Arrow Q&A: Kelly Hu Talks Bringing China White To Starling City & Fighting With Knives
Stephen Amell as Arrow, Kelly Hu as China White -- The CW
Kelly Hu is bringing some evil to Starling City on Wednesday night as she makes her debut as China White on The CW's "Arrow."
The actress, who was last seen on The CW in "The Vampire Diaries" Season 3 (as Pearl), was actually handpicked for the crime vixen role by executive producer Andrew Kreisberg, who previously wrote for the character while penning "The Green Arrow and Black Canary" for DC Comics.
Flattered to have been asked to bring to life a bad, bad woman who encounters Stephen Amell's Arrow while trying to take out prosecutor Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) for an associate, Kelly headed to Vancouver (where the show is shot), familiarized herself with knives and brushed up on her own martial arts background.
A big fight scene between the two characters will occur in Wednesday's episode, one of the many things she spoke about with AccessHollywood.com.
AccessHollywood.com: You said Andrew called you directly about this part. How did he sell the role?
Kelly Hu: He didn't even have to sell it (laughs). I was like, the new Green Arrow? China White? Sure!
Access: She has an out-of-Starling City background with Oliver Queen/Arrow, but I imagine they changed that for the show, because the previews show you in his town, in present time.
Kelly: They haven't really touched on the background in the show, so I think it's still pretty open as to how they would know each other or if they even know each other. It doesn't even touch on that yet. But I have a feeling there's gonna be some stuff coming up later.
Access: A few weeks ago, Stephen told us he was so excited because while shooting with you he got to speak Mandarin.
Kelly: Yeah! He did really well too (laughs). He's just amazing. This guy can do anything. He's so athletic and he's just so smart, like he really could be this character. If Stephen actually got abandoned on an island for five years, I would not doubt that he would come out as Arrow (laughs).
Access: How are we going to find you fitting into the drama this week?
Kelly: [On Wednesday,] my character gets shown for the first time. I'm so excited... I am actually part of the Triads, the Chinese mobsters, and I am sort of the right-hand man to the bad guy... Gosh, it's so hard to know exactly how much I'm allowed to say, but there is an amazing fight scene with me and Stephen that happens in this silo and it's really, really well done.
Access: Will we have a really good sense of who China White is at the end of the second episode?
Kelly: I think it's still gonna be a bit of a mystery because it's still a mystery even to me (laughs) exactly what her background is. I'm only told what I need to be told and that's about it.
Access: Did you get to use a much of your martial arts background for the fight scenes?
Kelly: Yeah, I did. Just a little bit. It's been quite a while since I've had to do martial arts. I did a little bit on 'Breakout Kings' and that was actually the last time that I had to do a fight in a while. It's been years, actually, so it had to come back to me. This kind of stuff, if you don't use it you lose it, so, it's been quite a trip to try and get back into shape and back into fighting form, but I have amazing stunt women (laughs).