Kim Rhodes Talks Her Kung Fu Debut, Teases Solution-Focused Character (Exclusive)

Season 3 of Kung Fu kicked off on The CW last week and revealed that everyone in Nicky Shen's life is dealing with shifts in the status quo. Not only is Nicky herself dealing with the shocking return of her shifu, Pei-Ling and the departure of her boyfriend Henry, but there have been changes with Harmony Dumplings, the family restaurant, as well. The series premiere revealed that the beloved Chinatown establishment is struggling financially and may need to call in investors in order to reopen after the earthquake that rocked the neighborhood at the end of Season 2. This week's episode, "Risk", Mei-Li and Jin Shen meet with those investors, including a woman named Carrie. Played by Supernatural alum Kim Rhodes, Carrie represents a restaurant management group interested in Harmony Dumplings and it's a character that Rhodes tells is multidimensional, even if there could be conflicts ahead.

"I love Carrie. I love the way Robert Berens writes humanity. When Robert Berens is working on a script, I have never felt the urge to ask, 'Well, what's my motivation?'" Rhodes said. "He uncovered really amazing, multidimensional, layered humans. So, my position in the script is one of a foil or an adversarial relationship, but my character is not devious or scheming or ego driven. At one point a little later in the series, I got a note where it was like, 'Could you be a little more tense about this?" I said, 'No'. Because Carrie isn't focused on her go, she's focused on a solution. She just happens to have a different perspective and a different way of finding what she thinks solutions is. So, the conflict really is driven from very valid different viewpoints, which I love. Which is also easier for me because Kheng [Hua Tan, who plays Mei-Li] happens to be one of the most delightful human beings on the planet. And it would make me very angry if I had to be just plain mean to her. That would be hard."

Rhodes also said that when it comes to those conflicts, it really will come from simply different perspectives between the women who both happen to want the same thing: success for Harmony Dumplings.

"Conflict comes when there are different perspectives," Rhodes said. "It comes when we each think solution looks a different way and also when priorities are different. And I think that's ultimately… because you're very correct. They're both strong women. They do see eye to eye and ultimately, they both want the same thing. They want the success of this restaurant, but what success looks like to one of them is not necessarily what success looks like to the other one. So, I think what we will see is different perspectives, but still a very strong commitment to success from both of them. But the conflict will come in what they think success looks like."

She added, "There's also a great deal of corporate structure now, and Mei-Li had the freedom to make choices from her heart. Well, now she's got a contract and as much as Carrie may agree with the emotional reasoning behind her choices, contracts are contracts are contracts. And you need to abide by the contracts."

Kung Fu airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW.