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Jon Xue Zhang: From Hobbs and Shaw to The Brothers Sun

The Brothers Sun is one of the best series out on Netflix now and it made me wonder how the cast felt filming it. So I got in touch with one of the cast members Jon Xue Zhang who plays the cheerful BloodBoots character on this series.

He is just as sunny and positive in real life as his character in The Brothers Sun, and it was quite a pleasure interviewing him. Here are his thoughts on his career and life and the latest hit Netflix series.

Jon Xue Zhang playing Blood Boots on The Brothers Sun on Netflix

1. Could I know your educational qualifications, please? As I see you are actually Dr. Jon Xue Zhang and you are also a qualified psychologist (whaaaat?)

So I actually specialized in counselling but also worked as a sport psychologist for the Saudi Arabian National Taekwondo Team (2017-2018).

The Saudi Arabian Federation sponsored a program for its athletes to train in the UK, where they had top coaches, strength conditioning, nutritionists, and education. It was here that I was contacted to see if I'd be interested in working as a sports psychologist by the company in the UK managing the program.

They reached out to me as I have a good reputation as a martial arts instructor, who focused heavily on mindset and composure under pressure

2. Could I know more about Take Me Out and Hobbs and Shaw?

I think Take Me Out got me a lot of publicity but it wasn't my break. My career started progressing in 2018, when I worked on Hobbs and Shaw and The Gentlemen, then Eternals, which were my biggest stunt jobs, followed by The Brothers Sun, where I was a cast member

Jon Xue Zhang with Dwyane The Rock Johnson

For Hobbs and Shaw, it was a day's work, but we had a couple days of rehearsal for the scene

I'm the first person to get beaten up by The Rock in the whole film. He throws me over a table. In total we did 6 takes from 2 different angles.

3. What was the name of the project with Daryn Castle, and what awards did the short movies you worked on won?

I worked on The Tip (2019) with Daryn Castle; we've actually done a few films together. More recently, I worked on Mr Mimoto (2023), directed by Govind Chandran; we won 23 awards. I was awarded the Critics' Choice Best Actor Award.

4. Also, I saw the calluses on your fist and that said a lot about how much and how often you practice!!

Oh yes, my calluses ahah! So the skin on our knuckles tends to be quite thin, so over time, calluses start developing. It's like the calluses you'd get when lifting weights; over time, they can develop as an adaptation to heavier weight and stress.

Jon Xue Zhang as Blood Boots on the Netflix show The Brothers Sun

Same principle with the knuckles. I have been training in martial arts for 31 years in a lot of different styles (different forms of Kung Fu, Karate, Jujitsu, Aikido, Hapkido, Silat, and Arnis).

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5. Coming to the Brothers Sun, how was it working with Michelle Yeoh? I could not believe she was still so cool after decades.

Jon Xue Zhang with Michelle Yeoh

Michelle is one of the kindest and most badass individuals in the world. Working with her was a dream come true, especially as she has been a staple throughout my life, having watched all her films.

6. That combo punch with Jenny Yang was chef's kiss. Terrible that Blood Boots dies though.

Ahhh thank you!

Jon Xue Zhang with the cast of The Brothers Sun

I die in almost everything I'm in, so I have no problem with getting killed off, though this was the best one I've done and it definitely worked for the character and story.

Ahaha! I definitely preferred dying for Michelle to getting killed by her!

Jon Xue Zhang with The Brothers Sun poster

7. How did Jenny Jue hear of you, I mean which project?

Jenny found me on someone else's showreel, which to this day, still blows my mind. She brought together such an incredible cast, which I'm honored to be part of. She is genuinely one of the most wonderful people I know

8. Did you get a copy of the whole script when they offered you the role?

I didn't; they sent digital copies for my episodes, which I printed out

9. I HAVE to ask. Were your parents as traditional as Michelle Yeoh's character?

Mmm, in some ways, yes! Especially academically, for sure.

10. What would be your dream project (acting)? Considering you are close to a Big lead role?

Mmm, to be honest, I quite enjoy support roles!

Though, I'd love to work on a comedy show or Star Trek.

11. Could I know more about the Aethereality - Piano Album? Have you been learning to play since you were a child?

I've been playing since 1995. My album consists of 26 original compositions and is actually a diary without words, so every tune has significance to me; I never tell people what the meanings are, I just want them to go on their own journey. Aethereality took me 11 years to complete! It's available on all major streaming platforms.

12. About your martial arts journey, could I know how it began and how it's going?

I started Martial Arts in 1993 under my father who then got me to train with other instructors, one of whom was a special forces instructor who I still train with. Martial Arts splits into 3 main categories; fighting, health, and performance. I'll train for self-defense, I'll train for health and I perform for a living, so I'm still putting those skills to use.

If you want to learn more about Jon Xue Zhang, you can visit his website.

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ricky sams
ricky sams
21 minutes ago

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