Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Meng’er Zhang met her husband while filming the movie. Shang-Chi, which came out this weekend, is the second film in Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film introduces audiences to the origin of Shang-Chi, a kung fu master trying to live a normal life who gets pulled into the orbit of the dastardly Ten Rings organization, run by his father, Wenwu. The film stars Simu Liu, Tony Leung, Michelle Yeoh, and Awkwafina. With an opening night pull that beat F9 and a Cinemascore that matches the original Iron Man, Shang-Chi is set to tower over the box office this Fall.
Zhang plays Shang-Chi’s estranged sister Xu Xialing. Though Shang-Chi does have sisters in the original comics, Xu Xialing is an original creation for the film. After the Ten Rings steal a pendant his mother gave him, Shang-Chi brings along Awkwafina’s Katy to find Xialing, in the fear that the organization will target her as well. By the end of the film, Zhang’s character is set up for a big future in the MCU, with her being the new leader of the restructured Ten Rings organization.
Speaking with Screen Rant, Zhang was asked what her most gratifying experience on set was, and she gave a rather unexpected answer. She revealed that after filming, not only did she get her Marvel paycheck, she walked away from the Shang-Chi set with a husband. Her husband Yung Lee was one of the action designers on the film. Read her full quote on her experience below:
I was cast single and left married! I met my husband, Yung Lee, on this film; he’s one of the action designers on it. That’s the biggest one. We didn’t prepare anything for our marriage celebration, but the production threw a big party for us to celebrate. And then the next day, Simu [Liu] took us to Disneyland and the next, next day, Awkwafina booked a whole venue for us to celebrate. We had a big karaoke party and everyone was there; everyone sang. The next day, we all lost our voices. It’s really an amazing memory. We were really like a big family.
Marvel movies have been a lot of things to a lot of people, but now they can list “dating service” as well. It makes sense, really, considering how long these films take to get made, with crews working closely together the entire time. In fact, just one single scene, the bus fight sequence, took the Shang-Chi crew four weeks to shoot. Though Zhang wasn’t in that particular scene, she was in others that likely ran to a similar length.
The production crew met for initial filming in February 2020 before being delayed five months by the pandemic. If Zhang and Lee had already formed a connection before the delay, that’s ample time for them to solidify their relationship outside of a working environment. Their combination cast party/wedding reception is certainly a story for the ages, especially considering the extreme limitations on anything approaching a “normal” wedding gathering during 2020. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is already a huge success, but even if it hadn’t been, Zhang certainly has a reason to look back on it and smile.