“I try to remember that there are so many talented people in Los Angeles who may never get a chance.”
Samantha began practicing martial arts at the age of four. “My mom is a black belt in jiu-jitsu. By default, my two older brothers and myself all had to train until we got our junior black belts. I fell in love with martial arts and switched over to Wushu at age 11.” Samantha won the bronze medal at the 2007 World Wushu Championships and competed in the Wushu Tournament at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Samantha was inspired by watching Jet Li’s films, “I’d watch any Jet-Li film. When I saw him moving on film, I realized I needed to do that. He is the reason I started doing Wushu.”
A long time collaborator with Zack Snyder, Samantha played Amazonian Warrior Euboea in Wonder Woman. “There were so many different women from different backgrounds and walks of life. The best part was the impact it had on the outside world and it warms my heart to have read about all the viewers who felt properly represented. And every woman was so different in the film, it seemed to resonate with little girls all across the globe.” The most women Samantha worked with on a major studio film prior to Wonder Woman was Snyder’s Sucker Punch. “There were five women leads, at that time it felt so empowering and then Wonder Woman took it to a whole other level,” says Samantha.
Samantha played Lin Woo, the lead in Snyder’s Snow Steam Iron. The short follows Woo carrying out brutal vengeance against her abusers. “It was a standout project for me on a personal level. It deals with an Asian American woman’s experience being trafficked and her daringness to resist. It really struck a chord with me. It was a very bare-bones set. We were all there of our own creative volition. No pay, it was very intimate and special. Usual “big-time” producers were wetting down the streets, moving equipment and acting! Everyone was doing whatever they could to move the project along. It was really sweet to see,” says Samantha
As Samantha continues to study martial arts and the filmmaking process she stresses, “all you can control is the effort you put into your work. I came out to LA with the goal of growing and developing my own skills. I try to remember that there are so many talented people in Los Angeles who may never get a chance, so I have to be the best I can be and earn the opportunities I’ve been given.” When Samantha is not training, you can find her mastering the art of making scented candles.
You can watch Samantha as Chambers in Zack Snyder’s upcoming film Army of the Dead.
Photos provided by 1st Avenue Public Relations