Henwick spoke directly about the issue and her own qualms when it came to playing Colleen Wing, and ultimately why she decided to take the role.
“For me, when they approached me about Colleen, I was a little bit like, huh, do I want to play an Asian woman who does martial arts who’s a love interest?,” Henwick said. “Do I want to do those three things? Because I’ve always shied away from it.”
Henwick reiterated that many of her previous roles had “no relevance to my ethnicity.”
“But I reached a stage last year where I said, I want to start telling Asian stories, I want a young Asian girl to go, oh my god, that reminds me of my relationship with my mom.”
But even though Henwick wanted to tell these stories, she was still concerned with her role in Iron Fist, and so she spoke with producer Jeph Loeb about them.
“He said, ‘We’re going to take the stereotype, and we’re going to – we’re not going to avoid it, we’re going to inspect it.’”
Henwick revealed that one aspect of the character will deal with how much time she spends fighting, as hinted in the clip where she participates in a two-on-one cage fight.
“What happens when you become addicted to that?” Henwick asked. “What happens when you can only talk with your fists and you struggle to communicate on any other level and you’ve become addicted to fighting? So we’ve taken this stereotype and we’ve said, okay, what is the actual realism in it? You know? Which was interesting to me.”
Marvel’s Iron Fist debuts on Netflix on March 17.
Fifteen years after being presumed dead in a plane crash, Danny Rand (Finn Jones) mysteriously returns to New York City determined to reclaim his birthright and family company. However, when a long-destined enemy rises in New York, this living weapon is forced to choose between his family’s legacy and his duties as the Iron Fist.
Marvel’s Iron Fist was developed by Scott Buck. The Netflix series stars Finn Jones as Danny Rand, a martial arts expert with the ability to call upon the power of the Iron Fist. The cast also includes Jessica Henwick, David Wenham, Jessica Stroup, Tom Pelphrey, and Rosario Dawson.