SEATTLE — "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" is 2 hours and 12 minutes of pure entertainment.
But making it was no easy task for writer/director Destin Daniel Cretton.
Entertainment reporter and "Evening" host Kim Holcomb talked to him about making the first movie with an Asian superhero in the MCU.
HOLCOMB: “As if making a Marvel film isn't high pressure enough, you do it during a pandemic, while your wife is having a baby, correct?”
CRETTON: (laughing) “Yes.”
HOLCOMB: “Are you just a clutch player who thrives under pressure?”
CRETTON: “I wish that were true. I mean, I think everybody was hit with a lot of things that we were all unexpectedly juggling in the past year. And it was no different for us in the process of making this movie.”
HOLCOMB: “I'm sure you have seen audiences react to big moments in a battle scene, where (they cheer.) When you were shooting something and you knew you got it in that take, were you like, 'yes!'”
CRETTON: “Aw, yeah. When you're capturing something on film that's never been done before and you weren't sure if you were going to pull it off, and when it finally clicks, it's very exciting. The entire set erupts."
HOLCOMB: "Do you consider yourself more of a natural writer or director?"
CRETTON: "I feel both writing and directing to be so intertwined, that it's really difficult for me to separate the two. As I am writing, I really am directing those scenes because I'm mapping out how I will shoot them, what the character motivations are, what I will say to the actors."
HOLCOMB: "Can you tell me, is Simu (Liu) really as wonderful a human as he appears to be? He's so great in the film, and everything else I see I'm like, 'Is this guy for real?'"
CRETTON: (laughing) "Simu is a really wonderful person. I feel really lucky to have been able to work with a whole family of really wonderful performers."
HOLCOMB: “I read an article where you talked about experiencing micro-aggressions in college… how did those experiences help inform this character or story?”
CRETTON: “The feeling of being put in your place or subtle condescension coming your way can be relatable to anybody. I think anyone has felt that tone coming in their direction for various reasons, whether you are a minority in the field that you're going into, or you just happen to be the weak one in the room full of bigger personalities I do think that is something I really relate to in the character of Shang-Chi, that he is a kid who's out of place and has not really found his footing. And has a lot of inner working to do to get to a place where he's secure with who he is, he's secure with everything he's been through. I actually find that in real life to be the secret super-power, which is owning up to everything that is vulnerable inside of you. I feel like once you own all of that, then nobody can really tear you down."
"Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" is rated PG-13 and is now playing in theaters.