Home Film & TV Warrior: Meet Dianne Doan, Joe Taslim & Langley Kirkwood (Mai Ling, Li Yong & Buckley)

Warrior: Meet Dianne Doan, Joe Taslim & Langley Kirkwood (Mai Ling, Li Yong & Buckley)

by Neil Bui

With all three seasons of Warrior out now on Netflix, Dorkaholics spoke with Dianne Doan, Joe Taslim, and Langley Kirkwood who play Mai Ling, Li Yong, and Buckley in the series.

Neil Bui: The world is a different place now in 2024 compared to when the filming of Warrior started in 2017 to when it first aired in 2019. From the lens of your characters and their arcs throughout the series, what themes do you feel are still relevant now more than ever?

Dianne Doan: When we all gathered for that first table read and reading the pilot episode, it was so haunting at the time, it was past administration and that’s all I’ll say. And just the parallels of what was going on back in the 1880s to it was 2017, and it only got worse with the pandemic, the spike in Asian hate crimes. So I feel like nothing has really changed over the hundreds of years that have taken place since but it’s been really jarring and to make a show that maybe historically will teach an audience the experiences that one goes through, and then to receive messages from fans thanking us for shedding light on something. That says a lot about our society and what we’re going through. This show has been incredibly important and timely.

Langley Kirkwood: Dianne pretty much said everything in terms of the politics of then versus the politics of now. America as a country, there’s a lot of room for growth in terms of us not being so polarized and I suppose that is very much a mirror of then and now, that hasn’t changed. How do we change that? This is one of our biggest challenges as a species. The human species has been able to prove time and time again that we are better when we work together, so how do we break through the people standing in our way, the structures, the political structures standing in our way. How do we break through those and be able to create a new world because this world we’re living in now, let’s face it, it’s not working. The politics of this world have not changed much since the 1870s. If we can just stoke debate around those kinds of issues, I think it’s going to help the world get to a better place. Let’s get there before we destroy it.

Dianne Doan: Of course, we wrap it in a very exhilarating, action-packed drama-filled sexy show.

Joe Taslim: Yeah it was hard in the 1800s, it was hard back then and it’s still hard especially during Covid for Asians all over the world but the beautiful thing about the show, [is that it] is actually released during a perfect time. People who watch the show understand. I remember when I was walking in New York and I bumped into an Asian man and then this guy said ‘thank you for Warrior, that show means a lot.’ That made me more proud about the show because our show is actually telling the story about how hard being Asian back then but also it’s still going until now. It’s hard now.

Where to watch Warrior

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