So we when, when was that, play via what is it via gone yeah, that was that was the last theater that I did actually I was in it was in two thousand and eighteen and- and I you know I I read this play that I was intensely passionate about and it was about. You know vietnamese refugees, but it was such an interesting take on it because you know I feel, like a lot of americans, Exposure to the vietnam is from obviously a very american centric perspective. Yeah we lost and no one's happier and then it's you know it's all about the goi that comes into the you know comes into the exotic foreign place. I get strung out on heroin, sure sure- and maybe you know and and and so then, the vietnamese people that the asian people are treated kind of. Like a backdrop right and a
and so the god is, is a story about my enemies, refugees. When I really appreciate it about a two as ex there's really interesting reversal, where all the main characters were Vietnamese spoke english, but then all the american spoke like gibberish. So, if someone was speaking english on stage there would be saying like yeah like cheeseburger hotdog, oh yeah, and then we'd be like what is he saying. We have no idea really humid, really humanizes the vietnamese refugee. That's kind of funny has a lot of fun. Well, I thought that was what was great about the the ken burns doc on vietnam that long yum multi. I don't remember how many episodes but he really whining got the other side of the, or him he talk to all the surviving vietcong generals and soldiers I eat it was we'd balanced right that they want the entire thing: oh yeah cause I've watched parts of it, but I haven't oh yeah. I watched the whole thing. I think I got it. I think I have it. I think I own it for whatever reason they must assented to me, but I, but I thought it was fascinating? That you have that side of the story head, you'll
obviously historians, and anne and progressive journalism were captured it by he like one found them and you have. in. Some of them are still power, but the thing that's wild to me. As I mean I have many vietnamese american and japanese canadian friend, whose parents I mean you think of like we're out of the way my parents, greater my parents, are in the sixties here. That's you about that. That's the way that many people who are my age and in their parents who grew up. It's like enough might might For example, I regretted immigrated from china break my vietnamese friends there, apparent stories of of how they are War, how they escaped the kind how they how they got here. Yeah, absolutely. Harrowing and some just took the most incredible, but so the most brutal and awful story than ever heard and- and though are one generation removed from from that think a lot of the people that come from war, their parents, don't even talk about it
so you know they have to live with that, like you know wise dad. Sad yeah, you know, and you can you can, but but yeah I mean I am when I hear about Jews you'd like escape nazi germany and stuff, but I was just thinking like even like Your parents come out of a child it's already very stab wished kind of Would you call it totalitarian that's tough, I would I I would. I would shy away from from from that thea firms. Of preservation and also because when I hear my parents talk about it, this is the thing that I really had to figure out. The eight league I published a book we at last the earlier this year and the thing that realizes that in a lot of ways, even though I was born in China and I and I spent my first four and a half years in china, my impression of a lot of china has been coloured by irish
western media and without narratives, I'm not saying those narratives. Don't have you know validity to them via, but when I you know when I talk to my parents about china, they have such a very deep. Such a profoundly different viewpoint to ya not by, and they don't view and totalitarian, and he viewed as complex. Are they viewed as as nuanced and I think I think in no way shape or form do they believe that their in their home countries is perfect, but but at the same time think they have a they have such a love of of their home, right in the way that I love growing up in the suburbs of mrs ana maria. Nothing will ever. I do I Mrs Haug, like the greatest city on earth, you know objectively no but but at the same time I loved so So much of my childhood is they're all of my own so many of my core. You know
foundational memories. Are there, so I can tell you like fairly objectively that it's not the greatest city in the world I just Zaga there have been a mrs. I have ok, just there. Ok I can't say that I saw the place I shot at astute. Yes, I guess there's some studio space here, I don't. I don't know that I would know where the city was what that town looks like it's just I mean it's and it's it's about half an hour outside of city of ya know exactly which Leanna, like you know, it's a hub at sea. I very attorney york, ask here, but it's, the the describe it as I give you ever if you took like a million people's worth of of like just of like make me, genes and maya has model home development in and it just like it. It's all. It is for rose, that's what it is and then like Applebee's bees.
and a matter of fact that Chinese buffeted that data they absolutely slammed on the weekend and the way to that's one thing I notice about about, Canada is at asian popular in its huge yeah yeah. I think I grew where the m. No, I grow. being, I think the predominant minority population whereas I think you're in the state of europeans just just different. I felt different, but but we're fourth year here here sorry are a few. You can be at work harder yet, but But what I was thinking, though, in terms of growing up as your parents must have. I mean. Obviously your china's history is vast, and you know older than most and there's that whole history, but the idea of adapting to a revolutionary and and restrictive
political environment is something that is happening here. The end, and so I came here to me it s sort of like when you talk about you. Sort of vital that that was the china they lived in it was complexes, is enjoy as things though politically, like their people that live in these states setter, fascist. They're like in blue cities and their right and it's okay doesn't really apply to me. You know it's kind of interesting, the way the brain works and what you can adapt to and disk of your life. I hear that I am present here that I think it's too. I think it's too it's very different when you criticise your own homes or verses. When you hear somebody else criticising you yeah, you know. I think I think it's like when you have ownership over something you feel you feel like we have a right to say this is everything that's wrong with with our country? This is wrong and when somebody else comes in you're, like whoa, hang on a sec hang on. As I know, that's my america you're talking to yeah right right. That's that's! Canada! You're talking about don't make fun of our fucked up country. I will do that yeah we'll do that. So when
You were four years old when you have tuna, yes, foreign, ass. I am what one is shortly I was born. My parents actually left me in the care of my grandparents to go and study in in queens university in canada, so was raised by my year and my night until I was as four and a half and one day literally, might my dad shows up at the door and is like hello, I'm here. I'm your dad. Firstly introduce himself here because he was a total stranger than his enemy said, I'm here to I'm here to bring you to canada it's time it's time yeah and it was. It was so hard for me because I was being sold on this vision of of like this. You topic Paradise right. Of everything is better in canada. You don't know you have such a great time and came to an end. I kept us just like, but I want I want to be here with you, yeah who are who are my only parental figures a year s time and, and I love quite a bit. Has you chinese still get its iraq ing every single day it is and yeah? I would. I would go back I in the summer times when I was a teenager have for for, like you know, three or four weeks
I was I want to spend every possible moment when my grandpa as occurred in my family in China and we come back from those trips like with full fluency they hold. Conversation talk about in so many different things in the air, and then I stopped going back for up for a multitude of reasons. I think I think maybe most prominent of all. Being I wasn't. I for my job and then decided to become an actor and so for, I think, a long time. I was kind of like the black sheep of the family, but nobody wanted to acknowledge because of that after you, from going back to china, where yeah yeah, my parents would go back and would see family and of it just be such a sore spot him. You are my relationship with them. Wasn't good, so there It was. I you it was like I we shouldn't, so we shall aim to shame driven. Oh absolutely I mean my parents are: are academic and academics, their electrical engineers, like everyone from our side of the family, in china was like this is the map We were the ones that that that you know left to pursue these amazing opportunities ray the son, who you know
you know in Canada me, I was supposed to be like the prodigal, how the prodigal air at a hell of a sudden there like he, why he got fired from his. And now he wants to be an actor like what financed, I mean I'm crazy. I've talked to sort of first generation of children of migrants who get this pressure. That press is, is insane like. I've talked to a few different people, who had to really fight the fight to aggressively disappoint their parents to find personal success. Yeah it's and you know it's it's it's definitely hard. I mean I now that I now that I've grown up, but I look back it's nowhere near as hard as the journey that my parents went through to to. You know, be able to immigrate, but but it's it's tough to yeah. It's it's balancing the expectations of your parents. It's tough growing up in a in two generational and multicultural household were yet the world that you're participating in is very good from the world that is at her.
and so sometimes your parents, you know my parents certainly their thoughts there. use their norms were very much at odds with what I was being taught out in the world watch here out in the world with some certainty in working out. It's too, you know too to realise yourself, yes oh, which is a western idea very much so you know I think, when you come from. You know an education driven, practical culture, that's exactly it yeah where, where you're expected, who just work within the system and an and press, where is it, is holding reminds it, and you know it wasn't. Like artists didn't exist and in china writer my parents certainly warrant it. My parents, you know then validate their success has been validated by academic achievement and and study, and you know- and working working hard in a very specific and structured way. So of course that was their world you that was there yet there one thing that they could pass on to their kids. So you the key now yeah
I d- yes, yes, I do. I am right now through our own has certainly not always certainly not by so, You come here when you're, four and a half in and then at some point they literally stop taking you to see your grandma. I mean that came a lot later. That came at age, twenty two, but but yeah it was. I mean it was like we we don't want to share. I was like god we're going to go to china and you you know you just you just stay here: we've we've lost you kind of yeah, so when you first get to canada. Was there community that they were doug, was there a chinese community. There was a bit yeah there were you know they they were. My father was doing his phd. Surrounding area. My mom was doing her. estonia and they lived in like this- a rent fixed apart men and in case, ontario in kind of like an enclave of of of chinese immigrants, were kind of going through the same thing, they're they're studying
they had come from abroad and and so that was kind of the environment that we that I spent my first years in deed. think it is going back per second. Do you think that if you were to decide to to miss speak about china that you'd get flak, I think it is a very sensitive situation a night and I do not want either which weighed sphere for my name to somehow come up in the middle of a variety of political conflict that I, quite frankly, don't feel qualified to even it happened, a means of rogue and where we were talking about Israel right where its blew up it was like sort of global event. That has Somebody said about the israeli jews I think that, thank god I was in payment, assert enough through part of the global cannot asia, but he got that because he was the bigger debt. So I understand you know that that sort of the let that self same I understand that in who needs that quick bait? Certainly not me.
Yeah. You don't want to be the tears, so you in ontario, in an enclave yang in some sort of subsidized housing from the area. With us and them becoming citizens was at ever an issue. Did they ever I am yet about how that works. Do you know my father, my father, as a very distinct story, though of when he first landed, and the customs officer was asking him if he was a rough Gee or an emigrant, and- and I remember I think he had said you essentially the right. It is a big thing in the community. I think they were here. My daddy's convince there are trying to trick him because he he arrived first without without my mom area, and he was very it was like. I am not a refugee and they're like. Are you sure, because everybody's coming from china as a refugee and he's like I'm, not I'm not escaping I'm, I'm here to study yeah and it was very, very clear about the idea and what do you think what he realized later on was as a refugee. You have very different rights, and and and
He was very adamant that he that he wasn't. He was I'm I'm a student, so that was a pride thing too. In a way it may, I think so and these because, like I guess, refugees is seen, as somebody a charitable like we're dead, have to help these people sure sure I shall not the end of course like they know. I think I think I've been very I'm in I've been very proud of the aid that specifically the country of canada's Harold refugee, from all over the world. Oh yeah, I'm me now, I'm a guy which way I but just injuring that your father dense yeah. He wouldn t himself anything. It was more the connotation of like that. You know what kind of what you said like refugee. as has shades of like your escaping a regime or your your victim of war, I s- and he was I that's not it lay out it. I had a dream, I'm going for it, I'm here to study why I talked like in terms of the candidates and just having some sort of
Japan or at least the possibility one was like I've. I don't want to do. I don't want to get to the point where I show up as a refugee, and can he do I want to get the jump on that. I understand yeah, I support you in your journey to become a permanent resident in canada. I fucking love canada. Now I mean I used to think it was a little boring and I'm not saying it isn't, but maybe I'm ready for that right now I hear ya. I hear ya, it's it's a specific vibe and a speed. I am I to pay for healthcare for the first time. Last month, oh yeah here I had to do. In any event, I am- and I have health insurance through drag sure, but I was a check up cause. I my my back as is hurting handing out like lower discs that I have to. I know Bob hope. Would you go? I I dunno, I think I saw it somewhere in like the sag system. I just told my manager to set something up while you're that that's what I yeah. It was very nice of him, but I went in and then I and I did the thing and they're and they're like It'll be x amount of dollars. Please, and I was like, oh don't I I thought I had health insurance, but like oh, no, it's a copay, yeah how's it going.
Some paying a deductible shirt, get a check, yeah as wild and I pulled out my wallet for the very first time in a clinic. I because I cannot stress enough to other all the american listeners out here. You don't do add in canada yeah? Why that ain't in it must be a sort of jarring you're. Welcome to america, don't get too sick. It was very jarring at any kind of colored. For me, the way that it in It's me the way that the way that health care is just viewed here really try to push. It is as much as you can before. Yeah yeah I say that our health care system is perfect by any means, but it's like a certainly having regular, regular check. Ups. A thing because you like, even if, even if you feel fine like you need to go, we have more that well that's. Why look I mean I don't know? I mean I've. It is characterized negatively by canadians and americans in that, like we gotta wait, you've gotta do this way. Who cares I mean, like I, I mean on some level I mean I think that in
forms the entire culture of canada and away just to have that take. Or of even if it's not great, is why lowered off just now you can go to a doctor and an end to be and you know it's not all medication, but certainly like lie if saving, medication, cancer treatment, medication, I mean that's, not anything that you, it's not even a third that occurs of like how am I gonna pay for this right. It's like how many, how many american crime tv dramas about the father that has to that has to turn to a life of crime because he can't pay for his six family members hospital bills like how many of those would never exist in canada, it's like we watch, we watch breaking bad and were like. Ok, that's it. Great show clear objectively by like wouldn't the the or premise that show just would not accept what civilised country with let that happen here. So
when you start grown up there, was see how quick did the expertise, and start to manifest. I would I would say as soon as school started Riyadh who, as soon as school started, I stopped, I would say I stopped feeling like a child that was allowed to just kind of bee. Free and and play and and discover via, and I became like an almost like an athlete I was you know I was like being pushed except instead of you, know, basketball and t ball yeah, like Matt and how are you at those things I would I got off to a pretty solid start. Oh yeah, I think, by further by four great. I was doing long division la multiplication. Like I you know I yeah. I was always the kid
was doing like the work. That was a couple of grades ahead, because your parents were doing it at home with you yeah yeah. They were, they were doing it at home. They were bringing homework. You know I was do it yeah. Basically I was I was training extra hours and and then you know a funny thing happened. You know, I think I was very happy to please them, but a funny thing happened is that is that my balls dropped and I went through puberty yeah and I started to you know I started to realize I think about like around the time like fourth or fifth grade people, just like social higher, stay. I like re opening about first grates angry so everyone just kind of together right, but once you like start to form hierarchies have some sort of recognition of like who the cool kids are right. I just knew that I wasn't it yeah, and so I was like well, I kind of want. I kind of want that I kind of want someone to tell me about social. norms and hierarchies and how to just like, be cool and make friends yeah and that's where you have to You- have to be friends with the cool kid get to be friends with the cool kid and you to, and you know you gotta like
yet how you gonna be able to hang here. My parents fostered those skills in me. The hang on this scale. Every time I asked them about it, they deal I. Why do you need money? You know your job is to study, don't waste time at this time of that with friends with, and yet when it and I was going through- I was you know, having crushes on girls Nobody to help me navigate these things, so I started to really pay away from them and really reject their world view? cause. I was like I don't. I don't want that. I don't want that and that that was kind of the cause of a lot of conflict that arose in the interesting as they do. You think. That's fundamentally western the idea going through puberty or no the idea of of seeking out there, you know that lifestyle gauge seems like that's gotta, be you know it's just. That seems like a standard, just strict parent thing. Yeah, I don't I mean I look, I haven't, I haven't been in school anywhere. I I just wondering idea. I imagine that in China there is definitely cool kids and you know I would
same parents, yeah yeah bite, but just being with those that our hanging each of their name and that is very true and the eye and the I n. What they feel culturally is important. Yes, is an extra added pressure. It's not just having strict parents yeah yeah, it's it's sort of a india have brothers and sisters, I'm an only child- oh my god, yeah exactly much exact, Michael disappointment possible. of most amount of you, you imagine the at the moment I kind of, came out to them as an actor one of that one of the probably one of one of the worst moments. My parents live site, so you, when you start pushing back, though you not united by you, Good kid you're not doing drugs or anything yeah niner- guess not. I guess not. An alien was limited to like you know now, is like video games and a whore
no I never sports is a rebellion, that's yeah! Now I have some for whatever reason I was never like too interested in in experimenting with drugs, and now I'm kind of now I kind of like say I regret it, but I am sometimes wish that I had like dropped ass at once or twice as high as the young as a younger teen or ever an early college guy and actually do that now and and and and light of the new hipsters are doing it for just a they think. It's good for your brain once or twice right right once or twice the script scrub it out, do it or micro dosing do at one time, yet you can do it, make sure you're hanging out with my friends with the right people, yea got friends so help me out, after all with I'm sure, policies that do not expect this conversation iron into its human conversation, so When do you start to drift for real? When when do the fight start definitely high school so mean I attested into this private. You know act.
Amicably oriented high school university of toronto schools, damn, his so serious about its academic academia that it literally called the youth firstly of toronto schools here, like the best of it yeah yeah, yeah and end. So you know my parents were now we're not paying for my education and- and I think that came with like even more expectation, but but I I really relish that, because I had to take up a train in a subway to to get there is a little far away. I shall really relish the freedom, so I took that as an opportunity to like. Friends hang out be social whatever your way, and for my parents alike, What the hell did we spend all this money on? How am I going to beat the urgency and the anxiety of that really manifested at that time? That's when things got violent, that's when their physical island, yeah yeah, I mean I mean you know with you. Add made both both and I think, most immigrants. Kids will have some sort of idea of water at what that feels like, but but like white like with,
Cooking instruments, hands exactly instruments and its and in the absolute worst thing was, was it was trying to take a day off school like trying to be sick and know now it's inconceivable in the age of the pandemic. Here it's like when, if you're sick, home by but yeah I was burning like are burning, Ninety nine hundred degree fever any. I like get your ass, the school. Your fine right, you know, go in fact all the other kids, right now gotta go you gotta, go study, my god, so does it reach a boiling point I feel like. I did it at many points, but then I you know that I we still had to keep going. You know there was. There was a time in my junior year, where I had to I ran away from home for a week, but I'd like did the door. It was like the dorky is running away ever bigger, stated different friends houses every day, but I still showed up at school, and I still did my homework here. Was an
it was like, I ended up in an underpass right, you were with us, is arrange attached, a mean exactly you're, still honouring their desires. Sure I think what it was like, even even in my deepest rebellious phase, like I still couldn't ever divorce myself. from their vision of success, because that was the only vision of six that I hear expectations and I didn't have any model of anything different like it in no any young act. as all of my friends were like along that path as like. Well, I guess that's the only thing I could do so did I fell through that I saw. Did you fall through with it? I went to went to school at the university of western ontario, I studied finance and an accounting and then out of graduation. I got a job at deloitte, deloitte and touche wishes, which is one of the top four accounting firms and your parents were excited. They were excited slash relieve just because they, obviously it had been such an acrimonious few years, and so I think they were Yes, they were just really there like. I, finally that
is done. He finally made any did it. We can rest. Now we deliver the care, we delivered a kid that became a contributing member to society, so you were doing no acting during high school. No no. No! No! I wasn't like a theater geek. I mean I loved movies. I loved going to the movies, but I guess I just never felt like it innately. I never felt like I either I could I never maybe myself permission to participate in that space, but when started to do the athletics pretty much as soon as I like. I could prevent suicide once I started being of the stay out late from school, and I realized tat my parents can do anything about it right and but when did you like you'd know like martial arts and stuff right, yeah. I know I know a little bit. I know a little bit. I was a child thing think no! No! I I definitely beg my parents to put me in karate.
kid and there like now. That's the real, don't don't do that. They couldn't even see the importance of of learning healthy competition in a physical way. They put me instead to be fair. They we compromise with soccer. I don't know, I think they weren't they weren't fill in the marshal But you know I was growing up as an asian It love jackie ten movies, and so I was like I want to pay that, never quite at the chance In high school I started break dancing. Oh, it's! A completely different thing, but it's like it's like a body awareness thing, so I think there are transferable skills. We still got a little bit more about the bad back. You now have which corner where there is much work fucked up, and I don't even know how I fucked it might as well. I come like I used to be like a jumper, so I used to play a lot of a ton of basketball, volleyball air and I dunno. I just feel like the lower discs have just kind of gotten a little swollen or the rubbing up against each other honey. You got a hernia, I think so. I had an x ray done again in the end. At that time, where I had to pull out my wallet and pay for healthcare vs time in my life
Had some extra has done and I dont think like a herniated disk was detected, wasn't like crazy serious. It was like. operation thing, but it's just whenever I play sports now, maybe about half an hour Forty five minutes, then I'll start to feel it, and then it just gets kind of progressively worse how old you have a third thirty, three, oh yuri, so I get this thing that I dunno I got it. I think I did it sleeping right right right and I dunno what the age is that that's the worse is when you hurt yourself doing nothing, nothing at all and I'm physical and I'm just like awoke and now I'm just sort of like how long I'm going to have to wait to start climbing and doing shit. Sir, like, if I'm on the road, control over your bed you don't mean you take the bed, that's given you take the bed, that's given to us by the best western, on a black or best available, sir. So alright, so you're in you're, in accounting, you're in what is it a grey building? Is it horrible? Is it like? You know, yeah man, I'm working on bay street, which is the canadian wall street, and it's and it's in toronto wearing suits wearing,
suits a certain certain tie. Every everyday kind of you know I lived. I live just up the street so every day I kind of took the made her down and I join dislike zombie walk of every. going into their cells yeah and in doing their jobs, and it was. It was a rough time for me. I pick just about the worst, the worse job, in terms of personality compatibility I was like I you know combating like I'm. Clearly, a creative yeah and I got some- were you like depressed? I was very depressed. I was very too I would like lie awake in bed in the mornings, and I would just wait until the last possible second before giving and really just like every day was like it's a battle of wills to be able to walk myself to the door here. To get dressed area is really really painful, and- and I thought at up until that point- because I also had felt that way in class and in all learning and up until then, I just thought that was who I was. I got that
it's shitty person. I thought I was lazy. I thought I was under motivated and then and then you know thing avenues. I got laid off is devastated for some reason, because, even though I was engaged in the job and I hated it, I still felt like it was the death of something was the death of something that I had worked so hard to toward but then when I started in this in his acting journey or in the dino showbusiness journey or whatever yeah, and I saw this like. I became this totally new person. I became the person that got up in the morning. flew out the door yeah? I became the personal, Christ, craigs craigslist, you know every single day led to basically left no stern stone unturned. I just wanted. I wanted every pulse elaborately was so hungry. So was I bombing out of your parents. Exe you're on run your sort of like got affable your parents expectations not a, but by no choice your own really gathering it's like the choices made for you and you, ok, so What did they do?
I hit it from them, for as long as it could have always ask is about three or four months, Oh so you got a little ego. A little wiggle room got a little headstart yeah and I had a. I took my severance my severance check from deloitte and I invested in a ceta, had shots and I and then living expenses for the next little while yeah, and then I I literally like I I signed up to be an extra on movie sets. I know acting classes and eventually eventually, but you just be part of it. I just wanted to be a part of it. I didn't really know any. Acting like I had. No access whatsoever was just a all smoke and mirrors totally opaque industry regret. You had no idea how anyone even gets it exactly agri, but then you shall to one side and- and you make some friends and there, like all- you should go to this class- we attic this out, and so I was just learning by doing every single day and then and I was lucky enough to book like our national commercial, and that was the moment rose. I got off, I don't tell my parents they're gonna turn, the tv v one day, they're see me what was it for. I was for us
belle media, which is kind of like an eighteen, TT, small business, commercial and he had a speaking part. I do not have a speech by but it was. It was, I think, a very great exercise and improv. I played this. I really did you know a business owner through all stages of of the business right, so alike. in the beginning, taking the lease yeah, you know looking looking at the store and being like wow odetta and then it's like. Oh pigs, business is picking up, so I've got a phone, I got a phone on my shoulder and then I'm like directly That's my go. Hey no put that here we are busy and it's like bow. He let us help with their small business, salute things you're so busy. Oh, it's amazing! I'm pulling this off you told them I told them and then- and I think in the beginning. Actually, there were quite sympathetic be because they believe that
just like a weird manic phase that I was going through a sympathetic for like you're acting thing. They were, they were like oh he's, clearly going through some stuff right now, he's gonna. Take he's, obviously going to go back into the workforce at some point right. So a little listen! You know you. You take some time right, but then you know about thank god. He was even have anything to do with quitting right, the fact that you are laid off. Probably they enable them to have some simple, some sort of sympathy, yeah, yeah, yeah and then, and then I think, as time went on, they were like. Oh he's real. He really thinks he's going to do this and that's when things got tense again now wait when you say tense, I mean at that point. What power did they really have over you other than the expectations Well, we had bought a we bought a condo together, you and your pants they the agreement yet which the agreement was that we would be. We would, you know, pave the mortgage they're, all of a sudden I was unemployed, can pay the mortgage,
and so you know they they were- they were affected. if they did help me out in in that they didn't know they didn't then in charge me an exorbitant amount of rent. I was paying very very little and- and I think that, that. I think the power rover me is just that like they they just come made me feel like I was, I was throwing away everything that they had tat point europe and europe a kid. So I imagine that is a goal, abused and whatnot style. No, it wasn't it wasn't the fights it was. It was just like you know, it was just ass of aggressive ass of aggressive talk You know, I remember one dinner, why tried to go home for dinner and idea and make it like ten then- and I was like- I have to go into to be fair. At that point, I did think that things were about to get about to get violent.
your father, mostly my my mom, my mom, my my fault- I mean I mean they both were, but my mom had a way with words. I mean she's his first. I need to preface she's an incredible woman, so smart hard working. And if you read the book and we were dreamers, I've listened chapter dedicated herds. We favour chapters in the world, my favorite. She, besides my favorite dr ever written midway. And but she has such a way with words and a way to twist the knife and so she's a she's, a firecracker for it just like just a just a it's just kind of blow through everything that you are right, of course right to the core yeah, that's it. it's like I, I rue the day I ever had you kind of level of sure of his. How do so in that's it. That shames built indeed right, that you feel that
by its voice, you ve, had to deal with in your head, your entire life that guy, like any time, that, you want to do anything outside of the purview their expectations? You how to deal with that chain? Yes, who what I want. I would I ultimately, I think what was what was the prevailing thought for me during his time was who I was becoming was so important that I actually that overrode, any sort of intense feelings of shame or filial. eighty he desired to like assume the family duty or keep the family face. I mean I actually think that a fire If I had had a better relationship of my parents would have been harder, but we have so much over the course of my teenage years that I there was really no relationship to salvage, and so I was like you know what screw I don't care to your point it was like you don't. power over me anymore, as I don't care anymore and what is so important to me right now is-
the person that I'm becoming is this. Is this like cream? if this hard working person, like I really felt like I was coming into my own, an area where you know that feeling of like I, when you're right, where you need to be it's like you come alive, yeah and I was coming alive and that was more powerful, That, with that of the most important thing, see that's great, that's great, because doesn't always have to go that way. Now you know somebody break you know, and whatever happens happens, but like it's amazing that you had they give devilry play did any some sort of stick to witness this. Thirdly, definitely as I imagine in in the book, you have to sort out these that were once negative to you in terms qualities that you have or that night, you they become positive if you sort of applause, to what you have them directly. Do we or do ya? I think the fallacy and my parents logic was that they worked so hard to further next generation to have all of the opportunities that they didn't and then
They turn around in the end, had the expectation that they would that the next. What do the exact same thing that they did right but Obviously that's interesting people don't work that way, and the other thing to that. I only realised very recently. We had the debate. and to leave china, be my parents were working at that time they had graduated they'd graduating school. They were working in china, they had careers. was that it was actually the all. The ultimate like risk was too was to throw that all the way and to great to a new country where you didn't speak the language, you don't understand a culture. and you didn't know, if you're going to get a job or not right, you know you're you're. Basically, they were, they were like redoing, their education and the hopes of landings. But that none of that was guaranteed and right. People must have thought that they were easy to sure, and so that that was kind of that that my journey feel so. The us is so small, but also I was like ally. My parents: did this yeah? I was there emigrants reims ii, as is my version of that dream sure, and I'm in
idle to that dream, just as much as they were right. It's a theirs. Was like really an immigrant dream in years, a sort of a dream of of south actual innovation where it where you know you can do what you want to do and be successful, because even if you were to do that, if you were directed to become what they will do, whatever they thought you should become for the family and the explanations is it? You know There were some of you said about like this just to do exactly what they did, which is limited yeah. so now here you ve become more than they could have ever expected. Am you drive into free beemer enough? Then my parents would love that it's free, my parents will. I will. I will say that if we are listening, I didn't have to pay for it, a convertible, it's his convertible at school, but I mean I I imagine that that whatever word whether a begrudging appreciation of your success. Initially there was
begrudging appreciation of my of my work ethic and I think that started before I booked. You know the marble role before I book the sick com, Kim's convenience- I I was on a show called blood and water in canada, or I played a pedophile murderer, but that's a story for another time and but but I also was that it was a chinese care, decide to speak a lotta mandarin and my mandarin was not greatly. I kind of roped my parents in two. Into running lines with me and we were shooting in vancouver ass, I was in that I was in a hotel room late at night, running lights, My parents run realized my dad and- and I think it was true that price They finally started to see this makes it seriously like he's. Not you know, I think they're worry was that I was being fed up I dream of like oh, I could just. I could just sit there right, but I'm like you know, I I take a couple of nice headshots and then just all of a sudden be discovered and I'll be in there like, here. He is recognising how much work this actually
it can also ready to put an oh, that's interesting, so they were able to appreciate the work it takes. Yes, yes, they were like you know. I, and I think I think, with familiarity to. I think it breeds some sort of empathy that you know that they just had no idea how the shure film industry ratio business like that right. Nor did you who the hell knew. Neither did I but, but I was starting to. I was starting to make had headway into the into the industry. and so they were like he's really serious about israel's ears, it out at a vile murderer, the like of yeah it, even if this means so much to do that this right, maybe maybe there's no getting them back, but I Do you think that was that that was that? That was the turning point that that really set the stage for reconciliation, because if it was easy, as oh you're you're a marvel person? Now we are you yeah you're fine were proud of you now. I don't think I would have accepted that, like I wouldn't have limited a lot of resentment in my heart I would have taken to on first
for sure- and it would have you know it, you know it wouldn't be unconditional love by any means. No, no, it would just be. They had no choice right right, yeah. No, that's pretty cool yeah. I guess you did it it's so okay, so you do the commercial need in india they You come out as an actor so, but how, was the relationship into wait. What was the first thing you got. Wasn't Kim's convenience. It was this others here yeah it was. There was blood and water. That was the first major one. Before that I was, it was really like two years of ah you know it was Joe jobs. It was like spiderman at kids birthday parties- oh my god, handing addressed out in the addressed up. I just have a spiderman how's that for you you know, but some some days are better than others. Some days, you'd have like a really angelic kid and you'd be like oh. That was really that was really sweet. I also
by the way tipped to be like an exercise in in performance as well, because I hadn't you know I, I was really leaning, spider man. I was like yeah. You know that that's a crowd, that's a crowd that all you do on the moon. As I was doing the moves I was doing like the backflips and stuff and and the ones you learn all that shit. Basically, when I was when I was wait dancing when I was trying to be trying to be that close at all? That's where all the physicality happened, yeah yeah, you kind of self taught gymnastics and gymnastics like stage combat stunts. He you know stuff through breakdancing, all through rehab breakdancing. parker and or familiar of park horror, but what is it it sounds at it see people like running across rooftops. Buildings like I never really got there, but- and I say it all about like for a free movement and right right and just ngos and jumping and flip, aided all that and that we do and fur on tiktok now we missed that I miss the tick too. I was too young. I was too old, so none!
in writing et, although by the way, not as good as some of the people and Tik tok. Now everyone just pay a credible. I see I can neither did that doing crazy shit totally crazy wild thyme rooftops jumpin. Does why do people this hang off of balloons. right air balloons and dry. Right right, there's that those people go on router you, don't you see the russian videos of people they go on rooftops and then they like go out to a beam and they will do like pull ups on the beach, yeah he'll have, like legitimately, died doing that cause yeah. I I assume, I always wonder what the ending of some of these tiktok videos, yeah, yeah, yeah and so you you aren't all that and in what so new started doing that type of work. Before you got the series doing, I sort of verse stunts tougher yeah I was, I would think I was just trying to do whatever I could. So I had a stunt coordinator, Tommy Chang, who had who gave me a shot. I know on a set for the first time. I was
I was trying to teach myself how to produce and edit and in need of right and new host. So sorry, for all these, like little film, intensive and collectives and all joining playwright. You know in a theater companies and in joining play, It works idea. I was just doing everything I was like a shock on blast into the ended. I was like everything all the time, so you do in theatre to yeah, because because I don't want to, I didn't know where I would end up. Rightly, I would have loved you. I am really do feel like I'm living the best version, the best case scenario of here that, but I think equally fulfilling it. If I didn't get this role or if the acting and take off I would be, something else, but I'd be in the industry. Sure, oh I see so you just love the industry, yeah yeah level yeah. I my friend, just asked me all the time. What's your plan b and I was like, I don't have a plan b. I just have an a one, a two, a three, a four and a five, that's good, but there's no plan b yet there is no plan b, but I like that you are able to neo having a spectrum, the hermes
But what so why? was it like: a canadian television and canadian tv. I gazed make sort of a half joke about how I think if you hang around within the world of entertainment in canada. That eventually will get your own show that day. If you can make it happen easier than you can do it here, but what was acting like in terms of given that your age aging community was so large, was their representation. That was your not limiting yeah, I would say hard no hard. There was not, the asian representation did not exist. I think what was out in the world is very different than what was being perfect. Then in media and into a to some degree. I feel like this. That was the case in america too, is like there were asian americans in amerika. For we ve been here for over a hundred years, but You would know it why watching the films
and media or or when you see the asian characters, they would really be like the really the same two people. They would be running a laundromat or a restaurant to be heavily accented the this. Not that I mean is that the people that I grew up around those people were not represented at all and it's definitely the same in canada, I would say I would say I would say to small market small system and a lot of a lot of times oftentimes. What those systems result in is the same people getting opportunities. and over again, and it was very much the same production companies, the same bridle runners. From one show that choking cancelled really like our once. They failing upwards but damn canada, definitely failing laterally and getting more opportunities and more opportunities, and- and it's really it can be really tough to break in and that in that kind of environment beata, but a little circle comedians did come along and it was based on a play written by its troy and when it was a play at the turn of french festival it just it, you know
blue way all expectations it in a theater company. I picked it up at toward nash by the way when, when dance was first pitching the played. All the major theatre companies around the country all rejections because none of them were asian No sir! None of the the the artistic directors were asia and none of them could see what this play was right and it wasn't until the people saw it and built it up and blew it up. They finally started to believe in it. The rights of the play was mounted around the country and then option into a tv show and and that's how that's how I got my my brow. I remember hearing about it why it was deal in all show business. It was a big deal, man yeah when he was at it was a twenty. Sixteen was the first year that we that we shot and and came out and in the first season it was really just I mean we were on the cbc and nowhere else or nobody outside of canada could could walk yet reality at least by tom, but after after that and are in our second season, got picked up by netflix and then all of a sudden we were in, like overnight.
like a hundred countries all over the world, and it wasn't- We were like riverdale agnew isn't like we were justin bieber like level fanned by, but certainly a blue us all up in aware we had never, we could never have imagined. Why When you have? You know the false Some of us. of asian culture, feeling a lack representation. If there is any that is Modern just try and represents any differ. verification within the community big, If you go my god, it's like a drop of water in a desert like, oh my god. Thank you. I think I know that this was the feeling I remember even washing kim's convenience for the first time on stage as a play here. How Its formative of a feeling it was watching what my life being played out not just seeing asian people but the story about the Intergenerational conflict about the father and son were struggling to reconcile shut
to understand each other here at the euro, the father with slightly accented english, but but you know the site that was doing doing this, but I mean adjust. It broke me on such a such a visceral level, and I realise that up until that point, my relationship to the There was very much like going to a museum and being like. Oh, this is nice. Yeah right shakespeare has, as you know, right right or aid that. Yet what? At what a nice thing here? What happened? You know history, history, but I didn't realize that art could be participatory. I didn't realize that art could speak to my lived experience really It was because I've been starvin, starved of that kind of representation. My whole life, so that I think that moment I clicked for me, that's what I need, but that Different type of institution lies not necessarily racism, button but kind of
oh yeah, I mean that word is thrown around so much about it, but it's definitely institutionalized or institutionalized lack of opportunity or understand, institutionalized ignorance. May there you go, that's it make sure none of those none of those decision makers ever had an an asian friend that bright right up and and and it's wild because they're like it's I feel like I'm seeing that's one. The most amazing thing has happened over the last decade or do you just at this the surge of red, station its exciting. It is waiting for me. You know I mean I just in an episode of reservation dogs, and it was so amazed, amazing to be on a set with native? americans who have never had that kind of free of expression in, and that ended this sort of approach them. The modern version of what native life is like its lose.
It was exciting I was. I was thrilled to two do not have anything to say and do the role and be impressed as an old I guy- that something amazing was happening culturally you now. I hear that I think it so it's I mean I I hope that everybody has is able to feel that in some way, shape or form and- and I know they're still, still minority populations or may be marginalized, crusher you're out there that don't feel that way and and certainly not saying by any means that as asian americans like we are where we need to be either beyond those. Definitely we always what more we always what more ownership over the stories that we tell you know, and and more accurate representation and better representation, but but certainly I think it's what unites us It's really easy to get cynical when, when representation and diverse you to start sir start to get like tossed around
thrown around and and right right right what non sense of what that actually means. Yeah. Well, that's true! I I could see that in that it's not quite it's we're not done yeah and that you know that there's still a way that there needs to be some sort of battle, it's uh, presentation that that honours the world that we live in by still think there's been a tremendous success in sort of of kind of the integrating in and making fiction more diverse. So if it is somehow it can actually have an impact in the real world too. To sort of create connections, among people see you I don't know, I think, I mean I I think I have to believe this being an actor. I really, I think, the power of stories external or non fictional it in a minute. It has the power to two just transcend boundaries, Cultures and language- and it has the power to inspire people, an end to show people as possible, and I mean the amount of
since that I've met, who have said that there are no shamshi has like affected them in their children. Such a profound? Only? I bet what that I mean. That was the first marvel movie. I've watch him like a decade by the way I watched it for you and and not because I m just not the guy the watches in Geneva, but that movie was especial movie, not just because representation, but its fundamentally full movie. Really right. I mean in the way that it is of a type it's more, that its morven asian experience, and it is a marvel movie like I'd. seems to me that all the symbols and the story and everything about you know the the combat? and and and and and also you know where to It's place, you mean those things have been existing in asian, film and asian culture for in film, for as long as there's been asian film and in asian culture for thousands of years. Yes, they are. Everything in there is complete. we familiar yes,
to any generation of of chinese person. I would imagine yeah yeah. I hear that I would say I would say the film is definitely a celebration. The seller, vision of our culture and our and our lives, I wish I knew no. I might disagree, that its kung fu movie. Is that wrong? It's out inappropriate, not outside an appropriate. I think ice. I think about this. A lotta mike is that it enables nature they martial arts did. I do a come from a region of tuna, martial arts movie, or did I do a coming of age or delay, the coming of age story with Oh, my g d, martial arts and and now ok ensuring cocoa, and I think that's that's what I thought going and because you know I just We believe that if it was a kung fu movie, I wouldn't be cast, I'm not. If it comes, who is like the be all and end all of like what you want to challenge you to be here. I'm not your guy, no ilo, iris, of course, edna understand it, but by you, but in structurally? Yes, the marvel story unit you wherever they come from,
understanding of it is like you know how it this is your origin story right. breathing around it? You know even like you know, for whatever reason it's you know, the the rings yo is is is a fairly somehow or another, even that rings, as as, as specifically asian to me. Oh interesting, the number of rings, the ten rink, like I dunno, what that is or where that came from, I get thor's hammer and I get like, and I get some other stuff or whatever the the spider by business, but there just seems to be some sort of ancient history to rings. That seems a. But what do I know I dunno, I was hoping you bring em, though, with a yeah yeah I would have, I would have loved. I take them from set, but they're pretty they're, pretty tight about that sort of sir you know I really did. I think I went into a thinking about thinking about what I what I wanted the movie to be, and I think I wanted it to be a superhero movie, and I want Think destined wanted it to be a superhero movies, with with a very specific culture,
perspective in mind too high, but but I feel you know, I think I hope that that their universal themes at play beyond just like this. This feels age which it does when, of course, totally does body, but also by it, is exactly the same story as Kim's convenience and its economy and its use out of similarity, and it's exactly your story, yeah yeah down to even like- and I know we talk a lot about the traditional chinese. You know I can murphy and and and aesthetic, but there is also. the very real aesthetic of my two asian american. You know something's growing up in san francisco, indiana, karaoke, together and like park hang out and parking cars, and I think that's that's so much of of mine I've is isn't that a my characters and yes, we were able to think encompass a very broad kind of sense, and really it's the only it's the type of like specificity and new ones that you get when you have a filmmaker like destin, who is asia again who understands- and its also is very important. Also
a phenomenal filmmaker, we ask that he was able to imbue the film with all of this new wants and in these different character perspectives that you're like. Oh, yes, they did. This does feel asian, but it also feels specific. It feels like these characters. Each if their own, you know their sense of identity and motivation and and where they come from. Oh absolutely, very specific- and I just love that, like you're, just a regular kid yeah, but you have the eternal father figures. You don't get along way and then he just comes back in the picture with his expectation with his expectations, not great, but now you're going to make him better yeah, they expect patients? You know you can use the power in a different way, and- and I was talking to my producer today- about how this huh junk stories almost dropped in passing.
Which is that you know this, this forest, you know kind of eats people and there's there's this. There's this as gay to a mountain and behind that is this giant dragon? That's going to eat souls and take it like it happens in three lines it does it does it feels it feels macguffin. You sometimes know, but I dunno it's not though, because, like you know, I've I've never been a comic book nerd, but I think there are people that either get I'll make sure they don't their people that can read them and effective. We have. The experience of the story is being told from those panels and processed it immediately or they don't, and I think that one of the things at least in this marvel movie, that it honours that that you can drop that gun information. If you have a brain for that kind of stuff, no problem, I get it. That's the mountain. There's nobody around the aggregated area. It was that in and also like the other thing I loved and had enough it's from being innovation, insensitive by the the goods, again with a specifically chinese dragon, interesting,
I like the way it was. It looked yeah yeah that, like you know- and I said that- and I again it's like. I recognize that dragon from shoot balls, you know in chinese restaurants. Other dragons have, admittedly, but I think they totally dick is that yeah there's there's not it's funny they're all dr. Why do we call them back So why do we or do we call them dragons when they're so different, like the guy the thrones dragon, but it from medieval dragon. But even the one in the in the in the in the mountain in the mouth is not. It didn't strike me as an asian dragon re write. It was just a general menacing horrible dragon and the little soul eating things like. I liked that all that stuff, but it seemed like the good dragon, was like. I recognize that from from chinese still festivals, yeah they're possible. There's, oh, absolutely well, there's a lot of a lot of the creatures and intolerance that world were based off of based off of of chinese mythologies yeah, the chilean in the fire. words, the nine tailed fox and yet the dragon and even more- is that little headless kind of chicken bone yang thing is
based on a blanking on the name. Right now, but is based on, and it's a very wise chinese mythological creature- oh wow, so that's totally honoured it I imagine all generations sign these people are like holy shit and for what will frankly, I do not know any of us going ahead. Yeah. I wasn't. Go you that's the chilean hours, but now it. But now I do think it is really really incredible. The effects artists that I see that attention to detail being specifically we'll culturally and is kind of amazing. So what So the feedback has been like you're, an actual superhero. I would imagine to asian kids, oh man, I dunno makes me feel. Yes, I think the feedback has been has been real. Incredible. I think- and you know I I I think- and I believe that that superheroes have a very special you know a very special part of it.
they. They take up a very special space here in this world And- and I think you know, I think the kids growing up today will grow up differently because they have a superhero that represents them that's, because I know growing up. I, when I turn on the tv and arafat good about myself, I felt like I I exist. I was talkin invisible and I and I always felt very limited and in what I believe was possible from ice right. Sure. A lot of my my narrow kind of viewpoint of success was based off my parents, because I didn't have anything else to model after church. If I maybe, if I had seen more first of all, more working asian, canadian and asian american actors, that would have changed things if I had seen stories featuring asian protagonists in america we're in canada that would have changed things. If I saw a superhero that looked like me, that would have changed things. Sure I mean it's the same with the black pants. well, it seems to have a similar effect and What happens when you make an ex movie with this guy, while I think we're
I think we're trying to figure out what exactly that the next move is gonna to be and also unit you not as it is be very careful about what I say sure, but I think there's you know I think obviously he's got a future. I think it's a it's. Obviously a shared cinematic universe rife and are there things. Are their chanty comics there there there are usually old english guy he's an established guys been around for a while. He was made in them in the nineteen, seventeen, ok and the high d- you know kung fu craze and he will you hit those are comics or, I would say, the problematic I would say there not great right from representational stay away, because there are not written by asian p and so did you know it in doing research for the roll out. They went through some complex and I was like I don't know if I like that, and I do not want to talk to destiny as I get an we're doing something totally different and get to work with all these great michel, yo is essential. Yo system only learn yeah and those they ve been around forever and they don't for every art, are low,
gin cn in asian ceremony at all, I think, has crossed over and a hollywood an end is now having a blown moment of her. Raising with, everything everywhere all at while in just such an a big fan of, I could not How happy I am that she's getting her come up and then getting all of these accolades that shoot she deserved for, for so and yet only of course, as you know, that was his first kind of foray into hollywood, but he is an art cinema icon yeah, you watch him crying. Oh absolutely, absolutely infernal affairs chunky express in oh yeah great, and you get that amazing opportunity to work with these people very intimidating variant. especially because going up against their residues. I was that I felt like I was at a literal zero by thank you played, I think you must- felt you are playing a version of yourself in a lot very much so very much so. Yeah
at the emotions of it were genuine. Yes, yes, yes, and what? What is it? This barbie movie What is it man? It's a it's! It's it's wild, I mean. Have you seen it? I have seen it. We just rapped on it. Nokia gretta girl but he's got a girl egg and no a bomb back and then where's grannie wrote it. They wrote it in directing Adam she's directing it. I can't understand what is even, I cannot understand what it is. Yeah I don't even want to I give charge outweigh Callaway was the buzz. That's our right. Now is good. I mean I mean that the fact that they went on they wanted the venice boardwalk with those outfit the roller where they are showing in our girl, ass lobbying, yeah, yeah and I don't know how much I want to say in IRAN, which have allowed to say, but I will say, is that one of the best groups have ever read a good experience. A phenomenal experience working for ya again, just like a transcendent director ia such
strong vision so smart and intelligent and subversive and I think it'll I think, will surprise lotta people be living alot of people get cynical when they see like mattel here I see the already right, but truly truly without giving anything away the first. The first thing I had after reading the script and finishing it was like how the hell did they mathilda sign off on this right, because this is not the kind of movie that that, like corporate overlords sign off, I right. This is the type of move that I love unabashedly put an end at smart and its in its first the minutes mehta here and it makes fun of itself but like how did they have I understand it enough to green light at an end, and I think that's props, to not only gretta but also to in amerika Robbie in time, actually hoop reno produce, produced it and shepherded it. step of the way that they are able to really fight? For that A vision, excited story is excited, but it's it's
special gray, it'll be special and in in closing. How did how'd your parents reactor the book While they were very involved from a very early stage. I knew the story that I wanted to tell you that I can tell it without them. So I was very affront it was like. I want to tell the story of of you. I want to tell us of me, and want to tell the story of us and I was very clear: I'm out there to air. Dirty laundry to be vindictive to say, hey c. This is how you treated me. How dare you hear it was like? Let's, but let's let not shy away because our culture so much about saving face and presenting, while I'm like? Let's not do that lets present an honest snapshot of what our lives were and where our conflict came from, so that families can read is an and see themselves in an and choose a better path where, whose em The and choose to
those conversations that we were never able to have rights, and I think they you know. I think they first at first were were very on board and then I they read first raft in their like, oh god, instead they had a moment of like what have we done, but then at the at the very end. You know once once we got it to to the publisher and it was out of their hands. They were like no, this is really they had some sense of like this is really important and great for them too, because they ve come a long way and of really kind of acknowledged. In accountability for and have genetics, rest. A genuine remorse over over. You know things that things that were sad that they had done, and you at that point I think I was. I was so ready to to move move on and of past and I'm a very, very happy with where we are today. That's great story, and you thanks for talking document. Thank you, my strategy, as
there you go thousand a full arc of life. There is a nice talk, the book is, we were dreamers and you can that wherever you get books it's out now and you can go tomorrow, maybe but the other struggling looking you'll have to rush out. It's gonna be ok. If you wait on that and please wait to look just hang out a minute listen. People, if you missed out on last week's, ask mark anything episode for full marin subscribers. You can get it as soon as you subscribe. I answered a lot of stuff, you probably don't know, for example, did my cats almost kill a guest. Yes, actually they kind of did almost have any guests had said our degree action through the cats. Yes, but we're because they were never in the garage but ed helms had Such a severe allergy go, find net
You have your wish that you can, with an ovum, goes into our homes. I almost that guy die? I don't think I took it seriously. It's pretty terrible It was pretty bad. I feel bad about that I was like. I really wanted to get the full hour in and he was like having a hard time, breathing some people our words, but not so, where do there's never been a cat out here neither garage really, but some people are so allergic that a kind of like maybe through the vent system happened, subscribe to the full maranon devotee of plus for more bonus content, including future chances to ask me anything: go to them can the episode description on whatever podcast abu using or go to w g of pod dot com and click on w e plus on thursday two whitney cummings. We had a talk a long time ago, back episode, one o six in two thousand and ten. She also did to live w p s episode, twenty four and upset, five, seventy six. So if you have a w teeth,
plus subscription. You can listen to all those episodes before the new one with whitney on thursday. I'm coming your way. People tucson arizona at the reality of theatre on september, sixteenth, fiend, arizona at stand up, live on september, seventeenth, bolder colorado at the boulder theatre on september, twenty second fort col, colorado at the lincoln centre on September. Twenty third toronto, ontario at the queen elizabeth theatre on september, thirtieth and october first I'll, be in london, england, at the booms, very theatre, saturday and sunday october, twenty second and twenty third I'll be in dublin. Ireland advocate treat Wednesday october. Twenty sixth aids in november and december in Oklahoma, city, Dallas, san Antonio Houston, eugene, organ bend, oregon, asheville, north carolina and nashville tennessee and done for My hbo taping at town hall in new york city is, on thursday december eighth, go to
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Transcript generated on 2022-09-01.