Our very own Chris Pang is making a splash in Hollywood, having featured in films alongside mega-stars Michelle Yeoh and Donnie Yen. Here’s how he went from being our local Kung Fu Kid to a rising star in California.

With his father being one of the founders of kung fu in Australia and his mother one of the best female Wing Chun practitioners in the world, Chris was always going to have kung fu in the blood. Here’s a club perspective of his rise.

Survival skills at war and in fashion

Kung Fu Kid

During the 1990’s as a primary school pupil, Chris was a regular feature at our Kung Fu Camps in regional Victoria (Australia). Imagine a scout-like camp setting, with dorms and recreation buildings, set amongst the bush and you get the picture. But at this tender age it wasn’t his kung fu that we saw, it was his natural ability to entertain. 

Some nights we’d have talent events during which most of us made fools of ourselves, but not Chris. His rendition of a Beatles classic hit was memorable not just for the imperfect lyrics, but for the commitment to entertain being shown even then.

Fast forward to the 2000’s and Chris’ size and kung fu had developed. He won his division at our inter-uni Kung Fu tournament.

Movie debut

The Australian movie Tomorrow When the War Began was Chris’ initial breakthrough moment in 2010. Chris’ teenage character could’ve prevented the war with kung fu skills, but they weren’t called upon in this instance. 

Next stop, Hollywood 

Chris relocated to Hollywood in 2013 to open up his work opportunities.

He soon landed a role in the Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon follow up, Sword of Destiny, as Flying Blade. His character joined forces with both Michelle Yeoh and Donnie Yen on an epic kung fu adventure. Donnie of course is famous in recent years for his portrayal as Wing Chun Grandmaster Ip Man, in the movie franchise of the same name. Sword of Destiny gave Chris the opportunity to showcase his kung fu skills alongside two bona fide greats of screen martial arts.

Chris as Flying Blade

Then came the 2nd season of the TV series Marco Polo, in which his character once again knows how to handle himself. And how to rock a radical haircut and still look good. He once again crossed paths with superstar Michelle Yeoh in this production. She is of course most famous for her starring roles in Tomorrow Never Dies (James Bond), Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and of course Wing Chun back in the 1990’s.

Brooding about the radical haircut

Hitting the big screen

Crazy Rich Asians was a breakthrough hit in 2018 and the Kung Fu Club attended a special screening with Chris in South Yarra, Melbourne. Kung fu did not feature, however, once again he was in a film alongside Michelle Yeoh. We reckon if she had played Chris’ future mother-in-law (rather than Henry’s), some kung fu action would have made the final cut.

The action blockbuster Charlie’s Angels (2019 reboot) is coming out later this year. As the preview implies, Chris will need some serious self defence skills to survive what the Angels are going to throw at him!

We’re looking forward to seeing this and many more of his films in future.

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