On the floor, Kung Fu‘s Evan Hartley (Gavin Stenhouse) seems a bit like the odd man out in the middle of the butt-kicking cast of The CW’s reboot. He’s a critical San Francisco DA who used up to now Nicky Shen (Olivia Liang), sticks — principally — to the regulation, and would match proper in on any community procedural.
Gavin Stenhouse, nonetheless, is an ideal match for the solid of the sequence. Though you may acknowledge him from visitor roles on all the pieces from. 9-1-1, to American Horror Story, to a flip within the traditional Black Mirror episode “San Junipero,” Stenhouse really was born and raised in Hong Kong, and studied martial arts for years.
“Watching the stunt doubles with Olivia [Liang] and Eddie [Liu], because those are the two that I see training most often,” Stenhouse informed Decider. “It’s so awesome to see everyone doing that, and it definitely takes me back.”
That mentioned, don’t count on Stenhouse to get into the motion as Kung Fu District Attorney fairly but. In this week’s episode, and spoilers previous this level, Nicky and Henry (Liu) get in scorching water after pulling a heist at a profit to attempt to acquire possession of the one of many mystical weapons they’re in scorching pursuit of. Also on the profit? Evan, and his new girlfriend Sabine (Rebecca Olson). Evan, naturally, just isn’t too blissful that it looks like Henry is main Nicky down a harmful path; and possibly can be beginning to notice that his emotions for Nicky haven’t gone away, no less than not fully.
To discover out extra, we chatted with Stenhouse about his background, the stunning couple he ‘ships probably the most on the present, and whether or not Evan would add his consciousness into the San Junipero server.
Decider: On the floor, it looks like you’re sort of the token Caucasian within the solid, however you had been really raised in Hong Kong, proper?
Gavin Stenhouse: I used to be born and raised, yeah!
So what was it like rising up there?
Oh, man, I’ve so many fond recollections of being in Hong Kong. You know, my earliest recollections of being in Hong Kong and operating across the city I grew up in in Sai Kung, which is a coastal fishing city within the new territories. I used to have the ability to simply run round whereas my mother and father had been on the retailers, and it was completely secure. I’d get 20 cents and go and spend it in these little ball allotting machines, and get a dragon work out of it and stuff. All the fishermen used to convey their boats to the shoreline and arrange fishing shops and horseshoe crabs and wonderful fish. It was a really, very privileged expertise and one which I positively look again and have a few of my fondest recollections of my life from Hong Kong.
You even have a background in martial arts — or no less than skilled a little bit bit in martial arts. What did you practice in particularly?
Oh, wow. So I began doing Taekwondo after I was very, very younger, possibly 4 or 5. When I first went to highschool, in Sai Kung in Hong Kong, I keep in mind I had a greatest buddy who was doing karate and I used to be so enamored by the strikes he was doing. I began in Taekwondo, and I did that all over up into my early teenagers. And then after I moved to varsity and went to London, I discovered some Capoeira teams. I skilled on the Bob Breen Academy in London… Bob Breen is a pupil of guru Dan Inosanto. I did … kickboxing, Muay Thai was my favourite. I actually beloved the shut fight and highly effective kicks and explosiveness of Muay Thai. The coaching was actually intense, like getting punched within the abdomen whilst you’re doing knee drills. That was fairly hardcore. I keep in mind watching Bloodsport after I was a child and seeing Van Damme, and all the opposite martial artists with completely different various kinds, and saying “this is the coolest movie ever.”
That’s what spurred me on to maintain looking for out completely different martial arts, and I needed to search out Silat as properly, which is an Indonesian Malaysian kind. Yeah, I’ve at all times been fascinated with martial arts, and the Zen and psychological training that comes with with martial arts. That was a giant a part of life for a very long time, till I used to be in my early 20s and had simply graduated out of drama college. I went to an audition with a black eye as a result of I’d been in a sparring match the night time earlier than, and been knocked out. Fortunately, the function was for an MMA fighter. But nonetheless, the casting director didn’t recognize it, and referred to as my agent to say “don’t ever send this guy to me again, looking like that.” So at that time, I ended martial arts coaching. Watching the stunt doubles with Olivia [Liang] and Eddie [Liu], as a result of these are the 2 that I see coaching most frequently… It’s so superior to see everybody doing that, and it positively takes me again.
So then getting in and getting an audition for Kung Fu, figuring out that you simply grew up in Hong Kong, that you’ve got this background in martial arts… How did you’re feeling after they mentioned “great, you’re coming in for the San Francisco DA who works behind a desk?”
[Laughs] I positively had amusing about it with my spouse when the audition first got here by. I learn the script, and I’ll say, as a result of I hadn’t completed this a very long time. I used to be like, “Oh my god, what is this role? Do I have to limber up? Am I going to pull a muscle?” You know, I’m 35, I don’t have the power I had after I was in my early 20s. But as quickly as I learn the function and browse the script, I used to be like, “this is perfect.” I get to be surrounded by the issues that I like, the issues that imply most to me in my life, and I don’t must blow out my psoas or cope with any pulled muscular tissues.
Let’s leap into this week’s episode. It positively looks like Evan is hitting his breaking level with Nicky.
Oh, yeah, I believe Evan’s breaking level is already possibly twice so long as Gavin’s breaking level. That’s a testomony to how deep the the bond goes between him and Nicky. Just how far Evan is keen to go, and the way a lot of the advantage of the doubt that he’s keen to offer to Nicky… He’s positively involved that Henry is a nasty affect on Nicky and maybe doesn’t notice simply how a lot of the push, particularly on this episode with the heist, how a lot of that’s coming straight from Nicky. As Evan begins to study that she isn’t the girl that she was when he final noticed her, he’s going to start out placing up extra of a struggle or elevating questions, positively.
He’s very suspicious of what Henry is doing… But is there jealousy there, as properly?
I imply, yeah, it’s very straightforward to be jealous of Henry. He’s fairly superior. Evan positively sees him as a risk as a result of there are points that he has unresolved with Nicky. I don’t assume [he] actually is aware of the place he stands with Nicky. and maybe Nicky doesn’t even know the place she stands with Evan. Until these points are resolved, that lingering feeling of displacement or insecurity may rear its ugly head as a jealousy.
What has it been like being caught in the course of a traditional CW-style love triangle? And is there anybody that you simply ‘ship specifically on the present?
I like being in the course of a love triangle, as a result of it provides you a lot juicy stuff to play, throughout the scene. I keep in mind after we had been taking pictures the scene in Episode Three, the place Evan lastly meets Henry, directed by Joe Menendez, and we shot that scene a number of completely different occasions in varied completely different ranges of like: Oh, I’m taking part in it cool; I’m not taking part in it cool; or I’m gonna make you assume I such as you. Or I’m gonna make you assume I’m Alpha, marking my territory. Those sort of scenes are simply a lot enjoyable to play, particularly with Eddie and Olivia. They’re such superior actors to work with.
In phrases of private ‘ships that I ‘ship, I’m a giant fan of Mei-Li (Kheng Hua Tan) and Jin (Tzi Ma). That’s my favourite ship. Kheng and Tzi simply constantly convey it and blow the scenes out of the water… The life and realness that they create to the present is considered one of my favourite issues to see. I might sit down and re-watch their scenes time and again, as a result of not solely is it one thing that I care about as somebody who ‘ships that ‘ship, also it’s an appearing masterclass, and you may watch [them] work their craft time and again, and study a lot from them.
Given that you simply do know martial arts, are we going to see Evan get on that struggle facet of the present at any level? Or is he going be sticking behind the desk?
Evan’s comfortable place is preventing with phrases as a prosecutor, however I’ll positively say that there are one or two moments the place Evan is lured into conditions outdoors of his consolation zone the place he might or might not come out of it with greater than a bruised ego.
We’ve bought a love curiosity who pops up right here… What are you able to tease about that, if something?
Sabine is Evan’s girlfriend. So we haven’t seen a lot of Evan and Sabine but as a result of there was one scene within the pilot, the place Nicky and Evan and Sabine had been in Evan’s residence collectively, however this episode is the place you begin to see extra of proof of in relationship, and the way Evan’s emotions in direction of Nicky are complicating the connection. I believe we’ll begin to see extra of that imminent eruption.
Last query for you: would Evan select to add his consciousness into the San Junipero server?
[Laughs] Oh, man, no. I believe Evan is means an excessive amount of of a technophobe and an idealist to do this. You’ll see because the sequence go on, Evan extra in his consolation zone, he likes being outside in nature. And regardless that the prospect of being on a San Junipero server, the place he might be doing that for the remainder of eternity… I believe that Evan is simply an excessive amount of of an old-fashioned romantic at coronary heart. He would simply fairly take pleasure in life to the fullest whereas he can.
This interview has been edited for readability and size.
Kung Fu airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.