Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings introduces a brand-new hero into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Simu Liu’s title character promises to make a powerful addition to Marvel’s Avengers. Of course, the film also establishes a strong slate of supporting characters, including Meng’er Zhang’s Xialing.
Believe it or not, Shang-Chi marks Zhang’s first time on the big screen. That’s an exciting development for the actor, but it wasn’t the only one she experienced while working on the project. In addition to playing one of the Marvel film’s most badass warriors, she apparently met her husband while on set.
[Spoiler warning: There are minor spoilers below for Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.]
Who does Meng’er Zhang play in ‘Shang-Chi’?
Meng’er Zhang plays Xialing in Shang-Chi, bringing the titular Marvel hero’s sister to life. Xialing struggles from the moment their mom dies, when her father decides he can no longer bear to look at her. She keeps to the shadows for most of her childhood, watching her brother and the Ten Rings train. In doing so, she picks up combat skills of her own, eventually learning to outdo the boys.
That’s how she builds an empire, starting her own fighting ring when she realizes her brother’s not returning home. His decision creates tensions between the two for most of the film, and it may prompt the decision she makes later on.
Shang-Chi‘s second end-credits scene suggests fans will see Xialing again. Before that, Zhang will get to enjoy some time with her new husband — one of the creatives she met while working on the film.
Meng’er Zhang met her husband on the set of the Marvel film
Marvel’s Shang-Chi might be the first film Zhang has appeared in, but that’s not the only exciting development she celebrated working on the project. During an appearance on ComicBook.com’s Phase Zero podcast, she revealed she actually met her husband on set.
Zhang wound up falling for the film’s action designer, Yung Lee. As she told ComicBook.com’s Brandon Davis, she began work on the film “single and wrapped married.” Apparently, the Shang-Chi cast celebrated, fittingly, with a karaoke reception:
“We didn’t prepare anything for our marriage, but the production threw a big party to celebrate. And Simu, he took us to Disneyland, and Awkwafina, she booked a whole venue and threw a big karaoke party. I mean, everyone sang and everyone lost their voices the other morning. Wow. It’s really fun. And yes, it’s just like being with my family, you know? They are my family.”
Leaving your first film with a new husband and Marvel Studios on your resume is certainly one way to kick off an acting career. So, what’s next for Zhang?
What’s next for the ‘Shang-Chi’ star?
As for what’s next for Zhang, that’s anyone’s guess. The actor doesn’t have any other films currently lined up, though her character could appear in future MCU projects. When asked about reprising the role, she told ScreenRant she doesn’t know anything yet. However, she seemed excited to find out where Xialing goes from here:
“I really don’t want to spoil anything for the audience. And to be honest, I don’t know; I have no idea. I cannot wait to find out, too, just like you. I’m excited for whatever is next for her. And I think that’s why audiences have to come to the theaters to see this film themselves and to find out. I don’t want to spoil anything for the audience. It will be a very special journey for everyone to watch this film in the theaters and they will find out everything in the theaters with us together.”
After her Marvel debut, it’s possible the actor could find herself working on other projects in the future. While we wait to learn what’s next for Zhang and her Marvel character, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is currently playing in theaters.
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