Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director Destin Daniel Cretton praises Awkwafina’s exceptional comedic (and dramatic) skill. Taking spot within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Shang-Chi introduces crowds to its eponymous Master of Kung Fu. After picking up with “Shaun” in San Francisco working as a valet alongside his dearest companion, Katy, the film follows the former as he’s forced to confront his true way of life as the child of Wenwu, the leader of the Ten Rings. As well as starring Simu Liu as Marvel Studios’ first Asian lead, Shang-Chi features a predominantly Asian cast including Michelle Yeoh, Fala Chen, Meng’ er Zhang, Tony Leung, Benedict Wong, and Awkwafina.
Cretton recently posted a behind-the-scenes photograph on Instagram of himself directing Awkafina in Shang-Chi. In the post, Cretton praises Awkwafina’s improvisational skills as well as her capacity to be a “caring, present, and intimate performer.” Check it out beneath:
Awkafina’s Katy is a source of Shang-Chi’s best jokes, whether she’s singing karaoke and taking sports cars for joyrides or criticizing the “Shaun” name change and, again, singing karaoke with Shang-Chi and Wong. That being said, she’s easily one of the MCU’s best lighthearted element characters as she’s heartfelt, grounded, and has a genuine arc. Like her friend, who’s struggling with his personality and future, Katy expresses feeling random throughout everyday life. After following Shang-Chi to Macau and afterward Ta-Lo, Katy picks up archery, which makes her a pivotal player in the battle against the Dweller-in-Darkness, and not as a gag.
Humor is a cornerstone of the MCU, often cutting the tension while reminding the crowd that these superheroes are genuine individuals. However, Marvel films have recently received criticism for an overabundance of jokes that might upset the equilibrium between drama and parody. Cretton’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings permits Awkwafina to shine in a film that masterfully deals with its characters and tone. Katy basically turns into an Avenger with Shang-Chi toward the finish of the film and there’s sure to be more of her in Phase 4.