“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” Star Fala Chen for Town & Country Magazine

Posted on September 01, 2021

Following a successful acting career in Hong Kong with more than 30 credits under her belt, Fala Chen took a pause and auditioned and got into Juilliard: “I wasn’t feeling challenged. I needed to walk away and unlearn and relearn everything.” This year marks her true metamorphosis into Hollywood A-lister, when she stars as Jiang Li in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” The movie is Marvel’s first blockbuster with a predominantly Asian cast, and it comes at a time of heightened awareness about representation and anti-Asian sentiment. “Even while filming we knew how important it was that we get this opportunity to showcase our culture and our uniqueness,” she says, “but also, as human beings, our stories, our emotions, and, at the end of the day, our humanity.”

 

 

“When I was a teenager in Georgia I always felt like the odd one. I never felt like I fit in,” she says. “My dad and I would go to Blockbuster and look for Asian films and we could never find any. If we saw a Jackie Chan movie we would watch that because it was so comforting to see a face similar to ours.” After graduating from Juilliard three years ago, Chen didn’t expect to find much work. But actually, she found the community quite welcoming. “America has taken small baby steps of progress towards having more inclusion and diversity in Hollywood,” she says. “It’s optimistic. I’m hopeful, but there is so much more work that needs to be done.”

 

 

[Photo Credit: Mei Tao for Town & Country Magazine]

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