SPOILERS AHEAD FOR NETFLIX’S AWAY
In Netflix’s new sci-fi series Away, Hilary Swank leads the first manned mission to Mars. The ship’s small crew includes members from different countries like Russia, the U.K., and China, which is represented by Lu (Vivian Wu), the ship’s geologist and chemist.
Lu is married with a young son, but in the series’ third episode, viewers learn that she is having an affair with Mei Chen (Nadia Hatta), the capsule communication, a.k.a. the astronaut on Earth who communicates with the crew in space.
Wu—who is known for her roles in The Last Emperor and The Joy Luck Club—sat down with her co-star Mark Ivanir, who plays Russian astronaut Misha, to speak with NewNowNext about playing Lu in the buzzed-about Netflix series.
“This is a fantastic role for an Asian actress to play,” the actress shares. “It’s so multi-layered with such rich depths. You don’t get to see the story she represents on screen very often.”
Asked about how she felt when the relationship with Mei was revealed in the script, Wu says she was excited because she’s never had the opportunity to play a queer character.
“I do feel stories like that do deserve to be told on screen. I think it’s beautiful,” she adds. “Lu is also on a journey of self-discovery and trying to find her authentic self. It is a multi-layered character to play. It is such a joy to play her.”
Does Lu and Mei’s love survive as Lu makes her way to Mars? Find out when Away hits Netflix on September 4. Until then, check out Wu’s interview in the video below.