INT: Kristin Kreuk
Kristin Kreuk's character Lana Lang may have left SMALLVILLE, but that certainly hasn't slowed her down. Kreuk is currently kicking butt in the new film STREET FIGHTER: THE LEGEND OF CHUN-LI as the title character. She does wire work, martial arts (she has a purple belt in Shotokan Karate) and holds her own beautifully, even along side martial arts master Robin Shou (MORTAL KOMBAT). If that isn't enough, she's trying to start a female-centered production company and has started an online networking site to empower young girls. Never mind Superman. This girl's got it covered!
I know you weren't a big player of the STREET FIGHTER games. How much research did you do into the backstory of your character? Was it mainly the game or the script?
Mostly script. I found out about a week before I went to Thailand that I got the part, so I didn't have a lot of time. But it's not a really deep story with many layers. So that was something I wanted to add for myself on top of it, but Justin, (Marks) the writer is very well versed in STREET FIGHTER lore. He's doing MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE and things like that. He's a lovely person and so young!
You have a background in martial arts.
Yeah, I've done a lot. I did a lot of shotocan karate growing up.
I read that you have a purple belt.
I do. I have a purple belt.
Have you gone up in rank since doing this film?
No. (laughs) That would require that I go back to class and go to gradings and I'm not that passionate about karate. Enough to stick with it.
You also had to do a lot of wire work in this film. I've tried it once before and it's really difficult. How do you get used to that?
I think it's just frequency...there was a thing that we do in the alley (in the film) that we did every day in training. And getting the momentum to move is challenging, because how do you torque your body? And where do you put your leg and where do you put your arm to get the momentum? Because normally I would just push off the ground. But you can't do that in the air.
Yeah, I just ended up spinning in the air.
Yeah, and once you're spinning, how do you stop yourself? How do you not over-rotate? But most of it's choreographed so that makes it easier.
So would you do a sequel to this film?
I'm actually signed on for a sequel. If they want me in it then I'm there...I think they've got a lot of options, people-wise, if they want to go there and the movie is successful. They need to make money on this to do a sequel, obviously.
They'll have to bring Ryu into it.
They have to or fans will throttle them! (laughs)
You and Robin Shou (Gen) have some great chemistry.
Thanks! He's so much fun! He came in pretty last minute so we didn't do any of the training. He learned all the choreography on the spot the day of. He's great. Robin even shaved his head into a weird hairline for that wig, so when you'd see him when he wasn't all done up, you'd see a shaved, high hairline. Poor guy! He's funny and we just laughed and laughed and laughed.
Were you familiar with MORTAL COMBAT (where Shou plays Liu Kang)?
I think I had seen it but I don't remember it. My aunts and uncles showed it to me years and years ago.
You have some seriously hardcore fight scenes in this film. Which is more difficult for you? The fight scenes or the emotional scenes?
Emotional ones are a breeze. It's funny, there's an episode of SMALLVILLE that shot while I was in Thailand, where they shot a segment of me saying goodbye to Clark (Tom Welling) on the video, and I was really emotional in it and (Director) James Marshall's assistant flew all the way to Bangkok to shoot this tiny little scene with me, and I was like, 'Yay! I get to act, I get to act! I'm so happy.' It was on my day off but I was so excited. I really like to act. The fighting was totally different and fun in and of itself, but sometimes I was just craving a scene.
Do you want to stick with film from here on in or would you like to do more television?
I think film offers an opportunity to go deeper with characters than TV in general does. Except for some of my favorite series, which have characters and relationships and concepts that you can't in film because you don't have enough time. SIX FEET UNDER and shows like that but I think that's a very rare thing. They're really amazing. I would happily do a show like that. Even develop something like that for somebody else. There are a bunch of ideas a couple of friends and I are batting around, television series-wise. You just have so much time and you get to see this person go through so many different instances in their lives and give the audience time to connect with them. And maybe even give them a greater opportunity to give them a realization about themselves, maybe four years into a show, that maybe changes their lives.
Is that something you'd like to do? Produce?
I do. I want to get into production. It's funny because I think a lot of actors do that and a lot of times it's just a vehicle thing, a vehicle for themselves. And I don't know if that's why I want to do it. I just want to make really interesting film and contribute to the art of it. I think that production is more my area than direction or writing. I want to build my writing skills but I don't know how yet.
Do you have any ideas you can talk about?
(laughs) It's in the beginning phases. A group of us girls are starting a production company, female-centric. The stories will be human-centric, but coming from a female perspective and with mostly female crew, which would provide a different atmosphere. So that's what we're planning. But literally, we haven't even incorporated and we're talking with each other. We have a ton of ideas. It's all about logistics and how we fit that into very busy lives.
Would there only be female crew?
Not exclusively, but imagine the set that wasn't only male-driven. It's really cool. And Allison (Mack, who plays Chloe Sullivan) just directed SMALLVILLE, one of my friends who we're talking about this with, and it was crazy, because a female director has such a different energy than a male director. And the way that she went about doing things, there were no tantrums, there was no yelling, there was no 'get this done right away!' She had a softness about her that was very feminine but she still made her days and made beautiful work.
With the type of show you want to do...any chance you'll do genre again?
I like genre. I've just been in it for so long that I want to move out of it and do something that isn't...you know, I look at AMELIE though, and it's one of my favorite movies and it has a very fantastical quality about it. And I love that in movies and I love that in books and I love that in everything. But I just want to do something where I don't have superpowers or there aren't superpowers involved or there aren't aliens coming from outer space. It's a real experience based in the reality that we know. (laughs)
Tell me a little about the charity for girls that you've created.
Well, hopefully it won't be charity based. It's called GIRLS BY DESIGN. It's an online content creation social networking site for teen girls, project oriented, so that they can build their self esteem through action. It also uses technology to enhance the human experience as opposed to using technology to eliminate human contact, which is what I think we've been doing with out technology a little bit. And it's really to encourage girls to take their ideas and their concepts and just go out there and create. There's a lack of balance out there and I want to encourage the younger generation to just go out there and start their own businesses, start their own companies. Build it their way. Don't follow the status quo. Try something new. Take a risk. Failure is good and just do it. That's really what I want to encourage in girls.
Between this group and starting a female-centered production company, would you ever consider doing something like a PROJECT GREENLIGHT for girls?
That would be amazing. And yes, I would love to do that. That's a great idea.
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