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're honoring Ludi Lin, the Chinese-Canadian actor who lit up this year's silver screen as the Black Ranger in the highly anticipated Power Rangers reboot.
The 29-year-old newcomer, born in Fuzhou, China, spent a large part of his childhood in Australia before relocating to Vancouver for his undergraduate studies. There, he majored in Dietetics and Theater, while also developing an intense passion for martial arts. After post-grad stints in Thailand and Japan to refine his Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu skills, Lin returned to his Canadian stomping grounds to pursue acting. In addition to landing a role on Netflix's Marco Polo series, he displayed his versatility as a multilingual actor by working in Hong Kong and mainland China in films like Monster Hunt and Lost in Hong Kong.
Lin's potential as a true international force manifested when he was cast as the beloved Zack Taylor/Black Ranger in Lionsgate's Power Rangers. The role allowed Lin to play a multilayered, Asian American character that wasn't one-dimensional or rooted in stereotypical caricature—for a major blockbuster franchise, none the less—an opportunity that Asian actors almost never come across.
In an April interview with Teen Vogue, the actor elaborated on just how important these types of roles are for the Asian community:
"I wanted to develop a role where it’s not just the Asian character in a movie. It’s just a character with an Asian background. And I want to play roles like that that are complex. I speak fluent Mandarin like a native speaker, and I speak English very well as well. In this movie, I speak both languages fluently. I think there’s a lot of people out there like that because they’re in tune with both cultures...and I want to play roles where that can be demonstrated. Just as a facet of a person, rather than as a caricature of the role...I want anything that comes with the character to come organically out of the character and be part of the story because that layers the character, rather than set that model of the character that’s already in the [viewer's] mind."
With a background spanning continents and a diverse range of acting roles, Lin is already helping bridge two of the world's largest film industries. Committed to breaking down barriers in Asian casting one role at a time, the newest Black Ranger isn't afraid of a challenge.
Tune in to Fuse and come back to Fuse.tv everyday 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. For more on Lin's portrayal of the Black Ranger, watch him introduce his character alongside the rest of the Power Rangers cast: