For those who are unfamiliar with Lin, he is considered one of Asia’s fastest rising stars and a true proponent of martial arts, having honed his skills in Thailand and Japan before embarking on his acting career. He has since scored action-packed roles such as Zack Taylor in Power Rangers, Captain Murk in Aquaman among others, and now commands his role as Liu Kang in the upcoming action fantasy film.
Prior to filming Mortal Kombat, Lin took a break from the action-film genre with The Ghost Bride where he discovered his love for ice chendol.
“The greatest thing I learned from Ghost Bride is ice chendol! I’m proud to have a diverse repertoire of work ranging from blockbuster films to period dramas such as The Ghost Bride. It’s such a blessing to be able to have an audience in Asia and Western countries and to tell stories across different platforms including Netflix, Warner Bros, HBO Max, and iQIYI which can virtually reach everyone globally. Playing a wide range of roles nurtures my body, mind, and spirit so that nothing is ever at rest.”
Opening the interview with Lin were two questions, the first being a spoiler of sorts and the other to understand what his connection with Mortal Kombat is.
You are in the upcoming Mortal Kombat, and this is perhaps one spoiler that everyone is curious about — is the iconic theme song included?
I think even if we didn’t include the track, that techno beat will be drumming in everybody’s head during the movie. So yes, you might catch a version of it. It is one of the aspects of the film where we can pay homage to what already exists within the Mortal Kombat universe. To me, our film represents the past, present, and future of Mortal Kombat.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how big a fan are you of the Mortal Kombat franchise?
I don’t know if I can put a number on the love I feel for Mortal Kombat because it was a precious part of my childhood and now it’s come back to me in such a big way.
Other than the obvious relation in being of Chinese descent, Lin sees parallels between himself and Liu Kang, the wandering Shaolin monk in his search for belonging and spirituality. “He [Liu Kang] is a lost alpha male wolf in search of his pack. I know the feeling of being on a journey looking for the place where you belong — that longing for closeness, play, and love,” Lin shares poignantly as he straddles between Hollywood and China. “I was kind of a vagrant my whole life.”
“Ever since I became a vegan five years ago, I’ve been gravitating towards spirituality. It is an ancient monastic tradition to not harm, I think Liu Kang would agree with that. When you have true power, there’s no need to cause unnecessary suffering to innocent animals, but then Liu Kang also executes people when necessary, so there is that.”
The 2021 film reboot comes 24 years after the hugely disappointing Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, which failed to capitalise on the success of the very first Mortal Kombat film in 1995. Apart from the customary gore, violence, and amazing character lineup, Lin gave several insights on what fans can expect from this ambitious project such as differing the unique backgrounds of each Asian cast member without clumping them into one vague ethnic category.
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