The CW is rebooting Kung Fu, the martial arts TV series from the 1970s. Here’s what you need to know about the cast of the new adaptation.
Featuring a mostly Chinese cast, The CW’s Kung Fu is a reboot of a classic TV series from the 1970s. Between 1972 and 1975, Kung Fu aired on ABC and lasted for three seasons. The show was a story about a Shaolin monk who went on adventures in the American Wild West, using his skills to help people in need while also looking for his long-lost family.
The CW’s adaptation of the series has fixed one of the biggest issues that viewers had with the original. The protagonist of ABC’s Kung Fu TV show was played by white actor David Carradine, even though the character was born to Chinese and American parents. The CW, on the other hand, is correctly making a Chinese-American the focus of the story.
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Similar to the original, the reboot centers on a Shaolin monk living in America. However, the show has done away with its predecessor’s Western setting. The CW’s Kung Fu is a much more modernized take on the concept, which sends its main character to San Francisco to protect her friends and family from gangsters. Here’s a guide to the cast and characters featured in Kung Fu.
Olivia Liang as Nicky Shen
Kung Fu centers on Nicky Shen, a young martial artist who decides to use her expertise in kung fu to help her community, who is suffering from the growing presence of criminal activity in San Francisco. Nicky is played by Olivia Liang, an actress who is no stranger to being on a CW show. On Vampire Diaries spinoff Legacies, Liang plays the recurring role of Alyssa Chang.
Eddie Liu as Henry Yan
Henry Yan is a love interest for Nicky in Kung Fu, as well as a skilled martial artist in his own right. He’s also an expert in ancient history. Henry is portrayed by Eddie Liu, an actor who had made appearances in Mindy Kaling’s Never Have I Ever on Netflix.
Tzi Ma as Jin Shen
The actor in Kung Fu most likely to recognized by viewers in is Tzi Ma, who has been in over 120 movies and shows. He played the title character’s father in Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan, as well as acclaimed films like Arrival and The Farewell, and also appeared in a long list of well-known TV shows, including Agents of SHIELD, Veep, 24, Hawaii Five-O, Fringe, Once Upon a Time, and more. In Kung Fu, he plays Nicky’s dad, Jin Shen, who runs a restaurant in San Francisco.
The Kung Fu Supporting Cast
Kheng Hua Tan as Mei-Li Shen: Nicky’s mother and Jin Shen’s wife is Mei-Li, a person who believes strongly in following Chinese traditions. She’s also said to be connected to the problem that’s at the heart of the show, which is the gang that threatens their community. Kheng played Kerry Chu in Crazy Rich Asians.
Jon Prasida as Ryan Shen: Ryan, a medical student, is Nicky’s brother. The two share a complicated relationship, due in large part to Nicky’s extended absence from the family members’ lives. Prior to Kung Fu, Prasida has mostly acted in Australian movie and TV projects, including Hiding and Tomorrow, When the War Began.
Shannon Dang as Althea Shen: Althea, who recently got engaged to be married, is Nicky’s sister and a tech expert. The actress who plays her, Shannon Dang, has appeared on The Romanoffs and The L Word: Generation Q.
Gavin Stenhouse as Evan Hartley: Allegiance star Gavin Stenhouse plays Evan, a district attorney and the ex-boyfriend of Nicky.
Yvonne Chapman as Zhilan: Zhilan is a villain tied to a mysterious criminal organization and the Shaolin Temple. Zhilan is played by Street Legal actress Yvonne Chapman.
Tony Chung as Dennis Soong: Dennis, who outgrew a reputation as a high school math nerd, is Althea’s fiancé. Chung starred in the short film, Hours of Operation.
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