As the brains behind the most successful franchise in the history of cinema, one that’s now expanded onto television and roped in some of the biggest, best and brightest talents in the industry across the last thirteen years, you wouldn’t imagine Kevin Feige would get starstruck at all, given what he has to contend with on a daily basis.
However, Feige admitted he was rendered speechless by Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Tony Leung. That’s a completely understandable reaction when the 59 year-old is widely regarded as one of the greatest actors of the modern era, with a string of acclaimed performances and countless awards under his belt from a myriad of genres dating back decades, and he’s done it all without setting foot on the set of a Hollywood production up until now.
In a new interview, Feige revealed that Leung’s mere presence and presumably radiant star power were enough to throw him off for just a second when they first crossed paths during the making of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
“Tony Leung does seem like a whole different layer of movie star. He is a very, very talented man. I don’t feel it was a masterstroke for us, I feel we were lucky that he chose us to make his first Hollywood film appearance in Shang-Chi and give all of himself and all of his talent to creating this amazing, amazing character of Wenwu. I’ve been around a lot of movie stars and a lot of living legends, but I was nearly speechless when I met him briefly on the set. Because he seems like such an otherworldly star directly from the sky.”
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to discover that Leung is effortlessly watchable as Wenwu, turning a relatively thin revenge-fueled antagonist on the page into a fully-formed and three-dimensional figure who makes you completely buy into his motivations. They say that every hero is only as good as their villain, and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings positions Simu Liu’s title hero opposite a hugely formidable foe.