The Rogue One actor was promoting his latest movie xXx: Return of Xander Cage
Rogue One actor Donnie Yen has said that he would like to see Chinese actors cast and considered for “their talents” and not for “marketing purposes”.
Yen was promoting his latest film in which he stars alongside Vin Diesel, xXx: Return of Xander Cage. In an interview with HeyUGuys, the Ip Man star discussed the difficulties Chinese actors face in Hollywood. When asked about how his character, Xiang, fits into the story, Yen praised the producers of the film. “The producers are smart in putting the cast together. They presented me the character as the new xXx agents.”
The Blade II villain said he is usually skeptical when roles are offered to him because “usually the Chinese actor is stereotyping one role”. For xXx: Return of Xander Cage, Yen described the producers as “bold” for wanting to have a Chinese special agent.
Yen added that the roles of Chinese actors are changing “surely but too slowly”. The Hong Konger discussed how his fellow Asian actors are still forced to portray stereotypes, “I see my fellow Chinese actors and actresses cast in very cliché roles.”
The Monkey King cites the era of technology for bringing the world together and that Hollywood should reflect it, “as digital technology emerges, the world has gotten smaller because we understand each other easier.”
“What you consider a Hollywood movie is mainly Caucasian. Nowadays, it should be a diverse cast anyway because we as people are diverse.”
Yen explained that it’s understandable that films are made for Chinese audiences due to financial incentives and the sheer size of the country. “We make a film for massive audiences. China has the biggest population. It makes sense in a business point of view. Right now, of course you will see more Chinese actors. I would like to see Chinese actors cast and considered for their talents not marketing purposes.”
xXx: Return of Xander Cage hits cinemas on 19 January 2017.