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11.27.2009

ifc's podcast talks ninja assassin and asian actors

Some good for thought... Wanted to point you to the latest edition of the IFC New Podcast: Forbidden Kingdom. This one centers of the release of Ninja Assassin, using it as a jumping off point to discuss the plight of Asian actors in Hollywood:
In Asia, South Korea's Rain is a pop megastar with platinum albums who's toured the world, playing to stadium crowds. But in his first lead role in the U.S., in James McTeigue's "Ninja Assassin," he plays, well, a ninja assassin.

For Asian male leads, breaking into Hollywood still pretty much means starring in martial arts movies, even if, like Rain, you're not a martial artist. This week on the IFC News podcast, we look over the careers of other leading men from East Asia who've tried to transition into American film, and wonder why the same old patterns seem to keep popping up.
It's a surprisingly nuanced discussion. As someone who has these kinds of conversations fairly often, among Asian American film scholars, critics and the like, it's kind of refreshing to hear it being discussed elsewhere, in a more mainstream forum, among those who also "get it." Anyway, it's good stuff. Listen to it here.