"I was arrested for something I didn't do"
In an AOL interview, Wu Assassins star Lawrence Kao said he was once wrongly suspected and arrested for attempted murder.
Kao plays Tommy Wah in the Netflix series – a drug addict in search of redemption whose sister is chosen instead of him to run their family business.
The Asian American actor was in his senior year of high school and was due to perform on his school’s opening night of the Shakespearean play A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Hours before the play would commence, police arrested Kao on suspicion of attempted murder.
“I was arrested for something I didn’t do,” he said. “It was a pretty huge accusation.”
Kao was then held for almost one week and was told by law enforcement that he faced up to 40 years in prison if convicted. Innocent of the crime, Kao began to spiral into endless questions to himself.
“In my head, I was like, ‘Man, what am I going to do after I stay in here?'” he said. “I felt in that moment that I was going to be in jail for a very long time. I thought about my life, and I thought about the things that made me happy, and acting was definitely one of them.”
Authorities eventually released Kao after it was clear that an eyewitness mistakenly identified him.
Kao returned in time to perform in the school play’s closing night, in which he realized he wanted to be an actor.
“While I was on stage, I realized this was something I wanted to for the rest of my life,” he said.
Elsewhere in the interview, Kao said representation on screen is extremely important to him.
“Just any Asian-American actor I saw on screen, I resonated with, regardless of what role they were doing,” he said.. “Just to be able to see someone like that — that looked like me and be able to tell their story — was impactful.”
In related news, Wu Assassins star Byron Mann recently discussed the racism scene featured in episode seven of the series.
Li Jun Li, who plays Jenny Wah, also recently responded to the show’s mixed reviews – including one that compared it to Panda Express.