May 31, 2017


Future Asian & Pacific History Month: Lana Condor Is the Superhero We Needed

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Fuse is celebrating Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month by looking at a variety of rising forces who are creating Future Asian and Pacific History before our eyes. Today we are honoring Lana Condor, who is changing the way we see (and look at) superheroes in the modern world.

The 20-year-old actress was born in Cần Thơ, Vietnam and was later adopted at four months by Mary and Yahoo! Sports executive editor Robert Condor. While growing up in cities like Chicago, Seattle, New York City and Santa Monica, Lana explored the creative arts through dance. She trained at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Joffrey Ballet before later finding her footing with acting, thanks to acting classes at the New York Film Academy, and later at the Yale Summer Conservatory for Actors.

Condor proved that age is nothing but a number when she scored her first film in one of the biggest franchises in Hollywood—Marvel's X-Men. The actress landed the role of mutant Jubilation Lee / Jubilee in last May's X-Men: Apocalypse blockbuster, which premiered just two weeks after her 19th birthday. Instead of going the white-washing route like most casting directors do, Bryan Singer stuck true to the character's Asian roots (she has Chinese origins) and decided to give Condor a welcoming chance.

The actress dived into her love for Jubilee with PAPER magazine, stating:

"She's just so cool. Way cooler than I am, I think. She gets along with everyone. I was having this discussion with Bryan, our director, about how she represents Asians in general. X-Men have always been outsiders – minority groups, gays and lesbians. It's like the outsiders banding together to be one. So they never really had another Asian, except for Blink, so Jubilee gets to represent the Asian outsiders who haven't really had the easiest time fitting into society. And that's cool. A lot of my followers are Asian or Hispanic. People are excited: 'A real Asian is in the film?' It's funny but it's kind of true."

After proving herself with X-Men, Condor later scored roles in Mark Wahlberg's Patriots Day, High School Lover and the upcoming sci-fi blockbuster Alita: Battle Angel. The movie is based on Yukito Kishiro's Battle Angel Alitamanga and will premiere on July 20, 2018. But she's not done with the MCU just yet! Back in March, Condor teased the return of her Jubilee character on Instagram. This is clearly only the beginning for the actress, whose Asian heritage isn't being used as a crutch against her in an industry that needs more diversity. As she continues to break barriers in Hollywood for both Vietnamese-Americans and young women in general, Lana Condor will secure a place in the future of Asian/Pacific history.

Tune in to Fuse and come back to every day for profiles, videos, galleries and more on the individuals around the world who are creating Future Asian and Pacific History. Join the conversation with #FutureHistory and find Fuse in your area with our Channel Finder. Next, watch Condor and her X-Men: Apocalypse co-stars Evan Peters and Alexandra Shipp reveal their favorite mutant ability with Fuse: