While all of the Shen children on The CW's Kung Fu have had their challenges in the first season of the series, it's Ryan's journey that has perhaps been the one unfolding on a more personal level than his sisters. While Althea (Shannon Dang) is finding her voice as a survivor of sexual assault and Nicky (Olivia Liang) is on her journey as a warrior, Ryan, played by Jon Prasida, is having to examine his personal life through not only coming out to his parents but navigating his relationship with his boyfriend Joe as well. In this week's episode, "Choice", Ryan takes the next step and decides to introduce Joe to his parents, another major moment for the character.
ComicBook.com recently spoke with Prasida about Ryan's journey and all of the big changes he's experienced thus far in the series and according to the actor, even for all the changes, Ryan is handling it all well as very much the "grounded" member of the Shen family.
"You know, there are a lot of heavy things going on within Ryan. I feel like Ryan is a very grounded character for this series and yeah, I mean, he's a strong person," Prasida said. "He's got a love for his community, a love for his family, and a sense of being a rock, you know, making sure Dad gets to the check-in with the doctors, making sure that Nicky doesn't go fighting Kung Fu when she's injured. So he's very grounded himself as well. And so he's just taking, yeah, it's hard and these things are difficult to deal with, but he's just taking them one thing at a time and taking them very well."
While Ryan is strong and handling things well, playing Ryan's very emotional elements, and while he admitted it can be taxing from an actor's standpoint, he credited the support of his castmates for helping make it all work.
"It can be taxing when we have an emotional scene," he said. "It's very interesting, the psychology behind it because you know, when we do an emotional scene, we know it's not real but there is a place of truth that we need to go to and so our bodies believe it. We know this isn't real. I'm not actually having an argument with my mom, but our bodies are like, you know, I would have to deal with the aftermath. In episode eight when Ryan and Jin have their really heartfelt conversation I remember that night I had a massive headache and I woke up with a headache the next day because I've been crying a lot. So I guess there's a bit of preparation in the sense of being able to mentally prepare for such heavy scenes, but we have such a great cast and I've got great scene partners that make it really easy and we have a strong support network as well."
You can check out the official synopsis for tonight's episode of Kung Fu, "Choices", below.
CHANGES -- Nicky (Olivia Liang) offers to help Evan (Gavin Stenhouse) when the case he's working on takes a turn. Ryan (Jon Prasida) decides to officially introduce Joe (guest star Bradley Gibson) as his boyfriend to his parents. Zhilan (guest star Yvonne Chapman) and Kerwin (guest star Ludi Lin) receive a surprise visitor. Tzi Ma, Kheng Hua Tan, Shannon Dang, Eddie Liu and Tony Chung also star. Richard Speight, Jr directed the episode written by Linda Ge & John Bring.
Kung Fu airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.