Daniel Wu Shines Spotlight on Asian Cultural Icons in ‘American Born Chinese’

Daniel Wu, known for his roles in “Into the Badlands” and “Westworld,” is thrilled to bring Gene Luen Yang’s celebrated graphic novel, “American Born Chinese,” to a wider audience through its screen adaptation.

In a Zoom interview with UPI, Wu expressed his excitement about introducing the action-comedy story to a broader mainstream audience. The series, which is now streaming on Disney+, follows the journey of Jin Wang (played by Ben Wang), a teenager navigating the challenges of fitting in at his high school against the wishes of his traditional parents (portrayed by Yeo Yann Yann and Chin Han).

“The screen adaptation that was done by Kelvin Yu is amazing in integrating these three disparate story lines,” Wu said to UPI.

When Jin meets Wei-Chen (Jimmy Liu), a Chinese immigrant and the secret son of the legendary Monkey King (portrayed by Wu), their intertwined destinies set the stage for a captivating narrative.

Wu emphasized the significance of showcasing the iconic Monkey King character to a different audience, highlighting the character’s deep-rooted connection to Asian culture. By doing so, he hopes to reveal the Asian “superheroes” and idols from his own childhood to viewers who may not be familiar with these cultural icons. 

According to UPI, Wu found a personal connection to the Monkey King character as a father himself. Reflecting on his experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges of distance learning, he humorously described himself as a “Tiger Dad.”

“I realized that I am part Tiger Dad and that I am strict on my kid and then I need to let go,” he said to UPI. “This character is dealing with that same situation.”

Wu is working alongside Michelle Yeoh who portrays Guanyin the Goddess of Mercy. Despite knowing each other for two decades, this project marked their first collaboration, making it even more special.

With its visually spectacular action sequences and heartfelt storytelling, the series offers a distinctive viewing experience that can be cherished by families across generations.

Featured Image Source: Vogue SG