The #AAIronFist train continues! For the latest edition of Hard NOC Life, we welcome journalist Charles Pulliam-Moore and actor/dancer Cole Horibe stop by to talk about why having Iron Fist be an Asian American character makes the most sense. We should also point out that this episode was recorded the day before Scott Buck was announced as the showrunner of the forthcoming Netflix series.
Ever since I implored Marvel to consider an Asian American actor for the role of Danny Rand in their planned Iron Fist Netflix series last year, the most common reaction has been from non-Asians (usually) whitesplaining why the idea of an Asian American martial artist is racist. The second most common question involves who Marvel/Netflix could cast in the role because there are no Asian American stars who could possibly carry a series. Which is a funny demand because I don’t recall Charlie Cox being a huge movie star pre-Daredevil, but that’s neither here nor there.
Besides, this is Marvel we’re talking about. The same studio that turned the schlubby guy from Parks & Rec into Harrison Ford. Whoever they cast — Asian or not — is guaranteed to be a star anyway. So here are several actors who deserve a shot at Shou-Lao and superhero stardom.
I just got out of the Signature Theatre on 42nd and 10th in New York City where I got to see a performance of Kung Fu — the new play about the life of Asian America’s original superhero Bruce Lee — by renowned playwright David Henry Hwang. And I have to say, I was blown away.
Full disclosure: I’ve been a fan of star Cole Horibe since his turn on Season Nine of FOX’s hit reality competition show So You Think You Can Dance (btw, Kung Fu reunites Horibe with SYTYCD choreographer Sonya Tayeh). In addition to seeing how the play combined martial arts and dance — which was essentially Horibe’s specialty on SYTYCD — I was also interested to see how he would embody the icon. Spoiler Alert: dude is amazing.