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Shuyan Saga: Kristin Kreuk is a Kung Fu Princess!

22 minuto leer

(Toronto, 26th September. O’kuroku) Your usual hero journey takes a different lead when is the princess who saves herself. Shuyan Saga the latest product from Loft Sky Entertainment is a new action graphic novel where the protagonist along with us learns the true way of Kung-Fu.

[padding right=»10%» left=»25%»]For more pictures click here[/padding]

In Shuyan Saga, you incarnate Shuyan, a pampered princess who embrace the path of the warrior to save the 5 kingdoms from the menace of Guer and his horde. During the game you will have to face choices that will shape your journey, but also there will be times in which you will have to reflect if it is worth it to fight or not, making this a unique successful combination between an action game and a graphic novel.

During FanExpo 2017 we had the pleasure to interview part of the team behind the game: Jason Loftus (producer) Lina Skorbach (creative lead) and Kristin Kreuk (voice actress).

How was the research process?

Jason Loftus (JL): The easiest way to do research is to ask the experts.

Loftus stated that they looked for people with knowledge about the different aspects of the Chinese culture and the martial disciplines of that time, so they could have a solid background and avoids mistakes that later can be flagged with negative tags and connotations.

You propose a new approach to kung fu. How do you think the public is reacting to that?

JL: I think is interesting, we have got a lot of response, even from the Asian market they really that there is a non-Asian company trying to understand the culture and the philosophy it’s like writing a love letter to that culture right? So they can see there is a passion towards it as well. Which is exciting.

So right now is only viable on steam, any plans on to expand on that?

JL: Yes, mobile is in the cart, other platforms are on the cart and we have actually other partnerships also on PC and Asian markets so there is a stage that in the future there will come other platforms.

Casting Kristin Kreuk, was she your initial target for the Role?

JL: We brought together a number of people to discuss it and it was pretty quickly a consensus that she was just the perfect fit.

LS: Working with her was amazing. They usually say that it’s more difficult on the screen than on voice acting, but we had like, do two or three takes for like one line and all three takes were wonderful and we were like, which one do we choose? She understood the character right away and she delivered all the emotion for that character, it was amazing.

Kristin Kreuk enters the room… giggles everywhere.

You’ve done a lot of heroic roles in your career so far – what pulls you towards those roles?

Kristin Kreuk (KK): I think that my answer for that… which I’m actually only thinking right now because you’re asking me is that because I think I’m drawn to people overcoming their personal issues for a greater good. I’m a sucker for that kind of storytelling, especially when it comes to things presented to younger people. I think we live in a very cynical time – which is fine – and I think it’s important to take in as much data as possible but I think we also need those kinds of stories where it’s like, “Oh yes, I can do something meaningful in my community and there are things that are limiting me from doing that but I have the power to overcome that.” And even beyond communities, even in your own life to find joy, happiness, and peace.

That there those are little internal demons that one must wrestle with and you can – you have the power to do that and I think all these characters represent that kind of journey and struggle through something much bigger. Generally, someone is dying – sometimes there’s a demon, and there’s something really pushing you. That is why fantasy stuff is great because it’s a metaphor for those little struggles in our lives which are everything to us.

Over the years there has been a huge lack of fully-developed female characters in both video games and comic books. Your character obviously tackles both industries – was this something that you personally took into consideration when taking the role, and what kind of things do you take into consideration when choosing a project?

KK: I think I’m getting smarter about that as I get older but yes, with this game, in particular, that was a huge part of it for me. This is a woman, she is complex, she is flawed, she has issues and she is overcoming them even though it is not easy for her and it’s a struggle. It’s centered around her and it’s not about a love relationship – she’s not tied to some dude. She has a master and a teacher who just happens to be male but it’s not about that. She has her own drive and motivation.

It’s about family and community and I really like that cause I find that a lot of the female-driven stuff is linked to a male love interest who moves that character through their journey and I am really struggling to find things that aren’t doing that.

Thankfully it’s becoming a thing that people are recognizing…

KK: Yeah and I think everyone is fighting for that to change. We don’t want that anymore – it’s unacceptable.

I think we’ll see that change happen as more women come on board as writers and directors.

KK: There are a lot of women involved in this project and it’s wonderful.

Is voice acting something that you have always been interested in? Has it been a difficult change from what you’ve done in the past – or is it a matter of just waiting for the right story to come along?

KK: It isn’t something that I have always been interested in. I know it is a really hard job, i was with somebody for a long time who did a lot of voice work and is not easy, is super specific work. I’ve auditioned for a few things here and there in the past but this is the first thing that I have ever done in this realm. I loved it and it was really fun but it’s definitely a hard, specific job to do well and to do right. I respect anyone who does this as their career – it’s an amazing profession.

How long do you think that it will take for this change to happen in the industry to inspire more girls and more women?

KK: I don’t know how long it will take but I do feel like the more that we all push for it and inspire young teenagers to move into developing, storytelling, directing, and producing – whatever it is – the faster it is going to change. We have to keep putting pressure on people and that’s important – it is making a difference. We’re seeing things like Wonder Woman kick ass, right? It killed at the box office in a season where movies didn’t do well. That’s something we have to hold onto – it happened because people pushed for it. I think we keep doing that, it can change more quickly than we think.

Even for TV stuff, the pilot season of last year, which I didn’t do, but from what I understood they wanted female leads and they wanted diversity. If you were a white guy, there just wasn’t as much available for you which is a good thing for us, I think.

There’s been a lot of headlines recently about anti-Asian racism in Hollywood… What has been your experience as an Asian actress coming up in the business, your experiences on it and what is your take on it?

KK: Let me talk about the person first: I started a long time ago and for my first job I played a half-Asian girl which is my heritage. It didn’t happen again until, I guess, Street Fighter I played my heritage and then every role after that – I often play white characters because I have light eyes and my natural hair is quite light. Because I didn’t challenge them in the way that I looked, it didn’t come up as an issue for me so personally, I don’t think I felt the limitation for my career but I believe there is a strong issue. I have friends who are full Chinese who have really struggled to get their careers off the ground because there just isn’t the roles available. If I’m looking for, in Canada, an actress to play my mom, a Chinese actress in her fifties or sixties – they’re hard to find. I just don’t think that there have been the opportunities there and available for people.

I think that is changing and obviously, people like Constance Wu and those guys are really shifting the narrative on that. If even if we’re talking Indian, Aziz Ansari, I think what they’re doing is really important.

In Canada, it’s still a big issue – apart from Kim’s Convenience on CBC, I don’t think we have a lot available. Stuff like this helps and for me now – I won’t play outside of being a mixed race even though I do have the opportunity to do it.

Outside of the Justice League and the comic book universe, I wonder if there is a character that inspires you?

KK: Oh man, the person that came to my head, because I’m really bad at these questions. it’s really pathetic, but outside of the comic realm – because I’m not a comics person necessarily – growing up, it was always like Anne of Green Gables and I know that’s really old and like, I don’t know but she was a fierce, passionate young girl in a world where you were supposed to be a specific way and she just wasn’t that way. She just embraced it and was her weird self in the midst of all that and I really do appreciate that in people.

What was one of your favorite moments working on the game?

KK: It’s funny because everything is just done in a booth but I just liked being in there with all these people who have been doing this forever and making a fool of yourself. Cause that’s what you do, I feel like every day, when you are voice acting is just doing stuff that you just feel completely ridiculous doing like yell absurdly loud – it feels ridiculous – and doing all of your efforts which also is silly. So I like being humiliated in that sense. Weird answer, but yeah! It’s fine!

What was your biggest challenge, other than the humiliation of course?

KK: My biggest challenge really was finding the right tone for each line, it was really hard to find the right intention expressed in your voice. At least for me. Voice actors don’t have that problem, that’s what they do. It was really challenging to just convey the emotion that I wanted to convey with my voice. It seems broad but I find it very challenging.

JL: She might think that she was struggling but I think everyone else thought she was awesome.

Don’t miss the chance to enjoy this amazing production available on Steam.

Maria Caterina Bruciapaglia Lampe
Photos: Maria Bruciapaglia & Matheus Da Silva

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