All the Asian stars of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

·Lifestyle Editor
·9-min read

Since Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe began introducing more diversity among its superheroes with Black Panther and Captain Marvel, Phase 4 has been busy further expanding that diversity with female, queer and Asian superheroes. 

Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings, especially, was a huge boost for Asian representation in the MCU. As Asians, it's definitely cool that the biggest movie franchise in the world is adding more faces to its cast that represent our culture. 

However, Asian representation in the MCU began before Shang-Chi, and it won't end with Shang-Chi. We've rounded up a list below of all the Asian actors that have appeared, and will be appearing, in the Marvel Studios saga. 

This list includes only movies and TV shows that are canonically part of Marvel Studios productions, and not the early Marvel Television shows such as Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Daredevil; it does include the Sony-Marvel Spider-Man films starring Tom Holland.

Aside from actors, we mustn't forget the Asian creators of the MCU, of course, which include the director and writer of Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings, Destin Daniel Cretton and David Callaham, and Chloe Zhao, who directed Eternals. This list will, however, focus on actors. 

Simu Liu in Shang-chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings. (Still: Disney)
Simu Liu in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings. (Still: Disney)

Xu Shang-Chi (portrayed by Simu Liu)
Appears in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings

Marvel's Master of Kungfu, Shang-Chi, is played by Chinese-Canadian actor Simu Liu. Before his entry into the MCU, Liu's claim to fame was for his role as Jung in the sitcom Kim's Convenience, about a Korean-Canadian family in Toronto. 

Zhang Meng'er, Simu Liu and Awkwafina in Shang-chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings. (Still: Disney)
Zhang Meng'er, Simu Liu and Awkwafina in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings. (Still: Disney)

Katy Chen (portrayed by Awkwafina)
Appears in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings

Asian-American comedian Awkwafina rose to fame as the eccentric comic relief sidekick in Crazy Rich Asians, Goh Peik Lin. She's also Shang-Chi's comic relief sidekick, but she's shown that she can take on dramatic roles with The Farewell. 

Zhang Meng'er as Xu Xialing in Shang-chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings. (Still: Disney)
Zhang Meng'er as Xu Xialing in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings. (Still: Disney)

Xu Xialing (portrayed by Zhang Meng'er)
Appears in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings

Zhang is a wonder unearthed by Shang-Chi's casting department: a relatively unknown theatre actress from Nanjing before her screen debut in the movie, she morphed from glowering kick-ass fighter to vulnerable sibling.

Tony Leung Chiu-wai in Shang-chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings. (Still: Disney)
Tony Leung as Wenwu in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings. (Still: Disney)

Xu Wenwu (portrayed by Tony Leung)
Appears in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings

Marvel scored a coup by signing Hong Kong thespian Tony Leung Chiu-wai for a movie. The Chinese cinema veteran displayed the subtle yet profoundly powerful acting that he is known for, flitting in an instant from ruthless killer to stern father to tender lover.

Ying Nan (Michelle Yeoh) in Marvel Studios' SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. (Screenshot from film)
Ying Nan (Michelle Yeoh) in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings. (Screenshot from film)

Ying Nan (portrayed by Michelle Yeoh)
Appears in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings

Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh played the aunt of Shang-Chi, teaching him a tai ji-inspired style of fighting. Did you know that Yeoh appeared in another MCU movie? She had a brief cameo in the Guardians Of The Galaxy sequel as Aleta Ogord, the leader of a Ravager clan.

Ying Li (Fala Chen) in Marvel Studios' SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. Photo by Jasin Boland. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Ying Li (Fala Chen) in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings. (Photo: Marvel Studios)

Ying Li (portrayed by Fala Chen)

Appears in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings

Hong Kong actress Fala Chen played Ying Li, the wife of Wenwu, who was skilled in the supernatural kungfu of the denizens of the magical village of Ta Lo.

Katy (Awkwafina), Jon Jon (Ronny Chieng) and Shang-chi (Simu Liu) in Marvel Studios' Shang-chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings. (Photo: Jasin Boland/Marvel Studios)
Katy (Awkwafina), Jon Jon (Ronny Chieng) and Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) in Shang-chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings. (Photo: Jasin Boland/Marvel Studios)

Jon Jon (portrayed by Ronny Chieng)

Appears in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings

Malaysian comedian Ronny Chieng, who went to school in Singapore, was the right-hand man of Xialing, Jon Jon, helping her to run her underground fight club in Macau.

Master Guang Bo (Yuen Wah) in Marvel Studios' SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. (Screenshot from film)
Master Guang Bo (Yuen Wah) in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings. (Screenshot from film)

Guang Bo (portrayed by Yuen Wah)

Appears in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings

Yuen Wah, a veteran Hong Kong martial arts film actor who starred in Stephen Chow's classic Kung Fu Hustle, was tapped to play Master Guang Bo, a leader in the inter-dimensional village of Ta Lo.

Trevor Slattery (Ben Kingsley) in Marvel Studios' SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS. (Screenshot from film)
Trevor Slattery (Ben Kingsley) in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings. (Screenshot from film)

Trevor Slattery (portrayed by Ben Kingsley)
Appears in Iron Man 3, Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings

You didn't know Sir Ben Kingsley is half-Asian, did you? Well, he's Gujarati from his father's side and English from his mother's side. He did win an Oscar for playing one of the most famous Indians in history: Gandhi.

Gemma Chan as Sersi in Eternals. (Still: Marvel Studios)
Gemma Chan as Sersi in Eternals. (Still: Marvel Studios)

Sersi (portrayed by Gemma Chan)
Appears in Eternals

Gemma Chan, another Crazy Rich Asians star, was born to Chinese immigrants and grew up in England. Like Michelle Yeoh, she has appeared as different characters in the MCU: besides the role of Sersi, she also played Minn-Erva, a Kree soldier in Captain Marvel.

Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo in Eternals. (Still: Marvel Studios)
Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo in Eternals. (Still: Marvel Studios)

Kingo (portrayed by Kumail Nanjiani)
Appears in Eternals

Before being an Eternal, Pakistani-American comedian, actor and screenwriter Kumail Nanjiani was mainly known for his role as coder Dinesh in the sitcom Silicon Valley, as well as for writing and starring in The Big Sick.

Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Ma Dong-seok as Gilgamesh and Angelina Jolie as Thena in Eternals. (Still: Marvel Studios)
Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Ma Dong-seok as Gilgamesh and Angelina Jolie as Thena in Eternals. (Still: Marvel Studios)

Gilgamesh (portrayed by Ma Dong-seok)
Appears in Eternals

Ma Dong-seok, also known as Don Lee, is Korean-American. He rose to fame after starring in Train To Busan and has become one of the most successful actors in South Korea.

Kate Bishop (portrayed by Hailee Steinfeld) in Hawkeye. (Still: Marvel Studios)
Kate Bishop (portrayed by Hailee Steinfeld) in Hawkeye. (Still: Marvel Studios)

Kate Bishop (portrayed by Hailee Steinfeld)
Appears in Hawkeye

Pitch Perfect star Hailee Steinfeld is Filipino from her mother's side – her great-grandfather hailed from Bohol in the Philippines. She stars opposite Jeremy Renner in Disney+'s latest MCU series, Hawkeye.

James
Randall Park as Jimmy Woo in Ant-Man And The Wasp. (Screenshot from film)

James "Jimmy" Woo (portrayed by Randall Park)
Appears in Ant-Man And The Wasp, WandaVision

Randall Park, who was born to Korean immigrants in Los Angeles, was best known as a cast member of the sitcom Fresh Off The Boat before he played the FBI agent who supervises Scott Lang's house arrest in Ant-Man And The Wasp.

Dave Bautista as Drax in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2. (Screenshot from film)
Dave Bautista as Drax in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2. (Screenshot from film)

Drax (portrayed by Dave Bautista)
Appears in Guardians Of The Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame

The muscular, shirtless Kylosian, Drax the Destroyer, is played by former bodybuilder and wrestler Dave Bautista, who is Greek from his mother's side and Filipino from his father's side.  

Pom Klementieff as Mantis in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2. (Screenshot from film)
Pom Klementieff as Mantis in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2. (Screenshot from film)

Mantis (portrayed by Pom Klementieff)
Appears in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame

French actress Pom Klementieff is half-Korean from her mother's side. She plays Mantis, an empath from a race of insectoid beings who is able to sense other people's feelings and alter them.

Benedict Wong as sorcerer Wong in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (Screenshot from Avengers: Endgame)
Benedict Wong as sorcerer Wong in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (Screenshot from Avengers: Endgame)

Wong (portrayed by Benedict Wong)
Appears in Doctor Strange, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings, Spider-Man: No Way Home

Benedict Wong, who plays the Nepalese sorcerer who just goes by the name Wong, was born and raised in England to parents who had emigrated from Hong Kong. Wong fights mystical threats alongside Doctor Strange as Masters of the Mystic Arts.

Edward “Ned” Leeds (Jacob Batalon) in: Spider-Man: Homecoming. (Screenshot via YouTube)
Edward “Ned” Leeds (Jacob Batalon) in: Spider-Man: Homecoming. (Screenshot via YouTube)

Edward "Ned" Leeds (portrayed by Jacob Batalon)
Appears in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame 

Jacob Batalon was born in Hawaii to Filipino parents. He plays Ned Leeds, Peter Parker's best friend, who serves as his "guy in the chair" superhero sidekick.

Claudia Kim as Dr. Helen Cho in Marvel Studios' Avengers: Age Of Ultron. (Screenshot from film)
Claudia Kim as Dr. Helen Cho in Marvel Studios' Avengers: Age Of Ultron. (Screenshot from film)

Dr Helen Cho (portrayed by Claudia Kim)
Appears in Avengers: Age Of Ultron

South Korean actress Claudia Kim, also known as Kim Soo-hyun, starred in K-dramas before she gained international attention for her role as the genius geneticist in the second Avengers film who created a vibranium body for Ultron, which later became Vision's body. 

Tadanobu Asano as Hogun in Marvel Studios' Thor. (Screenshot from film)
Tadanobu Asano as Hogun in Marvel Studios' Thor. (Screenshot from film)

Hogun (portrayed by Tadanobu Asano)
Appears in Thor, Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok

Tadanobu Asano, who began his career as an indie actor in Japan, was the first Asian actor to appear in the cast of an MCU movie, playing Hogun, one of the Warriors Three from Asgard and a close friend of Thor.

Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel in Marvel Studios' Ms. Marvel. (Screenshot from trailer)
Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel in Marvel Studios' Ms. Marvel. (Screenshot from trailer)

Ms Marvel (portrayed by Iman Vellani)
Appears in Ms. Marvel

The upcoming TV series Ms. Marvel will introduce a young superhero to the MCU: Kamala Khan, a 16-year-old Pakistani American from Jersey City who idolises Captain Marvel. Canadian actress Iman Vellani was born to Muslim immigrants from Pakistan. 

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - JANUARY 30: Actor Park Seo-Joon during a press conference of JTBC drama 'Itaewon Class' at Conrad Seoul Hotel on January 30, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by THE FACT/Imazins via Getty Images)
Park Seo-jun stars in The Marvels. (Photo by THE FACT/Imazins via Getty Images)

Unknown role (portrayed by Park Seo-jun)
Appears in The Marvels

South Korean superstar Park Seo-jun is the third Korean actor to join the MCU, after Claudia Kim and Ma Dong-seok. His role in the Captain Marvel sequel, The Marvels, is still unknown; the movie is still in production. He will star opposite Brie Larson, Zawe Ashton, Teyonah Parris, and Iman Vellani.

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