Character Conversations: Nicole Kang and Stephen Oyoung Are Quite the ‘Dynamic Duo’

Nicole Kang and Stephen Oyoung are not the heroes we deserve, but the ones we need as we learn more about their lives and careers in their Character Conversation. 

Kang’s first major role was in the popular Netflix thriller “You” as Lynn Lieser, one of Shay Mitchell’s character’s friends, and she currently stars as Mary Hamilton in The CW’s “Batwoman,” a close ally of Batwoman and a medical student who secretly runs a clinic to help Gotham’s impoverished communities. 

Oyoung, on the other hand, is best known for providing the voice and motion capture for Mister Negative in the 2018 “Spider-Man” video game. He recently starred in Netflix’s “Jupiter’s Legacy” as Tectonic, a superhero who can create miniature earthquakes to thwart enemies. Oyoung will also voice the Red Hood, one of Batman’s former sidekicks-turned-vigilante, in the upcoming “Gotham Knights” video game. 

The two kicked off talking about their recent work in the superhero genre and how their reactions to the casting had been. “It kind of hit me [when The CW] put everybody’s character animation next to their face and then mine had blonde hair and blue eyes,” Kang said of her casting as Batwoman’s stepsister, who is depicted as white in the original comics. “It’s been a lot of fan art and stuff that have drawn her and created a Mary Hamilton-Kane that is Asian. It’s kind of surreal.” 

Oyoung recalls his experience to be a bit different as his character in “Jupiter’s Legacy” was created just for the show. “I didn’t go into it being like, ‘I’m going to be the Asian face,’” he said, noting that he is one of the few Asian characters in the series. “They needed … an actor who could act and do their own stunts and I could do it all!” 

Coming from a stunt background was a major selling point of Oyoung, but the actor understands the possible backlash it could have on the greater community as Asians have been stereotyped as martial arts masters in the past. “I always wanted to be the tough martial artist,” Oyoung revealed, growing up playing make believe as a ninja or a solider. “For me as long as the character isn’t doing detriment to our image—as long as it’s showing some positivity or some strength or something that you can be inspired by—then I’m all for it.” 

Kang felt some resonance with that sentiment as she disclosed she wants to eventually suit up to join the heroes of Gotham City. “If I am to create a suit and to create a character that’s new, I want to have the history of an Asian martial art infused and expressed physically,” she said, telling Oyoung that she had begun training with a bo staff and kali sticks. “[I want to] honor our heritage and honor the ways in which Asian people have made a mark in Hollywood historically.” 

In the video, Kang and Oyoung go on to discuss the “hustle” of being actors and their very similar pacts with their fathers as well as their future dream roles and upcoming projects.

Watch the full conversation above to hear more!