Today I had the chance to check out Fanboy Expo in Knoxville, Tennessee. After picking up a few goodies from the vendors and checking out the walk of fame, I went to see Kelly Hu’s panel. While I didn’t get to ask her any questions personally, she did get a few about some of the things I would have asked her about. She talked about playing Lady Deathstrike in X2 and her role as China White in CW’s Arrow. That she slightly spoiled her role in Arrow is especially ironic after her experiences with X2.
While the audio on my handy-dandy recorder wasn’t the greatest, I will still relay to you what she said during the panel. For X2 she was one of many Asian females who were told they were auditioning for a red-headed reporter role. She said she came in and read the part and was then asked to show her hands to the camera. She thought she must have had the scariest hands because she got the role. She wasn’t aware of what role she was actually playing until one of the costuming people let it slip. Not too long after that she was talking to a Fox affiliate about her upcoming role and mentioned she would be Lady Deathstrike. That was a huge mistake. She said that the studio heads called her and she got a pretty good chewing out and she was very nearly fired. She got to keep the role, and as she was fleshing out how to play it she was given comics to look at. The Lady Deathstrike of the comics is a huge muscular woman and Hu thought the only way to be true to the comics was to have wrestler Chyna play her. She was very proud of the fact that after the movie, the comics started to represent the character more similar to how she portrayed her in the films.
Ms. Hu also talked briefly about playing China White on Arrow. She said that she was offered the role and immediately accepted. The producers called her up and tried to sell her on the show, which she told them they didn’t have to because she was “in” as soon as she heard about it. Hu got slightly spoiler-y when she said that she had filmed 3 episodes and that here character was still alive. She hoped she could come back.
Kelly Hu seemed to be very passionate about her roles and really engaged by fan questions. She said that her favorite role was in the Scorpion King because she got to ride so many different animals. As an animal lover, that was a joy for her. Hu stayed very busy in her autograph line and even got a visit from Highlander star Adrian Paul. As forthcoming about information as she was, you can probably strike her name off the Wolverine or Days of Future Past returning cast list. She didn’t say anything about that.