Masala: Ludi Lin Lives Out a Childhood Dream As Liu Kang in ‘Mortal Kombat’

From protecting the Earth in the new “Mortal Kombat” movie to advocating for the AAPI community, Ludi Lin is no stranger to fighting back against the bad guys. 

Known for his roles in 2017’s “Power Rangers” and “Black Mirror”’s “Striking Vipers” episode, Lin now stars as Liu Kang, a warrior from a clique of fighters chosen to defend the Earth in a high-stakes battle against the forces of the Outworld. The new movie, set to release in select theaters and on HBOMax April 23, is a reboot of the original “Mortal Kombat” film series of the 1990s and is based on the popular video game franchise of the same name. 

As a fan of the original movies (even skipping school to watch “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation” in theaters), it was only natural for Lin to be a part of the reboot. He took over the role from Robin Shou, who originated the character for live-action in 1995 and 1997. “I spoke to Robin Shou about [playing Liu Kang],” Lin revealed, “and he had a lot of nice, insightful and inspirational things to say.” 

Lin also discussed what it was like to film the big action sequences, citing how happy he was driving onto set each day. “You step back and you go, ‘What are we getting done here?’” he recalled with a smile on his face. “We’re just all pretending. It’s like playing with action figures.” 

On top of playing the hero on screen, Lin has taken to activism in the past year. He has used his platform to talk about the recent incidents including the rise of racist attacks against Asians across the country. “We haven’t spoken out loud enough or acted as much as we could to prevent those things and to stop those things,” he said, suggesting there be a 24/7 chatroom akin to the Clubhouse panels that popped up during the last few months to keep the conversation going. “We can’t stop talking about it,” Lin pleads. “We can’t forget about this.”

Watch the full interview above to hear Lin’s reaction to the “Mortal Kombat” trailer, his latest projects, including The CW’s “Kung Fu,” and how he hopes to champion the fight against anti-Asian racism.