“‘American Born Chinese’: Daniel Wu Talks Michelle Yeoh, Season 2 Hopes”

The following question-and-answer session ends with well-labeled spoilers from the American-born Chinese season finale.

At Disney+ American-born Chinese (Stream all eight episodes now) Daniel Wu traveled from the post-apocalyptic badlands to mythological heaven is ruled by his Monkey King aka Sun Wukong.

For his role as a powerful pop struggling to keep a rebellious son (played by Jimmy Liu) in check, Wu got a new take on the Monkey King of Sagas while relishing the opportunity to finally work with a longtime friend (and). (recent Oscar winner) Michelle Yeoh.

TVLine spoke to Wu about the, uh, hairier aspects of his role, what made the fight scenes so special, the burden Oscar winner Ke Huy Quan’s character carried, and more. (Again, any finale spoilers are at the end and well marked.)

TVLINE | What excited you most about this opportunity?
A few things. One of them is doing something that my daughter could watch and be proud of. How, [Into the] wasteland is definitely not something a 9 year old can see and even my previous stuff didn’t really bother her. This was something to be happy about and something to be proud of and brag to her friends about. I didn’t care for most of my life, but now I kind of don’t. I’m trying to impress my daughter! So that was part of it.

And then work with Michelle [Yeoh, as the goddess Gaunyin] That was definitely one of the reasons for being there as we had known each other for so long and had tried to work together many times and this was finally the opportunity for us to do that.

Also, this is a very different breed of monkey king than most people are used to Journey to the West. Seeing him from a more reserved, royal, fatherly perspective as someone who is stressed out as a father made it more real and interesting to me. It was an attitude I’ve never seen before.

American-born Chinese

Yeoh and Wu (Disney+)

TVLINE | How did you and Michelle meet?
In our Hong Kong days. Apparently that’s where my career started, and it also started in Hong Kong. We’ve known each other since 2000 and there were two or three projects we almost worked on together. And we meet all the time, like at film events and the Hong Kong Film Awards and things like that. But we never really worked together until then.

Brian Ashcraft

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