Kung Fu: Shannon Dang on Althea Finding Her Voice
As Kung Fu continues on The CW, viewers are learning more about not just Nicky (Olivia Liang) and her mission to avenge her mentor by finding Zhilan (Yvonne Chapman) and stop her from collecting eight sacred weapons, but about the Shen family as well. A lot happened to each of the members of the Shen family in the three years Nicky was away and in this week's episode, "Hand", viewers learned about the secret Althea (Shannon Dang) has been keeping when she confides in Nicky. Now, Dang opens up about how that will impact Althea and her relationship with Nicky as well as why telling this story is so important.
Warning: spoilers for this week's episode of Kung Fu, "Hand", below.
For the past two episodes of Kung Fu, it's been implied that Althea has been keeping secrets, though the reason she's been avoiding certain phone calls is revealed near the end of "Silence" when a reporter approaches her at an event to tell Althea that she isn't the only person who her former boss harmed. It's strongly implied that Althea was sexually assaulted by her boss and that's confirmed in "Hand". After the other source for the reporter's story backs out, Althea has a bit of a breakdown at an important dinner with her future in-laws and when she later is talking with Nicky about the evening, reveals what her boss did to her for the first time. For Althea, it's a major turning point.
"The fact that Nicky is the first person Althea decides to tell I think is a great start," Dang said. "Nicky will hold on to Althea's secret and encourage her sister to find her voice and to come out and tell her fiance and to speak up and tell the truth. And I think that brings the two sisters together and really highlights the difference in silence and speaking up and finding your voice."
Dang also said that telling Althea's story offers an opportunity to help real-life survivors feel seen and heard as well.
"I think as storytellers there's often both the opportunity and responsibility to shed light on this world that we live in and unfortunately, sexual assault is a reality for many, no matter what background or ethnicity you are," she said. "And I think that there's often a stigma associated with this type of story and how victims feel. And I think audiences will be able to see more into what goes on in that aspect. And I think it's really important."
Dang added, "Everyone goes through trauma in different ways and I think that Althea's story, if it could relate to one person and if someone can feel seen and heard, then I think that's why we tell stories. I think that's what's most important."
Kung Fu airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.0comments