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From '24' To 'Mulan:' Character Actor Tzi Ma

Aoi Mizuhara and Tzi Ma speak onstage during the premiere for "The Farewell."
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Sundance
Aoi Mizuhara and Tzi Ma speak onstage during the premiere for "The Farewell."

Tzi Ma has had a long career. Consul Han in “Rush Hour?” That was him. Lu Chi-Jang, the president of China, in “Veep?” Also him.

Now, he stars in Disney’s forthcoming reboot of “Mulan.” But some protesters are urging audiences to boycott the film, due to supportive comments the film’s lead actress, Liu Yifei, made about the Hong Kong police in reference to the ongoing protests.

And throughout his career as a character actor, he’s struggled with issues of representation and the political cinema.

Earlier this year, he gave an interview about his new show “Wu Assassins,” on Netflix.

I made three rules for myself early on in my career. One: if you want me to be the bad guy, then the heroes must be Asian or Asian Americans; two: there’s no Asian or Asian-American woman being victimized; and three: there’s a balance of good and evil distributed evenly by race.

We hear from him about his long career, fitting in and what it means to be American.

Produced by Aileen Humphreys.


Tzi Ma, TV and film actor; TV roles include “The Man in the High Castle”, “Veep”, “24: Live Another Day”, “Wu Assassins”; movie roles include “Rush Hour”, “Arrival”, “The Farewell” and “Mulan”; @tzima8

For more, visit https://the1a.org.

© 2019 WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio.

Copyright 2020 WAMU 88.5. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5.