Exclusive: Red Eye star on "momentous" East Asian representation and how her experience shaped role

jing lusi, red eye
Red Eye star talks "momentous" representationITV

Red Eye's Jing Lusi has opened up on the thriller's "momentous" East Asian representation.

Set to premiere on ITV this weekend, this six-parter stars Fool Me Once's Richard Armitage as Dr Matthew Nolan, who's placed in cuffs after seemingly killing a woman in a car crash. Despite maintaining he was alone in the vehicle, the doc is escorted to Beijing by DC Hana Li (played by Lusi), but their flight isn't a smooth one.

In a Digital Spy exclusive, actor Lusi discussed her eagerness to be involved and how her own experiences shaped the role, sharing: "When this came along, I was like, oh my God, I want to play Hana so much, but I'm just so happy that this is even being made.

richard armitage, jing lusi, red eye

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"It was huge and just kind of being in the majority rather than the minority because as an Asian actor throughout my whole career, except Crazy Rich Asians, you are the only Asian. You are there amongst a load of other box-ticking diverse people. And you all know why you're there and you all know your place and none of it is ever the lead.

"So it was huge. It was so momentous," she continued. "Truly what I hope is that after maybe like five minutes of seeing Hana, you'll just forget that she's Asian and you'll just normalise the fact that she's just a woman doing her job.

"I hope that after a while, it won't matter if she's black, white, blue, pink, green. You know, she just is Hana and I hope that sets a precedent going forward."

jing lusi, red eye

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Lusi, who most recently appeared in the spy blockbuster Argylle as Li Na, went on to reveal how the makers of Red Eye transported some of her cultural anecdotes into the part itself.

"I remember having a Zoom call with Pete [Dowling] and Julie [Gardner] and Bad Wolf, just kind of chatting about my experiences as an Asian immigrant. Just a few anecdotes. Then we get into filming and as always, they write new, different things.

"I saw this new scene that Pete [Dowling, creator] had written almost verbatim, and had incorporated my words. I was so moved, I was like, wow, it's a real piece of you.

"I've never had anything that was that collaborative. Probably Crazy Rich Asians, but this was obviously for different reasons. But I thought, what an amazing experience," she added.

Red Eye airs on ITV1 from Sunday, April 21 and is available to stream on ITVX.

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