Home Film & TV Warrior: Meet Olivia Cheng & Perry Yung (Ah Toy & Father Jun)

Warrior: Meet Olivia Cheng & Perry Yung (Ah Toy & Father Jun)

by Neil Bui

With the release of all three seasons of Warrior out now on Netflix, I was able to reunite with my new friends from the Sundance Film Festival, Olivia Cheng and Perry Yung, who play Ah Toy and Father Jun.

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?

Perry Yung: So all those relevant themes in Warrior, political demagoguery, immigrant scapegoating, those things are so topical today. When we started filming in 2017, we didn’t know how topical it would still be, even more so, look at the immigration situation today in America and what we’re voting for. This is what our show was about. Somebody mentioned to me a historian when they first saw the first episode of Warrior, they said “you guys mentioned the Chinese Exclusion Act three times during that first episode.” That’s never happened before in any television show ever. It just goes to show that systemic oppression and racism is still alive more than ever today.

Neil Bui: How important is it to have women supporting women even in times like Chinatown of Warrior?

Olivia Cheng: Women supporting women is what keeps the world balanced. I do think we have a culture that has put toxic masculinity on steroids and I think that the effects of that, [which] we’re seeing it now, we’re seeing global warming, we’re seeing the political system that is pushing forth profit over people, we’re seeing capitalism take over as the highest value, all of that is the opposite of female gender principles like mercy, compassion, nurturance. With the Ah Toy character, what’s also really important for women in seeing the Ah Toy character, is I hope that they see the complexities of what it is to be a woman. That to have this like monolithic personality and this idea of ‘oh you’re just a nice girl and that’s all you should be.’ We blow it out of the water with Ah You because we see that she can be fierce and violent but that she can also be incredibly kind, incredibly generous, very aware of visioning for her community and thinking three steps ahead, and doing it because it’s the right thing and it actually aligns with what her values are. I think in a small way for a character to be on screen that encourages women to be all the aspects of themselves, to own their anger, to own their vulnerability, to own their joy, and let it all inform what it means to be human is one slight service that I hope Ah Toy brings across on screen.

Where to watch Warrior

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