Kung Fu returned Wednesday night after a few weeks off and this week's episode, "Isolation", not only saw Nicky (Olivia Liang) dig deeper into her family's legacy as she searched for her long-missing aunt but also saw the proper introduction of Kerwin Tan, a dashing playboy billionaire who has teamed up with Zhilan (Yvonne Chapman) in the hunt for the eight weapons. On the surface, it doesn't seem like a very dangerous pairing, but there may just be more to Kerwin Tan than meets the eye.
ComicBook.com recently spoke with Ludi Lin about Kerwin, what motivates the character, and what it's been like for him two be part of not just Kung Fu, but another well-loved pop culture canon, Mortal Kombat. Read on for our interview with Lin below.prevnext
ComicBook.com: We meet your character, Kerwin Tan, this week. Tell us about him.
Ludi Lin: I think Kerwin is like the key or the tip of the iceberg to another, much darker part of the Kung Fu universe, and the Tan family has been into that early on in the series and now we've only gotten a glimmer of what they're about. Kerwin is this little dark product of what that family dynamic can generate. And when we meet Kerwin, he's really at a crossroads between his traumatic past with his father and his family. He's really been raised in a nest of vipers where he has been vying for every recognition, every shred of any semblance of love. And then he meets Zhilan, which is kind of a new game for him and it could be a glimmer of hope or it could be fatal.prevnext
We've always had this idea that Zhilan is our big bad because she's got the sword, she's beaten Nicky, she's the bad guy, but then we get this whole new dynamic in this episode and we see that even she's not quite sure where things are going with Kerwin. You mention his traumatic past. How do you think that traumatic past shapes him and what do you think really motivates him?
I think what motivates him is what motivates everybody, is to stop the suffering and find some love and whether he recognizes, whether you can still even recognize what love is. But there's still always that glimmer of hope, no matter how down you are as a person, that you can still find your way out and that's what he's trying to find but whether that path is true or not remains to be seen because it depends on a lot of factors, depends on how Zhilan actually takes them, it depends on whether he betrays them, it depends later on what his father and the Tans bring into the whole messed up scenario.prevnext
What initially drew you to this role? It is kind of different than just your standard mysterious, possibly bad guy billionaire.
Yeah, I think, as an actor, I think that there's a challenge and I love the challenge and when the role was explained as impossibly charismatic, the word 'impossible' is a real turn-on for me. And I've been looking at Kung Fu for quite a while. I think it's a fascinating way to reinvent the story and if anything, I'm open to experiment, I'm open to making mistakes. I just put myself out there so that was not a character that is very similar to the ones I've played in the past and I thought I'd have a lot of fun with it.prevnext
A lot of our readers know you from Mortal Kombat, which is obviously a well-known and well-loved IP and Kung Fu is also a well-known and well-loved setting, very iconic. What has it been like for you to go from one large beloved thing to another and be part of these very iconic projects and worlds that are important for a lot of people?
What I've learned through my career is you just have to learn to love a lot because all sorts of people love all sorts of things to a different degree and there's always gonna be someone that's so passionate about something and it means so much to them so being a part of these really great canons, whether it's comic books or whether it's comedy series or whether it's a reinvention of a great story like Kung Fu, it really means a lot and I want to celebrate that. I want it to be reimagined in a way where it can draw more people and still pay respects to the people that loved it originally.prevnext
What has been your favorite thing about Kung Fu thus far?
It's gotta be the people. I mean, it's gotta be the cast and crew, the whole production team. It's just, it really instills the hope of the greater tribe, for humanity, and the greater family because the cast is primarily Asian, but not just Asian. The producers have people of all cultural backgrounds, all skin colors, and nationalities in it. Just to see people have such diverse backgrounds come together and cohesively tell a story and open and share with each other and give ideas. I mean, it's great a great stride just for Asian representation, but the bigger meaning for me is, it gives me hope that people can actually all work together on celebrating any culture and share stories from any culture.prevnext