When it was first announced that Chinese actor Wang Xueqi would be joining Shane Black’s ‘Iron Man 3’, the rumor was that he would be playing the villainous scientist Dr. Chen Lu aka Radioactive Man. However, when the official announcement was made, Xueqi was said to be playing Dr. Wu, a surgeon who helps Tony Stark in his fight against the Mandarin. Recently, the actor sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to talk more about his character in the first film of Phase Two.
First, Xueqi revealed that he initially didn’t want to take the role if it was a one and done sort of thing:
“I was told of this ‘good news’ – that there was this part on offer. I was like, ‘Oh, right.’ And I said to this person contacting me, ‘It wouldn’t do if it’s a character who’s finished off after a few fights.’ I was then assured that, ‘No, you’re going to be the man who saves [Tony Stark’s] life.’”
Then he goes into detail about Dr. Wu and his areas of expertise:
“It’s not a character which exists in the original comic series. And he’s a very complicated individual: he’s at once a specialist in Chinese medicine and Western medicine, but also a scientist and someone who has an in-depth knowledge of ancient Chinese culture. They’ve really set the bar very high. It’s a very challenging role. I don’t get a lot of scenes, but you have to convince viewers that [Stark and Wu] are friends from way back. It’s not like in other films when you can get to show that through a lot of interaction between the characters.”
Finally, while discussing the language barrier between Tony and Wu, Xueqi mentions that ‘Iron Man 3’ may not be the last we see of his character:
“It’s quite difficult when we can’t communicate in the same language. Even the bosses were very concerned about whether we could sound like friends when we speak in different languages. What they would want is to develop [Dr. Wu] if there’s a fourth installment—because after all, it’s him who propped Stark up when he’s in his most difficult time.”
Though I would have liked to see Radioactive Man go head to head with Iron Man, it definitely doesn’t sound like we’ll be seeing him in ‘Iron Man 3’. That’s perfectly fine though since we should be getting plenty of Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin, which I anticipate to be very awesome.
What do you think of Wang Xueqi’s character, Dr. Wu? Do you think that there’s more than meets the eye with him? Speculate away in the comment section.
‘Iron Man 3’ starring Robert Downey Jr., Ben Kingsley, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Rebecca Hall, and Guy Pearce opens on May 3, 2013.