What happens when a Power Ranger meets the DCEU? Ludi Lin is what. Lin not only played Zach, the Black Power Ranger in the 2017 Lionsgate release Power Rangers, but he’s now co-starring as Captain Murk in James Wan’s Aquaman, the newest addition to the DCEU franchise. The character has a long history in the Aquaman comics, and while Lin is a fairly new name to Hollywood, his resume is building up nicely and his portrayal as Murk is strong and significant.
We spoke to Lin during a press day in Los Angeles where we got to talk about his costume, his character’s villainy and what having such a big opening weekend in China, his native country, means to him.
On Working With Captain Murk’s Cumbersome Costume
To those who have never had to put one on, getting the chance to wear a superhero suit is a dream come true. But the reality is that they’re often uncomfortable to wear. Lin had to adjust to wearing Captain Murk’s heavy costume, which, thankfully, was modified from his Juggernaut-like getup from the comics.
“It was more how I felt. I already felt tired, once I put on the costume it was so heavy and cumbersome, and you really have to get acclimated to it. You just have to accept the fact that you’re going to have to function in it, and then up and do it.”
On Whether Or Not Captain Murk Is Truly A Villain
Murk may not have had a lot of screen time in the movie, but he was truly the right hand of King Orm and the most loyal of his subjects. Whether that translates into villainy, however, is a point Lin disagrees with.
“I think Murk certainly doesn’t see himself as a villain. I think he’s just a guy doing his job and everybody has to do a job and make ends meet, put food on the table, and do what he believes in. Murk is loyal to the throne, so to me, to Murk, Aquaman is the villain, he’s trying to come into his world and cause chaos and break all kinds of laws. Yeah, to him, he’s just trying to get through his day.”
On How He Feels About The Cultural Shift Toward Inclusion In Hollywood
As a native of China, Lin has a front row seat to how global audiences and U.S. audiences are mingling, and it’s creating opportunities for more diverse casting and inclusive storylines in movies. As far as he’s concerned, it just makes sense, both from a cultural standpoint and a financial one – who wouldn’t want to see more representation on the big screen?
“I feel great about the movement. I feel like they just got to really bite the bullet and let people do their thing, and tell their stories, and that’ll end up being a win/win situation for everybody involved because the more people you engage, the more diversity you reach out there, the more money you’re going to make, and the more stories that get to be told, and the broader the horizon’s going to be to opening people’s mind. It’s something inevitable. You can’t imagine a thousand years down the road, if we’re still here, we’re still segregated as the different races, different cultures we are. Everyone’s going to start mingling. My little sister, she’s half Caucasian, and half Asian, and that’s going to become more and more common.”
On ‘Aquaman’ Having The Biggest Box Office Opening Ever In China
It was a thrill for Lin to know that Aquaman is heading for a huge opening in the U.S., but an even bigger one to smash records all across his native China. But he also feels that in a world that so readily soaks up American culture and movies, it doesn’t go both ways and the U.S. should open its collective mind to embracing movies from other countries, as well. He hopes Aquaman‘s success in China helps pave the way there.
“It feels great because it feels like America should take an example, because America has always tagged itself as a tapestry of different cultures, but how many foreign films are successful in America? Not that many, but in China, a lot of Indian films have great successes, Italian films have great successes, obviously American films are huge over there. The audiences are very accepting of content from different cultures and they enjoy it, they love it, they suck it up, and they’re willing to spend money for it.
On The Breakthrough Year Asian And Asian-American Stories Are Having
Lin is naturally pumped about the amazing year that Asians and Asian-Americans have had both in front of and behind the camera. And while he’s supportive of the breakthroughs that other underrepresented groups are having, he wants to remind people that the human experience comes in a spectrum of colors and cultures.
“Yeah, it means a beginning. I want to just be through the breakthrough, and have it be the norm, and just let Asians be interesting because we’re incredible beings, capable of telling amazing stories, and just let us be, and have fair representation, that’s all. Have diversity, not just about black and white, because there are other colors out there, have inclusivity, not just to be about this dichotomy of two things. Inclusivity means inclusive of all things. We’re comprised of every color, every creed, every gender, every sex.”
Aquaman is in theaters on December 21st. You can get your tickets here.
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