PHOTOGRAPHY: Nick Onken
HAIR: Corey Tuttle
MAKE-UP: Romana Makeup New York
STYLING: Carolyn Son
(Illustration: Monique Jones)
Netflix’s Wu Assassins is currently giving viewers a new spin on the tried-and-true martial arts-action/adventure show. The show stars Iko Uwais as a chef who unwittingly becomes the new wielder of the power of 1000 sacred monks. Uwais’ character Kai is given this power by Ying Ying, a mysterious woman who is wise in the ways of the mystic arts.
I was happy to have an email interview with Celia Au, who plays Ying Ying. She delves into how she feels about the role, working with the rest of the cast, and what we can expect from her next.
Wu Assassins is streaming now on Netflix.
How would you describe Ying Ying?
Ying Ying is a mystical force who is basically the old master that you all have seen before in films and TV. But what makes Ying Ying different from all the other old masters is that she is a female with a young look. She is also, more quirky and fun than the traditional stubborn old man.
What is it like working with Iko Uwais, Lewis Tan, Li Jun Li and the rest of the cast?
I only worked with Iko Uwais and Tommy Flanagan on screen because I am a mystical being that doesn’t show up on Earth. The both of them are such genuine and sweet people, I loved working with them. Tommy will run lines with me and we’ll go over our materials on our off days to make sure we are at 100% on the day off.
Iko is a jokester. He is always cracking jokes and once we hear roll camera we would get all serious and the second we hear cut he goes back to being silly. But, our whole cast got together and help each other and we’ll show up to support our fellow cast members on their big days of shooting.
We became the Wu Family, From our cast to our crew we all would hang out of our off days and cook for each other. Fun Fact: Li Jun Li and I have been besties for a long time before working on this show. We were super excited to work on a project together.
Wu Assassins adds to Netflix’s slate of shows starring pan-Asian actors. How do you feel being a part of this show, particularly with how it functions as another avenue of representation for Asian viewers?
It’s great!!! Keep it going! Netflix is such a good platform to be on because it’s worldwide and I think the more we see diversity across the board being represented in the media the more we can normalize and accept different cultures and we’ll see that we have more similarities than differences.
What do you think of the fan response for Wu Assassins?
The fans have been really engaging and supportive to all of us. We started something call #WuHour where we would watch an episode a day and live chat with our fans. When we heard that some of our fans wanted to join in but they are in a different time zone our cast got together to do two live tweeting sessions for our finale episode so more fans can join and interact with us.
Where do you see a potential Season 2 going?
It can literally go anywhere. We end with Master Wah’s getting destroy and Ying Ying comes back in the “flesh” ?.
You have some other projects coming up such as Snakehead and Shoplifters of the World. What can you tell me about those projects?
Snakehead is a passion project by our writer/director Evan Leong I can’t wait for you guys to check it out. He pours his heart and soul into this film and what makes this film extremely special is that Chinatown NY came together to support Evan on this journey. Shoplifters of the World was such a fun project to work on. I made some great friends on the project and it has a bunch of great actors in it. If you are a fan of The Smiths and music, then you’ll love his film.