Tan Kheng Hua scores major role in Kung Fu reboot from producers of Arrow
The Singaporean actress will star as the female lead's mother in the pilot remake of the popular 70s TV series that made David Carradine famous.
Singaporean actress Tan Kheng Hua has scored another big role in Hollywood after appearing in the 2018 hit film, Crazy Rich Asians.
Tan has been cast as a series regular in the Kung Fu reboot pilot from US TV network The CW – home of hit shows like Riverdale, The Flash and Supernatural – according to Deadline.
The role is a dream come true for Tan, who was a big fan of the original 1970s television series that made David Carradine a star.
The 57-year-old actress told CNA Lifestyle: “It’s funny how life sometimes comes full circle. I watched every episode of the original Kung Fu as a young girl and had the biggest crush on David Carradine. Until today, I can still hum the theme song!”
The reboot will have a different take from the one that starred Carradine as a travelling Shaolin monk in the American Old West. For one, it will feature an Asian-American female lead.
Tan will play Mei-Li, the mother of the female lead, while American actor Tzi Ma (The Farewell, The Arrival and the upcoming live-action remake of Mulan) will play Tan's husband, Jin Chen.
According to Deadline, the Kung Fu reboot follows a Chinese-American woman’s decision to drop out of college after a quarter-life crisis. She travels to a closed-off monastery in China, where she picks up Shaolin martial arts. On her return to her hometown, she finds it filled with criminals and corruption, and puts her newly-found skills and values to the test to protect it.
She does all this while hunting for the assassin who murdered her Shaolin mentor and is now after her. Meanwhile, her parents have their own secrets to keep as they deal with her return back home.
If you think it all sounds a little like CW’s Arrow, there may be a reason for that.
The executive producers are Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter, with Christina M Kim and Martin Gero in creative roles. Berlanti and Schechter are the people behind that hit show Arrow, as well as Legends Of Tomorrow, Supergirl, DC’s Titans and Riverdale.
“To be cast in this pilot with such amazing producers, to be acting with the great Tzi Ma, to be working on a reboot of this much-loved series I know so well, I honestly am so thankful and can’t wait to get started," said Tan. "Who knows? I might even get to bust out a quick kick or two!”
Tan, who relocated to Los Angeles for work after the success of Crazy Rich Asians, has had guest appearances on shows such as Chimerica, Medical Police and Magnum PI.