SpoilerTV caught up with “Arrow” and “Warehouse 13” actress Kelly Hu at the Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience. She talked to us about playing the bad girl, when we might catch her again on the small screen and why she’s really bummed about the end of “Warehouse 13."
Kelly Hu has played a vampire, mutant, sorceress and assassin. For a sweet woman, she ends up playing a lot of bad villains.
“What’s up with that?” she jokes. “I play the assassin all the time. I’m really not that mean.”
But she is tough. Hu boasts a black belt in karate, which gives her the edge in scenes where she has to kick a little TV/movie butt. She has showcased those skills playing assassin China White on the CW’s “Arrow.”
“I can’t take all the credit,” she says. “I have to say I do have an amazing stunt girl that’s been covering me on that. I do as much as I can but I have to give my stunt girls credit as well. Some of the other characters on the show are incredible fighters, though. It’s hard, it’s really hard, to look better than they are. It takes a lot of effort, believe me.”
Hu’s character was last seen early in the season. She says she hasn’t taped any more scenes for the show but is hoping to get the opportunity.
“I don’t know when I’m going to be back,” she says. “Right now my character is in jail and I’m not dead so that’s a good thing. There is a possibility [to return] as long as you’re not dead. But then again, even when you are dead you can still come back, right?”
Recently viewers have seen Hu on SyFy Channel’s “Warehouse 13.” She says she appears throughout this last season, though not in every episode. But she can’t say enough good things about working on the series.
“It’s such a shame that show is going away,” she laments. “I absolutely loved working with that cast and crew. It was the best cast and crew I have ever worked with, hands down. Everyone on there was so nice and just really fun to be around. It was fun to go to work every day.” When asked what makes that experience stand out, she replies, “It’s a fun script, which makes it a good show to work on to begin with. And also I think the showrunner Jack Kenny really set a great tone for the show. When you’re happy to go to work every day, I think it shows onscreen.”
With a plethora of roles under her belt, Hu says she’s been lucky to play all the types of characters she’s wanted. “I have had a nice long career. I’ve been doing this for 20-something years. So there’s not a whole lot that I haven’t done. I do comedy, drama. I get to do all of these fun characters. I played a sorceress, a mutant, a vampire. I mean what else is there? I’m a happy girl. I just want it to keep on coming.”
Hu also spoke at a fan panel where she talked about everything from her favorite screen kiss to why popular TV shows get cancelled. Here is what she had to say:
On Voice Acting (Hu voices the character of Stacy on Disney’s “Phineas and Ferb”): “If I could just do voice acting for the rest of my career, I would be so happy – to not have to worry about hair and makeup and lighting and hitting my mark. I’m terrible at hitting my mark, by the way. They used to put cookies on my mark on “Nash Bridges” to make sure I would hit it properly because I eat a lot. The thing I love about voice acting is that you get to concentrate on just one thing. You can take your voice to anywhere, play any kind of character – little girls, old ladies, characters that you would never normally get cast as. I love the variety of characters I get to play on voiceover and just the fact that I can do it in my pajamas.”
On her older brother teaching her Kung Fu moves when she was young: “He would set up fights with the neighborhood boys and he would play like my manager. I know it sounds terrible. I was only like 6 or 5. It was whoever cried first lost.”
On working with Hugh Jackman on “X-Men 2”: “He is such a nice guy. He’s really such a gentleman. They just don’t make them like that anymore. He’s unbelievable. He’s actually not a martial artist. He’s a dancer. So he was able to pick up on the choreography and stuff really well. But he was just a sweetheart. I love Hugh. He’s awesome.”
On her favorite screen kiss: “Probably The Rock. I actually remember how soft his lips were, that’s how amazing it was. It was like whooooaaaaa - that was hot! That was his first film (“The Scorpion King”). He’d done “The Mummy” but he’d never had to kiss anyone on that so it was his first Hollywood kiss. In Hollywood there is sort of an unwritten rule that when you kiss, especially in PG-13, that you can’t tongue. You can’t see any tongue, you’re not supposed to look like you’re tonguing, you can’t be licking anybody’s face or anything. And he didn’t know that. So when we were doing the first takes he kept tonguing me and I was like, ‘I’m not gonna say anything!’ It was pretty hot.”
On which scenes she enjoyed the most between working with Hugh Jackman on “X-Men 2” and The Rock in “The Scorpion King”: “I didn’t get to fight The Rock – I just kissed him a few times. So if you’re going to ask me which one I liked the most, I’m gonna go with the kissing. I didn’t get to kiss Hugh Jackman at all unfortunately because that would have been good.”
On being asked to scream and yell in the audition for “Phineas and Ferb”: “Come to find out that none of the other Asian girls could scream like I could and that’s basically why I got the job. So thank you for my big mouth. All the trouble I used to get into as a kid actually paid off in the end.”
On the myth that she went to college: “I never even went to college. I know it says so on my IMDB or my Wikipedia that I went to Pepperdine. But I actually just went to all the Pepperdine parties. And somebody assumed that I was at Pepperdine and put it on my IMDB. So I don’t even have a degree. I have a degree in Pepperdine partying.”
On how much she loved working on “The Vampire Diaries”: “I get to work with all the hot guys. I just realized how lucky I am. I do, I have a great life. I get to work with all the hot guys, I get to kiss all these hot men and I get paid to do it.”
On why really good shows like “Warehouse 13” get cancelled: “When these shows first get cast, everybody has their contract set. And every year it goes up a little bit and up a little bit. By the time the fifth or seventh year comes along the shows get so expensive that a lot of times it’s not worth it. They also don’t build an audience. By the third year or so you’ve pretty much got your audience and it’s not going to get any better than it is. And then the show just gets more expensive and more expensive. I think it just comes down to numbers. Networks don’t really care how attached people are to series. They just look at the bottom line and that’s all that matters to them.”
Also check out Tonya's video interview with Chandler Riggs from The Walking Dead.