If you’ve seen ‘Shang-Chi: Legend of the Ten Rings‘, or if you’re just about to see it for the first time this Friday on Disney+ Day, then you will most likely notice one particular character who steals the show! Xialing, Shang-Chi’s estranged sister, is a movie-maker’s dream: she’s beautiful, charismatic, sassy, and has incredible combat skills that include the unusual weapons known as rope darts. To see Meng’er Zhang playing this character in ‘Shang-Chi’ feels natural–but in reality, the actress actually has never done a feature film or onscreen acting before! She’s mostly been on stage, and has done some singing–so to play a lead in ‘Shang-Chi’ was a big step, and Meng’er Zhang relied on advice from co-star Ben Kingsley and director Destin Daniel Cretton, saying that Cretton in particular “gave me the utmost trust. The first time I went to see myself in the monitor, he said “tell me what you see and how you feel, so I can help you better.” He was always patient with me, always clear about what he wants without giving me any pressure. He understands my weirdness and protects it. Because of him, this movie is and will forever be so special.” Fortunately for us Disney and Marvel fans, Meng’er Zhang has also been very generous when it comes to sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses into the life on set while filming ‘Shang-Chi: Legend of the Ten Rings’! Check out some of her pictures below, as well as some clips from her impressive martial arts training.
One of the most notable traits that makes Meng’er Zhang’s character Xialing shine in ‘Shang-Chi’ is her combat style. The precision, elegance, and ferocity that she fights with make for some particularly impressive fight scenes; watch clips of her boxing and rope dart skills here, here, and here! The actress also shared some behind-the-scenes photos of her stunt doubles, saying that “Stunt doubles don’t get enough credit. They put their lives on the line to make the characters come to life, they deserve the spotlight and respect…we completed the character together!”