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“The Scorpion King” - Kelly Hu PDF Print E-mail
Written by By Mitch Persons   
Dec 29, 2004 at 07:00 PM
Smoky-eyed Kelly Hu, most recently visible as rock-’em, sock-’em policewoman Grace Chen on TV’s MARTIAL LAW, is now enjoying even more visibility as the female lead in the film THE SCORPION KING.  In this Universal Studios epic of epics, (a prequel to their super-successful THE MUMMY RETURNS,) Hu plays Cassandra, a warrior with the supernatural ability to see the future. Cassandra acts as an advisor to Memnon (Steven Brand,) a power-hungry warlord out to conquer the world. She also provides a love interest for Mathayus, the dreaded Scorpion King (WWF champion Dwayne Johnson, AKA The Rock,) the leader of a fierce pack of rival soldiers.
“In order to get the part of Cassandra,” says Hu, “I auditioned with I don’t know how many hundreds of girls. The thing that was really crazy about auditioning for THE SCORPION KING was they were looking for all types of women, not just Asian-specific, like myself. I auditioned with girls that were Victoria’s Secrets models, and black girls, and blonde girls, some Hispanic girls. They were all over the gamut. The producers just wanted someone who looked exotic, or looked different, or powerful, and I was really, really happy to win this role. I had been doing martial arts for so long, and had done the [TV] series, that it felt like every time I went into something I was known as The Martial Arts Girl. So for once, in this role, I got to break out of that; I was cast for something other than my knowledge of the martial arts.
“Playing Cassandra was a delight, a nice change of pace. She is definitely an oracle. She is able to see the future, and help Memnon foresee the outcomes of battles before they happen, and that’s how he sort of uses her. “She sides with Memnon at first because it’s she only life she knows, but later on, of course, it’s revealed that she’s not there of her own will. When Mathayus captures Cassandra to use her as bait in a plan he has to defeat Memnon, they turn into love interests.”
From what is known about the less public side of The Rock, apparently falling in love with the character he plays in SCORPION KING is not such a difficult thing to do. “In person,” continues Hu, “he is so low-key and so real. When I first met him I hadn’t seen any of his stuff on WWF. I knew this guy was a wrestler. I knew about his little raised-eyebrow thing. He would tell me all these little lines he would use in WWF that were pretty silly to me. And it was so funny. Somebody brought in a tape one day to the makeup trailer, and when I saw that tape of him performing as The Rock in WWF, I could not believe that it was the same person. I thought to myself, ‘This guy really is an actor. He is amazing in that character. He has such incredible charisma.’.
Even with Johnson’s charismatic persona, there were rampant rumors that THE SCORPION KING was in “the trouble,” and had to go through many reshoots and rewrites. “About the reshoots, I’m not sure what is considered a lot, because I haven’t really been involved in such a big movie, and I certainly haven’t been involved in such a big-budgeted movie. I mean, when I did THE DOORS many, many years ago, that was probably the biggest budget movie I’d ever done before this, but there were no re-shoots involved in that for me. From what I understand, it’s normal for a movie like this to have a lot of rewrites. Not a lot, but to have some new scenes put in, and just to spruce it up a little bit, because what from I had heard, the producers got more money to put into it, and I think Universal really believed in it.

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